Travelling by rail in the UK
Traveling by rail in the UK can be a wonderful, relaxing and fun way of moving around England. My family and I have used it effectively the last 3 times that we have visited. It can also be expensive if you are not careful.
The most important thing to remember when traveling by rail is preparation, preparation, preparation! Tickets are significantly cheaper if you plan ahead. Buying a ticket before you arrive is a must!
Because you don't know if your flight is going to be delayed it is best to arrive in London and stay the night, so that you can catch the train the next day or the day after. My family always plans a bit of trip to London at the start of the holiday so that we can book a good time on the train and see the many sights of London.
I think that the Heathrow Express whilst pricey is good value for those with big bags or small children as it halves the time you would spend if you took the tube.
It may be a good idea to get a day pass for use on the tube when in London. If you can borrow a Londoners oyster card or get one of your own https://oyster.tfl.gov.uk/oyster/entry do! The Tube it is a cheap and efficient way to travel. Beware of peak times and for goodness sake stand to the left when traveling on escalators to let the good workers of London pass as you mosey through your holiday. You can pay for tickets at the station.
Planning your Journey
Use the following site http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/. There are links here to all of the rail providers in the UK You can book and pay online. As I said the cheapest way is to book well in advance. On some line first class comes with free biscuits and drinks... very luxurious.
Santa Specials: If you are going to the UK in the Christmas season and have children. Book on a Santa special. The kids will meet Santa and get a present and Mum and Dad get a mince pie and a sherry! To find one near where you are staying Google Santa Special Train.
Other train Ideas: Small spur railways like The East Lancashire Railway often have special meals for valentines days and other events during the year. Romance up a storm by going on an interesting rail ride.
If you are interested in other exciting train rides have a look at the following Link the man in seat 61 loves trains and has traveled the world looking for interesting rides.http://www.seat61.com/
The food selection on trains has improved in the last few years. However my money is on getting your food before you get on the train Marks and Spencers do wonderful sandwiches, salads, smoothies, snacks so buy up big and just get your hot drinks on board. Of course buying food for children under 18 months before you board is also a good idea there are some kid friendly options but not many.
Have fun and if you have any specific questions please leave a comment!
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