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Trains and trainspotting holidays

Britain was the birthplace of the steam locomotive – way back at the beginning of the 1800s – so it’s little wonder we have such a close affinity with our trains.

Today there’s a wide range of train-related activities to base a holiday on – from scenic steam railway journeys, to train museums and even trainspotting. Many trains, stations and attractions also benefit from being adapted for disabled guests, making them an ideal addition to your accessible break away.

Train travelling across Glenfinnan Viaduct

Travel with DisabledHolidays.com and we’ll take care of all aspects of travelling by train for you, along with the rest of your holiday plans. To find out more about booking a fantastic accessible train holiday, contact us on 0161 804 9898 or submit an enquiry.

Train journeys

Carlisle Castle

Carlisle
Running through the picturesque scenery of northern England, the Settle–Carlisle line is renowned for being one of the most spectacular rail journeys in the world. Its 73-mile stretch through the Yorkshire Dales and North Pennines crosses viaducts and cuts through rolling grassland – a must for any railway buff.

Carmarthenshire castle and countryside

Carmarthenshire
The breathtaking Heart of Wales line travels from Shrewsbury to Swansea, through 120 miles of rolling hills in the Mid Wales marches. Along the way you’ll see some of the best Welsh countryside, with its historic market centres, elegant spa towns and picturesque hamlets.

Inverness Castle

Inverness
The remote Far North Line runs from Inverness to Wick and Thurso, the northernmost train stations in Britain. Hugging Scotland’s dramatic east coast for most of the journey, it wends it way past distilleries, salmon rivers and spectacular castles, before heading through the vast expanses of the Flow Country.

Steam trains

Devon coastline

Devon
Devon is home to the multi-award-winning South Devon Railway, one of the West Country’s best-loved tourist attractions and the longest established steam railway in the southwest. Built in 1872, it runs seven miles through the gorgeous River Dart valley. The stations have easy, flat access, while the trains themselves are accessible by wheelchair.

Durham cathedral

Durham
The Beamish open-air museum in County Durham recreates life from the industrial revolution, with a town, colliery, pit village, and working replica locomotives such as George Stephenson’s Locomotion No 1. The Pockerley Waggonway takes guests on a steam train ride through the local countryside and tells the story of the birth of the railways.

Rolling hills in Sussex

Sussex
The 11-mile Bluebell Railway runs through a beautiful stretch of Sussex scenery between Sheffield Park and East Grinstead. It has a collection of over 30 steam trains, accessible by wheelchair and with level access at its stations. There are lots of events and activities onboard, from murder mystery evenings, to Pullman Dining, afternoon tea, and even weddings.

Train museums

Norfolk Broads canal and windmill

East Anglia
Located just outside of Colchester, the East Anglian Railway Museum celebrates the changing role of railways in the Eastern Counties since the early 19th century. The museum brings to life the buildings, engines, coaches, wagons and ephemera that made the railways such an integral part of life in the region.

Stonehenge, Wiltshire

Wiltshire
The Museum of the Great Western Railway, or STEAM, in Swindon is fully accessible, with lifts and ramps for wheelchair access throughout. Housed in a restored building in the heart of the former Swindon railway works, it tells the story of the men and women who built, operated and travelled on the Great Western Railway.

Yorkshire Dales at sunset

Yorkshire
The National Railway Museum at York is the world’s leading museum of rail transport, with an unrivalled collection of objects illustrating 300 years of railway history. A second NRM site in Shildon, County Durham, features even more fascinating exhibits. Both museums are wheelchair accessible and free to enter.

Trainspotting

Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol

Bristol
As well as serving as the gateway to the southwest’s beautiful countryside and waterways, Bristol has two stations perfect for trainspotting. Bristol Temple Meads was masterminded by Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1833 and is a great place to spot heritage trains, while high-speed and cross-country trains can be seen passing through Bristol Parkway from London.

London skyline

London
London is home to the country’s busiest station, Clapham Junction, regarded as a must-visit for fans of more modern trains, with 180 passing through every hour. Other recommended stations include King’s Cross, Paddington, and St Pancras, London’s largest train station. The London Transport Museum in Covent Garden is also well worth a visit.

Manchester Cathedral

Manchester
Manchester has two railway stations, both popular with trainspotters. Manchester Victoria is a Grade II listed building that was built by George Stephenson – the “Father of Railways” – during the reign of Queen Victoria. Manchester Piccadilly was completely refurbished in 2002 and has the highest customer satisfaction level of any UK station.

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