Summer is on the way! Whether you’re ready to explore or want a bit more information on what train travel will be like this summer, we’re here to help.

Our guide to all things train travel will help you unleash your summer, plan your journeys, save money and book your summer train tickets all in one place.

Train travel tips

First things first, we all know the way we travel on trains has changed quite a bit since last year. If you haven’t been on a train in a while, or are wondering what you should bring with you, here are our top tips for making your journey as comfortable and stress-free as possible.

Go contactless with tickets on your phone

There’s no need to visit the ticket machines or queue at the station, as digital tickets are available on most UK routes.

Avoid travel at Peak times

If you can, plan your journey outside of Peak times – Monday to Friday mornings and late afternoons – as the trains are likely to be quieter then.

Protect yourself and others

Unless exempt, you’ll need to wear a face covering in the station and on board the train throughout your journey.

Stay hydrated

We know summer doesn’t always mean a heatwave in the UK! But bringing some water with you (and a snack or two) will keep you feeling refreshed, especially as not all train companies are offering onboard food and drink services at the moment.

Keep up to date with the latest travel advice

Check out our travel safety guidance to find the latest train travel advice and information for the UK.

Money-saving tips

We like to help you save money on train travel, our guide to cheap train tickets will tell you how, along with these top tips.

Split your train tickets

Splitting your journey into sections and buying separate train tickets for each is sometimes cheaper than buying a single ticket.

Our app feature SplitSave will do all the hard work for you.

Get a Railcard

There are 8 National Railcards in the UK that can save you 1/3 on train travel around the UK.

Learn more and buy your digital Railcard.

Book in advance

Train companies in the UK tend to release Advance tickets up to 12 weeks before departure, usually at their cheapest price.

Find out more about Advance train tickets.

Travel Off-Peak

Not only are the trains quieter during Off-Peak times, tickets tend to be cheaper too!

Find out more about Off-Peak train tickets.

Check for deals and offers

From cheaper travel for kids and groups, to evenings out, different train ticket deals run all year long.

Check out the latest train deals and discounts.

Book your summer train tickets today

Ready to book your next adventure by train? Start a search in our Journey Planner today!

Find & book tickets

Family train travel

Travelling as a family by train is a great way to reach day trip or holiday destinations around the UK. With plenty of space for luggage, cheaper tickets for children and a family specific Railcard available, what’s not to love?

Group travel

Heading out with friends into the city, to the beach or to that place you’ve not been for a while? There are lots of ways you can save on group train travel with us. From Railcards to train ticket offers, we’ve got you covered.

Heading out on your bike?

Did you know, there’s no charge for taking your bike on a train in the UK. So, whether you’re travelling to your nearest park, wood, or favourite cycling destination, it’s easy to hop on a train with your bike in tow.

Generally, train companies allow full-sized bikes on trains during Off-Peak hours, so anytime except Monday to Friday rush hours. Fully folding bikes with wheels up to 85cm are allowed on all trains at any time. Depending on who you’re travelling with, you may need to reserve a space for your full-sized bike before you travel.

Find out more in our guide to taking bikes on trains in the UK.

Book your summer train tickets today

Ready to book your next adventure by train? Start a search in our Journey Planner today!

Find & book tickets

Summer train timetables

Trains run to popular destinations around the UK throughout the summer, we’ve highlighted a few of the most travelled routes below, or you can start a search for train times in our Journey Planner at the top of the page.

Route

Fastest time

Trains per day

First train

Last train

Frequency

London to Brighton

52m

437 (various stations)

03:10

02:08

2 per hour

Manchester to Blackpool

1h 13m

47

04:04

00:09

2 per hour

London to Bournemouth

1h 43m

52

04:30

00:05

2/3 per hour

Nottingham to Skegness

1h 55m

21

04:50

18:45

1 per hour

Glasgow to Ayr

46m

63

05:30

00:15

2/3 per hour

Heading on a staycation in the UK this year?

The extensive rail network in the UK means travelling by train is a simple, quick and easy way to reach your favourite staycation spot. With more and more people holidaying at home this year, we’ve put together our top list of things to consider before/during your summer staycation.

Somewhere to stay 

Whether you love the outdoors or want a touch of luxury on your staycation, why not check out Booking.com for amazing places to stay, including hotels, B&Bs, campsites, holiday lets, and more.  

Pack for all weathers 

We all know what weather in the UK can be like, one day you’re sunbathing on the beach and the next you’ve got your woolly jumper on. Make sure you’re ready for anything! 

Travel insurance 

It’s not just holidays abroad that it’s good to have travel insurance for. Having UK travel insurance offers that extra bit of protection for any last-minute changes or cancellations.  

Look for local attractions 

If you’re holidaying in the UK, there’s likely to be attractions or outdoor spaces close by that are worth a visit. We can help you find great days out nearby by train, simply enter your nearest train station and your ideal travel time and we’ll show you relevant attractions nearby.  

Book your summer train tickets today

Ready to book your next adventure by train? Start a search in our Journey Planner today!

Find & book tickets

Destinations on demand

Discover some of the most exciting places around the globe from the comfort of your couch with Trainline’s virtual travel planner.

We’ve scoured the internet to collate an exhaustive list of films about travel, transport, and vacations, mapping them to available streaming services and holiday destinations.

Grab the popcorn and check out our destinations on demand.

Frequently asked questions

Take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions about UK train travel below.

To keep yourself and others safe you must wear a face covering when travelling and in enclosed station spaces. Inside stations, one-way systems, queuing guidance and hand sanitising stations are in place. Some train operators require seat reservations to help observe social distancing rules onboard, and you should try to keep a 2-metre distance from others where possible.

At the moment, you’re allowed to travel between England Wales and Scotland by train. For more detailed travel advice, visit our latest government guidance page.

If you’re travelling on a service that requires a bike reservation, there are two ways you can book a space for your bike:

If you’ve already booked your ticket and want to add a bike space, call us on 0333 202 2222 (or 0044 333 202 2222 from outside the UK) or email us. For data protection, we can only talk to the lead booker.

If you’re making a new booking, call us on 0871 244 1545*.

*Calls cost 13p a minute plus your phone company’s access charge. Calls from outside the UK may cost more.

Train companies in the UK usually release tickets around 12 weeks before departure, although it can be less than this at the moment due to ongoing Covid restrictions. If the tickets you want to buy aren’t on sale yet, sign up for Ticket Alert, and we’ll email you when your chosen tickets go on sale.

Conditions for a change of date or refund vary depending on the ticket type. Visit our help guides to changing a UK train ticket or refunding a UK train ticket to find out more.

Want to know more about train travel in the UK?

We’ve told you everything you need to know about train travel in the UK this summer, but if you want to find out more about train companies in the UK, travel in certain countries, or even venturing into Europe, we’ve got all the helpful guides you need.

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