Trains in the U.K. (United Kingdom) are making a comeback.
Security concerns and a bewildering array of fees have made air travel more difficult. For longer trips, it is still the only practical choice. But short hops are often more challenging and time-consuming.
Freedom of travel offsets the drawbacks of driving. But freedom comes at a price: gasoline in the U.K. at this writing is about $8 per U.S. gallon.
Below are links to information about trains in the U.K. for 7-10 day vacations. Included are some budget tips for each suggested stop.
The southeast corner of Wales offers much to visitors, especially those who have at least some interest in history. Chepstow and Raglan castles are examples of two very different structures, and Tintern Abbey's quiet beauty will stay with you long after you leave the Wye Valley.
About midway between London and Edinburgh, York has become one of the U.K.'s most popular tourist destinations. Why not? York Minster is the largest in northern Europe, and the city's Roman roots are still visible in many parts of town. The railroad station is just a short walk from the city center, and there are affordable rooms and meals waiting as well.
The outskirts of ancient Edinburgh often were the scene of fierce military struggles, so the most important buildings were constructed on a hill above the fray. Starting with impressive Edinburgh Castle and moving down the Royal Mile, you'll experience Scottish history and quite a few free attractions along the way.
This ancient city is widely known as the home of golf. Players around the world aspire to tee off on the famous Old Course. But St. Andrews offers much more than historic golf. Its cathedral and castle ruins are worth visiting, as are the nearby beaches, shops and St. Andrews University. Rail service does not come into the city, but an efficient bus system connects St. Andrews with a small station at nearby Leuchars.