UK wildlife-watching day trips by train
It’s official, BBC One’s epic wildlife documentary series Blue Planet II is this year’s most-watched TV show –proof that us Brits all have a little nature lover in us, just bursting to get out.
But, while the Blue Planet series is filmed all over the world, we’re here to tell you about places in the UK where you can do some David Attenborough-style daytripping of your own. Best of all, you can get to most of them easily by train. Grab the kids and the camera, and read on…
Whale watching in Whitby
Guess what - some journeys, like York to Whitby, have Mobile Tickets available. So, you'll be able to make your day out even smoother as you whizz past the queues and straight onto the platform. Check out whether Mobile Tickets are available for your route.
Dolphin tours in Cardigan Bay
Unlike the name suggests, Cardigan Bay’s not a seaside cove dedicated to button-down knitwear. In fact, this large Welsh bay is one of the only places to see dolphins in the UK, as well as Atlantic grey seals.
You’ll need to catch the train to Aberystwyth or Newquay, depending on where your boat trip departs from. Cardigan Bay’s dolphin tours run from March to October, so there’s plenty of time to book your train tickets in advance and save money.
Sign up for a Ticket Alert and we’ll tell you when the cheaper Advance Tickets go on sale
See puffins on the Farne Islands
The Farne Islands are just off the coast of Northumberland, so a boat’s the only way to get there. All boats set off from Seahouses Harbour and Chathill is the closest train station, just four miles away. It’s definitely worth the trip.
Puffins and seals are the stars of the show here, as well as other marine birds and wildlife. Use our Journey Planner to work out your travel options and make your day out stress-free.
The great outdoors, indoors
Let’s face it, winter’s not the most appealing of seasons to get off the sofa and into the outdoors. So, if wrapping up and tramping the English countryside’s not your thing, there are still options for you to see nature up close and within range of central heating.
Not bragging, but the port city of Plymouth is home to the UK’s largest aquarium. Its Atlantic Ocean display tank has tiger sharks, stingrays and a green turtle inside, making it feel like you are in a episode of Blue Planet II yourself! . See available trains to Plymouth to check them for yourself.
On the other end of Britain’s coast, in the popular seaside resort of Brighton, there’s SEA LIFE Brighton. It’s a great day out for all the family, and just over an hour from London Victoria by train.
Feeling brave? Dive into a shark tank at Blue Planet Aquarium, Chester. While you might not be allowed Dutch courage before your experience, you’ll likely deserve a few bevvies afterwards, so it’s better to get the train to Chester for ease.
London Aquarium and ZSL London Zoo
Get 2 for 1 tickets to a whole heap of attractions through our partner, Days Out Guide, and fill up your calendar with fun things to do. For underwater meet and greets with jellyfish, sharks and more, head to SEA LIFE London from London Waterloo.
Find four-legged friends at ZSL London Zoo, which has lions and tigers and… giraffes. London’s sister zoo, ZSL Whipsnade, is home to the grizzlies too.
If you’re travelling with friends, family, neighbours – or anyone who’ll make up a group of three to nine people – make sure you select the GroupSave option, on the Railcard drop down menu, when you book your tickets online to get a handy 34% discount.*
Go on, be adventurous and unleash your inner David Attenborough! Where will your next journey take you?
*GroupSave is available for Off-Peak tickets travelling with selected train operating companies. Your group will have to stay together for the full journey, otherwise your GroupSave tickets won’t be valid.