As much as we love the hustle and bustle of city life, sometimes, you can’t beat a staycation in the country and travelling by train across the rolling countryside is the perfect way to get there. Simply sit back and relax and watch cityscapes give way to the coast and countryside.
5 countryside breaks you can easily reach from big cities
One of Cornwall’s best-loved destinations, St. Ives is the perfect coastal retreat to escape city life. Blessed with a warm micro-climate, St. Ives has numerous beaches all within walking distance of the town and train station. You can’t help but be inspired when you’re in St Ives, and the number of art galleries and sculptures illustrates how inspiring the pretty town is. Enjoy people watching from the terraces of the cafes that line the beach or take a boat trip to Seal Island and soak up the scenery.
A favourite destination for those escaping the rush of Manchester, the Lake District is the perfect antidote to city living. Despite being only an hour away by train, it’s like stepping back to a simpler time. Enjoy a day hiking Scarfell Pike, followed by a warming coffee by a roaring fire. Or for ultimate nostalgia, the Beatrix Potter museum is a must. Hire a boat or take a cruise on any of the lakes, and if you’re feeling brave, you can even try open water swimming.
Take the train to Horsham from Brighton and enjoy a countryside break in the award-winning market town. With wide pedestrianised avenues and landscaped piazzas, Horsham is designed for a more sedate pace of life with alfresco living at its core. Head to Horsham on a weekend to sample local produce at its thriving Saturday market, and spend the evening in a traditional pub.
Home to the Bronte sisters, the pretty village of Haworth sits above the industrial cities of Leeds and Bradford. Arriving by train into Haworth is like stepping back in time and it’s easy to forget modern life, as you wander up the cobbled streets lined with Yorkshire stone-built cottages, shops and pubs. There are plenty of curiosity shops, tarot readers and mystics in the ancient village adding to its allure. It’s easy to see how the Haunting Catherine from Wuthering Heights was conceived in this remote part of the world.
There’s a reason the Cotswolds is a firm favourite as a countryside break destination. With its trademark cottages and country manor houses, pretty village greens and handsome churches, there’s something quintessentially English about the Cotswolds, and the journey by train from Oxford is perhaps one of the prettiest routes. Pack your walking boots and discover the Cotswolds whilst rambling and sample traditional pub grub along the way or visit any one of the historic houses from the 12th century Berkeley Castle to the Tudor hunting lodge of Newark Park.
With so many amazing places in the countryside to visit within close proximity to some of our bustling cities, it’s time you started planning your weekend getaways.