When I think of traveling, I usually think of going overseas. But there’s so much to discover here in Great Britain that it’s often worth staying in Britain to take it all in. One of my favorite ways to travel is by train, so today I want to share some of my top picks for places to journey by rail in Britain this winter. As an added bonus, I’ve partnered with National Rail to tell you how you can save 1/3 on your tickets.
National Rail just launched into its family of Railcards a 26-30 Railcard that allows holders between the ages of 26 and 30 to get 1/3 off most rail fares in Great Britain.
The average 26-30 Railcard customer saves £125 a year, so there’s an advantage to buying the card. As an added bonus, you can purchase a 26-30 Railcard up until the day before your 31st birthday and continue saving for another year. The Railcard (along with the 16-25 Railcard) can be linked to your Oyster card and save you 1/3 on pay-as-you-go off-peak tube fares in London, too.
I got a 16-25 Railcard when I first moved to London and I used it so often it paid for itself many times over. I’m a big fan of the savings these cards offer, and I recommend them from firsthand experience.
Places to Travel by Train in Britain this Winter
So now for my guide to where you can go with your 26-30 Railcard. There are a lot of places to get outdoors or cozy up by a fire this season, and I want to share my three favorites with you.
Down in East Sussex, Rye is one of the prettiest villages in Britain. It’s beautiful any time of year, but I’ve particularly enjoyed winter weekends with friends in Rye. The cobbled streets are less crowded than they are in the warmer months, making it easier to photograph the village’s half-timbered facades and historic pubs.
Rye also has restaurants and cafes that make perfect nests on cold days. The surrounding countryside and local beaches are ripe for winter walks, too. I remember a particularly pretty stroll on Camber Sands beach, where we wrapped up warm and had a great time meandering along the shore.
You can save up to £12.25 on an off-peak return ticket from London to Rye with a 26-30 Railcard.
Up north, York is one of my favorite cities in Britain. The layers of history make it exciting to explore, and the big cathedral and narrow lanes add to the atmosphere. Fortified walls, a castle, and famous tearooms round out the scene.
I’ve been to York twice in the winter and have loved both trips. It was great to discover the city without the summer crowds, and on one visit I got to explore the Christmas markets. York has a lot of places to cozy up indoors, too. The most famous of them is Bettys, a classic cafe and tearoom that’s celebrating its centenary this year.
You can save up to £38.60 on an off-peak return ticket from London to York with a 26-30 Railcard.
My most recent train journey in Britain was for a big country walk in the Chilterns. West of London, the Chilterns are a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and have a lot of pretty scenery to take in.
I went a couple Sundays ago with a walking group, traveling by rail to Princes Risborough and walking from there to Great Missenden. We hiked through Roald Dahl country—he lived in the area and there’s a museum dedicated to him in Great Missenden—and we had an excellent pub lunch at The Gate Inn in Bryants Bottom along the way.
It was a great winter day out, and the rolling hills and woodlands were beautiful. We returned to London from Great Missenden, capping off our walk with a scenic train ride home.
You can save up to £7.65 on an off-peak return ticket from London to Princes Risborough and £4 on an off-peak return ticket from London to Great Missenden with a 26-30 Railcard.
I hope this post has inspired you to go and explore parts of Britain you haven’t been to before. There are so many places to discover, and traveling by train is a good way to do it.
This post is sponsored by National Rail.
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