My GWR Pullman Dining Experience

I love trains and I love food (doesn’t everybody?)

Which means that when GWR (Great Western Railway) my local train company asked me if I would like to try the new summer menu for their Pullman dining experience, I jumped at the chance.

And so did my daughter.

In truth I had been looking for a mother and daughter day out, and this seemed like the perfect way to spend some quality time together.

Because eating together is always special.

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South Devon beach hut rental near train stations.

Beach hut life can be every bit as wonderful as the Instagram images make it look. Who wouldn’t want a place on the beach to call their own?

Even just for the day.

  • Somewhere to sit and watch the world
  • Your own private picnic location
  • A piece of seaside real estate to call your own
  • Shelter if the wind gets up

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UK boat trains – how to travel to Europe by train and ferry.

When I was 16 my mum put me on a train from Malvern to Weymouth. It was 1984, I had just completed my O’Level exams and was destined to get some work experience with Aunty Guernsey.

At Weymouth I was supposed to catch the boat train to Weymouth Harbour before getting on board the Guernsey ferry. All I needed to do was change platforms but when I arrived, the boat train wasn’t there.

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Days out by train with a Devon and Cornwall Railcard

It’s no secret that regional train travel in the UK is cheaper than longer distance travel. Especially if your journey necessitates you travelling though certain cities.

But exploring your local area can be great fun.

In June 2023, GWR became the first train company to take their regional railcard digital. I applied for mine online, and now have a Devon and Cornwall Railcard stored safely on my phone.

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Afternoon tea in Devon – near a train station

From train to scone in five minutes.

Sounds great doesn’t it. And let’s face it, when the British seaside weather is playing up, what better way to while away the afternoon than with a traditional afternoon tea.

We’ve discovered that even the best afternoon tea tastes more delicious when you arrive in style by train. No traffic queues, no parking hassle, just a comfy seat and perhaps a book to read.

So sit back and enjoy the view; we’ve got the low-down on the best Devon afternoon teas you can enjoy just a short stroll from their nearest train station.

How’s that for a car-free treat?

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Outdooractive or OS Maps. Which app is best for walking route planning?

There’s a walk out there to suit all my moods. Whether I want to stroll along the coast path, stride across Dartmoor or find a quiet spot for wild camping, all I need is a map to find the best walking route.

Navigation apps can make life easier

I’ve been planning walking routes for a long time now and before the days of navigation apps, we had to measure all the distances (sometimes with string), work out the height gain (by counting contour lines), and calculate section times in our heads.

I’m still proud of my ability to write (and rewrite) a traditional route card but it is a time consuming process.

So these days I often use a route-planning app to speed things up.

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UK watersports centres you can get to by train

Outdoor adventures by train aren’t just possible, they’re great fun. To help me live a more sustainable life, I’ve been researching train adventures for the the last two years now, and I’ve discovered that travelling to my adventure destination by train adds to rather than detracts from my outdoor experience.

Because I can see so much outdoors from the train window. 

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5 fun ways to use your route-planning app

It’s no secret that I think the best route-planning app is OS Maps but whichever map app you choose, you’ll be pleased to hear these clever geographical gizmos aren’t just useful for planning walks, runs and cycle rides.

Route planning apps can also be a whole lot of fun.

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Beer walks by train – craft beer in Cheltenham

The pundits (and brewery statistics) suggest craft beer sales are still struggling in post-pandemic UK but visit Cheltenham and you might be inclined to disagree.

Especially if you visit by train.

Walk just 150 metres from Cheltenham Spa train station and you’ll find yourself at the gates of the fabulously funky Deya brewery and taproom. But Deya isn’t the only first-class craft beer venue Cheltenham has to offer the budding ale pundit. This Regency town has all the ingredients for one of the best craft beer walks you’ll find in the UK, and all within walking distance from the train station.

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The A-Z of train adventures for 2024

Have you started planning your 2024 holidays yet? I know I have. In the darker days of December and January, travel can seem a world away but a few bright photos and a couple of maps can help while away the winter (or encourage us to embrace it).

Train travel will continue to gain popularity in 2024

One of the biggest trends for holidays in 2024 is train travel. Something I’m thrilled about, not just because I really enjoy my own adventures by train, but also because ditching the car and plane for at least some of our adventures is one way we can all reduce our carbon footprints, help slow down climate change, and protect our planet and the creatures (including us) who live on it.

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