As a nation that has cut its teeth on the railways since 1830, the UK still enjoys an exceptional rail network linking every corner of Britain. And with more than 8 million Brits choosing to forgo their annual holiday abroad in favour of some home-grown adventure, there’s never been a better time to hit the tracks.
1. Take advantage of package deals
The UK government is keen to promote trains as a way for native Brits to take a well-earned holiday and see everything this diverse island has to offer. There are plenty of train companies out there vying for customers, which is great for travellers because it means there are lots of deals out there on things like 2for4 train tickets and package travel & accommodation offers.
A lot of package deals are promoted as tours, e.g. travelling the railways of Wales and enjoying the Welsh culture as part of a 3*, 4* or 5* accommodation deal.
It’s possible to save a substantial amount by booking a package deal, making it a great option for families right through to the solo traveller.
2. Tour the UK by theme
British cultures and landscapes make up one of the most diverse melting pots in the world. Planning a rail journey based around a particular cultural or historical interest, or geographical theme, can be a superb way to make excellent use of Britain’s railways whilst enjoying a voyage of discovery.
Top themes promoted by rail companies include tours of the UK’s capital cities, tours of the Cotswolds, coastal routes, historic sites of England, Wales by train, shopping tours, the west country by rail, and the Settle & Carlisle line.
The BBC even produced four televised series’ called Great British Railway Journeys that looked into both historically significant train lines in the UK and current enthralling options, the most recent of which was the Athlone to Galway Irish line.
3. Book early, pay less
It’s a no-brainer for most travellers – book early and pay less for transport and accommodation. Scoping out early deals could save a train traveller up to 75% on the standard fares.
Train tickets UK supplier prices can vary a great deal, so always shop around. It tends to involve a lot of filling in online search criteria, but to cut 75% off a fare it has to be worth the hassle!
4. Save on travel, splurge on accommodation
As anyone with kids will lament, sometimes a great deal of the holiday is taken up sitting around in the hotel room trying to stick to a napping schedule etc. For those folks embarking on a train holiday, using the funds saved on transport to pay for lavish accommodation can absolutely make the holiday. Everyone loves a little luxury sometimes, but usually that hefty plane fare takes priority. Instead, opt to spend a little extra on a little luxury!
5. Go where the wind blows
It’s not the type of holiday everyone enjoys, but the traveller who goes where the wind blows them often has the most unexpected adventures. The great thing about the UK being so small – less than 300 miles wide – is that it’s possible to hop on a train in Liverpool in the morning and be in Penzance by the same afternoon!