Tour Britain by rail: tourist tips and how the railway benefits local communities

This English Tourism Week and Scottish Tourism Month we celebrate the cross-country connections the railway provides tourists from Britain and beyond.

The railway stretches across most of Britain and contributes to the country’s economic and social development, bringing jobs, transport links and other benefits to local communities.

Improvements to the railway help local areas develop and thrive. For example, our redevelopment of Birmingham New Street station contributed to record growth for the city – creating a destination station with retail offerings to pull in crowds, bringing new jobs and regenerating nearby areas.

We also helped build the Borders Railway, the first railway line in the Scottish Borders for 50 years. Since it opened in 2015, more tourism and more affordable housing have come about as a result of the new infrastructure, with increased economic and population growth.

Improving stations helps to transform accessibility and facilities, while community partnerships give a new lease of life to stations that have seen better days, making them attractive and welcoming gateways to tourists and locals alike.

Network Rail renovation wins national conservation award

Popular tourist destinations by train

Visit Britain has put together a useful guide to touring Britain by train, through scenic countryside to top tourist sites in England, Scotland and Wales. It features guided itineraries and tips on rail travel savings. Take a look.

There is something undeniably romantic about travelling by rail around Britain. Perhaps it is the grand architecture of our historic railway stations, the beautiful scenes of rolling countryside or the quaint villages passing by the window. Whatever the reason, journeying by train adds a real sense of adventure to any trip and is the most picturesque and relaxing way to discover the real Britain. A fast rail network and frequent services allow you to book a short trip from London and be in Scotland within four hours and 30 minutes, so you can take in the varied history and culture across Britain.

Charlie Wilde - rail project manager, VisitBritain