Easter days out by train for couples

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Fi Darby

27 Mar 20239 min read

It’s hard to think of anything that’s wrong with Easter. Set to coincide with the turn of winter into spring, it marks a time of renewal, regrowth and more time to spend together. With longer evenings and hopefully better weather come the prospect of exploring new places, seeing new sights and enjoying time with the people we love. The days are already drawing out so it’s only natural our ways of spending time together should turn outwards too.

But exploring the UK together can sometimes be a bit fraught. This is a busy country and it can seem even more so when you’re trying to find ways to be alone. Deciding who’s going to drive, negotiating traffic and finding parking spots can often spoil a day out for couples before it even gets going. So why not try something different this Easter and have some time away together by train. Once you’ve settled down side-by-side in your seat, you’ll find you have time to gaze out of the window, enjoy a coffee and perhaps even chat with each other for the first time in ages. And of course, you’ll have your couple's day out to look forward to.


Whether you’ve got time for a long weekend or just a day in a lovely spot, we have some great ideas for days out by train. We also have a few hints and tips about how to make sure both of you have a great time. Keep reading to find out more.

Adventure together by train

Adventure 1 - Abseil Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower


If looking up at the Spinnaker Tower cricks your necks, why not launch yourselves off it? You can expect 100-metres worth of adrenaline on this descent of Portsmouth’s iconic landmark and if you’re brave enough to look, you’ll also get to share some amazing harbour views.

Train station: Portsmouth Harbour station

Walk from station: 5 minutes

Cost: £140 (gold package)

Booking: At least three months in advance

Pack: Tighter fit warm clothing, trainers

Be prepared for: Weather and perhaps a few nerves

We want to be together: Ask if you can hold hands on the way down

Abseiling is a hungry business so after your abseil why not ditch the ropes and head even higher up the Spinnaker Tower for high tea in the clouds and a more relaxed look at the views. Or for popular café eats, wander around to the Point to enjoy a view of the tower from the Spinnaker Café.

If you’d like a night to absorb your experience, Portsmouth has plenty of options. For listed building luxury just 2-minutes from the train station try the Ship Leopard Boutique Hotel on the Hard or for something more budget-friendly go for the Holiday Inn Express just round the corner at Gunwharf Quays.

Adventure 2 - Try white water tubing at Cardiff International White Water Centre


If you’ve ever wondered what it feels like to be thrown down a rapid, this is your chance to find out. You won’t need any previous experience but confidence in the water is required. Your instructor will tell you everything else you need to know. 

Train station: Cogan station

Walk from station: 10 minutes

Cost: £65 (for 2 hours)

Booking: Required

Pack: Swimwear, a towel, £1 for a locker. Specialist equipment provided.

Be prepared for: Falling in

We want to be together: The whole family will want to join you on this one so keep it quiet!

Once you’ve dried off you could take the train back into Cardiff Central station to find a whole range of eateries and places to stay but a more satisfying option might be to walk over to Portway Marina where you’ll find The Deck restaurant on the waterfront.

Adventure 3 - Coasteer then craft-beer at Howl Brewery in Par


There’s nothing like jumping from rocks into chilly sea water to help you work up an appetite, which is good news if you’ve just hopped off the train at Par because Howl Brewery offer a fabulous activity, pizza and beer package.

Train station: Par Station

Walk from station: 17 minutes

Cost: £45 - £100

Booking: Required

Pack: Swimming costume, towel and trainers

Be prepared for: Wildlife, rocks and a unique view of the coast

We want to be together: Who will take the biggest leap first?

Par is a holiday resort and will just about be waking up at Easter. Back towards the station you’ll find the four-star Royal Inn but Par Sands Holiday Park is nearer to the beach and has an indoor swimming pool to help you get over all that cold water.

Explore a castle by train

Castle 1 - Delight at Arundel Castle’s tulip festival


You don’t have to visit the Netherlands to experience stunning tulip displays. This year’s tulip festival at Arundel Castle will have over 100,000 blooms all arranged to impress and even celebrate the forthcoming coronation of King Charles III.

Train station: Arundel station

Walk from station: 10-minutes

Cost: £14 (garden only)

Booking: Online but tickets can be bought at the gate

Pack: Comfortable shoes and a jacket

Be prepared for: The urge to take copious photos

We want to be together: Pack a picnic, bring a blanket and find your perfect spot

Arundel Castle has a restaurant, coffee shop and garden tea terrace but responsible picnicking is also allowed. Arundel has a range of self-catering cottages, some of them with riverside views.

Castle 2 - Discover a room made of gold at Windsor Castle

State Rooms 1010w

Scene of royal weddings and funerals as well as home to the Royal Family, Windsor Castle is familiar to us all but nothing beats a real-life visit. Hop on the train to walk in the steps of 40 monarchs, watch the changing of the Guard, then marvel at the gold covered Grand Reception Room.

Train station: Windsor and Eton Central station

Walk from station: 6 minutes

Cost: £28 (advance)

Booking: Tickets can also be bought on the day

Pack: Comfortable shoes, your best curtsy

Be prepared for: A steep walk up to the castle, plenty of walking, airport style security

We want to be together: Enjoy a royal wedding moment on the steps of St George’s Chapel

If you fancy high tea at the castle, head to the Undercroft Café where you can sometimes also buy ice cream produced from Windsor’s own dairy herd. If you didn’t expect to find accommodation so near the Castle, you might be interested in Travelodge Windsor Central just a six-minute walk away.


Catch the train to a date with nature

Nature date 1 - Hear curlews bubble at Insh Marshes


RSPB Insh Marshes sits in the shadow of the often-snowclad Cairngorms and takes in 10 square kilometres of Speyside floodplain. In the spring the magnificent whooper swans are starting to leave for Iceland but you can expect to spot snipe, redshank and lapwing as well as hear the bubbling song of the curlew.

Train station: Kingussie station

Walk from station: 31 minutes

Cost: Free (donations welcome)

Booking: Not required

Pack: Warm clothes, walking footwear and a picnic

Be prepared for: The nearest toilets are in Kingussie

We want to be together: Whooper swans mate for life (up to 24 years)

Insh Marshes is more about wildlife than facilities but you’ll find cafes back in Kingussie and a whole range of eating and staying options just up the track in Aviemore. We loved the Winking Owl’s dog-friendly bothy bar.


Nature date 2 - Spot a kingfisher at Attenborough Nature Reserve


Attenborough Nature Reserve, opened in 1966 by the great man himself, is a large complex of flooded gravel pits that prove green space and a home for wildlife can be created from once industrial sites. Watch out for butterflies, dragonflies and migratory waders while you listen for the bittern’s strange boom.

Train station: Attenborough station

Walk from station: 10 minutes across an amazing wetland landscape

Cost: Free (donations via Broxtowe Lotto)

Booking: Not required

Pack: Binoculars, walking footwear and a warm jacket

Be prepared for: Dog must be on leads, wheelchair friendly nature trails

We want to be together: Perhaps a little competition. Who can hear a bittern, spot an oyster catcher and work out which flowers the insects are visiting first?

Attenborough Nature Centre has a café, and ice cream pod as well as a picnic area. We recommend visiting all three and if you fancy exploring further into Nottingham, why not stay at the Village Hotel just a 20-minute walk away.

Enjoy an afternoon tea for two


Set decadently between lunch and dinner, afternoon tea always feels like a treat, especially if you’ve been exploring or shopping together. We’ve found some delightful afternoon tea locations right across Great Britain and they’re all just a short walk from a train station. Relax, sip delicately and don’t forget to check the jam and cream etiquette before you spread.

Harbour Kitchen St Ives  is a 7-minute walk from St Ives Station

The Grand Hotel is right next door to Torquay Station

Hotel du Vin is an 18-minute walk from Bristol Temple Meads Station

The Alpine Coffee Shop is almost on the platform of Betws-y-Coed Station

The Majestic Hotel is a 12-minute stroll from Harrogate Station

The Ness Walk Hotel is a lovely 17-minute riverside walk from Inverness Station

The Compleat Angler is just 12-minutes across the Thames from Marlow Station

 Make your journey your destination

 Paul Hutton Hvp Rlnrp Gu Unsplash

Train journeys aren’t just about getting there. Our Great British train lines offer views of some of the most amazing scenery available and always give a different perspective to travelling by road. We definitely have our favourites and we think you’ll like our top five British train lines too.

  1. For lochs, viaducts and wild country try the West Highland Line from Fort William to Mallaig.
  2. For amazing sea views experience the Riviera Line from Exeter to Newton Abbot.
  3. To cross moors and the famous Ribblehead viaduct, take the Settle to Carlisle Line.
  4. To really know you’re in Cornwall, enjoy the St Ives Bay line from St Erth to St Ives.
  5. To traverse a whole country, hop on board the Heart of Wales Line.


A journey to bring you together

When you travel by train, your journey is part of the experience so quality time on board really matters. We know you can’t control everything, especially the type of leaves but we do have a few tips on how to make your couples train trip as enjoyable as possible. From platform know-how to getting the best train seats, we have a few tips.


How to get the best train seats


  1. Have a look at First Class prices
  2. Consider a weekend upgrade to First Class
  3. Work out if a Two Together Railcard will save you money
  4. Make sure you make a seat reservation


How to avoid platform disappointment


  1. Check for train strikes before you book your activities
  2. Check your train is on time before you leave home
  3. Check parking if you’re driving to the station
  4. Arrive at the station early
  5. Check your platform when you arrive
  6. Ask a member of staff for help if you need it


How to make a longer train journey seem shorter

  1. Pack drinks and snacks so you aren’t reliant on-board catering.
  2. Take something to read, puzzles to complete or a game to play.
  3. Bring a jacket to wear on board if things get chilly.
  4. Go to the loo when you need to. Some things just don’t go away.

Try ticket splitting for the train journey you want at a better price

If you’re trying to strike a balance between the best train destinations and your travel budget, it makes sense to give ticket splitting a try. Booking your train trip as a single journey can sometimes cost more than booking it in shorter sections. Doing this used to take a lot of time and effort but the Trainsplit app has made it easy and really cost effective. Simply enter your travel date and train stations then let Trainsplit check all the ticketing options for you. You’ll get a choice about which one you choose, and the app will tell you whether you’ve saved money.


You’ll find the Trainsplit app on both Google Play and in the App Store. Make plans together or surprise the one you love. Whichever you choose, we wish you a fantastic couple's day out by train.


Living in Devon, Fi is an outdoor writer, blogger and children’s author. She is also an Ordnance Survey Champion and a keen walker and outdoor swimmer. Fi tries to enjoy as many of her outdoor activities as possible by train instead of by car.


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