Adventures by Train

Train adventure ideas

Before you take a look at my list of train adventures below, I’d like to point out that it’s entirely possible to plan your own adventures by train. In fact I recommend you do so. Local line fares are far more reasonable than cross-country ones, and often more fun. With an open mind, you can end up in all kinds of interesting places.

To get you started on your own train-travel adventure career I’ve started compiling my own train adventure list. Each one has station information, a walking route on the OS Maps app, a route description, some helpful activity tips, and the story of how my adventure went. Feel free to give some of them a try. Nothing too scary has happened so far.

Although there was that solo wild camping night on Dartmoor without a torch.

Adventures by train you can try yourself


  1. Walk the Worcester and Birmingham Canal

Travel from city to city the slow way along one of England’s most important trade and social routes. The Worcester and Birmingham Canal is a fascinating place to be. A place you’ll feel you know well once you’ve walked it’s 30 plus miles.

Train stations: Birmingham New Street and Worcester Shrub Hill

2. Wild camp on Dartmoor

Push your confidence boundaries on a camping adventure like no other. Solo wild camping on Dartmoor is a unique experience but so is doing it with a friend. You’ll either never forget it or wish you could.

Train station: Ivybridge

3. Sea swim along South Devon’s Riviera Line

Walk, swim or ride the train. The Riviera Line won’t disappoint, whichever you choose. Where else can you enjoy sea views by train then jump out to take them in the slow way on foot. Hop on board, this is a ride you won’t forget.

Train stations: Teignmouth and Dawlish Warren

4. Walk the Mawddach Estuary Trail

With mountain views ahead, and sea views behind, you won’t know where to look on this stunning walk. The Mawddach Trail from Barmouth to Dolgellau will take you right next to the track over the famous Barmouth Bridge on foot. Then onward beyond your expectations.

Train station: Barmouth

5. Wild swim in the River Dart

Above the weir at Totnes the River Dart loses it’s brackish, tidal tang. It’s a committed splash from the pontoon into the water but once you’re in, the gentle glide through the Dartington Estate is surpassed only by the speeded up return back downstream.

Train station: Totnes

So why adventure by train?

Sustainable travel is a complicated affair

If you’re reading this you love to explore. You enjoy the challenge of getting from A to B but want to make sure your travel habits support rather than damage the places you visit. And the planet.

Like me, you’ve probably discovered that sustainable travel isn’t simple.

It’s multi-faceted. Which makes it tricky to decide which approaches to go for or what we need to change. Here are four elements that can support a sustainable travel habit.

  1. Contributing to local communities.
  2. Offering respect and support to local projects.
  3. Choosing activities that do less harm to the environment.
  4. Selecting travel methods that minimise carbon emissions.

Planes, trains, or walking around naked

Ten of the best walks in Devon

If I wanted to select the most sustainable transport mode, I’d have to go for barefoot naked walking. No carbon emissions, no product wear and tear, just light footprints through the sand.

I might get to the sand because I live in Devon but I doubt I’d get much further.

I love walking, and I love my local area but local exploration doesn’t always satisfy my yearning to adventure further afield. I’m not adverse to the occasional plane flight or trip in my camper van. But I do want to investigate alternatives. Climate change does matter to me.

Which is why I started to adventure by train.

Life is more curious by train

If sustainability doesn’t turn you on, I’m happy to tell you that climate change isn’t the only reason to experience your adventures by train. Here are ten more really good ones.

  1. Traffic queues are no fun, even when compared to busy trains
  2. You don’t have to pay to park your bottom at a train station
  3. Train adventures can really exercise your planning skills
  4. Sitting on a train is far more relaxing than driving a car
  5. From a train you get to gaze where other eyes don’t roam
  6. Walking to and from train stations can keep you fit
  7. Train trips give nervous or non-drivers opportunities to explore
  8. If a train is cancelled, you’ll probably be sent a bus
  9. Adventuring by train can improve your map reading skills
  10. Talking to strangers on trains can reveal all kinds of useful travel tips

Two top train travel tips

  1. Want a few more minutes at your location? The Signalbox website shows real-time train delays right across Great Britain.
  2. Looking for cheaper train fares? Consider ticket splitting, it’s easier than you think.

Give our railways a go today

If like me you’re fed up with overcrowded roads, parking hassle and knowing that your travel is harming the planet, why not have a go at adventuring by train. I’m going to keep adding to the list so keep an eye on this page. And please let me know on social media how you get on.

Who knows where the great adventure train might take us all next.

How possible is it to adventure by public transport in the UK?