Amazing places to visit in England by train

24th August 2022

From dynamic cities and postcard-perfect villages to gorgeous lakes and sweeping beaches, England has something for everyone.  

Much more than rolling hills and cream teas, this green and pleasant land is a nation of rich culture, diversity and natural beauty.  

With an extensive rail network, there’s no better way to discover England’s best bits by train. And with a Railcard, you can save 1/3 on your journey, too. 


The Lake District: best for the great outdoors 

Dramatic fells and vast lakes define England’s most popular national park. A haven for outdoor adventures, the park is traced with epic walking trails and cycle routes. 


For a real challenge, strap on your hiking boots and tackle Scafell Pike, England’s highest peak.  


Prefer two wheels? Awesome bike rides range from easy loops, such as the Langdale Cycle Trail, to 40-mile slogs like the Whinlatter and Honister Pass. Out on the water, canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding are available at Coniston Water and Windermere.  


Station: Oxenholme Lake District 


Edinburgh: best for culture 

With a cultural calendar that runs year-round, there’s never a bad time to visit Edinburgh. Head to the Scottish capital in August for the world-famous Fringe Festival, a celebration of all things comedy, performance and creativity.  


Not your thing? No problem. Whether you’re into film, art, science, storytelling or jazz, there’s a festival for you here. 


Don’t miss the chance to finish the year with a bang at Hogmanay, Edinburgh’s epic New Year’s Eve street party and fireworks extravaganza. 


Stations: Edinburgh Waverley, Edinburgh Haymarket 

Manchester: best for sport 

Sport borders on near religion in Manchester, a city famed for its fierce love of competition. Kick off your trip with a game at one of the city’s two footballing giants, Manchester City and Manchester United, then head to the National Football Museum to see a different side of the beautiful game. 


Old Trafford – the other one – is the place to be for cricket fans. Host of big international fixtures and county cricket, there are plenty of opportunities to catch a game – and maybe even a six if you’re lucky! 


Stations: Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Victoria 


St Ives: best for the beaches 

Sitting on Cornwall’s northern coast, quirky St Ives is one of England’s prettiest beach towns.  


With three to choose from, Porthmeor is the place to head for surfing, while Porthminster is ideal for families. The smallest, Porthgwidden, sits hidden away in a tiny cove on the edge of the old town. 


After a few days at the beach, be sure to make time for Tate St Ives. The modern art gallery showcases masterpieces from artists with links to the local area. 


Station: St Ives 


London: best for theatre  

London’s West End sets the bar high for theatre in England. World-renowned shows and big-name actors perform nightly in the capital’s many theatres. 


From family favourites, such as the Lion King, to contemporary classics like the Book Of Mormon, there’s something for everyone in London. 


Stay in lively Soho for a taste of London’s best restaurants and nightlife. Need some new glad rags preshow? Nearby streets Oxford, Carnaby and Bond offer some of the best shopping in the city. 


Stations: King’s Cross St Pancras, Paddington, Waterloo 


York: best for history  

From its ancient city walls to the towering minster, there’s history at every turn in the beautiful city of York.  


Learn about the city’s epic 2,000-year story with a wander through the quaint mediaeval alleys of the Shambles, discover York’s gory past at York Dungeon – 2FOR entry when you travel by train – and walk atop the remains of the city walls before stopping off at York Castle Museum. 


Step even further back in time with a visit to Jorvik, York’s incredible interactive Viking experience.  


Station: York 


North Norfolk: best for families 

Crabbing, beach days and wildlife experiences await on North Norfolk’s wild coastline.  


Head to Blakeney Point and take a boat trip to see the area’s resident seal colony. Over at Cromer, try your hand at crabbing off the Victorian pier. Buy the kids a kite and hit the wide, sweeping sand at Holkham. 


Come lunchtime, treat the kids to fish and chips at Wells-next-the-Sea. The CH1 Coasthopper connects most of the major towns along the seafront, making getting around a doddle.  


Station: Cromer, Sheringham 


Bath: best for rest and relaxation 

Bath’s history as a spa town dates back almost 2,000 years when the Romans built their spectacular baths at the heart of the city. 


Today, the ultra-modern Thermae Bath Spa – the only genuine thermal spa in the UK – is the place to go for a relaxing soak. Its spectacular rooftop pool offers sweeping panoramic views of Bath’s skyline, too. 


The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa, set in Bath’s iconic Royal Crescent, and The Garden Spa by L’Occitane, make up the top three spas in Bath. 


Station: Bath Spa 


Save up to 1/3 on your rail fare when you travel as a pair with the Two Together Railcard. See more of England for less by train.