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Trains in the U.K.

Train Vacations for Cheap Travel

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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.

A Rail Tour of the U.K.

Mark Kahler, licensed to About.com
Take a look at an itinerary for a rail tour of the U.K. It's possible to start in London and see attractions in England, Wales and Scotland without spending several weeks or thousands of dollars. Buying second-class tickets for each segment, the total cost was $264 USD for this particular trip. Can you match that with a car rental, adding in expensive gasoline, insurance and parking costs?

London

Mark Kahler, licensed to About.com
The trip begins and ends in London, where your rail options are plentiful. But before you depart or after you return, consider the many budget travel options offered in this world-class city, from free admissions in Greenwich to low-cost walking tours. You'll even find an affordable splurge on a dining experience at a five-star hotel before attending the theatre.

Bath, England

Mark Kahler, licensed to About.com
Tourists have been flocking to Bath since the Georgian era. It was the place to be seen in British society and the baths have been popular since Roman times. These days, you can again partake of the waters here, but there's more to Bath than the baths. Take a look at some money-saving tips for this city in western England.

Abergavenny, Wales

Mark Kahler, licensed to About.com

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.

York, England

Mark Kahler, licensed to About.com

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.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Mark Kahler, licensed to About.com

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.

St. Andrews, Scotland

Mark Kahler, licensed to About.com

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.

Day Trips from London

Mark Kahler, licensed to About.com
Although London offers much to see and do, many budget travelers want to explore beyond the city. Fortunately, the U.K. train system connects London with at least five cities of great interest to visitors. None is more than about two hours from London by rail, and each will reveal some fascinating aspects of British society and history.

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