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Britain by train: the three stunning one-week UK rail trips you need to try

With the return of the staycation as a legitimate post-pandemic holidaying option, Britain’s once forgotten visitor treasures are once again being enjoyed en masse by a variety of campers, caravaners and more. With it, another largely historic British past time has enjoyed a burst of popularity – that being the holiday by train.

While many of us might think of going on holiday via train exclusively as a rather uncomfortable trip across to London Gatwick airport, the UK’s expansive rail network offers up an array of stunning train rides across some of the island’s best and most scenic destinations. If you are considering a week away exploring some of Britain’s finest spots, we’d recommend a look at these three stunning 7-day rail adventures.

London to York (via Salisbury, Bath Spa, Oxford and Stratford-upon-Avon)

A trip that explores the rich history of England along a single route, you’ll enjoy some of the UK’s best castles, cathedrals and colleges along the way as well as some incredible scenery on your travels northwards.

Starting in London means you can do the typical tourist affair, while Salisbury offers up a stunning 13th century cathedral and one of the surviving copies of the Magna Carta. Bath Spa’s Roman history will take you back a few thousand years, while the famous university city of Oxford has year-round appeal. To top off the journey, visit the home of Shakespeare in Stratford-upon-Avon, before heading to York for more Roman delights and a stroll through the iconic Shambles.

Edinburgh to Inverness (via Glasgow, Fort William, Mallaig and Isle of Skye)

Where the English tracks up to York tell a historic tale, those running through Scotland offer up arguably the best of the best in terms of UK landscapes. Travelling through the lowlands to the highlands, you’ll enjoy rugged coastlines, picturesque lakes and rolling moors topped with castles.

This Scottish adventure is by no means short of history, though, with Edinburgh offering plenty to whet the appetite in that regard. The other stops on this route provide a real variety of pleasures, from the cultural vibrancy of Glasgow and adventure sports focus of Fort William through to the scenic delights of the Isle of Skye and deep lochs of Inverness.

St Ives to Plymouth (via Falmouth, St Austell, Newquay and Looe)

Unsurprisingly, much of the Southern line has plenty to offer in terms of coastal fun and merriment. If it’s the best of British beaches and cliffsides you’re after, there’s no better option than an extended trip along the Cornish coast to see the pinnacle of England’s south west.

Many of the stops have maritime or beach-based pursuits to enjoy, with highlights including the castle and maritime museum at Falmouth, the famous Eden Project just out of St. Austell and the aquarium in Plymouth. Plus, at the end of the line, there’s always plenty more of Devon to explore.

Fancy a trip outside of the norm this year? With unrivalled scenery, wonderful versatility and rich history on offer at every stop, seeing Britain by train is an experience unlike any other you’re likely to find on your travels.

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