This is the perfect time of the year for a short break with spring in the air and summer fast approaching. With the late May bank holiday and half-term coming up, we thought we’d share some ideas to make this spring fun packed. So, we’ve picked some of our favourite theme parks, beautiful coastlines and castles around the country, which are accessible by train. Whether you prefer a relaxing walk by the coastline or a bit of adventure there’s bound to be something for you.
We hope this helps make your half-term and May bank holiday planning easier than ever!
Alton Towers, near Stoke
Alton Towers is full of fun, thrill and adventure. With over 50 rides and attractions there’s plenty to do and see. The most visited theme park in the UK in 2012, Alton Towers has rides, a monorail, a spa, a golf attraction, a waterpark and two on-site hotels.
Nearest station: Uttoxeter Rail. Alton Towers also run a number of bus services which connect with trains from Stoke-on-Trent, Leek, Nottingham and Derby.
Cadbury World, Birmingham
Cadbury World is where chocolate comes to life. Learn the story of Cadbury through video, demonstrations and interactive displays.
Nearest station: Bournville. It is a pleasant 15 minute stroll from here, with Cadburys World being fully signposted via fingerposts and wall-signs.
Chessington World of Adventure, Southwest London
Chessington has lots to explore, from great rides to a zoo and a sea life centre. The theme park also boasts nine themed lands including the Land of Dragons and Transylvania, with rides from runaway trains to the Dragon’s Fury.
Nearest station: Chessington South. Regular services run from Waterloo, Clapham Junction and Wimbledon. From Chessington South Station, the theme park is approximately 10-15 minutes’ walk away and is signposted.
Adventure Island, Southend
Adventure Island has 32 different rides and sits right alongside Southend Pier. Best of all – admission is free! With amazing selection of rides to choose from and great attractions, this place surely ticks all the boxes for a great day out for all.
Nearest station: Southend Central. This is just a few blocks from Adventure Island.
The Eden Project, Cornwall
With individual biomes hosting a variety of plants collected around the world, The Eden Project is a fun eco education experience for the whole family. Explore plants, displays, interactive exhibitions and art works.
Nearest station: St Austell Rail. The Eden Project can be found several miles from St Austell – which is on the main line from London Paddington. Bus services run to Eden from the station and take approximately 30 minutes. Alternatively, you could also take the train to Luxulyan, which is roughly 2.5 miles from the Eden Project and offers a more scenic route from which to continue your trip on foot or bike.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach
It’s the most famous pleasure beach in the UK and needs no introduction. An iconic British tradition Blackpool has something for everyone. Donkey rides, fish and chips, pier, arcades, sandy beach, kiss-me-quick stalls, candy floss and open-top trams. What more could you possibly want!
The nearest train station to Blackpool Pleasure Beach is unsurprisingly Blackpool Pleasure Beach station. However, you can also go to Blackpool South station which is just 0.6 miles away. The majority of trains go to Blackpool North, which is 2.5 miles away. Although this is walkable and involves a pleasant stroll along the prom, many visitors choose to take a taxi or a tram instead.
Brighton’s pebble beach has been voted one of the top beach destinations, has blue flag status and is home to around 614 billion pebbles. Visit the famous Victorian pier for fish and chips and fairground attractions or soak up the atmosphere of pavement cafes as you stroll along the bustling promenade. Further inland, boutique-style shopping in the Lanes and North Lanes compliments the high street stores of the town centre.
Brighton station is in the centre of Brighton about 15 minutes walk from the beach and lanes. Trains run regularly from Gatwick, Croydon and London.
This long, curving, sandy beach is great for going on long walks; having picnics and has splendid views across the Forth Estuary. Belhaven’s wide sands are backed with a dune ridge, the perfect spot for building sandcastles and playing beach games.
The beach is near the small town of Dunbar in East Lothian just walking distance from Dunbar station.
For crystal clear water, stretches of sandy beaches and secluded coves Falmouth is the place to go. A short walk will take you to the third largest deep water harbour in the world. To explore the area climb aboard one of the many boat trips or walk from Falmouth to explore nearby coves and beaches.
Trains run to Falmouth Station and Falmouth Docks. First Great Western runs services into Falmouth, connecting at Truro with the Western Main Line.
Cromer Coastline, Norfolk
Cromer is a beautiful town on the Norfolk coast renowned for its history of the sea, fishing and crabs. Its lighthouse flashes a guiding beam when the North Sea rides high, while the 14th century church stands guardian over the town.
Cromer station is right in the centre of town, just minutes walk to the coast line. Change in Norwich for mainline services.
Castles and cultural places
Edinburgh Castle is a world famous icon of Scotland and is a part of the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site. It’s one of Scotland’s major tourist attractions and has been voted to be one of the top UK Heritage Attraction in the British Travel Awards. Not one to be missed if you’re visiting Scotland.
Nearest station: Edinburgh Waverley Rail Station. Edinburgh Castle is located in the centre of Edinburgh and is a short walk from Waverley train station – albeit up a pretty steep hill! The station is situated on the east end of Princes Street, whilst the Castle should be visible upon exiting the station.
Windsor Castle is the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world and is one of the official residences of Her Majesty The Queen. It is a popular choice amongst visitors who fancy a day trip out of London. The magnificent castle is a must-see for fans of royalty, art and history.
Nearest station: Windsor & Eton Riverside which is just a few minutes’ walk from the Castle. Windsor & Eton Riverside is easily accessible from Central London, being just half an hour from London Paddington and an hour from London Waterloo.
With a history stretching back over 1,000 years there’s something for everyone at Warwick Castle. Enjoy sunning views, jaw-dropping history and an amazing adventure for a great day out.
Nearest station: Warwick station. The station is just 10 minutes walking distance from the town centre and Castle. A direct service into London Marylebone (1 hour 45 minutes) or Birmingham Snow Hill is available.
St Michael’s Mount
Immerse yourself in history and explore the amazing island word of St Michael’s Mount near Marazion. Discover legend, myth and over thousand years of incredible history. With dazzling views all across the castle come ashore for a family outing, a tour of the castle or a garden visit.
Nearest station: Penzance St Michael’s Mount is only 3 miles from Penzance. A regular train service runs to Penzance station from where you can travel by bus or taxi to Marazion (about 10 minutes away).
With its 2,500 year history, stunning location and panoramic views over the dramatic Yorkshire coastline, Scarborough Castle fully deserves its place as one of the finest tourist attractions in the North.
Nearest station: Scarborough rail station, which is just 1 mile away from the castle.