Immerse yourself in history and rejuvenate in spas in the UNESCO world heritage city of Bath. Roam around the 2,000-year-old Roman bath complex that's also an interactive museum. Afterwards, laze about in the modern stone and glass rooftop pool at Thermae Bath Spa and let the 46-degree Celsius thermal bath waters rejuvenate your body.
Explore Georgian architectural sites like the Royal Crescent and the Assembly Rooms. For Jane Austen fans there's a museum dedicated just to her, called the Jane Austen Centre. There are also landscaped gardens, grand Gothic churches, and many picturesque streets and cafes. Bath is also a great jumping off point for further explorations in England, like the Cotswolds (for instance, take the train to the charming town of Cheltenham) or Stonehenge.
There are direct Great Western Railway train routes from London to Bath that take around 56m. It’s also easy to travel to Bath from Bristol (15m journey time) or Cardiff (1h 7m journey time). Bath Spa train station is located in the city centre on the Avon River, perfect for starting your weekend away as soon as possible!
The Bournemouth area is a seven-mile stretch of coastline with four Blue Flag beaches, water sports, piers with family activities, colourful beach huts and numerous pubs and cafes. Bournemouth Beach itself is popular and vibrant with many tourist facilities. If you're looking for something more rustic, there are also plenty of less-developed beaches nearby, like Hengistbury Head Beach, and the Studland and Godlingston Heath National Nature Reserve. You can have the best of both worlds in this area!
Get a glimpse of Victorian-era Bournemouth by visiting the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum. The well-preserved mansion features an astounding art collection and gardens. Finally, you can take a cruise along the Jurassic Coast and view the stunning white cliffs and interesting geological formations. There are numerous accommodations in Bournemouth city centre as well as in neighbouring Boscombe.
If you’re travelling from London to Bournemouth by train, the journey takes around 2h 10m with South Western Railway. It’s also easy to travel to Bournemouth from Southampton (42m journey time) and Birmingham (3h 12m journey time). Bournemouth station is about a mile from the beach.
Explore ancient history in this beautiful village in Cornwall along the English Channel. It’s home to seafood restaurants, quaint pubs, castles, an open-air theatre, landscaped gardens, and offers easy access to little-known beaches.
Minack Theater is a cliffside open-air theatre built during the Roman era that hangs over the sea. It’s well worth a visit and from May to September there are numerous concerts and plays here. Step back in time and visit St. Michael's Mount, an islet accessed by a cobblestone causeway at low tide and a ferry boat at high tide. This tidal island has 30 permanent residents, a castle, garden, and a beautiful marsh nature preserve.
The Penzance area boasts over a dozen landscaped gardens. Tanglewood is perhaps the most popular, with its meandering paths and numerous ponds. But there are also other options, like the Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, the manicured gardens of Trengwainton, and for the real gardening enthusiasts – the National Dahlia Collection. For beach lovers, St. Ives and the Penwith Heritage Coast are only 10 miles away and easily accessible by cab. There are numerous tourist facilities in the village of Penzance, as well as in neighbouring villages like Newquay, St. Ives, and Padstow.
Travel time from London to Penzance is around 5h 49m but the time will fly as this is one of England's most scenic train rides. Penzance is also easy to get to from Plymouth (1h 55m journey time) and Bristol (4h 8m journey time). Penzance train station is in the main part of the village, near the harbour.
Get lost in this medieval city with its narrow cobblestone streets, brick and white-trim buildings, incandescent lanterns, quaint pubs, historic landmarks, and museums. But York is not just for history buffs. Its young university crowd gives it a hip vibe with coffee shops, breweries, street food, and restaurants that will delight any foodie.
Before York was a medieval city it was a Viking settlement, and before that, it was a Roman city. The Jorvik Viking Centre is a museum that recreates life in a 1st-century Viking settlement and has interactive educational exhibits. If you want to check out what the city looked like in Victorian times, head to the York Castle Museum with its recreated street scenes, costume exhibits, and prisoner dungeons.
Foodies will love Skosh, with its small plate gastro-pub fare, and wine lovers should head to Pairings Wine Bar with its charcuterie platters and paired wine flights.
A direct train from London to York takes around 1h 47m with London North Eastern Railway. It’s also easy to travel to York from Newcastle (49m journey time), Leeds (18m journey time) and Edinburgh (2h 14m journey time). York station is right in the city centre – perfect for exploring as soon as you get off the train.
Explore glacial lakes, rolling green hills, and picturesque villages in Lake District National Park. Windermere Lake is the largest of the 16 glacial lakes and is also home to 18 tiny islands. Take a lake cruise in a classic wooden boat or do your own tour in a rowboat. Around Windermere, there are hiking trails and horseback riding opportunities, while the village is home to numerous converted manors, boutique hotels, and restaurants.
Take a 25-minute hike up Orrest Head for breathtaking views of Lake Windermere. Kids and adults alike will love the World of Beatrix Potter, where you can have a tea party with Peter Rabbit.
Travel from London to Windermere by train in as little as 3h 6m. Trains also run daily from nearby Kendal (14m journey time) and Manchester (2h 11m journey time). Windermere train station is near the old part of the village, while Bowness-on-Windermere, the newer village, is about a mile and a half south of the train station. Other nearest stations to the Lake District include Oxenholme Lake District and Kendal.
Who knew there were so many places to go for a weekend away in England, all via train? Are you ready to start planning your weekend escape now? Download our app or use our online journey planner.