Train Rides in the UK for a Great Day Out
The Vale of Rheidol Railway, Ceredigion
Treat your family to the stunning valleys of Rheidol at The Vale of Rheidol Railway. Hop aboard a train that your great grandparents may have even visited!
Running since 1902, this railway has been delighting families for over 100 years and has shown generation after generation the beauty of the Rheidol valleys. See parts of the valley only accessible by train, as this Welsh wonder lets you explore 24 miles of breathtaking scenery and rugged mountain terrain, from Aberystwyth to Devil’s Bridge. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars for a bit of bird-spotting too, with buzzards and red kites regular visitors above the train route.
With the option to do a single or return trip, or even just part of the route, the Rheidol Railway is a great way to experience a taste of steam train life and go on a day out that all ages will love.
Open from April to October, plus selected dates from November to March. Book early for the Halloween Ghost Trains and Santa Train experiences.
The Jacobite Steam Train, Scottish Highlands
Image © David & Ben Collier
Taking in a whopping 84 miles from the highest mountain (Ben Nevis) in Britain, to the most westerly station (Arisaig), The Jacobite Steam Train is often described as the greatest railway journey in the world. We certainly think that it is an epic adventure the whole family will love.
On your journey, you’ll pass Britain’s deepest freshwater loch (Loch Morar) and the shortest river the country has to offer (River Morar). You’ll also get to pass Loch Nevis, Fort William and venture into the fishing port of Mallaig, with a 90 minute stopover to take in a snapshot of what it has to offer.
Kids will especially enjoy crossing the 21 arches of the Glenfinnan viaduct, which most will recognise as the route to Hogwarts from the Harry Potter films. Just don’t forget your camera, as there will be plenty to capture.
Open weekdays from April to October, and weekends from June to October, though dates do vary. We recommend checking and booking in advance, particularly for Santa trains and special events.
East Lancashire Railway, Greater Manchester
Sit back and enjoy the 12.5 mile journey aboard the historical steam train at East Lancashire Railway. Start your travels from Rawtenstall where you will be transported through impressive viaducts, tunnels and uncover beautiful views all the way to Heywood.
The Railway is the perfect way to explore the hidden gems of the North West. If you (or, more likely, the snack monsters!) get peckish, you can either get a snack on board the railway carriage-turned-café, or tuck into the award-winning food at Buffer Stops Bar at the station.
After the journey you can go and explore the Bury Transport Museum to learn about the region’s rich transport history through interactive exhibits the kids will love. Don’t miss the fantastic range of special events too, including seasonal favourites such as train rides with Thomas and the Halloween Ghost Train.
Open Wednesday to Sunday from April to September, and weekends from October to March, plus selected dates throughout the year. Special events include Halloween Ghost Trains, Days Out with Thomas and train rides with Santa.