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First Great Western Strike 8 – 10 July 2015 – What you need to know

RMT union members plan to strike later this week affecting First Great Western services. Minor alterations will begin to take effect from 1800 on Wednesday 8th July, with significant disruption expected on Thursday 9th and Friday 10th July. Services are expected to return to normal during Saturday 11th July but those intending to travel should prepare for minor timetable adjustments.

Will any trains be running at all on the strike days?

A severely reduced timetable will operate. For example, many of the services to Devon and Cornwall will be restricted to one every two hours. London Paddington to Cardiff will operate as an hourly service, with onward travel to Swansea only available at peak hours. Many local services will not run at all, including Swindon to Westbury and Severn Beach to Bristol Temple Meads. You are strongly advised to check the First Great Western website for details about the route on which you need to travel before you set out:

Limited services will be in operation on First Great Western routes across 9th and 10th July 2015. Image: First Great Western

Limited services will be in operation on First Great Western routes across 9th and 10th July 2015. Image: First Great Western

What if I’ve purchased my ticket already?

Advance purchase tickets will be valid on the two strike days for the departures immediately before and after your booked departure. For Wednesday and Saturday travel, you are asked to stick to your booked departure time if at all possible.

If you hold an Anytime, Off Peak or Super Off Peak ticket these will be valid for a date change, subject to their usual restrictions. These normal fare restrictions will also be in place on the strike days for trains that are running – so you can’t travel at peak time if your off peak train doesn’t run, for instance.

Anything else I should know?

First Great Western advises that you should try to travel on Wednesday 8th or Saturday 11th July if you can. Seat reservations on Thursday and Friday cannot be guaranteed due to the extra crowding on services, though if you alter your booking to a non-strike day you will be able to transfer your seat reservation as well. A full refund, and compensation for season ticket holders, will be available. Staff at station help points will be able to assist and further information can be obtained by telephoning 0345 7000 125 between 7am and 10pm or by tweeting @fgw.

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Beat the Tube Strike: 4 alternative ways to travel in London

If you work or live in London and need to be on the move this week, you’re not going to have been best pleased to have seen that the RMT and ASLEF are planning to strike for 24 hours from Wednesday 5 August. Here are the best ways to overcome the disruption.

1. Bus travel in London

London's number 15 bus can be particularly useful to users of the Circle and District lines during a strike.

London’s number 15 bus can be particularly useful to users of the Circle and District lines during a tube strike.

Although London’s buses are going to be considerably more crowded than usual, many routes run parallel to their Underground counterparts, so this may well be your easiest option. Some bus routes will be of more interest if they follow your regular Tube route more closely. For instance, the Number 98 bus runs between Marble Arch and Tottenham Court Road and the Number 8 bus runs between Tottenham Court Road and Liverpool Street, loosely following the Central Line. Those taking the District and Circle Lines could try the Number 15 bus which travels from Charing Cross station to Tower Hill before continuing along to Blackwall DLR station. To find out which buses provide the best alternative to your usual Underground journey, visit Click “Travel options and accessibility” and uncheck the boxes to leave buses as your selection.

2. Walk your tube journey

To quote Samuel Johnson, “When a man is tired of London, he’s tired of life” and swapping the Tube for a walk will give you a chance to see what you usually miss. There are a number of websites that will not only tell you which directions to take between your usual pair of stations, but they’ll provide information about the sights along the way. You can even figure out the walking time for your entire route using the Walking Map of London.

If you fancy taking a more scenic route, try Walk London’s “Royal London” from Lancaster Gate to St James’ Park or “City of London” from Monument to St Paul’s. Print off their map before you go and adapt it to suit a more direct route if you need to. See for more details. Alternatively, London for Free offers themed walks such as its Legal Walk from Blackfriars to Chancery Lane and the Bridges walk from Westminster to Tower Hill. Find out more from London for free,  and again, you can customise the walks to suit a more direct route if you need to.

This super useful ma by Aryjoecreatives shows the approximate walking time between Central London's tube stations.

This super useful map by Aryjoecreatives shows the approximate walking time between Central London’s tube stations.

3. Hire a bike and cycle in London

It’s July and the weather’s expected to be dry and sunny, so why not take the opportunity to ride one of the many “Boris bikes” that you find across the capital? You don’t need to be a member of the scheme so long as you are over the age of 14 and hold a valid credit or debit card. There are around 11000 bicycles in 700 or so locations north and south of the river including the City, Docklands and the West End.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Boris Johnson ride Santander Cycles in London

“I’ll be bike”. Santander cycles (aka ‘Boris Bikes’) popular with both the Mayor of London, and the Terminator.

Hiring one of what’s officially called the Santander cycles (they’re now red rather than blue after a change in sponsor) is easy. Simply go to your nearest docking station terminal, touch the screen and select “hire a cycle”. Enter your credit or debit card details as prompted to pay the £2 initial charge, take the printed release code which you’ll need to enter on the docking point’s keypad and you’re good to go.

When you’re ready to return the bike, simply push the bike firmly into an empty docking point and wait for the green light to illuminate. After your first journey, all other trips within 24 hours are free so long as they don’t exceed 30 minutes, so you can get home after work for nothing. Remember, use cycle lanes where present, wear a cycling helmet and be aware of your surroundings. And even if you love it, don’t be tempted to keep hold of your bike (it’s a £300 fine if you do).

4. Travel on the DLR (Docklands Light Railway)

In Docklands, DLR trains should still be running, so if you can’t bear to go a day without your train fix, this might help. The DLR will be able to accommodate some of the passengers that travel on the Jubilee Line, for example on the busy stretch between Stratford and Canary Wharf. Oyster cards are valid and trains run frequently. However, like the buses, expect the DLR to be crowded. For more information about the routes served, head to

The Docklands Light Railway is usually unaffected by London Underground Strikes, and offers easy access to East London and Docklands.

The Docklands Light Railway is usually unaffected by London Underground Strikes, and offers easy access to East London and Docklands.

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Bike Transport by Train – 7 Top Tips

Trains connect Britain’s great cycle routes, putting you at the trailhead for thrilling mountain bike tracks or sublime journeys through the countryside. If it’s a working day, combining the bike with the train is usually the cheapest and greenest way to travel.

Just peddle up to the station and your bike can be taken on the train for free. But there’s certain restrictions and reservations to know about. Here are seven bite-sized tips for taking your bike on the train.

1. Bikes Travel for Free

Here’s the great news: there is no charge for taking your bike on the train. Yep, bicycles don’t need to pay and you don’t need to pay for them. Compare this to the cycle mad country of the Netherlands, where you must buy an additional daily ticket for taking a bicycle on the train. Not only is it free to travel with bikes on the train in Britain, many railway stations have secure free bicycle parking.

Bikes travel for free on UK train services

2. Peak Time Bike Restrictions

Bikes can be taken on the majority of British rail services. However, during peak travel times (weekdays 07:00 – 10:00 and 16:00 – 19:00), full sized bikes are not permitted on commuter services to and from London. This includes all London Overground trains. They are also prohibited on weekday local rail services to and from Cardiff between 07:30 – 09:30 and 16:00 – 18:00. Note that these restrictions only apply to full sized bikes. So if you’re using one of these services it’s still possible to travel with a commuter friendly bike.

Bikes are prohibited on Peak train services in and out of London, as well as some peak services in Wales.

3. Commuter Friendly Bikes

Fully folding bicycles with wheels up to 20″ are allowed on all trains without restriction. These bikes are also excluded from all rules regarding reservations. You’ll must be able to carry the bike onto the train and sometimes place it in the luggage racks. Fully folding commuter bicycles have rapidly increased in popularity and are available from all major cycle outlets. Popularity
and competition has seen the price decrease significantly and an entry level bike can be found for £200 – 300. High-end folding bicycles range from £500 – 1000.

More expensive bikes are usually lighter to carry and quicker to fold away, which becomes important on busy trains. When buying a folding bicycle, test whether you’re comfortable carrying the bike for around 400meters, as this may be required at some train stations.

Folding bikes with wheels up to 20 inches can be taken on peak time train services in the UK.

4. Bike Reservations – What You Need to Know

While bikes go for free, they sometimes require a reservation. All trains have limited dedicated bicycle space, typically three to six spaces per service. In general, trains with a seat reservation system also have a bike reservation system. These tend to be long distance mainline and intercity services. Different operators have different rules.

  • Bicycle reservations are compulsory on Abelllio Greater Anglia, East Coast, East Midlands mainline services, First Great Western services to and from London, First TransPennine Express, ScotRail, South West Trains to and from London, and Virgin Trains.
  • Bicycle reservations are recommended but not compulsory on Arriva Trains Wales long and medium distance services, Caledonian Sleeper, CrossCountry, and First Hull Trains. Bikes without reservation can travel subject to space.

Reservations are not available for operators not listed above and the majority of local services, for example Northern rail services and Southern railways. On these trains, bicycles are permitted provided there is space. They must be stored so they don’t obstruct aisles or doors.

Reserve a space for a full sized bike.

5. Locating the Cycle Space

Where bicycle reservations are compulsory or recommended, the train will have a dedicated cycle carriage. Ask platform staff for the location of the cycle space so you can board the correct carriage.

Locate the correct carriage with bicycle storage

6. Bikes on Replacement Bus Services

Only fold up bikes can be taken on rail replacement bus services. Check in advance to see if there’s any planned engineering work, especially if you’re traveling at the weekend. Otherwise it may be a long cycle home.

Only fold-up bikes are allowed on rail replacement bus services.

7. A Bicycle Made for Two?

Four legs can peddle much faster than two. But if you’re cruising on a tandem, there’s a good chance that your two person bike won’t be allowed on the train. The same applies to bicycle trailers and tricycles. There are some exceptions. Tandems can only be carried on Abellio Greater Anglia trains and East Coast trains (you’ll need two cycle reservations).

Different types of bikes are allowed on different UK train services.

Red Cross Garden. Image: Timeout

7 London Parks to Discover on your Lunch Break

The sun is out, the sky is blue, and we’ve found 7 public spaces in Central London where you can enjoy your weekday lunch in the sun.

1. Gray’s Inn Gardens, Farringdon/Holborn

Gray's Inn Gardens. Image: JD Mack, Flickr

Gray’s Inn Gardens. Image: JD Mack, Flickr

This privately owned park is open to the public between 12:30 and 14:00 on weekdays, so make sure you head to lunch between those times. The nearest stations to Gray’s Inn Gardens are Holborn and Farringdon.

Best for: Lying on the grass

2. St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden

St Pauls Church Garden, Covent Garden. Image: Harry Rawford, Flickr

St Pauls Church Garden, Covent Garden. Image: Harry Rawford, Flickr

This little park in London’s Covent Garden sits behind St Paul’s Church, commonly known as the Actor’s Church , due to it’s long association with the surrounding theatre community. he nearest station to St Paul’s Church Garden is St Paul’s Covent Garden

3. Drury Lane Gardens, Covent Garden

Drury Lane Gardens. Image: arielsgrandlondonadventure

Drury Lane Gardens. Image: arielsgrandlondonadventure

Nestled in London’s Theatreland, Drury Lane Gardens is zoned into different areas, including a play area if you’re taking lunch with the kids. The nearest station to Drury Lane Gardens is Covent Garden.

Best for: Lunch with the Kids

4. Red Cross Garden, Southwark

Red Cross Garden. Image: Timeout

Red Cross Garden. Image: Timeout

This community-managed city park aims to “bring nature to overcrowded city people”. With it’s ponds, trees and shrubs, it certainly does. The nearest station to Red Cross Garden is Borough.

Best for: A Sense of Space

5. Postman’s Park, St Pauls

Postman's Park. Image: butterbrotmann, Flickr.

Postman’s Park. Image: butterbrotmann, Flickr.

Postman’s Park is a green space tucked away on the firmer site of the General Post Office HQ, just north of St Paul’s Cathedral. It was prominently featured in the 200 movie Closer, starring Julia Roberts snd Jude Law. The park also has lots of shady areas to cool off. The nearest stations to Postman’s Park are Barbican and Moorgate.

Best for: The Shade

6. The Phoenix Garden, Tottenham Court Road

Phoenix Garden. Image: Uri Baruchin, Flickr

Phoenix Garden. Image: Uri Baruchin, Flickr

The Phoenix Garden doesn’t show up as green on the average map, so it’s only really known to locals and nearby workers. This community managed garden is “Created to provide a green retreat from the stresses of London’s West End and a vital habitat for urban wildlife”. The nearest station to the Phoenix Garden is Tottenham Court Road.

Best for: Wild Cats

7. Grosvenor Square Garden

Grosvenor Square Garden. Image: panoramicearth.blogspot

Grosvenor Square Garden. Image: panoramicearth.blogspot

The only green space in our list that’s managed by Royal Parks, Grosvenor Square Gardens features a memorial to Franklin Roosevelt and some stunning surrounding buildings. The nearest station to Grosvenor Square Gardens is Bond Street.

destinations ideas london on the train summer
london_pride_2015_Colm Howard-Lloyd

Where to watch Pride in London 2015

On Saturday, June 27 the incredible Pride in London will close down parts of London with street processions and parties, including the world famous Oxford Street. As with previous years, there is a theme. This year’s London Pride theme is #PrideHeroes, celebrating people and groups who’ve contributed to LGBT+ equality. Think real-life heroes like Alan Turing and Harvey Milk. Pride is one of London’s biggest recurring events, and quite a spectacle to see.

Where to watch the Pride in London Parade

The parade itself leaves Baker Street at 1pm on Saturday 27 June. It passes through Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street before heading into Waterloo Place. It then makes a left onto Pall Mall, a right onto Cockspur Street and across the end of Trafalgar Square. All these locations are easily accessed on the London Underground, as well as local buses. Be ready for public transport to be much busier than usual in the hours before and after the parade.  Check out trains to London and plan your journey.

How to get to Pride by train

London is one of the best connected cities in the UK, with great rail connections from across the country. Arrive in London around 11am to make sure you don’t miss the parade. The nearest London Underground stations are Bond Street, Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, Charing Cross and Embankment. All these locations are accessible within 15 minutes from London terminus stations.

How do I take part in London Pride?

It’s still not too late to join! While registrations closed Friday May 15, there are still spaces for people who’d like to be  Flagbearers. According to Pride in London’s website, “Once the formal, organised element of the Parade has passed and barriers are removed, spectators can join the back of  the Parade but must follow instructions from Pride in London Stewards, security and police officers”.

If you’re not near London, you have still be part of the excitement by joining it on Facebook or being part of the conversation on Twitter #PrideHeroes or catching live streaming of the event.

london_pride_2015_Colm Howard-Lloyd

Image: Colm Howard-Lloyd, Flickr

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A view of Windsor Castle from Windsor. Image: Telegraph

10 Best Castles in Great Britain

The British landscape is liberally sprinkled with exquisite castles, each of them revelling in their reproduction of a bygone glory. But these castles were built to repel invading armies, meaning they were deliberately difficult to access. While they’re open to the public, fighting for a car parking space is the modern equivalent of falling in the moat. And trying to avoid the watchful traffic wardens must be a little like attempting to sidestep the archers that once patrolled the towers. Visiting Britain’s castles by train is far more relaxing. Here are ten of the best.

1. Windsor Castle

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Home to the royal family for over 1,000 years, Windsor Castle is the largest inhabited castle in the world. It’s a treasure trove of libraries, state rooms, towering stone walls, and galleries full of Michaelangelos and Da Vincis. Fancy some exercise? Take the Long Walk all the way to the Castle. Windsor Castle by train is easy. Windsor & Eton Riverside is the terminus for half hourly direct trains from London Waterloo, a journey that takes less than an hour. Alternatively, change at Slough for trains to Windsor & Eton Central. Slough is on the First Great Western line between London Paddington and Reading. Both Windsor stations are within short walking distance of the castle.

Trainline Tip: During summer, the Changing of the Guard takes place at 11am from Monday to Saturday.

2. Dover Castle

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Nestled amongst white cliffs, the medieval fortress of Dover Castle is one of Britain’s most impenetrable. Its underground tunnels were still being used in WWII yet the royal courts effortlessly take you back to the time of Henry II. The castle is a 25 minute walk or short taxi ride from Dover Priory Railway Station, making visiting Dover Castle by train the quickest way to travel from London. There are direct hourly connections to and from London St Pancras, London Victoria, and London Charing Cross. Trainline Tip: Dover is Britain’s largest castle complex so allow a full day to see it all.

3. Castle Howard

Castle Howard. Image: Nick Garrod, Flickr

Castle Howard. Image: Nick Garrod, Flickr

Castle Howard delights in its impressions of regal pomp and razzmatazz, the stately grounds and gardens a great getaway from the city. It’s set in the rolling green landscape of Yorkshire, around 20 miles outside York. There are no direct trains to Castle Howard but the public transport journey is relatively straightforward. First travel to York Railway Station which is on the East Coast Mainline. From here, a visitor’s bus runs three times a day to the castle. Alternatively, take a train to Malton Station then a £13 – 15 taxi ride. Trainline Tip: Going to Castle Howard with the visitor’s bus gets you a discount on the entrance ticket.

4. Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle.

Edinburgh Castle is unmissable, perched on a hill above the Scottish capital and dominating the skyline from all angles. Exit Edinburgh Waverley Station and you’ll see the castle peering down from above. Just walk uphill towards the iconic fortress walls. You really can’t miss it and taking the train to Edinburgh Castle is far quicker than circling Edinburgh city centre looking for a parking space. Trainline Tip: Edinburgh Castle gets very busy during summer and booking tickets online in advance saves a frustrated 30 minutes in the queue.

5. Caernarfon Castle

Caernarfon Castle. Image: Giborn_134, Flickr

Caernarfon Castle. Image: Giborn_134, Flickr

Striking polygonal towers are just the start of Caernarfon Castle’s originality. Towering above the river, this Welsh castle is a real ode to intimidating medieval fortresses. It’s a World Heritage Site and one that would have scared any invading army into submission. The closest train station to Caernarfon Castle is Caernarfon Station on the Welsh Highland narrow gorge railway. A more realistic journey by train is to alight in Bangor and take bus number 5a or 9 direct to the castle. Trainline Tip: The recently completed Welsh Highland Railway is the longest heritage railway line in the UK.

6. Warwick Castle

Sunglasses required. Warwick Castle in the sunshine. Image: Lisa West, Flickr

Sunglasses required. Warwick Castle in the sunshine. Image: Lisa West, Flickr

Warwick Castle is a place of myth and legend, a place where jousting displays and tea with scones go hand in hand. It’s great for taking the whole family by train as it’s just a 20 minute walk from Warwick Station. From here there are direct trains to London Marylebone, Birmingham Snow Hill, and Stratford-Upon-Avon. Trainline Tip: The direct train connections to Stratford-upon-Avon mean you can visit Shakespeare country and the home of William the Conqueror in one day.

7. Kenilworth Castle

Kenilworth Castle on a Summer day. Image: Nathan Reading, Flickr

Kenilworth Castle on a Summer day. Image: Nathan Reading, Flickr

Kenilworth has always played a role in British history and its majestic towers were constructed to woo Queen Elizabeth I. Relax in the Elizabethan Garden, check out the views from the tower, and relive history in the Castle Keep. To reach Kenilworth Castle by train, head to either Warwick Railway Station or Coventry Station. A taxi from either station will cost around £12. Trainline Tip: If you’re visiting Warwick and Kenilworth in one day, Kenilworth Castle’s gardens make it a good place to rest the feet after touring the fortresses.

8. Stirling Castle

“Tis bit a flesh wound”. Stirling Castle. Image: Martin Grossniklaus, Flickr

Stirling Castle is one of Scotland’s finest attractions and an easy day trip by train from Glasgow or Edinburgh. The timeless design inspired many of Scotland’s castles and the grounds evoke narratives of medieval battles. There are three direct trains per hour to Stirling Railway Station from Glasgow Queen Street as well as two per hour from Edinburgh Waverley. From the station it’s a 15 minute walk to the castle. Trainline Tip: Stirling also has regular trains to other historic destinations in the north of Scotland.

9. Lincoln Castle

Lincoln Castle. Image: Lincoln Castle With its history linking Roman conquests to William the Conquerer, the huge complex of Lincoln Castle is one of Britain’s most underrated. Take a walk along the medieval walls and admire an original version of the Magna Carta, before marvelling at the huge collection of canons. Finding a parking space in Lincoln city centre is challenging but the castle is just 15 minute walk from Lincoln Central Railway Station. There are direct trains to Lincoln Central from London Kings Cross, Sheffield, and Nottingham. Trainline Tip: While you’re in Lincoln, try to also visit Lincoln Cathedral. It was the world’s tallest building for 250 years until the spire collapsed in 1549.

10. Portchester Castle

Portchester Castle. Image: Angus Kirk

Portchester Castle. Image: Angus Kirk

Gazing across the waters to France, Portchester Castle’s Saxon history makes it architecturally different from the other castles in this list. In particular, the spiral staircase and crumbling interior walls make for timeless photos of British heritage. To visit Portchester by train, there are one to two direct trains per hour from London Waterloo to Portchester Station. There are also regular connections from Portchester to Havant and Basingstoke. Trainline Tip: Take your own lunch and enjoy it on one of the picnic benches inside the castle grounds.

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Elbow Rock the main stage at Reading Festival.

UK Summer Festivals By Train

You’ve packed your tent, you’ve got your wellies on, and you’re about to hit the road to one of this summer’s many fantastic festivals here in the UK. But wait, you don’t need to squeeze into the car with a bunch of your friends and all their luggage… You can take the train! For sheer speed, ease and comfort, you just can’t beat getting the train to a festival this summer. Simply grab your tickets from trainline, head to your local station and you’ll be there double-quick time, with a minimum of fuss and ready to party! We’ve had a look at five of the very best festival options in the UK this summer, along with handy info on the best way to get to the respective sites by rail.

Wireless Festival – Finsbury Park, London – June 28, July 3/4/5

A$AP Ferg performs at Wireless, 2014. Image: Daniel Gregory, Flickr.Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Nicki Minaj… Literally the hottest artists in the world, coming to the most exciting city in the world: The Wireless Festival Lineup is simply unmissable. If that’s not enough to get you reaching for your Railcard, how about rap legends Public Enemy, Wu-Tang lynchpins Raekwon & Ghostface Killah, not to mention homegrown talent such as Rita Ora and Labrinth? Getting to Wireless Festival 2015 by train: It’s in London, so there are literally hundreds of rail options for making your way to site from anywhere in the country, with good rail links travelling from all major cities. The closest station to the site is… *drum roll*… Finsbury Park Station! Check out the full Wireless Festival Train Station information and a Wireless Festival site map.

T in the Park – Strathallan Castle, Perthshire – July 10/11/12

T in the Park. Image: BBC Do you no’ fancy a wee trip up to Scotland to see some of great bands this summer? Och aye, o’course you do! OK, we’ll stop. But seriously though, the T in the Park lineup is bigger and better than ever this year, with Leicester electro-rockers Kasabian, nu-soul supremo Sam Smith, not to mention the Prodigy, Noel Gallagher and, of course, the Proclaimers.

Getting There: Don’t worry though, you won’t have to ‘walk five hundred miles’ to see this awesome line-up… Because there are trains to Gleneagles, with a CityLink coach waiting to take you direct to the site! You can even travel direct from London to Gleneagles Train Station, so even if you do live hundreds of miles away, getting to T in the Park by train couldn’t be easier.

Reading & Leeds Festival – Richfield Avenue, Reading & Bramham Park, Leeds – August 28/29/30

Elbow playing Reading Festival. Image:  In Chan, Flickr There’s something for everyone at this perennial mainstay of the festival season. Whether you plump for Leeds Festival lineup or the Reading Festival lineup, you’ll have the chance to head-bang to heavy metal godfathers Metallica, pogo to cockney rebels the Libertines or do… Something else to Mumford & Sons. I don’t know what Mumford & Sons fans do, to be honest, but they’re guaranteed to be having an awesome time watching their heroes headline the Main Stage!

Trains to Leeds Festival 2015: Leeds is a major rail hub, with direct lines from London, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and many more. Once you arrive at the station, simply take a wander to the city centre shuttle bus and you’ll be at the site in approximately 30 mins. A full shuttle bus schedule will be confirmed shortly on the festival website along with Leeds Festival train station information and a map of the site.

Trains to Reading Festival 2015: Trains to Reading depart London Waterloo approximately 3-4 ties per-hour. The Reading site is actually surprisingly close to the city centre, so it’ll only take you around 20 minutes to walk there from Reading Station, but again, you can find Reading Festival train station information and a map of the site, as well as shuttle bus details here.

Bestival – Robin Hill, Isle of Wight – September 10/11/12/13

Bestival. Image: Alamy The organisers of this one had to be feeling pretty confident when they named it, and, it turns out, with good reason, because Bestival has well and truly staked its claim as a key date in the festival calendar. Over four days, the Bestival lineup will be treating revellers to an eclectic smorgasbord of new and classic artists this year. I mean, where else could you see the Chemical Brothers, Duran Duran, Tame Impala and Flying Lotus on the same bill?

Getting There: I know what you’re thinking: ‘It’s on an island.’ Yes it is, but the train is still by far the best way to get to Bestival. That’s because Portsmouth Harbour Station and Portsmouth & Southsea Station (and Southampton Central Station) both have excellent rail links and operate ferries to the Isle of Wight. To make it even easier, once you arrive at the station, you’ll find shuttle buses ready to take you direct to the site, making Bestival train travel a no-brainer.

festival festivals music on the train trains travel uk