UK Rail Holiday: 3 Weeks

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Price
From£1,109£998
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Trip Details

Route: London Brighton Oxford Bath Liverpool Manchester Glasgow Edinburgh York Cambridge London

Duration: 21 nights

Transport: You’ll see the whole length of Britain in 21 nights and 22 days starting and ending in London. You’ll travel by train during the day, with journeys varying from 1 to 4 hours in duration.

Sustainability: This trip only creates 99 kg of carbon emissions! To fly the same route would cost 840.4

Reviews:    All independent reviews

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Trip Style

You can truly say that you seen the length and breadth of Britain if you do this mammoth 3 week trip! It covers England and Scotland in full, with 2 nights in each place, and with short train journeys throughout you won’t be bored for a second!

Only have a week or two to spare? Try either our 7 night or 14 night options instead!

Trip Description
See the best that Britain has to offer with this in-depth 3 week route

Start your adventure in London, a true 24 hour city and the bustling hub of the British Isles. There’s so much to explore here, from the most famous sights (Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and the London Eye to name a few) to the lesser known gems. Take a stroll around Hyde Park, admire the shopper’s paradise that is Harrods, marvel at the breath-taking houses of parliament, and finish off with an amazing meal at one of the city’s hundreds of award winning restaurants.

Then move on to the vibrant seaside capital of Brighton. Only an hour’s train ride from London, this city is a perfect contrast between bohemian cafes and upmarket boutiques and its traditional seaside charm. Brightly coloured beach huts, fish and chips and great pubs are all found here in abundance.

Next you’ll head to Oxford, where dreamy landscapes and buildings will transport you back to another point in time. The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford is home to some highly inspired works of art, whilst the Natural History Museum is sure to impress any history buff! Lord of the Rings fans shouldn’t leave before having a few drinks at the Eagle and Child pub – JRR Tolkien’s old haunt.

Then take the short train journey through Somerset to the Roman town of Bath – famous for, believe it or not, its Roman Baths! This upmarket university town is a shopper’s dream with bookshops, coffee shops, interior design boutiques and pleanty of local produce on sale from the surrounding farmland.

For a change of scenery, head north towards the port city of Liverpool. Home to the Beatles and overflowing with maritime history, this buzzing centre is a great place to find out more about Britain’s past. In addition, its countless great restaurants and bars make it an excellent nightlife destination. Arguably not as good a nightlife scene as your next stop though, Manchester, but we’ll let you decide! This cosmopolitan city, nestled in the foothills of the Pennines has a brilliant music and sport scene as well as being a haven for shopaholics.

Next, take a train through breathtaking countrydside before you cross the border and arrive in Glasgow to start the Scottish part of your trip. This once industrial city has flourished into a vibrant urban hub, with buzzing bars and restaurants to top off its wide selection of museums and galleries. Relax with a local brew and reflect on the stunning Scottish landscape before cutting across to the Scottish capital – Edinburgh. Looking out over the picturesque and mountainous East Coast, you won’t be disappointed for views with a trip to Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano and the highest point in the city! Round off your visit with a trip to The Scotch Whiskey Experience to sample one of the country’s most well-known exports.

Next up – York! Oozing with ancient history and scenic picnic spots, you’re sure to fall in love with the cobbled Chocolate City! Roam the Roman Bathhouse and the impressive Norman York Castle, before grabbing a tasty pick-me-up at the renowned Betty’s Tea Rooms. Alternatively, you could make the most of the quaint boutique shops along the Snickelways of York, or head off on a boat trip down the River Ouse to drink in the sights.

Carry on south towards Cambridge. When you think of quintessential Britain you can’t get any closer than this – Cambridge is overflowing with stunning architecture and historic charm. Spend your days wandering the ancient streets, punting and enjoying afternoon tea in one of the many cafes and tea rooms. Finally, take the short train journey back to London to finish your trip, or continue by Eurostar to Paris, Brussels or Amsterdam with a custom route!

 

What's Included?

  • All overland transport tickets from the first to the last city, as shown in the key.
  • Any Interrail or Eurail passes if required, based on the best value for you.
  • Compulsory seat reservations on high-speed rail, night trains or ferries.
  • Accommodation in top-rated, centrally located hostels or hotels, tested by us
  • Walking directions between the stations and your booked accommodation.
  • Optional walking tours, pub crawls and other activities at our partner hostels.
  • A personalised travel booklet with maps, language guides, top tips, and more.
  • Exclusive discounts on attractions across Europe.
  • Peace of mind with alternative travel included if there is a strike or similar disruption.
  • Access to our 24hr emergency phone number while you’re away.
Photos
Itinerary

London (2 nights)

One of the most visited cities in the world and the crown jewel of the United Kingdom, London is undoubtedly spectacular. Boasting an incredibly rich history, countless iconic landmarks, world-class museums (most of which are free!), acres of leafy parks, cobbled streets and alleyway pubs older than some cities – it isn’t hard to see why tourists flock to this jolly old town. Far from just a relic of the past, modern-day London is an economic and cultural powerhouse, stamping its authority as one of the greatest cities in the world.

Highlights

  See the iconic landmarks of Big Ben, The London Eye, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace. Visit the British Museum, among the largest and most comprehensive in existence.

  Take a stroll through St. James Park, one of many found throughout the city.

  Sample the culinary delights at Borough Market.

    Train to Brighton – 1 hour

Brighton (2 nights)

A classic British seaside town, Brighton is both vibrant and quirky. From its colourful beach huts to its famous Indian style Royal Pavilion, you’ll find plenty to discover here. As a haven for all things alternative, Brighton has plenty of interesting shops, restaurants and cafes to discover, as well as a legendary nightlife that even Londoners flock to experience in the summer months.

Highlights

  Visit the Royal Pavilion, a fascinating palace and museum.

  Enjoy the glorious seaside views on Brighton Pier while you eat your fish and chips!

  Stroll along the vibrant North Laine, overflowing with independent shops and al fresco cafes.

    Trains to Oxford – 3 hour

Oxford (2 nights)

Home to one of Britain’s most famous universities, Oxford is a charming and quintessentially British city. Small enough to cover in a couple of days but with plenty to offer, spend your afternoons punting on the River Cherwell, exploring the eclectic covered market and enjoying the university and college grounds.

Highlights

  Visit the university colleges and grounds – there are nearly 40 different colleges so check their opening times before you go.

  Admire the dreaming spires with a rooftop cocktail at The Varsity Club.

  Explore the vast Bodleian library and Radcliffe Camera – tours are available daily.

    Trains to Bath – 1.5 hour

Bath (2 nights)

Stylish, historic and unique, Bath is a city which emanates both character and charm. Explore the ancient Roman spa which gave the city its name, and learn about its history at the museum. If you fancy it, why not give yourself a break at Thermae Spa – a luxurious modern spa with a rooftop pool that gives great views over the city.

Highlights

  Visit the Roman Baths which gave the city its name.

  Enjoy a luxurious soak at the Thermae Spa with its saunas, steam rooms and roof top pool.

  Venture out into the stunning Cotswold countryside, just north of Bath.

    Trains to Liverpool – 4 hours

Liverpool (2 nights)

While traditionally serving as an industrial centre and major port city, Liverpool has managed to build enormous character over the past century, subsequently becoming a tourist haven of the north. Home town of the biggest band in the world the Beatles, Liverpool has solidified itself as a Mecca for music fans. Also boasting multiple museums and galleries, a UNESCO World Heritage City Centre and a fanatical football culture, Liverpool has something to offer everyone.

Highlights

  Visit Anfield Stadium and embrace the fanatical football culture.

  Stroll around the Albert Dock area, the maritime heart of the city.

  Visit the multiple museums and galleries and learn about Liverpool’s rich history.

    Train to Manchester – 1 hour

Manchester (2 nights)

During the 19th century, Manchester was at the forefront of the industrial revolution, specializing predominately in textiles. Now in the 21st century, development is in full force with art galleries, restaurants and trendy bars continuing to blossom. Throw into the mix the multiple museums, a legendary music scene and proud sporting culture and what you get is fun and energetic English city.

Highlights

  Discover the city’s industrial past at the Museum of History and Science.

  Enjoy some live music at one of the countless pubs and venues.

  Visit Old Trafford football stadium, home to Manchester United.

    Trains to Glasgow – 3.5 hours

Glasgow (2 nights)

The third largest city in the UK and largest in Scotland, Glasgow is a gritty city with a unique, edgy character and cultural prowess. Often overlooked for its more scenic sister city in the east, Glaswegians stand unperturbed and fiercely proud of their city and its abundant museums, Victorian-era architecture, industrial roots and well renowned nightlife and music scene, considered by many as the best in the UK.

Highlights

  Visit the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, home to works from Rembrandt, Dali and Monet.

  Soak in the serenity at the Glasgow Botanic Gardens.

  Sample some of the country’s finest Scotch whiskey at the Glengoyne distillery.

    Train to Edinburgh – 1 hour

Edinburgh (2 nights)

Home to the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh is proud to call itself Scotland’s capital city. Immerse yourself in its dramatic castles, beautiful views, traditional pubs and windy streets. Take the hike up to Arthur’s Seat for the best views of the city, and head to Sandy Bell’s in the evening for traditional brews and folk music.

Highlights

  Taste traditional haggis with neeps and tatties.

  Stroll around the beautiful grounds of Holyrood Palace.

  Climb up to Carlton Hill to see the Robert Burn’s Memorial.

    Train to York – 3 hours

York (2 nights)

With a history stretching nearly two millenia, modern day York is a widely revered destination, wearing its past as a badge of honour. The most intact and complete medieval walls encase the centre, where you walk back in time through the towns Snickelways, a collection of narrow alleys, complete with overhanging buildings. The centre piece is the magnificent York Minster, also known colloquially as the heart of Yorkshire.

Highlights

  Marvel at the gothic grandeur of York Minster.

  Walk the famous medieval walls and get the best view of the city.

  Explore the Shambles, one of the best preserved streets in Europe.

    Trains to Cambridge – 3 hours

Cambridge (2 nights)

Home to one of Britain’s oldest institutions, this iconic University town is a must see for anyone visiting the UK. Boasting more than just academic clout, Cambridge is scenic and architecturally beautiful, with a more laid-back atmosphere than its larger rival. Wander the cobbled streets dotted with antique shops and tea rooms, take a stroll along the River Cam or simply embrace the student-lifestyle. We guarantee you will be charmed by Cambridge and all it has to offer.

Highlights

  Take a punt down the river and admire the college backs.

  Explore the many independent shops and cafés along the high street.

  Picnic in Midsummer Common and watch the university rowing teams on the river.

    Train to London – 1 hour

London

End your trip in London to fly back home or get a custom qoute if you’d like some extra nights here or to continue your adventure into mainland Europe as well!

How to get there

London has numerous international airports so you can fly in and out from pretty much anywhere in the world!

If you are coming from mainland Europe we can easily include a return Eurostar from Paris, Brussels or Amsterdam, just get in touch to make your own custom route.