Independent Rail Tour of England

At a glance

12 days / 11 nights
Departing Mar 24 – Jan 25
From AUD$3499

Your Itinerary

Traveling by train allows you to relax and enjoy the scenic beauty of the West Country while avoiding the hassle of driving. It’s a convenient and enjoyable way to explore this part of England’s coastline.

DAY 1 – Depart London to Devon

Upon activating your rail pass, you’ll embark on a delightful journey from London Paddington Station aboard a Great Western Railway service bound for Torquay, Devon. As you settle into the First Class carriage, you’ll be treated to stunning scenery rolling past your window, offering glimpses of the charming English countryside.

After arriving in Torquay, make your way to your 4-star boutique B&B where you’ll check in and settle into your comfortable room. Located less than 10 minutes’ walk from Torquay’s waterfront, your B&B offers easy access to the sights and sounds of the English Riviera.

Once you’ve dropped off your luggage, set out to explore the enchanting seaside town of Torquay. If you’re a fan of the famous crime writer Agatha Christie, you’re in for a treat, as many of her books were either set or inspired by Torquay.

2 nights Torquay
Overnight: Torquay town centre accommodation
Inclusions: First Class rail pass
Rail travel: 3 hrs

DAY 2 – Torquay

In the morning, immerse yourself in the fascinating history of Torquay on a escorted walking tour.  Depending on day of visit choose between:

  • Torquay’s Wartime History Journey: Delve into the wartime history of Torquay with a guided tour that explores the town’s role during World War II.
  • Agatha Christie-Inspired Walking Tour: Embark on a walking tour inspired by the life and works of the renowned crime writer who called Torquay home.

After your morning tour, spend the afternoon at your leisure, soaking in the relaxing seaside atmosphere of Torquay. If you’re feeling adventurous, consider exploring the region further by taking a stroll along the coastal paths that offer breathtaking views of the coastline. Whether you choose to relax on the beach, wander along hidden tracks, or simply enjoy the serenity of the seaside, there are plenty of opportunities to unwind and appreciate the natural beauty of the English Riviera.

Before the day draws to a close, be sure to indulge in an iconic Devonshire Tea, a quintessential experience on the English Riviera. Treat yourself to freshly baked scones served with clotted cream and jam, accompanied by a pot of tea, while soaking in the ambiance of Torquay’s charming cafes or enjoying a scenic view of the sea. It’s the perfect way to end your day in this picturesque seaside town.

2 nights Torquay
Overnight: Torquay town centre accommodation

Meals: Full English Breakfast
Inclusions: 2 hr walking tour

Devonshire Tea*

DAY 3 – Torquay to Falmouth

A rail journey through the Devonshire & Cornish countryside sounds like a serene way to start the day, offering picturesque views and a chance to relax before arriving in the charming fishing village of Falmouth.

Once in Falmouth, exploring its maritime history promises to be a fascinating experience. The National Maritime Museum is sure to offer insights into the town’s seafaring past, while the stunning gardens provide a peaceful retreat. And with an award-winning art gallery to explore, there’s plenty to indulge in for art enthusiasts. Falmouth’s blend of history, natural beauty, and cultural offerings indeed promises to make for a memorable stay. Enjoy your time exploring this captivating destination!

2 nights Falmouth
Overnight: Falmouth town centre accommodation
Meals: Full English Breakfast
Inclusions: First Class rail pass
Rail travel: 3 hrs 15 mins

Falmouth*

DAY 4 – Falmouth

After breakfast begin your Cornish adventure by visiting Pendennis Castle, just a short walk from your hotel. Situated atop a hill and overlooking Falmouth’s coastline, the castle offers a fascinating glimpse into military history and provides stunning panoramic views of the surrounding area.

After soaking in the history and views at Pendennis Castle, the afternoon presents a wonderful opportunity to indulge in Falmouth’s renowned seafood. With its coastal location, Falmouth boasts an array of waterfront restaurants offering fresh and delicious seafood dishes. Whether you’re craving classic fish and chips or a gourmet seafood platter, there’s sure to be something to satisfy your palate.

Relishing in the flavors of fresh seafood while enjoying the picturesque waterfront setting makes for a delightful way to spend the afternoon in Falmouth. Bon appétit!

2 nights Falmouth
Overnight: Falmouth town centre accommodation
Meals: Full English Breakfast

Inclusions: Pendennis Castle admission

Falmouth*

DAY 5 – St Ives

Continuing your coastal adventure by taking the train to St Ives. With its stunning white surf beaches and vibrant art scene, St Ives promises a delightful experience for visitors.

Exploring the narrow streets lined with galleries and studios is a must-do activity in St Ives. From traditional paintings to contemporary sculptures, the town’s art scene offers a diverse range of works to admire and perhaps even purchase as souvenirs.

After immersing yourself in the local art scene, indulging in a traditional Cornish pasty or creamy Cornish ice cream is a perfect way to refuel and savor the local flavors. Whether you opt for a savory pastry filled with delicious ingredients or treat yourself to a scoop of rich and creamy ice cream, you’re sure to enjoy a taste of Cornwall’s culinary delights.

Strolling along the picturesque coastline, taking in the stunning views, and savouring the local cuisine make for a memorable visit to this charming coastal town.

3 nights St Ives
Overnight: St Ives town centre accommodation
Meals: Full English Breakfast
Rail travel: 1 hr 45 mins

St Ives*

DAY 6 – Penzance Day Trip

Taking a 40-minute rail journey to Penzance from St Ives offers another opportunity to explore the rich history and stunning landscapes of Cornwall.

St. Michael’s Mount, located on a tidal island in Mount’s Bay, is indeed a remarkable landmark worth visiting. Included in your tour is entry to the historic castle, gardens, and community which provides insights into centuries of history and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area.

Not to be missed is Chapel Street in Penzance, which allows you to discover its many galleries, shops, and boutiques, offering a chance to pick up unique souvenirs or gifts. Indulging in fish and chips on the promenade while taking in the spectacular views across the bay is a quintessential experience in Penzance.

Returning to St Ives in the evening, you can unwind and enjoy the local culinary scene at one of the town’s restaurants or traditional inns. Whether you opt for fresh seafood dishes or traditional Cornish fare, you’re sure to find a cozy spot to relax and reflect on the day’s adventures.

3 nights St Ives
Overnight: St Ives town centre accommodation
Meals: Full English Breakfast
Inclusions: St Michael’s Mount admission
Rail travel: 80 min return journey

St Michael’s Mount*

DAY 7 – St Ives at leisure

Having a day at your leisure in this stunning destination offers a myriad of opportunities to immerse yourself in the beauty and culture of Cornwall. Here are some suggestions to make the most of your day:

Boat Trip to Seal Island: A boat trip to Seal Island to see the local seal colony can be a remorable experience. Observing these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat, amidst the backdrop of Cornwall’s stunning coastline, is both peaceful and exciting.

Coastal Walks: The South West Coast Path offers some of the most breathtaking coastal walks in the UK, with routes suitable for all levels of walkers. Whether you’re looking for a short meander or a more challenging trek, the path provides unparalleled views of the Atlantic Ocean, rugged cliffs, and lush countryside. Walking along this path to some of Cornwall’s most cherished places is a great way to experience the area’s natural beauty.

Tate St Ives: Art enthusiasts should not miss a visit to Tate St Ives. This gallery is part of the Tate family, focusing on modern and contemporary art, much of it connected to the locale. Its exhibitions showcase the vibrant art scene in Cornwall and the unique light that has attracted artists to this area for generations. The building itself, with its stunning architectural design, is worth admiring.

Fore Street Shopping: For those who enjoy shopping, wandering through Fore Street in St Ives is a delightful experience. This street is lined with independent shops offering a range of products from local crafts and artworks to clothing and souvenirs.

Relaxing on Porthminster Beach: If you’re looking to relax and soak up some sun, Porthminster Beach is a popular choice among visitors. Its sheltered location makes it ideal for swimming and sunbathing, and the fine, golden sand and clear waters create a tropical feel. The beach also offers stunning views back towards St Ives and is a perfect spot for ending your day with a picturesque sunset.

Whatever you choose to do, your day in St Ives promises to be filled with memorable experiences. Enjoy exploring this amazing destination at your own pace!

3 nights St Ives
Overnight: St Ives town centre accommodation
Meals: Full English breakfast
St Ives*

DAY 8 – St Ives to Plymouth

Today your rail journey from Cornwall to Devon offers scenic views of the rugged coastline, rolling hills, and charming villages of Cornwall and Devon. Upon arrival at Plymouth Railway Station, you’ll find yourself in the heart of the city, with easy access to its attractions including the historic Barbican area, Plymouth Hoe and lighthouse, the Royal Citadel, and the Mayflower Steps.

1 night Plymouth
Overnight: Plymouth city centre accommodation
Meals: Full English Breakfast
Inclusions:  First Class rail pass
Rail travel: 2 hrs 10 mins

Plymouth

DAY 9 – Plymouth to Bath Spa

Embarking on a rail journey from Devon to Somerset provides a seamless transition from the rugged, coastal landscapes of the southwest to the genteel elegance of Bath, with its stunning Georgian architecture and historical richness. Upon arrival in Bath, you’ll find yourself immersed in a city that effortlessly combines its ancient heritage with a vibrant contemporary culture.

3 nights Bath
Overnight: Bath city centre accommodation
Meals: Full English Breakfast
Inclusions:  First Class rail pass
Rail travel: 2 hrs 30 mins

Pulteney Bridge, Bath

DAY 10 – Bath at leisure

Today is yours to discover Bath at your own pace. A city steeped in history and culture, a UNESCO World Heritage site that boasts an array of must-see attractions:

Roman Baths are perhaps the most famous attraction in the city. These ancient baths are remarkably well-preserved and provide a glimpse into Roman life and engineering. Visitors can see the steaming pool of the Great Bath, fed by natural hot springs, and explore the museum which houses artifacts from the Roman period.

Bath Abbey located near the Roman Baths, is a stunning example of Gothic architecture. It has been a place of Christian worship for over a thousand years and is known for its magnificent fan vaulting, beautiful stained glass windows, and the Abbey tower, which offers panoramic views of the city.

The Royal Crescent is one of the most iconic examples of Georgian architecture in the UK.  This sweeping crescent of 30 terraced houses set against a large green lawn is a breathtaking sight. No. 1 Royal Crescent is now a museum, furnished in the period style, offering a glimpse into the life of the Georgian upper class.

Pulteney Bridge inspired by the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy, is one of the few bridges in the world lined with shops on both sides. It offers picturesque views of the River Avon and is a favorite spot for photographers.

Thermae Bath Spa allows visitors to bathe in Britain’s only naturally warm, mineral-rich waters, just as the Romans did over 2,000 years ago. The spa’s rooftop pool offers stunning views of the cityscape.

3 nights Bath
Overnight: Bath city centre accommodation
Meals: Full English Breakfast

Roman Baths

DAY 11 – Cotwolds Day Tour

Embarking on a full-day escorted tour to the Cotswolds is a wonderful way to experience the quintessential English countryside and immerse yourself in its timeless beauty. Depending on your tour day you can expect to visit various Cotswolds villages including Castle Combe, Bibury, Bourton on the Water and Stow on the Wold. Based on the tour itinerary, you may have the chance to visit iconic landmarks such as Stonehenge or Avebury Stone Circle, both of which hold significant historical and cultural importance. This guided tour offers a glimpse into the heart and soul of the Cotswolds, leaving you with cherished memories of this quintessentially English destination.

3 nights Bath
Overnight: Bath city centre accommodation
Meals: Full English Breakfast
Inclusions: Full day escorted tour

Bibury Village, Cotswolds

DAY 12 – Bath to London

After a final breakfast, bid farewell to England’s West Country and board the direct train back to London Paddington.  Your First Class rail pass provides a travel day to return to London or onto further destinations. Our agency can assist with post-tour accommodation and onward travel bookings.

Meals: Full English Breakfast
Inclusions: First Class rail pass
Rail travel:  1 hr 20 mins

Tower Bridge, London

Proposed accommodation in 4 star hotels or boutique B&Bs located less than 10 minutes walk from arrival/departure railway station.

Prices are per person, sharing a double/twin room based on 15 Oct 2024 departure. A single supplement applies for solo travellers provided on request.
Terms & Conditions apply.  Click to view
*Image credits: Visit Cornwall Adam Gibbard (Falmouth), Matt Jessop (Falmouth) (St Michael’s Mount), Chester Robinson (St Ives), Visit Britain David Clapp (Devonshire Tea)
Exclusions:
Travel Insurance – we ask that our guests purchase suitable cover in case planned travel is affected or disrupted due to unforeseen circumstances
Flights – all tours are land only within the UK
Meals and/or sightseeing other than that outlined above.
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