Beautiful places to visit by train in Great Britain

1st July 2023

A land of rolling hills, historical wonders, vast lakes and wild mountains, Great Britain has beauty on tap – and it’s all easily reached by rail (and for 30% less with a Railcard).


To get your wanderlust going, we’ve handpicked some of the most beautiful places to visit by train in Great Britain. And to keep things fresh, we’ve left off some of the more apparent spots in favour of lesser-known stunners. Ready to discover somewhere special? Let’s go!


Gloucester Cathedral


This 11th-century masterpiece blends Norman and Gothic architecture to perfection. Used for multiple films and television shows, its intricate cloisters are some of the finest in Britain.


The cathedral earns extra beauty points for its surroundings – the gorgeous countryside of the Cotswolds. Catch the train to Gloucester to get here.

Hadrian’s Wall

The remains of this Roman wall are surrounded by the classic sweeping countryside England is famous for. Take a walk through history between crumbling forts, pretty villages and scenic natural spots.


From Newcastle and Carlisle, the Hadrian's Wall Line takes you within walking distance of the ruins.

The Forest of Bowland


Often overlooked because of the nearby Lake District and Yorkshire Dales, the Forest of Bowland offers spectacular scenery with far fewer crowds.


Brilliant for walkers, you can stroll for miles through untouched hills, forest and moorland. Take the train to Clitheroe, Bentham or Lancaster on the edge of the park.

The Jurassic Coast


Covering almost 100 miles of secluded bays, towering sea cliffs and wild beaches, the Jurassic Coast is one of England’s finest natural landscapes.


Hop on the train to Weymouth and explore the Dorset AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), a stunning spot containing the Man O War beach, Lulworth Cove and the iconic Durdle Door.


Loch Ness

Loch Ness might be famous for its monster, but it’s the spectacular scenery that really makes this lake special. Take a boat trip out onto the loch’s serene waters for views of the eerie ruins of Urquhart Castle.


It’s also great for hiking, with many trails looping around the lake. To get here, jump aboard the train to the lively city of Inverness.

The Great Glen


With towering mountains, placid lakes, and untouched countryside, this enormous valley captures the essence of wild Scotland.


A natural geological fault, you could spend weeks hiking along the glen, which gives you a taste of the Highlands. Take the train to Spean Bridge, a lovely village in the heart of nature.


The Orkney Islands

Peace comes as standard on this wild cluster of islands off the tip of northern Scotland. Deserted beaches with clear blue water, towering sea cliffs and ancient Neolithic ruins are just a few of the things that make the Orkney Islands special.


One of the most remote British holiday destinations by train, requiring travel to Thurso by rail and then a ferry to Stromness.

Dean Village


A tiny mill settlement on the outskirts of Edinburgh, Dean Village is one of Scotland’s prettiest historic sites.


Set on the peaceful banks of the Water of Leith, Dean is a lovely example of a 19th-century mill village. To get here, take the train to Edinburgh. The village is just a 10-minute walk away.



Llyn Peninsula

A wild spit of land jutting out into the Irish Sea, the Llyn Peninsula has been compared to Cornwall for its dramatic scenery and isolated beaches.


There is one key difference, however: fewer people know about Llyn. To get there, catch the train to Pwllheli.



Take the train to the island of Anglesey for remote pebble beaches and tiny Welsh fishing villages.


Wild Anglesey is known for its pretty coastline and historic heritage: Beaumaris Castle dates back to the 13th century while the village’s Victorian gaol is one of the best preserved in Great Britain.


One of the quirkiest places to visit in Britain by train, Portmeirion feels like a little chunk of the Cinque Terre broken off and reattached in Wales.


This tiny village has been designed to look and feel exactly like an Italian village – there’s even an authentic gelato shop! To get here, take the train to nearby Porthmadog.


Discover Great Britain’s most beautiful places for less with a Railcard – you could save up to 1/3 on your train fares!