You don’t need to travel abroad for an enchanting summer holiday. Bathed in sunshine and dancing with natural beauty, England has some great summer holiday spots. What’s more, they’re super accessible by train. Whether it’s a weekend break in the city or two weeks submerged in sublime landscapes, this summer is all about celebrating the best that England has to offer.
1. Go Camping in Cornwall
Tucked away in the southwest England, Cornwall is an ideal spot for a summer camping or caravan holidays. As the train rumbles into the county the landscapes begin to stretch with primitive beauty, the lush green valleys cascading to coastal cliffs and secluded beaches. Surf paradise Newquay and Cornish capital Truro are the biggest towns with the best connections for trains to Cornwall. Then one of the best things to do in Cornwall is to take the St Ives Bay Line, the train skirting along the Cornish coast to the sapphire waters and almost-white sand of St Ives, one of Cornwall’s premier destinations.
A map of Cornwall reveals endless choice for caravan holidays or places to pitch a tent. All along the coast you’ll find relaxed white stone villages that spill onto surfing beaches and towns that revel in their quirky traditions. With so much open space you’re spoilt for a choice of campsites in Cornwall.
Campsites in Cornwall
2. Rent a Cottage in Devon
Devon boasts some of England’s few stretches of real wilderness, the blissfully quiet landscapes full of prehistoric monuments, grazing sheep, and hundreds of intrepid walking trails. Devon holiday cottages immerse you in this diaphanous splendor as this summer holiday offers supreme escapism. Hotels in Devon are usually of the small boutique variety, even if they don’t advertise themselves as such. When taking trains to Devon, the university city of Exeter and coastal city of Plymouth offer the most connections, both to London Paddington and cities in the north. Use Exeter St Davids and Plymouth Station. In Devon, Brixham is one of England’s cutest towns, the fisherman houses standing over a quaint harbour. Dartmouth Steam Railway is also a great way to get around and follow one of England’s most picturesque rail routes.
3. Hit the Beach in Sussex
When the sun comes out there’s probably no better place in England than the beaches of West Sussex. Regular direct trains from London make this southern coastline an easy escape for a short seaside summer holiday. Head straight to Brighton and revel in its beaches and colourful character. Nip across to Hove for secluded beaches and the same impression of charm. How about Hastings, a delightful seaside town with a famous battle history and some evocative castle ruins? Then there’s the vibrant huts on the beach at St Leonards. All these seaside destinations have direct train links to London Victoria. For something more private, change trains at Brighton and head to Winchelsea to discover the dramatic deserted beaches of Camber.
4. Walk on the Mountains in the Lake District
England’s largest national park, the Lake District is a treasure trove of serene lakes, alpine hikes, and adventure. These are England’s highest hills (or mountains as we all love to call them) and their peaks reflect gently in a series of quiet lakes. Lake District hotels and Lake District cottages are always great value and surrounded by exquisite panoramas. The Lake District is extremely easy to reach by train with two stations on the West Coast Main Line between London Euston and Edinburgh Waverely or Glasgow Central.
Alight at Penrith for the northern lakes; including the wonderful scenic Lake Ullswater, the great hikes from Keswick, and Derwentwater, probably the region’s most picturesque lake. Stop at Oxenholme for the more popular Lake Windermere, where an open top bus connects many hiking trails and destinations between Bowness and Ambleside. Check out a more detailed Lake District map to plan your visit.
5. Discover a new City – Liverpool
Gone are the days when Liverpool was merely a humorous stereotype. For decades, the city of the Beatles has hardly made a mark as an English holiday destination. Foreign tourists have always flocked to the city, lured by its Victorian architecture, effervescent locals, and promise of evening fun.
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Liverpool was voted European Capital of Culture in 2008 and the easy to walk city centre radiates the city’s personality. Liverpool Lime Street has fast direct connections to London and many other major cities. Step out from the station and you’re outside St George’s Hall, probably the finest neo-classical building in England. Then explore the Tate Liverpool, Slavery Museum, Maritime Museum, and Liverpool Cathedral – all of them completely free to enter. Finish the summer holiday by rocking to Beatles memories in the Cavern Club or at the Beatles Story.