There is no better way to spend a weekend than enjoying a relaxing train ride, slowly steaming across beautiful countryside and between cities. The UK has plenty of incredible weekend train trips on offer, and since we can’t travel, it’s the perfect time to try some of Great Britain’s best weekend train trips. Here are our favourites, all under £200.
Spirit of the Lakes
For a handful of weekends in December, West Coast Railways is resurrecting its railway tours on Spirit of the Lakes, a beautifully restored land cruise train featuring resorted Pullman coaches. Passengers can embark on Christmas-themed day trips from Cleethorpes or Peterborough to Edinburgh on board the train, passing through the stunning East Coast before spending 3-4 hours in the Scottish capital getting in the festive spirit before enjoying a return train trip.
Tickets start from £85 for standard class, but for under £200 (£155) you can book a Pullman first class ticket with breakfast roll on the outward journey and sandwiches and scone on the return run, accompanied by a service of tea or coffee. On Saturday 5 December 2020 you can travel from Cleethorpes to Edinburgh and from Peterborough on 12 December.
From £85, westcoastrailways.co.uk
The Poppy Line
The Poppy Line, or the North Norfolk Railway as it’s formally known, is one of the most magnificent heritage railways in the UK. This nostalgic and romantic steam train runs from the seaside town of Sheringham in Norfolk through to the Georgian town of Holt surrounded by rural parkland. The line is run entirely by volunteers, and for winter 2020 the train will take on the persona of the Norfolk Lights Express. Departing at 7pm on Saturdays and Sundays passengers can expect festive lights, an atmospheric soundtrack and plenty of mulled wine, hot chocolates and warm chestnuts.
From £16, nnrailway.co.uk
The Night Riviera
Spend your Sunday night travelling in style on the Night Riviera sleeper train, whisking you away safely from London to the sandy shores of Penzance. The train has restarted operations following a suspension due to Covid-19, and is now running on Sunday evenings allowing you to wake up for a new week or ‘working from home’ or enjoying some time off in Cornwall.
While the stylish lounge car is currently out of action, passengers get complimentary snacks and a light breakfast, and can order food to their sleeper compartment. Book in advance and you can get an advanced sleeper ticket for as little as £70.10, or a sleeper twin compartment for £195.
From £70.10, gwr.com
The Caledonian Sleeper
Hop on board the Caledonian Sleeper for a cosy, luxurious and picturesque Friday night trip to the Scottish Highlands. Passengers can board the super premium train at London Euston and arrive in Fort William the next morning, on what is the Caledonian Sleeper’s most popular and picturesque route.
Travelling on the West Highland Line, highlights include Rannoch Moor, where mossy-antlered deer can be spotted from the train and the beautiful Loch Treig. The train finally pulls into Fort William station at around 10am. While there are two cabin grades which are a lot more pricy, travellers can currently get a classic sleeper compartment for £170.
From £170, sleeper.scot
Severn Valley Railway
For the month of November passengers can spend their Saturday evening aboard the Severn Valley Railway, enjoying a five-star dining experience with award-winning Chef Richard Stuart, using local Shropshire and Worcestershire ingredients and paired with delicious wines. The journey kicks off with a champagne reception in Kidderminster before departing at 18:15 along the Severn Valley – arriving at The Engine House restaurant for a lavish dinner before retuning to Kidderminster.
From £70, svr.co.uk
Cambrian Coast Lines
Wales is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the UK, and is easy to get to from major cities and towns around the country – making a Welsh train trip the perfect weekend excursion. Riding on the Cambrian Coast Lines passengers can embark on a trip from Shrewsbury through the Welsh countryside through the Dyfi Biosphere Reserve and Snowdonia National Park. Once in Wales, discover the rich heritage of the area and explore historic castles and fortresses at Aberystwyth, Harlech and Criccieth, or pack your walking boots for a hike through the national park. The trip takes 3hours 45minutes with an off-peak return just £44.30.
From £44.30, scenicrailbritain.com