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Silver Travel - Email Newsletter

Dear Silver Travellers

All aboard! As lockdown lifts and lifting of travel restrictions seems imminent, we have been looking at how we travel and trains (steam, sleeper, luxury, speedy, heritage, not to mention various gauges) just kept popping up, so it seems a good time for a newsletter dedicated to rail holidays. And train travel certainly seems to be the preferred mode of transport for a range of well-known faces, including Gyles Brandreth (see the end of the newsletter for his favourite train sweater), Tony Robinson, Michael Portillo and Alexander Armstrong! Gricers everyone.

It’s a great alternative to flying to Europe and if you are travelling far away, we can highly recommend a train journey as a way of seeing wonderful scenery and dramatic mountains. Grandchildren will, of course, love the adventure of trains and a sleeper train surely fires everyone’s imagination, even without Hercules Poirot. We’re looking forward to GWR’s Night Riviera sleeper service down to Cornwall resuming soon.

If you hadn’t thought about a rail holiday before, enjoy reading our selection of features on train travel, or take a look at our partners who offer rail holidays in the UK, Europe and beyond.

Recommended partners for rail holidays & tours

Save on your next adventure with Railbookers

Railbookers offer an ever-expanding portfolio of holidays to inspiring, sought-after destinations across Europe, the USA, Canada and beyond. Discover the joy of the journey, pass spectacular scenery and enjoy a hassle-free holiday. Choose from an expertly-planned, independent holiday or let one of the knowledgeable Rail Experts build your own tailor-made trip. All you have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the journey. And remember, with Railbookers, you can go any day, anywhere, any time. For a limited time, save £300 per couple on Swiss and Scottish holidays inclusive of 4 nights or more.

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A taste of the Med on your doorstep

Boasting a climate more than 11°C warmer than the rest of the UK, the delightful Isles of Scilly are Britain’s answer to your next Mediterranean holiday. Home to tropical gardens, azure-fringed beaches and some unbeatable seafood restaurants, these islands are area treat to discover, especially when paired with their closest neighbour, Cornwall. Visit the country’s most southerly point, Land’s End with Great Rail Journeys, and explore the pretty seaside town of St Ives. An overnight journey on the Riviera Sleeper train back to London transports you to a bygone time of rail travel, a memorable end to a fantastic holiday.

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Ffestiniog Travel – Discover Wales – steam, slate & castles!

Take a wonderful 10-day escorted rail tour of North Wales and ride six of the region's famous narrow gauge steam railways. Discover a taste of Welsh wine and beer with visits to the Pant Du Vineyard and Purple Moose Brewery and delve into its colourful history at Criccieth, Penrhyn, Caernarfon and Conwy Castles as well as learning about the slate mining industry that shaped the area. Add in scenic Snowdonia National Park and time to explore Betws-y-Coed, Bala, Beddgelert and Llandudno. Travel, excursions, accommodation, and many meals included, plus a tour leader throughout. Departs 9 September 2020 - 10 Days from £1,740 pp.

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Magnificent Canada from the tracks

Travelling across Canada by rail is a fabulous way to see the country and Frontier Canada’s Capital Experience package shows the best of Ontario and Quebec using VIA Rail. Prices for 2021 excluding flights start from £1,950 pp including all train travel in business class and city sightseeing in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City as well as a full-day tour to Niagara Falls.

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The Indian sojourn luxury train journey with Cox & Kings

Enjoy luxurious train travel aboard the Deccan Odyssey, from Mumbai to Delhi. Classic sights along the journey include the iconic Taj Mahal, colourful cities of Jodhpur and Jaipur, Udaipur’s beautiful Lake Pichola, plus tiger spotting opportunities in Ranthambore. 11-day private tour from £4,885 including flights. Late 2020 and early 2021 dates now available.

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Explore Switzerland via its spectacular rail routes with Titan Travel

Board the Bernina Express to climb the 2,253m high Bernina Pass before travelling past the breathtaking Alpine views in the slow-paced Glacier Express for an unforgettable adventure by rail. Titan Travel offers an 8-day ‘Switzerland’s Spectacular Rail Journeys’ escorted tour from £1,999 per person. The tour includes 7 nights hotel accommodation, 10 meals, and 4 excursions, including full-day excursions on the Bernina Express and the Glacier Express. The price also includes Titan’s VIP door-to-door service, a tour manager and return flights from London Heathrow with BA. Based on departures 7 July 2021.

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Enjoy a Highland fling with Jules Verne

Experience the romance and craft of the ‘Golden Age of Travel’ on this spectacular journey on the majestic, steam-hauled Mayflower from London to Scotland. Cloaked in a haunting air of mystery with an incredible mix of cultures, the region's turbulent history has left behind some beautiful and romantic castles, with the most unparalleled scenery and some of the most scenic railway journeys in Europe. Travel in Pullman-style carriages and stay in specially selected hotels in Edinburgh, Inverness, Turnberry and Skipton. 8 nights from £3,995.

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Discover the secrets of the Manx Isle in 2021

Grand UK Holiday’s escorted holiday by rail combines the comfort of rail from London with the unique gems of the enchanting Isle of Man where one thousand years of history, fabulous scenery and the magic of steam and electric railways await. 10% discount for Silver Travel Club members.

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Travel by train with TransIndus in Japan

Japan’s first luxury sleeper train journeys around the southern island of Kyushu, through the five prefectures Fukuoka, Oita, Miyazaki, Kagoshima and Kumamoto. Highlights include the popular tourist town Yufuin and its many hot springs, the stunning scenery of the Aso region, a night at a traditional ryokan and of course the experience of the Seven Stars cruise train.

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New Zealand’s trains on both islands

Travel north to south in this incredibly diverse country taking the scenic route, staying at comfortable hotels along the way. This incredible journey, arranged by New Zealand Sky from just £2,999 including flights, starts in Auckland and ends in Christchurch, with days in Manapouri and Dunedin too. There will be fjords, mountains, geysers, beaches and friendly towns – all to be enjoyed whilst taking the train.

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Russia, Mongolia and China on the Trans Siberian with Saga

Possibly the ultimate train adventure takes you across 9 different time zones, travelling from Moscow to Beijing, via the wilds of Mongolia to mystical Lake Baikal and its capital, Ulaanbaatar. You could visit for the unique Naadam Festival, which celebrates Mongolian sports and culture. Travelling with Saga in a small group, you’ll experience the vast swathes of these countries and be immersed in the daily life of your fellow passengers from every corner of this region.

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Citalia takes you to Italy by rail

In just a few hours from London, on Eurostar you can be in Paris, and then travel on to Milan from where the whole of Italy opens up. Citalia will create the rail journey of your dreams – the Lakes, Rome, Florence, Sorrento and Naples. Italian trains are speedy, clean and punctual, and the views marvellous! Or for a real treat, the Venice Simplon Orient Express will transport in true luxury to this romantic destination, where Italian culture and the glories of the Renaissance can be enjoyed.

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South Africa – Cape Town to Pretoria and beyond with Riviera Travel

This 18-day tour takes in all South Africa’s major highlights and includes the Rovos train, harking back to the nostalgic days of luxurious train travel, with dark wood panelling and superb staterooms. Meals onboard are of exceptional fine dining quality, with South African wines to accompany them. Stop in Kimberley, home of the diamonds, and be bowled over by African sunsets from the observation cars. It’s the perfect way to take in this breathtaking landscape.

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Ffestiniog Travel – wines of southern Romania

This is a new tour in 2021 that visits several wineries in Romania, deemed one of the safest places to visit following Covid-19. This small escorted tour, with just 12 people, will explore the historic cities of Timisoara, Sibiu, Brasov, enjoy a cruise through the impressive and beautiful Danube Gorge and tour the scenic district of Oltenia. You will also take a journey on a heritage tram to Rasinari, enjoy 5 wine tastings in rural surroundings and stay in characterful and comfortable accommodation to experience fully the stunning mountain, forest and river locations. Departs 15 June 2021 for 12 days.

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And finally ...

We love this photo of our Silver Travel Awards host Gyles Brandreth wearing one of his favourite lockdown sweaters, celebrating his enduring affections for trains. Mind the gap!

With best wishes from
The Silver Travel Advisor Team