Holidays by rail

Mark and David's verdict
International rail travel is seeing a renaissance, with exciting new itineraries and more luxurious trains making it more popular than ever. You can board a train in the UK and avoid air travel altogether, or experience some of the world's most dramatic scenery from the comfort of your seat. Either way, the journey is part of the fun, and you can travel in the knowledge that your choice of transport is having a minimal impact on the environment.

Recommended tour operator: Fred.\ Holidays

Fred.\ Holidays Rail Journeys says

Rail travel is the most relaxing and eco-friendly way to arrive directly into the heart of any destination – and the journey itself is an integral part of the holiday experience.

  • No-fly journeys
  • Low emissions
  • Rail & Sail

Take the time to admire the scenery as you travel through countryside and cities. By train, you can journey into the clouds, through mountain ranges and across wild plains. You can steam through canyons, skirt the edges of lakes, rivers and oceans, and even spot wildlife – all without leaving the comfort of your seat.

We tailor-make rail holidays in the UK, no-fly European itineraries, Fly & Rail adventures further afield and even Rail & Sail trips – all to fit a wide range of budgets and interests. With the emphasis on flexibility, our expert team will make sure your holiday runs seamlessly from the moment you step on board until you arrive home. We even offer a very reasonably-priced luggage service, sending your cases ahead so they are waiting for you on arrival.

All our European no-fly holidays include rail travel from the UK. Examples include a memorable steam locomotive ride through Germany’s Harz Mountains, the Bernina Express between Switzerland and Italy, the luxurious El Transcántabrico through Northern Spain and Norway’s Bergen and Flåm Railways.

Further afield, our team can tailor-make your perfect rail holiday whether you want a once-in-a-lifetime experience such as South Africa’s Blue Train, to ride coast to coast across Australia or to explore the USA via the Amtrak network.

Our Rail & Sail holidays are a great way to combine a memorable rail holiday with a cruise. Departing by rail from London St Pancras, for example, you can ride along La Ligne des Cévennes before boarding the Star Clipper tall ship in Cannes for a cruise under sail along the French Riviera and Corsica. Or fly to Canada to ride the famed Rocky Mountaineer train and cruise around Alaska, all in a two-week holiday.

Last but definitely not least, our best-selling Costa Rica and Peru adventure includes a cruise around Costa Rica on board Star Clipper and a stay at Machu Picchu itself, travelling to this Unesco World Heritage Site on board the Hiram Bingham, a Belmond Train. Impeccably designed to echo the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, it oozes 1920s glamour.

Find out more about our rail holidays worldwide, and download our rail holidays brochure.

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Before you book

Travel restrictions have been lifted by the UK, but some other countries still have measures in place. Check the latest government travel advice.