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3 week trip England and Scotland by Train next May

Toronto, Canada
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3 week trip England and Scotland by Train next May

Hi, we're a retired couple and prefer travelling by train rather than renting a car. We've spent one week in London last year, so plan to limit our time in London this time to 2 to 3 days. Our interests are primarily sightseeing at our pace.

Our rough 3 week itinerary is:

London to Plymouth

Plymouth to Bath

Bath to Chester

Chester to Windermere

Windermere to Edinburgh

Edinburgh to York

York to London

I'm allowing one day for train travel and approx.2 days stay at each location. Plan to book Day trips in most locations.

My one concern is Chester to Windermere route requires 3 train changes. Is there another route you can suggest? Should we change Chester to another destination? We want to book a Day tour which starts in Windermere.

Appreciate receiving some expert.advice.

Thank you!

Southport, United...
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1. Re: 3 week trip England and Scotland by Train next May

www.nationalrail.co.uk gives many options with only 2 changes Chester to Warrington Bank Quay (change) Warrington Bank Quay to Oxenholme (change) and then Oxenholme to Windermere.

None of the stations are large so it should be quite straightforward. I'd keep Chester. It's a lovely place and you could also make a day trip by train to perhaps Conwy if you wished to see a very impressive Welsh castle.

Bath to Chester involves 4 trains.

Edited: 17 February 2012, 18:46
UK
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2. Re: 3 week trip England and Scotland by Train next May

Yes, don't drop Chester and as Marmot says the route should be fairly quick and straight forward to Windermere. When you see Chester you'll be glad you didn't miss it.

Toronto, Canada
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3. Re: 3 week trip England and Scotland by Train next May

Thanks so much for your quick response..

Should we consider taking the train from Bath to Cardiff and spending a couple of days there? It's a direct train with only approx. one hour travel.

Train from Cardiff to Chester (3 hrs.) is also a direct train.

England, United...
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4. Re: 3 week trip England and Scotland by Train next May

Seems like a well thought out itinerary, with travel time factored in and sufficient time in each place. There is an alternative for the Chester to Windermere journey involving one change at Manchester Piccadilly, however it is a lot longer (3.5 hrs) and is only possible twice-a-day.

UK
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5. Re: 3 week trip England and Scotland by Train next May

Cardiff to Chester sounds a good alternative. Not sure about 2days in Cardiff though. ( I shall now duck below the parapet before the South Walians start shooting at me!)

Somerset
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6. Re: 3 week trip England and Scotland by Train next May

Me neither chester, there are prettier places in Wales which has magnficent countryside. Otherwise a good itinerary that looks enjoyable.

Take plenty of money for any drinks/snacks you buy on the trains though. They are pricey. If you can, take your own which you pick up before hand. Trains are a great way to see the countryside. Much better than driving.

UK
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7. Re: 3 week trip England and Scotland by Train next May

Marmot agrees with us, sueb.. OP, Come to Chester and perhaps take a day trip into North Wales to see Conwy and Snowdonia.

Essex
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8. Re: 3 week trip England and Scotland by Train next May

Some people are lucky enough to retire young!!

BUT maybe this will have some relevence for you:

http://www.senior-railcard.co.uk/

Toronto, Canada
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9. Re: 3 week trip England and Scotland by Train next May

Thanks so much for positive feedback and tips! I've spent several hours researching information on the various forums, to develop the itinerary. Good thing I have the time and enjoy the planning!

Well, we are slightly over 60, so the senior railcard would be useful. Hopefully, this also applies to senior non UK residents. We've travelled in other countries where we couldn't make use of the senior discounts, because of our non-resident status.

If we are not eligible for the senior railcard, whenever possible, we'll buy the online advance rail tickets (still a bit too early for our travel dates). Can we print the tickets? How do we get them?

Ottawa, ON
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10. Re: 3 week trip England and Scotland by Train next May

There are no citizenship or residence requirements to buy the senior railcard. I've bought them a number of times.The card also applies to advance purchase fares

.

Although I believe some train companies now issue e-tickets, you generally have to collect them at the fastticket machines at train stations, using the credit card you used to purchase the tickets and keying in the code they provide when you purchase.