Our guide to exploring the UK in style
With many of us opting for a staycation in the UK this year, it’s a great time to look beyond the obvious options of camping, glamping and AirBnbs and instead try something new. Luxury train journeys are the perfect way to sample what life was like during The Golden Age of Travel while staying within Great Britain and within budget as well.
The luxury train journeys we’ll be looking at are (almost) all day trips, meaning they depart sometime during the morning and return to the same place later that evening. Some of these day trips focus purely on the experience and are all about the journey and the fine cuisine served on board. Others may include a destination or some sort of tour as part of the overall journey.
We’re dedicated to helping you find the perfect journey for your requirements and your budget. Take a look at our staycation guide for some ideas, but if you have questions or want us to find you the perfect journey, be sure to get in touch.
Our train operators are currently taking extra precautions, take a look at our Peace of Mind Guide for full details.
Fine dining journeys
Ideal for: Those who want to sit back, relax and sample some culinary delights.
Journeys such as these are all about the journey and the freshly prepared cuisine. These trips are commonly aboard the Belmond British Pullman, sister train to the Venice Simplon Orient Express, or the Northern Belle. Both of these trains offer similar levels of luxury but with different journey options and prices. Another key difference is the British Pullman only departs from London Victoria, while the Northern Belle departs from various stations all over the UK.
With a range of journeys available throughout the year including brunches, lunches and dinners, the main theme for these types of trip is relaxation and exquisite food. The price of your ticket includes everything from the journey to the service and of course the multiple-course meal you’ll be enjoying during your trip.
A good example of this type of journey would be The Golden Age of Travel onboard the Belmond British Pullman. One of our more popular journeys, this allows you to sample what life was like on board a luxury train during the 1920s and 1930s and includes an exceptional meal. With this journey being so popular, it departs multiple times a month.
Ideal for: Exploring the UK in style or making a long weekend out of it
Day tips onboard a luxury train include a destination as part of the journey. Whether this be a famous country home, a garden, estate or distillery, even a historic city, these journeys allow you leisure time to explore at your will or take a VIP tour.
With so many locations on offer throughout the UK, it’s possible to take more than one journey for a completely different experience. There truly is so much to see across Great Britain and what better way to explore than onboard an Orient Express style luxury train?
Your ticket includes everything you could need for your journey including the trip its self, all meals and drinks on board plus any entry that may be required for your destination. Since all journeys are unique, it’s best to look at your itinerary for an idea as to what is included.
Like the fine dining journeys (and every journey mentioned in this blog) these are round-trips that take guests back to the station they departed from. Journeys do tend to last all day, usually departing early to mid-morning and returning in the evening.
A popular idea with some of our customers is to make a long weekend out of it, staying in a hotel the night before or night after your journey. This gives you time to enjoy the journey without having to travel soon after and makes it more of an occasion. Should you need any assistance in booking hotels, we can do this for you and offer an exclusive personalised package.
Christmas market journeys
Ideal for: Those who want something to look forward to
Booking early for something to look forward to is a great way to keep spirits up and have something to be excited about. Perhaps taking the place of a trip that may otherwise be taken in winter, a Christmas market journey takes you to one of many Christmas markets throughout the UK, allows you time to spend at your leisure, before treating you to a meal on your journey back home.
These journeys are in most ways similar to a regular day trip, the main difference being the Christmas theme and the location. Most larger Christmas markets are destinations including Bath and Winchester and begin operating from November and throughout December.
These journeys tend to get booked up quickly and are guaranteed to fill you with Christmas cheer. What could be more magical than a luxury train ride to a Christmas market?
Further afield – Sleeper journeys
Ideal for: Those who want to make a mini-holiday out of it
Not too far afield are sleeper journeys that offer three to seven nights of luxury exploring some of the world’s most beautiful countries. The great news is you may not even need to fly in order to take advantage of such journeys.
The Belmond Royal Scotsman is a luxury sleeper train that takes passengers for tours across Scotland and occasionally down into England as well. This is by far one of the most luxurious trains we offer and includes it’s own onboard spa.
Another sleeper train close by is the Belmond Grand Hibernian. A more modern take on the luxury train, but still one just ad elegant that takes passengers for tours across Ireland. This train also includes it’s own onboard spa as well as luxurious accommodation.
The price of your ticket includes everything you could need including your own private cabin, all meals prepared fresh onboard as well as everything included in your itinerary such as tours, visits and transfer. The only things that aren’t included are if you decided to have a massage or treatment in the onboard spa.
For more information regarding sleeper journeys, take a look at our Ultimate Luxury Train Travel Guide.
These journeys are perfect for exploring multiple areas of Scotland or Ireland and in some cases areas you may not have heard of or would otherwise see. The journeys are very well organised, and since the train only allow for up to a couple of hundred people as most, there is no queuing or extensive waiting around.
The ratio of stewards to passengers is also high, meaning there is also someone available to ensure you have everything you need, whether that be the time when dinner is served or a top up of your favourite beverage.