There’s something romantic about train travel. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a place where there wasn’t any, but I’m a bit obsessed with traveling by rail. From Malaysia to Machu Picchu, Sri Lanka to Switzerland, I’ve had a lot of great adventures on trains. But there’s no place like home, and today I’ve teamed up with Skyscanner to share 5 great British railway journeys that you can now book with their app (there’s a discount code, too).
Great British Railway Journeys
I love traveling by train in the UK, not least because the countryside is stunning. From sheep-studded pastures to castle-strewn coastline and cathedrals in the sky, there’s always something to tempt me to press my nose to the glass.
The five journeys I’ve chosen are some of my favorites, but there are a lot more good ones out there. Skyscanner launched trains on its app in the UK in the spring, and travelers can now book tickets for all kinds of British train journeys directly inside the app with no booking fees. There are also features like saved credit card details, 24/7 free customer support, and highlights on the cheapest times to travel. So let me tempt you…
1. East Coast Main Line
Perhaps it’s because I did this train journey every week for two years, but the East Coast Main Line train trip is my favorite. It’s one of the great British railway journeys for good reason: the stretch along the coast in County Durham, Northumberland, and the Scottish Borders is stunning.
From the views of Lindisfarne Castle on Holy Island to the sight of Durham Cathedral rising above the city, the route is packed with one iconic sight after another. And that’s to say nothing of the beaches along the Scottish coast, which I never expected to see before I first took the train.
2. Settle-Carlisle Railway
Another of my favorite train trips in the UK is the Settle-Carlisle Railway. This 73-mile line in northern England passes through the Yorkshire Dales and North Pennines, offering spectacular scenery along the way.
My main memories of this route consist of rolling hills with stone walls and lots of fluffy sheep (I’m a sucker for fluffy sheep). I got off in the Eden Valley, where I had an incredible time walking through the countryside for a couple days. But even if I had just done the rail travel part it would have been a scenic adventure.
3. Sleeper Train to Cornwall
Down south, another of the great British railway journeys is the sleeper train from London to Cornwall. This one departs Paddington station in the evening and arrives in the west as the sun comes up. It’s great for maximizing time in Cornwall since the daytime trains can take half a day to get there.
I did this trip a few years ago and I’ll never forget waking up at sunrise as the train made its way through the countryside and along the coast. The way the light hit the landscape and turned everything golden was magical.
4. West Coast Main Line
I’ve spent a lot more time on the East Coast Main Line than the west, but the few times I’ve taken the train from London to Carlisle or Glasgow have shown me that the West Coast Main Line rivals its counterpart in beauty.
I particularly enjoyed two trips last winter, when Cumbria was dusted with snow. It was beautiful to see the hills powder white, especially from the warm comfort of a train carriage.
5. Edinburgh to Leuchars
Back in Scotland, I’ve taken a couple of train trips from Edinburgh to Leuchars, the station for St Andrews. As the train crosses the Firth of Forth, the views out across the water are stunning.
And that’s to say nothing of the coastline or the Fife countryside that completes the trip. It’s a quick ride of just an hour, but worth taking for the experience (and to see St Andrews, which is beautiful).
If you’ve been inspired by these great British railway journeys, you can use my discount code to save on your train travel. Skyscanner is offering £3 off if you’re a new user and you download the app and book your first train ticket with the code. My unique code is LIL3, and it’s valid until November 18, 2018. I hope it takes you somewhere unforgettable.
This post is sponsored by Skyscanner.
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