Autumn Escapes by Train: Plan Your Half-Term Getaway

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9 Oct 20235 min read

The autumn half-term break is just around the corner, and now is the perfect time to plan on a memorable family adventure. 

Whether you're seeking enchanting woodlands, thrilling city escapes, or countryside charm, the UK offers a myriad of exciting destinations that are easily accessible by train. Forget the hassle of long car journeys and join us on an unforgettable rail journey. Here are some fantastic half-term ideas for autumn:

Magical Woodland Retreats ๐ŸŒฒ๐Ÿ‚

WoodlandImage credit: miketea | Getty Images


  1. The New Forest: Head to the New Forest, a place of ancient woodlands, heathlands, and picturesque villages. You can reach the New Forest by taking a train to Brockenhurst or New Milton, both well-connected stations.

  2. Sherwood Forest: Venture to Sherwood Forest, the legendary home of Robin Hood. To get there, catch a train to Nottingham, which is the gateway to this mystical woodland.


  • Forest Walks: Explore the tranquil forest trails, where every step is a journey through the changing seasons. The crisp autumn air and the sound of rustling leaves underfoot create a serene atmosphere.

  • Cycling: Hop on a bike and discover the beauty of the woods on two wheels. The New Forest and Sherwood Forest offer a range of cycling routes suitable for all levels.

  • Wildlife Spotting: Keep your eyes peeled for woodland creatures like deer, squirrels, and a variety of bird species. Autumn is a fantastic time for wildlife enthusiasts.


  • Treehouse Stays: Experience the magic of sleeping among the trees in a cosy treehouse. The New Forest and Sherwood Forest both offer unique treehouse accommodations that allow you to fully immerse yourself in the forest environment.

  • Fairy-Tale Glamping: For a touch of enchantment, try fairy-tale glamping. Stay in charming cabins, yurts, or even shepherd's huts nestled deep within the woods. It's the perfect way to enjoy the great outdoors without sacrificing comfort.

City Explorations ๐Ÿ™๏ธ๐Ÿš†

  • London

    train tickets to London
    Image credit: sborisov | Getty Images Pro

    • Nearest Train Stations: King's Cross, Paddington, Euston
    • Activities: Explore world-class museums like the British Museum and the Tate Modern, take a stroll along the Thames, and indulge in retail therapy on Oxford Street.
    • Highlights: Don't miss Harry Potter-themed tours, a visit to the historic Tower of London, and mind-boggling exhibits at the Science Museum.
  • Edinburgh

    Image credit: Adrian Popan | Getty Images

    • Nearest Train Stations: Edinburgh Waverley, Haymarket
    • Activities: Immerse yourself in the city's rich history at the Royal Mile, tour the majestic Edinburgh Castle, and hike up Arthur's Seat for panoramic views.
    • Highlights: Embark on Harry Potter-themed walking tours, witness the stunning Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, and explore the mysteries of the Camera Obscura.

Read more: Trains to Edinburgh

  • York

    Image credit: ChrisHepburn | Getty Images Signature
    • Nearest Train Stations: York Station
    • Activities: Step back in time as you wander through the cobbled streets of the Shambles, delve into history at the Jorvik Viking Centre, and take a serene cruise on the River Ouse.
    • Highlights: Enjoy enchanting ghost tours, delve into the grandeur of York Minster, and discover the city's railway heritage at the National Railway Museum.

Countryside Escapes ๐ŸŒณ๐Ÿก

The Cotswolds

CotswoldsImage credit: ChrisAt | Getty images Signature

  • Destination: The Cotswolds, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, promises a quintessential English countryside experience.
  • Activities: Explore winding footpaths through rolling hills, hop on a boat for a leisurely river cruise, and meander through charming market towns and villages.

  • Highlights: Indulge in delicious meals at traditional pubs, and book a stay in a cozy Cotswold cottage for the ultimate rural retreat.

  • Nearest Train Stations: Kemble, Cheltenham Spa, Moreton-in-Marsh.

The Lake District

LakedImage credit: oversnap | Getty Images Signature

  • Destination: The Lake District, renowned for its stunning landscapes and tranquil lakes, offers a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle.

  • Activities: Embark on scenic hikes around crystal-clear lakes, enjoy a peaceful boat ride on Windermere, and immerse yourself in the local culture in picturesque towns.

  • Highlights: Savour hearty meals in charming Lakeland inns, and cosy up in a traditional Lake District cottage for a truly relaxing break.

  • Nearest Train Stations: Windermere, Oxenholme Lake District, Penrith

The Scottish Highlands

ScothImage credit: Sky_Blue | Getty Images Signature

  • Destination: The Scottish Highlands, a land of dramatic landscapes and rich history, beckons to those seeking true wilderness.

  • Activities: Set out on epic hikes through ancient glens, enjoy a boat trip on Loch Ness, and explore historic castles and distilleries.

  • Highlights: Sip whisky in cosy Highland pubs, and choose from a variety of accommodations, from remote cottages to elegant lodges.

  • Nearest Train Stations: Inverness, Fort William, Aviemore

Adventure Parks & Zoos ๐Ÿฆ๐ŸŽข

Alton Towers

Alton Towers

  • Nearest Train Station: Uttoxeter / Stoke on Trent/ Derby

    Uttoxeter Train Station is the nearest train station to Alton Towers, just 10 miles from the resort. Uttoxeter station is just a 20 minute drive away from the resort or 30 minutes by bus.

    Stoke on Trent Station is 15 miles from Alton Towers Resort. A local taxi would take around 25 minutes to the resort.

    Derby Train Station is around 25 miles from Alton Towers. From there you will need to order a taxi or a car service to arrive at the resort in around 50 minutes to one hour.

  • Activities: Get your heart racing on world-class roller coasters like "The Smiler" and "Wicker Man." Explore "CBeebies Land" for family-friendly fun.
  • Highlights: Experience the adrenaline rush of looping and twisting rides, and don't miss the stunning gardens and water features.

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Wildlife Parks

Image credit: Michael Slater-Jones | Getty Images

  • Nearest Train Stations: Varies by location (e.g., Chester Zoo - Chester Railway Station, Edinburgh Zoo - Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station)
  • Activities: Marvel at incredible wildlife from around the globe, including lions, tigers, penguins, and more. Learn about conservation efforts and enjoy interactive exhibits.
  • Highlights: Witness majestic animals up close, attend feeding sessions, and support vital conservation initiatives.

Plan Your Journey: With the user-friendly Trainsplit website and mobile app, planning your half-term getaway is a breeze. Simply enter your departure station, destination, and travel dates to find the best train fares and schedules. Plus, we'll help you save on your tickets with our split-ticketing options. ๐ŸŽซ๐Ÿš„

The Trainsplit app makes it easy to find cheaper alternative journeys through split ticketing.

Remember, train travel offers the freedom to relax, enjoy scenic views, and make cherished memories with your loved ones. No traffic jams, no parking hassles – just pure family fun!

So, why wait? Start planning your autumn half-term adventure today. Book your train tickets, pack your bags, and get ready for an unforgettable autumn break.

Check out our other blog posts

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trains to isle of wight

National parks by train

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