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.
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)
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.
Not only have we worked to improve the overall usability, we’ve also introduced some great new features to help manage your journey, integrate with your calendar, and introduced push messaging to our Android app for the first time.
Pin your train
Track your train throughout its journey from the Live Departures section. You can also see the same information about trains that have already departed by tapping ‘earlier trains’.
Share your journey
Meeting a friend or family member at the station? You can now share the details of your journey via email or text. You can also tap to zoom in on your collection reference, making collecting your ticket at the station that bit easier.
With calendar integration, you can add your full journey details to your Android phone’s calendar. Never forget your journey again.
When logged in, push messages (such as important reminders and updates for your journey) now appear in the notifications tray. You can turn these off in the app settings any time.
We’d love to hear what you think! Download our mobile app.
Time is precious. Stuck on inspiration for what to do with that extra day off this bank holiday? We can help! Here are some brilliant things to do in 3 UK cities this bank holiday. Don’t forget to try our Best Fare Finder to find great deals on fares to all these cities.
Explore London for the day, or make a night of it with a Train & Hotel deal.
- London offers a world-beating selection of family friendly museums and attractions. Kids go free at the London Transport Museum, where you can take a ride through London’s history with their great interactive collections featuring original busses, tube trains and trams.
(Nearest tube: Covent Garden)
- Check out the largest official collection of James Bond vehicles at the London Film Museum’s Bond in Motion. Tickets are free for kids under 5 and family tickets are available for £38.
(Nearest tube: Covent Garden)
- Catch a show in the West End. London’s theatre mecca offers a great selection of plays and musicals for all tastes. Take a look at the latest dinner & show packages and theatre offers on thetrainline.com.
- Explore Covent Garden, with stores offering everything from fashion, unique gifts, and rare sweets to handmade jewellery and artisan coffee. Be sure not to miss Seven Dials, Floral Street and Neal’s Yard to get the best taste of this distinctive area. (Nearest stations: Covent Garden, Leicester Square)
- Want to avoid the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street? Pick up some new threads in Carnaby Street, the birthplace of swinging London. There’s a great selection of high street stores and independent boutiques to browse, as well as some great bars and cafes.
(Nearest station: Oxford Circus)
- Browse the world’s first pop-up mall at Boxpark Shoreditch, showcasing a selection of fashion, lifestyle and food brands, and made entirely of shipping containers.
(Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street)
Food & Drink
For the family – All Star Lanes, Holborn
All Star Lanes have 4 family friendly restaurants across the capital, all boasting a retro diner serving up tasty American classics, and bowling lanes. Get any kids main, a soft drink, choice of a dessert or shake and one game of bowling for £15. The bar offers a wide selection of drinks and cocktails, so it’s brilliant for grown ups too. (Nearest tube: Holborn)
The commuter’s treat – Plum & Spilt Milk, Kings Cross
Here’s one for those of you who commute in and out of King’s Cross St Pancras on the East Coast main line. A restaurant boasting great dishes crafted creatively from all British ingredients. Wake up with a fresh east coast kipper with parsley butter for breakfast, or look out for the red mullet with braised fennel for a tasty end to your day.
The pig-out – Barbecoa, St Paul’s
The UK’s first barbecue steakhouse, founded by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. Barbecoa boasts British meat cooked on pit Smokers, fire pits and wood fired ovens, and a table overlooking St Paul’s Cathedral. Don’t forget to match your meal with a whiskey from their global selection. (Nearest tube: St Paul’s)
The alternative – The Pudding Bar, Soho
Dessert is the new main course! Pop into Soho’s newest dessert restaurant for a tasty dessert and matching wine. Try the tasting menu, with wine for 2, at £32 per person.
(Nearest tube: Tottenham Court Road)
- Dive into Sea Life Brighton. Sea Life provides a really fun and educational day out, whatever the weather. Then for an extra train adventure, wander over to Palace Pier and take a ride on the world’s oldest operating electrical railway, the Volks Electric.
- Visit the Royal Pavilion. Walk in the footsteps of 19th century royalty in the spectacular seaside palace and gardens. thetrainline top tip: Download the free Brighton Museums app for iPhone and Android to get £1 off adult admission.
- Head to the Brighton Sand Sculpture Festival. Take a journey ‘around the world in sand’. See some of the world’s most famous landmarks. The festival includes sand sculpture workshops, live demonstrations, unique photo opportunities, a children’s sand pit and café. Don’t forget to hit Brighton Beach and try your own sand castle skills! Tickets from £3.
Get lost in the Lanes. From independent shops to funky restaurants, bars and cafés, the labyrinth of the Brighton Lanes is an essential retail discovery. Keep an ear out for some live music too!
- Browse Brighton’s shopping centre at Churchill Square, with it 90 shops, restaurants and cafés showcasing everything from Lego to Apple.
Food & Drink
Fish & chips for all the family – Harry Ramsden’s, Marine Parade
Harry Ramsden’s restaurants have been serving traditional British Fish & Chips for 75 years. Located right next to Brighton pier on Marine Parade, Harry Ramsden’s Brighton gives diners a view of the seafront whilst tucking into your meal.
The fine dine – The Coal Shed, Boyces St
Tuck into gourmet steak and seafood in the heart of Brighton. Specialities include 35 day, dry aged Scottish steaks, and a wide selection of fish dishes including cuttlefish, oysters, sea bass, bouillabaisse and lobster. The Coal Shed was even named as one of the best restaurants in the UK by the Observer Monthly Food Awards.
- Visit Edinburgh Castle. Edinburgh’s best known landmark has dominated the Scottish capital for centuries, and helped shape the city you see today. thetrainline top tip – Book a fast track ticket at no extra cost to skip the queues and to get a free guided tour of the castle.
- Take a flight through history at the National Museum of Flight. Get inside Concorde, explore the hangars and take a look at the world’s first jet airliner, the De-Haviland Comet.
- Get a fright at the Edinburgh Dungeon and enjoy a combination of special effects, actors, theatrical sets and rides. (Nearest station: Edinburgh Waverley)
- Grassmarket is a picturesque area with independent merchants, designers and artisans. Bustling with some of the best shopping Edinburgh has to offer. Also home to some of Edinburgh’s best restaurants and bars.
- Browse high street favourites in Princes St, including Topshop, House of Fraser and John Lewis. Don’t forget to explore the beautiful Princes St Gardens on the south side, and a popular selection of shops and restaurants in Princes Mall.
Food & Drink
For the family – Wannaburger, Queensferry St
An American style diner in the West end of Edinburgh. Offering a full menu of burger combinations with all the classics alongside some more unusual treats. Kids meal with mini burger, fries and drink for £2.49.
The fine dine – The Ship on the Shore, Leith
This waterfront wine bar and sea food bistro was featured in the Guardian’s Top 10 Edinburgh Restaurants, Offering a range of fine seafood in the form of shellfish and lobster, as well as a separate Crustacea & Mollusc menu. All with a waterside view.
In the latest version of our iPhone app (version 3.2) we’ve added a feature our Android users liked – a personalised home screen and simpler navigation! Take a peak below at the new look or download the app for yourself here
Tap the menu icon on the top left of the home screen to access other features of the app quickly. See below for details of the handy features you can access from the menu.
Let us know your thoughts!
I was on a big red train the other day where a lovely lady, whilst pushing along the breakfast cart, was (jokingly) barking at customers who wanted to know what was on offer.
“Did you not hear my announcement?” she said, tongue firmly planted in cheek. Nobody had.
Announcements are focal to the experience of being on a train. Far from just telling you where the journey is at, they are the passengers’ link to the inner workings of rail. They can be anticipated, ignored, or automatic (literally or metaphorically). Too many announcements and the customer will switch off. Too few and the customers feel out of the loop.
Train announcements our customers liked
And sometimes, especially when train staff use a little leeway, they can be darn funny. We asked customers on our Facebook page to share the funniest. Here’s what we got:
“On the Leeds-London train there is a guard who always tells you which station you need for ‘Sunny Skegness’, no matter the weather.” – Gemma Downing
“Sorry for the delay in departing, but the automatic brakes are, erm, being too automatic” – Gemma Hewitt
(In a ‘tired of life’ tone) “We are now arriving at Birmingham New Street. Please try not to get too excited.” – Daniel Tonks
The funniest train announcement
And our favourite announcement, as well as the most liked on Facebook, was from Tom:
“As a special treat we’ll be selling lion bars on this service.” He then roared. – Tom Landers
What’s your funniest announcement?
Care to share an announcement that has made you chuckle? Share with us here and the best comment will win the complete adoration of thetrainline.com blog team. (Seriously, we read them out to each other!)