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5 bucket list train journeys to take in the UK

5 bucket list train journeys to take in the UK

When you think of bucket list train journeys you may start thinking of epic train trips like the Orient Express and the Trans-Siberian Railroad or the Rocky Mountaineer. I would love to take one of these train journeys but don’t forget we have some incredible train journeys right here in the UK!

These British train trips are a far cry from your everyday commute and bring back the excitement and splendour of old-fashioned train journeys.


Here we go, 5 bucket list train journeys to take in the UK


Snowdon Mountain Railway

5 bucket list train journeys to take in the UKI live in North Wales so it probably comes as no surprise that my favourite train journey in the UK is in Snowdonia; more accurately, it’s to the summit of Mount Snowdon.

Hang on, you thought the only way to get to the peak of Wales’ highest mountain was to hike for hours and clamber all the way up to the top? Oh no, there is an easy route and that’s on the train!

This unique train journey has been running since 1896 and has taken over 12 million  passengers to 1,085 meters above sea level! The train leaves from Llanberis and crosses two viaducts, waterfalls, gorges, incredible countryside and then the incredible scene as you climb up the ancient mountain.

There are stops along the way but you eventually reach the summit. If you have clear weather the views are unbeatable. Don’t worry if you’re not so lucky with the weather, there is a visitor centre and café which makes up for the cloudy view!


Fort William to Mallaig

5 bucket list train journeys to take in the UKA journey aboard the Jacobite steam train needs to be on every Harry Potter fan’s bucket list. This has been one of the UK’s most famous rail journeys but it was the Harry Potter films that brought it to the attention of a younger generation as the steam train crosses the 21-arched Glenfinnan viaduct that Potter fans will be familiar with.

This isn’t the only sight worth seeing during the 84 mile trip from Fort William to Mallaig in the Scottish Highlands.

This adventure begins near Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain before passing lochs and rivers and beautiful little towns. The scenery is spectacular and being aboard a traditional steam train is all part of the adventure. Yes, you can pretend you’re on the Hogwarts Express if you like.


The Welsh Highland Railway

5 bucket list train journeys to take in the UKWe’re heading back to Wales for number 3 on the list of bucket list rail journeys. The Welsh Highland Railway is one of the best ways to see Wales and is one of our go-to days out with the kids.

This is the oldest railway company in the world and it really does feel like you’re stepping back in time as you board the narrow carriages. Unfortunately, the buffet service is well and truly in the 21st century so be aware that the snacks will set you back a bob or two!

Enjoy a locally brewed beer as you pass through the stunning Snowdonia landscape as you travel from Caernarfon, past the foot of Snowdon, the gorgeous little village of Beddgelert, through the stunning Aberglaslyn Pass and on to Porthmadog.


The Orient Express

5 bucket list train journeys to take in the UKIf you fancy a mini ride on the Orient Express without the hefty price tag usually attached to this luxury train journey then check out The Orient Express day trips in the UK. It’s not longer called the Orient Express but is named the Bellmond British Pullman but, don’t worry, it’s the same experience and gives you all the traditional glamour and fine dining you’d expect. The meals onboard range from elaborate afternoon teas to 7-course dinners and you can be sure to be clinking your champagne glasses as you chug out of the station.

The Bellmond British Pullman departs from London Victoria and visits places such as Bath, Canterbury, the Cotswolds and the Surry Hills. I can’t imagine a more British day out then taking this steam train from London to Bath!

Paddington Bear fans may recognise this famous train from the second film!


Settle to Carlisle

5 bucket list train journeys to take in the UKThis 73-mile long railway passes through some of the most spectacular scenery in Northern England as it crossed the Yorkshire Dales and the North Pennines. It begins near Leeds to travels up to the England/Scotland border, stopping at 10 stations along the way.

One of the most famous scenes along the way is Ribblehead Viaduct, an incredible Grade II listed structure with 24 stunning arches. The journey is particularly stunning in the winter months when a scattering of snow dazzles across the rolling countryside.



Those are my 5 bucket list train journeys I’d love to take in the UK. My two little boys love trains so I’m waiting for them to be able to sit still for more than 5 minutes and we’ll start booking these adventures!


If you’re booking a train journey any time soon, don’t forget you can now book quickly and easily using the Skyscanner app and use the discount code TTH3 to get £3.00 off.


Tal Bright

Wednesday 23rd of January 2019

Great suggestions for train rides! Keeping this for my next UK trip :)

Clazz - An Orcadian Abroad

Thursday 29th of November 2018

These all look amazing!!! I wanted to go on the Harry Potter train last year but it books up soooo quickly and wasn't available on our dates! So that's firmly on the list for next year. (Also - yay for Skyscanner!)