Travel UK

Travel || 7 Super Cool Weekend Breaks from London by Train

As people without cars, Sam and I are stuck only traveling by train in England. Not that it’s a hardship as the trains go pretty much everywhere. And after last summer, I only have the best memories of riding Virgin trains. (Whilst we were on our train from London to York for our wedding, the conductor found out that we were getting married in a few days time, so they gave us a bottle of champagne to split. It was a great train ride.) 

7 Weekend Breaks from London by Train

York

The Virgin train from London Kings Cross to Edinburgh (as well as other northern destinations) calls at York. I might be biased (I am biased) but York is one of the best places in the UK for a weekend break. Cute boutique hotels, lots of things to do and fabulous food. What more could you want? 

A Virgin train from London King’s Cross to York takes 1 hour and 50 minutes on average. 


Birmingham (Birmingham New Street Station) 

I haven’t been back to Birmingham for a few years now, but Sam and I did a weekend break there and had an amazing time. I highly recommend going for a curry on The Curry Mile and doing some shopping at the Bullring. 

A Virgin train from London Euston to Birmingham takes as little as 1 hour 25 minutes on a quick train. 


Edinburgh 

I’ve said it before, but Edinburgh might be my favourite place that I’ve ever visited! I love the way the city looks, the food, the things there are to do. I couldn’t recommend a weekend break in Edinburgh more! Though if you want to avoid sky-high prices and overcrowding, you might want to steer clear of a weekend break when the Fringe is on. Unless you want to see some great comedy and theatre – then that’s the time to go! 

A Virgin train from London King’s Cross to Edinburgh takes 4 hours and 20 minutes on average. 


Liverpool 

You don’t have to have Beatles mania (sorry, I don’t) to enjoy a weekend break in Liverpool. You definitely have to make time to wander around Albert Dock, the Museum of Liverpool and the two Liverpool Cathedrals. You can take a ferry inside the city, which is a fairly unique way to view it! 

A Virgin train from London Euston to Liverpool Lime Street takes as little as 2 hours 15 minutes on a quick train.


Glasgow 

Because I’m a nerd, I can’t think of Glasgow without seeing a folk song about the River Clyde in my head. But that’s my problem. (And Sam’s annoyance – much like my constant humming of “Scarborough Fair” when we go to Scarborough.) If you’re visiting the city for the weekend, you have to take in the Kelvingrove Art Museum and Gallery and a show at the Scottish Ballet. 

A Virgin train from London Euston to Glasgow takes 4 hours and 45 minutes on average.


Manchester 

I’ve had the somewhat unfortunate honour of only getting to spend about 6 hours in Manchester. It was definitely not enough time! Though I did manage to squeeze in a great show at the Royal Exchange. However, it was just enough time to whet my appetite for another (longer) trip back! 

A Virgin train from London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly  takes as little as 2 hour 7 minutes on a quick train.


Oxenholme (Lake District)

I visited the Lake District for the first time back in 2015 for a wedding, and ever since then I’ve been angling to go back. It’s the perfect weekend break for me. Lots of beautiful scenery, isolation and super cute rustic accommodation. Have I mentioned that the Lake District is probably one of the most beautiful places in the UK? Because it is! 

A Virgin train from London Euston to Oxenholme takes 2 hours and 38 minutes on average.


This month marked Virgin Trains 20th anniversary in the UK and they celebrated with a pretty cool pop-up musical performance in London Euston station. Check it out below! I also have the life goal of hanging out with Richard Branson after watching Obama kitesurfing with him last month. 

**This post was a collaboration with Virgin, but all opinions are forever my own**

Any favourite weekend break destinations? 

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  • I have spent more than 6 hours in Manchester. 6 hours is probably enough, trust me 😂😂

  • That’s so quick to York! I actually love Manchester, it is so good for a weekend away, I have family there so get the train up pretty often!

    Jasmin Charlotte

    • Super quick! There’s a slower train that you can get (it calls at more towns, but it’s a bit cheaper). Because we lived out in Crystal Palace, it would take about an hour and 15 minutes to get to the centre of town (in London) so it’s honestly not that much longer to come from Yorkshire! Which is ridiculous! x

  • Oh York and the Lake District are two of my favourite places! It’s amazing how quickly you can get to some of these places by train too. Hopefully you get to spend more time in Manchester soon, it’s a great city and well worth going for a weekend break!

    • I definitely need to go back for a proper visit! Do you have any top Manchester recommendations? x

  • edinburgh is my favourite place i’ve visited, too, ha! and i’m regretting not travelling more in the uk while i lived there a tiny bit now. i never even went to york (ridiculous, considering i lived in leeds!)! might have to try and make time for a mini holiday in the uk this summer:-) xx

    • Haha, I totally get it though – I’ve only been to Leeds once since we’ve moved to York (and that was to see some friends). I definitely need to explore it a bit more! Do you have any favourite Leeds recommendations? x

      • my favourite places to visit are roundhay park, kirkstall abbey and temple newsam:-) i’m only now realizing that there’s lots in leeds that i never got to explore as well, but the corn exchange and some of the museums are good as well! xx

  • Laura Torninoja

    Ahh so many places I want to visit! I’ve actually been to York once, about 8-9 years ago, and as much as I can remember, I absolutely loved it! It was part of my UK Interrail trip, and I think it was one of my favourite places we visited on our little tour. I can’t believe I still haven’t gone back, but hopefully this year will fix that! x

    Laura // Middle of Adventure

    • Ah! I hope you get a chance to come back to York! (Im based of course, since I live here now and love it 😉 ) xx

  • So many awesome places to visit

  • Such a great list! I always loved the train from Edinburgh to London when I was living in Scotland because it gives the best views!!!

  • I definitely need to revisit Edinburgh!

  • ninegrandstudent

    The Lake District is so beautiful, but my favourite place is definitely Edinburgh! That said, I’m visiting York soon and can’t wait to explore!

    NINEGRANDSTUDENT: A Lifestyle Blog

  • We went to all of our ultimate frisbee tournaments last summer via train! It was a nice way to see a few cities, though mostly just barely depending on how early I could get there on the Friday. I love traveling by train, but if I didn’t have a railcard or groupsaver it would have felt so expensive! I haven’t taken Virgin trains though.

    • Train travel in England can be super expensive. Sam and I have the Two Together Rail Card so I’m super fortunate that I’ve never traveled without one (I segued from my young person’s to the two together). We definitely wouldn’t have been able to go to Edinburgh without the discount! x

  • My sister went to uni in York so I often went to visit her and it is so lovely! I visited Edinburgh for the first time last year with a friend and I completely fell in love with it, I would seriously love to live there it’s so beautiful. That’s unlikely to happen in my line of work though so I’m going to settle for a re-visit with the boyfriend in the next couple of months! I will have to look at checking out some of these other places too, especially as they are so much quicker to get to than you first think! x

    http://www.ameldi.com

    • I don’t know if you’re still working in the Museum industry (I did for years!) but the Yorkshire Museum Trust is fairly ace. Of the Yorkshire trust properties, York Castle Museum is probably my favourite. I hope you get to come back for a visit soon! x

  • This is the year for travelling around the cities we haven’t seen yet! 🙂 I love train travel as you can get on with stuff, if only it were cheaper! Alice xxx

    http://www.woodenwindowsills.co.uk

    • So true! Train travel is vastly overpriced sometimes! Do you and Adam have the Two Together Railcard? I highly recommend it, if not! x