Today I want to bring you my list of the best train trips from London. Britain has an extensive rail network, which makes it easy to get around the UK and across to Europe by train. If you’re looking for a fun getaway from London, my guide will help you choose the ideal escape for your personal style. I’ve included a map of all the destinations, too.
Train Trips from London
My guide to train trips from London includes a variety of travel destinations in Britain and on the continent.
Whether you love the English countryside, the British seaside, or the best European cities, there’s a short break you’ll want to take by rail from the UK capital.
From England to Scotland, Wales, and Europe, these train trips will take you to some of the best places to visit in the UK and some of the top European travel destinations.
If you’re looking for specific types of train trips from London, you can take a look at my blog posts about day trips from London by train and weekend trips from London by train. I’ve also written about great British railway journeys.
If you’re new to rail transport in Britain, you can read my tips for train travel in the UK. They’ll help you avoid making the mistakes I made when I moved to London.
I’ve visited all the places on my list (most of them multiple times), so I can personally vouch for how worthy they are of your time. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.
Paris is my top pick for a train trip from London. The City of Light makes a great escape from the UK capital, not least because it’s only 2 hours and 15 minutes by rail from St Pancras International station.
There’s a lot to do Paris, including world-class shopping and dining, fun nightlife, iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, and famous museums. It’s worth spending a weekend in Paris to see the highlights.
If you want to take this trip, you can book a hotel in Paris here. I’ve also written about the best areas to stay in Paris if you want specific recommendations.
2. St Ives
Next on my list of the best train trips from London is St Ives in Cornwall. This picturesque town in southwest England is one of my favorite places to go to the seaside in Britain.
With rugged coastline, excellent restaurants, and beautiful beaches, it’s hard to beat this destination for a getaway from the UK capital.
St Ives is known for art as well. From the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden to Tate St Ives and an abundance of local galleries, it’s the perfect place to channel your inner art lover (or indulge your inner collector).
I took a weekend trip to St Ives by overnight train once. The Night Riviera Sleeper runs from London Paddington to Penzance, and you can change en route for St Ives and other destinations in Cornwall.
It was amazing to experience a night train trip from London, and waking up to a colorful sunrise in Cornwall was unforgettable.
If you want to take this trip, you can book accommodation in St Ives here. From cottages to hotels, there are plenty of options for places to stay.
Back on the continent, Amsterdam is another of the best train trips from London to Europe. This city in Holland is known for its pretty canals, narrow houses, impressive museums, and great nightlife scene.
There are direct rail services between London and Amsterdam, making it easy to travel from the UK capital to the Netherlands by train. They make it a great choice for weekend trips from London to Europe.
If you have two days in Amsterdam, you can stroll along the streets, shop at the markets, go on a canal boat ride, and cycle into the countryside. If it’s spring, you can visit the famous Keukenhof Gardens with their colorful tulips.
Edinburgh is next on my list of the best train trips from London. The Scottish capital is one of the most beautiful cities in the UK, and it’s worth a special trip.
Edinburgh is famous for its stunning hilltop castle, historic streets and stairways, and village-like areas. The views from Calton Hill and the Scott Monument are beautiful, the food scene is excellent, and the Royal Mile is steeped in history.
The train ride from London to Edinburgh goes up the east coast of Britain and passes stunning countryside, cities, castles, and coastal areas. From views of Holy Island to the dramatic bridges in Berwick-upon-Tweed, it’s hard to beat.
If you want to take this train trip, you can book a hotel in Edinburgh here. I’ve stayed in the city many times and my favorite is the Radisson Collection Hotel, Royal Mile Edinburgh. It’s in an ideal location right by Edinburgh Castle. You can book a room here.
Avignon is next on my list of the best train trips from London. This walled city on the Rhone is known for its medieval cobblestone streets and picture-pretty churches.
It was the seat of the Popes for most of the 14th century, and it has an enormous papal palace you can explore. The city also has a mix of all things historic and modern, with shops and restaurants dotted along pedestrianized streets.
My itinerary for 3 days in Avignon will show you the highlights. From fun restaurants to the famous Pont d’Avignon bridge, there’s a lot to love about this city.
There’s a seasonal rail service all the way from London to the south of France. I’ve taken it to Avignon a number of times, and I’ve always loved how easy and scenic it is.
If you want to take this trip, you can book a hotel in Avignon here. I’ve stayed in the city a number of times and my favorite is Hotel La Mirande. It’s a beautiful hotel with an acclaimed restaurant. You can book a room here.
6. Scottish Highlands
The Scottish Highlands are next on my list of the best train trips from London. This part of the UK is hard to beat when it comes to natural beauty and dramatic landscapes.
Whether you want to visit cities like Aberdeen and Inverness, get into the countryside in the Cairngorms National Park or Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, or visit coastal gems like St Andrews, there are plenty of places you can go by rail.
The famous Caledonian Sleeper train is a great way to get from London to the Highlands and other parts of Scotland. It offers Highlander and Lowlander routes to destinations like Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Fort William, Glasgow, and Inverness.
If this sounds good to you, you can book accommodation in the Scottish Highlands here. There are lots of good places to stay, from hotels to B&Bs and more.
In Belgium, Brussels is another easy train trip from London. The EU capital is underrated as far as major cities go, but I spent a summer living and working here and I can vouch for how much it has to offer.
You can find everything from mouth-watering food and drinks to important museums, colorful street art, elegant Art Nouveau architecture, and vibrant street markets here. The Grand Place is one of the most awe-inspiring city squares in Europe, too.
Getting to Brussels by train from London is quick and straightforward. You can get here in just under 2 hours, leaving you with plenty of time to discover the city. Whether you spend a day or a weekend in Brussels, you’ll find lots to do.
8. Lake District
Up in Cumbria, the Lake District is another of my favorite train trips from London. This beautiful part of England is known for its walking trails, scenic landscapes, and picturesque towns and villages.
There’s plenty to entertain you while you’re visiting. From hikes and lakes to famous houses and Beatrix Potter highlights, there’s something for everyone. There’s even a famous gingerbread shop.
You can visit places of historical interest like Blackwell, a famous Arts and Crafts house, too. Also worth a trip are Brantwood, the home of John Ruskin, and Dove Cottage, where William Wordsworth once lived.
You can get to Windermere in the Lake District by train from London via Oxenholme. Once there, you can get around the Lake District by public transport using buses and ferries.
If this rail journey appeals, you can book accommodation in the Lake District here. My top pick for a place to stay for a weekend is Forest Side Hotel. I stayed in a beautiful room here once and I loved the restaurant. You can book here.
Back in France, another of the best train trips from London to Europe is Lille. This is one of my favorite under-the-radar cities in Europe, and it’s worth a visit.
That’s because there’s a lot to see and do here. Lille sightseeing highlights include the Place du General de Gaulle with its eye-catching buildings, the mouth-watering pastries in the patisseries, and the shopping (this is France, after all!).
Better yet, this northern French city enjoys direct train services from London. It’s reachable in just over 1 hour and 20 minutes from the UK capital, meaning you can see a lot in a short time. You can even do it as a day trip from London to Europe.
If you want to take this rail trip, you can book a place to stay in Lille here. There are lots of options, from hotels to apartment rentals and more.
10. Eden Valley
Up north near the Lake District, the Eden Valley is another of my favorite train trips from London.
This part of Britain is just as picturesque as its famous neighbor, but it’s refreshingly free of the tourist crowds that can make the Lake District overwhelming in peak season.
I visited this area one summer, and I had the most amazing time walking through the countryside, admiring the adorable sheep, and falling in love with the historic pubs. I saw a rare red squirrel, too.
You can get to the Eden Valley by train from London via Leeds. The Settle-Carlisle railway is incredibly scenic, and I highly recommend it.
If the sound of this trip gets your locomotive running, you can book accommodation in the Eden Valley here. There are lots of great places to stay, from B&Bs to cottages and more.
Luxembourg is another of my favorite train trips from London to Europe. The Grand Duchy is one of the smallest countries on the continent, but the capital packs a punch for its size. With a stunning old town and beautiful views, there’s plenty to love here.
Because it’s so small, you can see a lot of the capital on a day trip to Luxembourg. From the medieval fortifications to the bridges spanning the gorges below, it’s a fun place to visit.
While there are no direct trains from London to the Grand Duchy, you can take a train to Brussels, from where there are onward services to Luxembourg City with a change en route. I’ve done it before, and it’s simple and straightforward.
If you want to spend a night or two in town, you can book a place to stay in Luxembourg here. There are plenty of options, from hotels to apartment rentals and more.
In Wales, Llandudno is one of my favorite train trips from London. This Victorian seaside resort town on the coast of North Wales is worth a trip.
The historic pleasure pier here is a throwback to times gone by, and the waterfront promenade and good fish n’ chips make it a great destination for a vintage getaway.
You can take the train from London to Llandudno with one change en route. It’s a scenic trip from the UK capital, and a great way to see the countryside while you travel.
If this sounds like your kind of getaway, you can book a place to stay here. There are plenty of options, from hotels to cottages and more.
Bruges is another of my top picks for train trips from London to the continent. This medieval city in Belgium is packed full of waterways and wander-worthy streets. It’s worth a trip to see its historic squares, bell towers, and well-preserved old town.
Being in Bruges feels like stepping back in history. Everything from the bridges to the waterfront houses is straight out of a storybook. It’s easy to get around on foot, and you can see all the highlights in one or two days.
While there are no direct rail services from London to Bruges, you can take the train to Brussels and transfer there for rail services to Flanders.
If this sounds like a journey you’d like to take, you can book a place to stay here. There are lots of options, from hotels to B&Bs and more.
Map of Train Trips from London
As promised, I created an interactive Google map of all the places I mentioned in this blog post. You can see it here. If you click on the blue pins, you can find my blog posts about each one.
Best Train Trips from London
I hope you’ve enjoyed this list of the best train trips from London, and that it’s helped you discover new places to travel in the UK and Europe.
If you want a longer journey, you can travel by train from London to European destinations further afield. From Barcelona to Vienna and Venice, there are plenty of options if you’re willing to spend more time on board. Happy travels!
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