Top 5 destinations less than 5 hours from the UK by rail

Belgium / Bruges / Cologne / Deutsche Bahn / Eurostar / France / Germany / Paris / Reims / Uncategorized | July 20, 2016

Whether it’s a springtime sojourn, a ‘summer in the city’ jaunt or a Christmas market extravaganza, we love a European city break! Travelling by train isn’t just comfortable, convivial and scenic – it’s also really fast! With no long check ins for your train and services that run from city-centre straight to city-centre, train travel is often the fastest way to get where you’re going. Of course, there are no ‘hand luggage only’ fares, suitcase weight limits or liquid restrictions either! Just sit back, watch the world go by and admire the views as you speed to your destination!


Here are our top 5 European destinations that are just a quick hop, skip and train ride away!


Bruges, Belgium


The fairytale dreamland of Bruges perhaps needs no introduction. Cobbled lanes, gently meandering canals and the warm glow of lamplight in the evenings consolidate the pretty city as a favorite for romantics looking for a break from city life. One platform change at Brussels will see you in the heart of the Flemish capital in just 3 hours 30 minutes. You can stop off and see the sights of Brussels en route, too, if you like. From there, it’ll be boutique chocolatiers, canal boat trips, exquisite architecture and traditional Flemish dining (with Belgian beer, perhaps!) until it’s time to catch the train home again. Perfect!

Click here to view our city breaks to Bruges, or call us on 020 3327 0560 to speak to a Travel Consultant.


Cologne at sunset


It’s commonly known that Cologne has one of the finest cathedrals in the world, stunning views over the Rhine River, a tempting chocolate museum and plenty of regional dining with refreshing kölsch beer. What’s perhaps lesser known, though, is the fact that it’s incredibly easy to get there by train. With one change in Brussels, you could be marvelling at the gothic cathedral before you know it with a journey time of just 4 hours 11 minutes by train.

Click here to view our city breaks to Cologne, or call us on 020 3327 0560 to speak to a Travel Consultant.


Lyon cityscape from Saone river with colorful houses - iStock_000025438410_Full


With a direct service running between London and Lyon in just 4 hours 41 minutes, a city break to France doesn’t have to be in Paris (we do love Paris though – why not combine the two?). Lyon is the French foodie capital, and the cuisine here truly is second to none – trust us, we’ve tested it! A trip to a Lyonnaise bouchon is a must do for all eager food fanatics, while a leisurely amble to discover the distinctive architecture and riverside views at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône are the perfect way to work up an appetite. The city also enjoys a wonderful position near the Côtes du Rhone, Beaujolais & Burgundy wine regions – why not pick up a bottle to enjoy on the train home (and a bottle to drink at home, too – there are no liquid restrictions on the train!)

Click here to view our city breaks to Lyon, or call us on 020 3327 0560 to speak to a Travel Consultant.


Bikes and Canal - iStock_000048084840_Double


We love the winding canals, chilled out café culture, masterpiece-rich museums and 880,000 bicycles of Amsterdam. What makes us love the city more, though, is the high speed trains that serve its central station – meaning travelling from London is possible in just 4 hours 37 minutes. With just one platform change necessary in Brussels, reaching Amsterdam by high speed train is quick, comfortable and pleasant. You could be on an al fresco terrace, admiring tulips at a flower market, sailing down a canal on a boat trip or indulging your inner culture vulture at the Van Gogh museum before you know it.

Click here to view our city breaks to Amsterdam, or call us on 020 3327 0560 to speak to a Travel Consultant.


Sunrise on vineyard , Montagne de Reims, France


Just a quick hop from Paris, and just 3 hours 45 minutes from London St Pancras by train, fans of the finer things in life have long flocked to Reims for a weekend of le bon vivant. Of course, Reims is perhaps most famous for its deep roots in the heart of the Champagne region! Speak to us about booking  cellar tours and tastings of everything from Moet to Tattinger and Veuve Clicquot – they all call the region home, naturally. Bubbles excluded, Reims boasts the gothic Cathedral of Notre-Dames, Palace of Tau and Basilica of San-Remi. All three are UNESCO World Heritage listed and important works of architecture that have long delighted visitors. What are you waiting for?

Click here to view our city breaks to Reims, or call us on 020 3327 0560 to speak to a Travel Consultant.