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JOY RIDING

Scenic railways and luxury coaches make getting to your destitation all the more fun

You can get so much sightseeing done on railways

WHO says the journey has to be a chore? With these fab coach and train holidays, getting there is all part of the experience. Ride on some of the most iconic, nostalgic railway lines, from the North Yorkshire Moors to the Indian Pacific.

Or sit on a luxury coach as you enjoy the stunning landscapes of the Lake District or Spain’s Camino de Santiago. TRISHA HARBORD brings you our top ten rail and coach tours.

Moor to enjoy

 Continue by train to the pretty seaside resort of Whitby and enjoy fish and chips on the harbour front
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Continue by train to the pretty seaside resort of Whitby and enjoy fish and chips on the harbour front

HAVE a great family day out travelling on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway – one of the world’s greatest heritage railways. Steam and old diesel trains take you along 24 miles of stunning National Park countryside with services known as the “celebrity station” after being the original Hogsmeade Station in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and featuring in TV’s Heartbeat.

If you fancy another walk through the countryside, take the Rail Trail to Grosmont station where all the trains are stored and maintained.

See nymr.co.uk for more details.

High life in highlands

SCOTLAND’s West Highland railway holds the secret to majestic mountains, steep-sided lochs, moors of heather with an added bonus of wildlife including red deer roaming the remote land.

 You’ll travel on one of the most famous tracks in the world across the Glenfinnan Viaduct
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You’ll travel on one of the most famous tracks in the world across the Glenfinnan Viaduct

The Camino del Norte Walk & Coach, departing May 25 costs from £1,080. See caminoways.com. Flights to Bilbao and returning from Santiago cost around £200 with easyJet.com.

Treat in Cotswolds

IF gardens are your thing, this is the coach trip for you. And you could get a glimpse of Prince Charles digging his plot on this five-day coach break.

 They don't call the Cotswolds the Heart of England for nothing
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They don't call the Cotswolds the Heart of England for nothing

A visit to the royal’s private gardens, which he has spent 38 years creating at Highgrove, Gloucs, are included.

 

The Gardens of the Cotswolds tour, departing from various UK destinations on selected dates between April and August next year, including four nights’ half-board, costs from £380pp. See shearings.com.

Swiss roll delight

THE seven-day train and coach tour, Mont Blanc & The Matterhorn, starts with a Eurostar journey from London to Paris and then on to your hotel base in the Swiss mountain village of Leysin.

 The highlight has to be a trip on the Mont Blanc Express
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The highlight has to be a trip on the Mont Blanc Express

 

The escorted tour including six nights’ half-board in a 3H hotel and rail and coach travel, departing St Pancras on January 6, costs from £1,195. See arenarailholidays.co.uk.

Paradise in The Pyrenees

THE mountain range between France and Spain is blessed with spectacular short rail trips.

 An eight-day package included a Little Trains of the Pyrenees train and coach tour
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An eight-day package included a Little Trains of the Pyrenees train and coach tour

Colourful carriages with panoramic windows wind their way through remote villages, valleys and over viaducts, so you’ll need a head for heights.

 

The tour including seven nights half-board in a Roses hotel for departures between April and October next year, costs from £799pp.
See arenarailholidays.co.uk.

Ski safari in Norway

TRAVEL between ski resorts by train. The eight-night Fjords & Mountains Ski Safari starts in the vibrant capital of Oslo where you board the Bergen Railway, the highest mainline railway in Northern Europe.

 The final destination is Bergen, a UNESCO World Heritage site
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The final destination is Bergen, a UNESCO World Heritage site

Seeing spectacular waterfalls along the way, you stop in Gello, with gentle skiing terrain for families and beginners.

 

The final destination is Bergen, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The safari, including return flights from Gatwick, accommodation and transfers in January and March next year, costs from £1,199pp. For details, see skisafari.com.

Autumn gold in the lakes

ON this three-day coach tour with a train ride thrown you can witness autumn colours as you travel through Derbyshire’s Peak District, calling at Matlock, Bakewell and Miller’s Dale.

 Book yourself a two-night holiday for £189pp
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Book yourself a two-night holiday for £189pp

 

Autumn Gold In The Lakes – with coach pick-up points across the UK on Oct 26 and including two nights’ accommodation with half-board – is from £189pp. See newmarketholidays.co.uk.

Hopping around America

IF you don’t want to drive, you’ll love Busabout.

 You can stay for as long as you like in accommodation recommended by Busabout or choose your own.
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You can stay for as long as you like in accommodation recommended by Busabout or choose your own.

The flexible travel expert is launching its hop-on hop-off coach network on America’s West Coast so you

You can stay for as long as you like in accommodation recommended by Busabout or choose your own.

The three-day West National Parks Adventure, including B&B, starts from £539pp. See busabout.com for details.

Australian adventure

BOARD the Indian Pacific train in Perth to go from the Indian Ocean through the breadth of Australia to Sydney on the Pacific coast.

 Part of a 12-day trip including stays in Perth and Sydney, excursions and return flights
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Part of a 12-day trip including stays in Perth and Sydney, excursions and return flights

 

After checking in to your cabin for four days, you’ll be off through the Avon Valley while dining in the Queen Adelaide Restaurant. Along the 2,700-mile route, you will stop at the gold rush town of Kalgoorlie, travel through desert landscapes to Cook, head for the city of Adelaide and through the Blue Mountains to Sydney.

Part of a 12-day trip including stays in Perth and Sydney, excursions and return flights. Price from £4,539pp. See shearings.com.

Travel on a Secret Railway Network in London