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    18 Affordable Day Trips Across Britain

    Take the scenic route.

    1. Salisbury to Bath

    Flickr: rmalinger / Creative Commons

    Journey length: 1 hour

    Budget: £30 return

    This scenic adventure across English countryside will take you from one picturesque historical spot to another, and offers quite the view along the way. Roll past the ancient plains of Salisbury and keep your eyes peeled as you pass Warminster, where UFO sightings were prevalent in the 1960's. Enjoy the cosy atmosphere of the towns peppered across the country side, and don't miss a chance to visit the Jane Austen Centre once you've alighted in Bath.

    2. Skipton to Carlisle

    Flickr: arg_flickr / Creative Commons

    Journey length: 2 hours

    Budget: £46 return

    Spanning the heart of the northern England, this stunning countryside journey takes you across the Pennine Hills for unparalleled views of the region's sweeping landscapes and towering viaducts. Dip into the Ribble Valley, along Blea Moore and ascend to the peak of Ais Gill before reaching the border town of Carlisle, where you can explore the 11th century Carlisle Castle.

    3. Aberystwyth to Devil's bridge

    Flickr: rogdavies / Creative Commons
    Flickr: brucerustonphotos / Creative Commons

    Journey length: 1 hour

    Budget: £20 return

    See the Rheidol Valley by steam train on this fantastic journey from the seaside town of Aberystwyth to the stunning inland falls of Devil's Bridge. The narrow cliffside track offers jaw dropping views of the river and valley, and once you've arrived at Devil's Bridge, you can follow a number of walks to see the falls up close.

    4. Inverness to Dunrobin Castle / Creative Commons

    Journey length: 2 hours, 10 minutes

    Budget: £20 return

    Take this fairytale trip through northern Scotland to admire the breathtaking countryside and stunning architecture that runs rampant throughout the area. The route takes you along the shores of Dornoch Firth, through the Kyle of Sutherland, and through the villages surrounding Lairg. When you alight, head straight for the incredible gardens on the grounds of Dunrobin Castle.

    5. Plymouth to Penzance

    Journey length: 2 hours

    Budget: £20 return

    Cross moors, woodlands and rivers for spectacular views of the coast on this Cornwall day trip. The rail journey will take you past the striking Moorswater Viaduct, through the green and dense Fawley Valley, and along the coastline of Carlyon Bay before you alight in picturesque Penzance, where you can visit the stunning St Michael's Mount.

    6. Yeovil to Weymouth

    Journey length: 50 minutes

    Budget: £18 return

    Follow the countryside to the coast on this short but scenic journey through the west country. Once you've traveled through the South Dorset Downs by tunnel and emerged to stunning views of the River Frome and Dorchester, be sure to get some fresh air with a walk along the beaches of Weymouth and catch a show at the seaside Punch and Judy stall.

    7. Cambridge to King's Lynn

    Flickr: nigel_brown / Creative Commons

    Journey length: 45 minutes

    Budget: £16 return

    Follow the River Cam on this historical train tour through Cambridgshire. Set out from the university city and watch villages, cathedrals, and lovely woods pass you by as you approach the coastal town of King's Lynn. Once you've arrived, take a history walk starting with a a wander through St Margaret's 12th century church and make your way to The Walks, an urban park dating back to the 18th century.

    8. London to Chappel & Wake Colne

    Flickr: theoldwoolshop / Creative Commons

    Journey length: 1 hour, 5 minutes

    Budget: £50 return

    Escape from city life into the country on this lovely journey from London Liverpool Street to the villages of Chappel & Wakes Colne. Along the way you'll pass through rolling hills and catch site of Colne Valley's impressive 32-arch viaduct. Take the journey in early autumn to see the countryside in stunning colour, and so as not to miss out on the Chappel Beer Festival.

    9. Shrewsbury to Hereford

    Flickr: chudsonphoto / Creative Commons
    Flickr: briantaylor / Creative Commons

    Journey length: 55 minutes

    Budget: £42 return

    Gaze out at the breathtaking Shropshire Hills along this journey through the heart of England. The hour long journey will take you through sweeping countryside and past historical monuments, including the 13th century Stokesay Castle manor house. While in the charming Hereford city, explore the Cider Museum, or even plan your trip around the annual International Cider Festival.

    10. Swansea to Llandrindod

    Flickr: 21081514@N08 / Creative Commons

    Journey length: 2 hours, 20 minutes

    Budget: £25

    Ride across Welsh country on a trip from coastal Swansea to Victorian Llandrindod. Along the way you'll take in the sprawling green landscape and stunning Cynghordy viaduct. Alight at Llandrindod and explore the town's array of arts and crafts shops and collections, or spend the day fishing in Rock Park.

    11. Manchester to Clitheroe

    Journey length: 1 hour, 20 minutes

    Budget: £22 return

    Take in the northern English countryside on this stunning trip from Manchester's city centre to the old market town of Clitheroe. The trip will take you through the East Lancashire hills and charming villages before you reach your destination at Clitheroe. Add some flavour to the experience, with a visit to Clithero's world famous sausage shop, or plan your journey in August to hit the Clitheroe Food Festival.

    12. Brighton to Chichester

    Journey length: 55 minutes

    Budget: £26 return

    Take a trip along the southern coast on this gorgeous stretch of railway between Londoners' favourite beach spot and the lovely and artistic city of Chichester. The lovely trip will take you along the sea and through the Arun Valley for stunning natural views before you arrive in Chichester. Prebook tickets for a show at the stellar Chichester Festival Theatre to guarantee a fantastic trip.

    13. Cardiff to Bristol

    Flickr: lukeas09 / Creative Commons

    Journey length: 50 minutes

    Budget: £20 return

    Journey from the edge of Wales's capital to the harbours of Bristol on this short but scenic route spanning the mouth of the Severn River. The trip includes lovely views of the area's natural beauty, and also highlights to industrial history of the region for a diverse and unique rail experience. While in Bristol, head straight for the Clifton Suspension Bridge for a stellar view of the Avon Gorge before grabbing a pint at the 17th century pub, Llandoger Trow.

    14. Huddersfield to Sheffield

    Flickr: woffenden / Creative Commons
    Flickr: 56938735@N03 / Creative Commons
    Flickr: atoach / Creative Commons

    Journey length: 1 hour, 15 minutes

    Budget: £20

    This historic early rail line will take you on a scenic rail journey through the Pennines, past villages and several viaducts. Rain or shine, the wide open countryside of the region promises to awe you as you ride through the hills. Alight at Sheffield and take your pick of the city's 200 parks to explore.

    15. Leeds to York

    Flickr: 118118485@N05 / Creative Commons
    Flickr: mhillier / Creative Commons

    Journey length: 1 hour, 20 minutes

    Budget: £23 return

    Take this extended journey from Leeds to York via Harrogate for a more scenic experience than the regular 23 minute commute between the cities. Along the way you'll pass through the positively charming town of Knaresborough, roll alongside the stunning Aknscliffe Crags, and across the sprawling Yorkshire countryside. In York, be sure to mosey down the Shambles, a historic Medieval shopping street.

    16. Hull to Scarborough

    Flickr: gilesrcook / Creative Commons
    Flickr: matthewhartley369 / Creative Commons
    Flickr: wikimediacommons / Creative Commons

    Journey length: 1 hour, 30 minutes

    Budget: £32 return

    Watch the Yorkshire Coast out your window on this splendid journey from Hull to the seaside of Scarborough. The track curves from Hull through inland Yorkshire before jutting toward the coast for the last leg of the journey, offering diverse views of the stunning coast and rolling hills of the region. When you alight in Scarborough, head for the North or South Bay Beaches for up close views of the coast.

    17. Middlesborough to Whitby

    Journey length: 1 hour, 30 minutes

    Budget: £13 return

    Travel from Middlesbrough's Gothic-style station to the coastal town of Whitby, the inspiration for Bram Stocker's infamous Gothic novel, Dracula. The journey follows the Esk Valley Line from Middlesbrough to the coast, through picturesque villages and the breathtaking Cleveland Hills. Plan your trip for October to get the most of Whitby, where Stoker's novel is celebrated in full swing around Halloween with the Bram Stoker Film Festival.

    18. Edinburgh to Dundee

    Flickr: 99408200@N05 / Creative Commons

    Journey length: 1 hour, 20 minutes

    Budget: £18 return

    Cross Edinburgh's famous Forth Bridge and the iconic Tay Bridge, hugging the Scottish coast on a stunning rail trip to Dundee. The route curves through the beautiful Lomond Hills and provides stunning views of the Firth before calling at Dundee. Alight here to explore the region's three castles, and visit the Mills Observatory.

    All fares according to The Train Line.

    To save money on your rail trips, see these tips.

    These trips are based on suggestions from Railway Day Trips by Julian Holland (Collins, £13.49). For more rail journeys across England, Wales, and Scotland, buy it here.

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