Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 10.13.58

6 Ways to Spring into action

Rejoice! The sun has started to come out! The flip-flops and pasty legs are already appearing, and we haven’t even hit 20 degrees yet! Here at trainline towers, we thought we would give you the low down on some of the coolest things to do this spring time. You can thank us later.

1. Boating or Goating?

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 10.13.58

Timeout

Yes, it’s that time again for the Boat Race! Head down to Putney and watch the Oxford and Cambridge teams row for glory. Alternatively, goats running for glory in East London will also suffice. Bring on the Prosecco! 

Trains to London

The Boat Race: The Thames, Apr 11 http://theboatraces.org
The Goat Race: Spitalfields City Farm, Buxton Street, E1 5AR, Apr 11

2. Udderly Brilliant

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 10.19.58

 South Bank Centre

The big purple cow is back for its 6th year at London’s South Bank Centre. Watch your favourite comedians, some new faces and loads of other awesome performances. Moooooo-arvellous!

Trains to London

Udderbelly: Thursday 10 April 2014 – Sunday 13 July 2014: South Bank Centre

3. Medieval Mayhem

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 10.23.29

Warwick Castle

Got little ones to entertain this spring? Nothing keeps kids interested like a court jester and some good old historical gore! Popular series ‘Horrible Histories’ is pitching up at Warwick Castle throughout the spring. Something brilliant for the kids (and the big kids). 

Trains to Warwick

Medieval Mayhem: Warwick Castle, Warwick
28th March – 12th April
2nd May – 4th May
23rd May – 31st May
18th July – 6th September

4. Meat and musical madness in Manchester

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 11.31.54

Grillstock

Europe’s largest BBQ and music festival returns to Manchester next month! Expect mouth-watering meat, two music stages with bands and DJ’s and competitive eating competitions! Hot Wing Challenge, anyone?

Trains to Manchester

Grillstock Festival: Albert Square, Manchester 30th-31st of May

5. Deep Sea Diving

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 10.32.35

Natural History Museum

Head down to London’s Natural History Museum and discover ‘Secret Cities of the Sea’. An awe-inspiring exhibition on coral reefs. A great day out for all ages! (Snorkel and flippers not required) 

Trains to London

Coral Reefs, Secret Cities of the Sea: Natural History Museum, until Sunday 13th September

6. Big Bugs!

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 11.38.08

Visit Bristol

Perhaps this isn’t one for the Entomophobes out there. 

For the next 6 months, 13 huge animatronic bugs are making Bristol Zoo Gardens their home. It’s great fun for all the family, but don’t get too close. They move, hiss and even spray water.

Trains to Bristol

Big Bugs at Bristol Zoo: Bristol Zoo Gardens Until 6th September

bankholiday destinations ideas spring
Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 10.50.52

3 Ways to smash January (NSFJ)

WARNING: This blog is NSFJ (not safe for January)

Struggling to stick to those lofty new year’s resolutions? Moaning through a month on mineral water. We’re here for you! We think its time for you to break those New Year’s resolutions, and break them in style.

1. Don’t go dry, head to a beer festival!

No Alcohol? All January? That sounds awfully difficult. If you’re about to cave in, be civilised about it! January boasts some marvellous drinking events to wet even the thirstiest whistle. Why not try Manchester’s Beer & Cider Festival, featuring over 300 cask ales along with traditional ciders and perries, real ale in a bottle and both bottled and draught foreign beers. Check out trains to Manchester.beer flight

2. Don’t go to the gym, head outdoors!

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 13.02.02 Forget that pricey gym membership, changing room awks and protein shakes (you know it’s not going to last). So what if its cold! Man-up, grab your duffel coat head to the Lake District for your exercise fix. Who needs central heating and talcum powder anyway? Take a look at trains to the Lake District.

3. Don’t save money (except on train travel) Its time to treat yourself!

Eat

iStock_000055997600_Large

Down with the Detox! Its time to chomp your way to victory with some serious pig outs!

Shop

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 12.48.38

Blow your first pay cheque in style!

Treat yourself to a West End Weekend

There’s no business like show business. Catch a show in London and make a night of it with a free hotel stay when booking through thetrainline.com, with awesome shows including from ‘Thriller’ to ‘The 39 Steps’.

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 12.49.54

destinations funny and humour ideas january new year on the train travel

Top UK Christmas shopping destinations, as chosen by you

We asked you for your top Christmas shopping destinations across the country, you sent us your favourites, and here they are!

Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 11.53.13

Birmingham’s Bullring shopping centre is one of the largest in the UK, but this 21st century shopping mecca isn’t all the West Midlands City has to offer. Head over to The Mailbox for a taste of cutting edge fashion paired with contemporary art and furnishings. If the hustle and bustle isn’t for you, why not browse through some of Birmingham’s best independent offerings in the Grand Western Arcade or pick up something sparkly in the Jewellery Quarter.

Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 14.34.01

10417520_720232888059867_20834247332345839_nFrom the somewhat Dickensian St Nicholas Christmas Fair to a bustling city centre and beautiful architecture, a shopping in York is a must this festive season. York city centre is pedestrianised, making browsing the wide array of boutique shops and markets easy. If you’re feeling really adventurous, check out the Medieval Market at Barley Hall for some truly one-of-a kind gifts.

Screen Shot 2014-11-27 at 14.17.18

Screen Shot 2014-11-27 at 14.08.50

With the likes of The Arndale centre with 240 shops, and even more in the bustling city centre, it’s clear that shopping is a topic taken very seriously in Manchester.  Head to the Northern Quarter, for the biggest selection of independent retailers outside of London, for that really special gift, and take advantage of late night shopping as hundreds of stores open their doors for longer hours at Christmas.

Screen Shot 2014-11-27 at 14.17.13

Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 11.53.02

In addition to Edinburgh’s excellent Christmas market, there are some great places to shop in the vibrant Scottish capital this Christmas.

Check out our Top 5 Christmas Markets Countdown

Start off in the city centre, passing through all the essential shops on Princes Street and St Andrews Square. Move on to George Street and get your groove on with an exclusive selection of boutiques, showcasing the top names in fashion and jewellery. Don’t forget to stop for lunch in one of the many eateries in the area (shopping is thirsty work). Finally, for those who are a little harder to buy for, pick up some unique fashion or a rare book in one of the vintage boutiques of Grassmarket.

Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 14.54.31

Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 11.53.40

Okay, so you can find all the big names on London’s Oxford Street… but London has so much more variety to offer you intrepid Christmas shoppers this season. Carnaby Street, birthplace of the swinging sixties, features a great selection of bars and retail stores set back from the hustle and bustle of Regent Street. A short walk through Soho will land you in Covent Garden, with its vibrant selection of high street names and boutiques, as well as some stunning Christmas lights. For the more intrepid shopper, London’s regular markets become a buzz of activity over the festive period. Try Portobello Road Market (West London) or Spitalfields Market (East London) for something different.

Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 15.15.30

destinations ideas
Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 16.56.20

3 Cool things happening in London this weekend

Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 16.56.20
It’s getting colder out there, but that’s no excuse to batten down the hatches! There’s always a great selection of things to do in the Capital. Here’s our 3 favourite picks for the weekend.

Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 17.00.51

3. Hyper Japan Christmas Market, Kensington Olympia

Dive into the best of Japanese culture at this unique take on the Christmas market. Browse unique toys and gifts, or bop along to some live music, including J-Pop and traditional drumming. Tickets from £8, nearest station: Kensington (Olympia)

Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 16.34.43

2. Ja Ja Ja Festival

This Nordic festival showcases the best music that Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland have to offer (not to mention some traditional tasty food). Enjoy a full day of quirky live electro-pop at Queen Mary University of London on Saturday. Tickets from £25, nearest station: Mile End.

1. Southbank Centre Winter Festival

Rides, Scandinavian Cider tents and a Christmas market, all with a beautiful view of the River Thames. Get your gloves on, entry is free! Nearest station: London Waterloo.

Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 17.00.51

destinations ideas on the train travel
Matthias Rosenkranz, Flickr

5 Awesome Ways to Celebrate this New Year’s Eve

1. The Traditional

Fireballs festival, Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire

B Campbell, Flickr

Image: B Campbell, Flickr

Goodness gracious, blazing balls of fire! Stonehaven’s Fireball festival sees a parade of participants swinging flaming balls above their heads. Following the parade, the fireballs are cast into the sea at the harbour, and the stunning firework display at the Bervie Braes begins. This traditional welcome to the new year has been part of Aberdeen’s Hogmanay celebrations for over four hundred years. If you’re looking to end the night in a more contemporary setting, head back to the market square for a disco until 2am.

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 14.15.06

2. The Wild Night

Newquay

iStock_000027857480_Large

If partying into 2015 is what you’re looking for, then heading to Newquay this New Year is for you. The street party and midnight firework show are local traditions, and local bars and clubs offer tempting specials on food and drinks. Bar Help will even hose you down with ‘snow’ to welcome you to 2015.

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 14.15.01

3. The Family Outing

Winter Wonderland, Cardiff.

Jon Candy, Flickr

Image: Jon Candy, Flickr

Get your skates on and spend the new year on ice at the Admiral ice rink in Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland. Those of us with less balance can enjoy a great selection of rides and attractions, as well as live music and a free bus service.

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 14.19.04

4. The Wild Card

Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth

Image: Stephen Harper, Flickr

Stephen Harper, Flickr

Fancy toasting the new year 500 feet in the air? You can do just that at Portsmouth’s Spinnaker tower. DJ’s, great views and the world’s largest glass floor make for a one-of-a-kind new year experience at Portsmouth’s world-famous landmark. Tickets are £45 and must be pre-booked here.

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 14.15.14

5. The Big Bang

London

Matthias Rosenkranz, Flickr

Image: Matthias Rosenkranz, Flickr

Who can forget the Capital’s explosive welcome to 2014, and this year’s celebration looks to be just as epic! The midnight skies light up with increasingly innovative pyrotechnic displays, using the world famous landmarks along the River Thames. The event draws over 500,000 visitors each year, more than any other new year celebration in the UK, so turn up early to guarantee a good viewing spot. Tickets for the event are £10 and are available here.

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 14.15.10

destinations ideas travel