Best Restaurants near: Manchester Piccadilly Station

Best Breakfast at Manchester Piccadilly

For our money, the best breakfast at Manchester Piccadilly can be found at the simply marvelous Home Sweet Home, a hip little cafe in the heart of the Northern Quarter.  Particular favourites include their mouthwatering selection of Eggs Benedict variations, a steak and egg hash that is simply to-die-for and, if you really want to throw the diet out of the window, fried chicken and waffles.  Their coffee is excellent too.

Home Sweet Home is around a 12 minute walk from Manchester Piccadilly Station.

Best Working Lunch near new Piccadilly Station

ASK Italian is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the working day, with beautifully designed interiors, fresh ingredients and (most importantly) tasty food, available pronto!  Their afternoon menu offers a decent selection of Italian classics at very reasonable prices, easily making ASK Italian my candidate for the best working lunch near Manchester Piccadilly Station.

ASK Italian is around an 8 minute walk from the station.

Fine Dining near Manchester Piccadilly Station

Believe it or not, Michelin Star-winning chef Michael Caines has a restaurant only a stone’s throw from Piccadilly Station. Situated at the Abode Manchester hotel, Caines’ establishment gives clientele the option to select from a number of different menus, including the Simple a la Carte featuring a delightful corn-fed confit chicken with bacon and maple syrup, or the Prestige tasting menu, opening with Tartar of marinated tuna alongside carillion caviar and wasabi cream. Fine dining near Manchester Piccadilly is not only possible, it’s easy.

Michael Caines is around a 5 minute walk from the station (not a lot of people know that).

Romantic dining near Manchester Piccadilly

If you’re looking for the perfect spot for a romantic meal near Manchester Piccadilly Station, look no further than Rosylee, an authentic teahouse with an intimate feel and delicious food; a perfect place to watch the world go by with your special someone.  The food on offer is simple but stylish, with classic steaks from the grill, tasty desserts and plenty of sharing options, not to mention a comprehensive collection of wines and spirits, should you decide to let your hair down!

Typical student life….

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Rosylee is about a 10 minute walk from Manchester Piccadilly station.

Quick drinks near Manchester Piccadilly

We asked our local expert, Ryan Magee to give us his thoughts on the best watering hole near Manchester Piccadilly.

In my opinion, the best venue for quick drinks near Manchester Piccadilly is a little place I’ve been visiting, on and off, for years:  The Whiskey Jar.  Now of course, their whiskey (and ‘whisky’, if you know the difference!) selection is on-point, but there is far more to this place than finely-crafted single malts; they also offer some of Manchester’s finest cocktails.  My particular favourite is the Whiskey Jar G & T, a gin and tonic with a spritz of Laphroaig single malt, angostura bitters and a dash of peach brandy.  Sublime.

The Whisky Jar is 7 minutes stumbling distance from Manchester Piccadilly station.

What’s in the Station?

There are plenty of places to eat and drink, as well as shops in Manchester Piccadilly Station if you’re in a hurry. Popular outlets include Upper Crust, Starbucks Coffee, Costa Coffee and Burger King.

Guest Contributor: Ryan Magee

Cover Image: Virtual Tourist

on the train

Escape the UK. Get to London Airports by train

Planning on jetting off from one of London’s airports? Don’t splash your holiday cash on pricey airport parking and get stuck in the car, our handy guide to London’s airport rail services will tell you all you need to know about taking the train.

Trains to London Heathrow Airport

1. How to get to Heathrow by train

Heathrow airport is easiest to reach from London Paddington station, which is well connected to destinations in the West Country and across the capital.

Heathrow Express trains depart London Paddington every 15 minutes

Heathrow Express trains depart London Paddington every 15 minutes

  • Heathrow Express Trains from London Paddington to Heathrow Airport run every 15 minutes (Journey Time: 15 minutes, travels direct)
  • Heathrow Connect Trains from London Paddington to Heathrow Airport run every 30 minutes (Journey Time: 25 minutes, travels via Southall and Ealing)
    Travel tip – Heathrow connect trains are generally cheaper than Heathrow Express trains, but both have extra luggage racks to accommodate your baggage.
  • London Underground Piccadilly Line services run between all of the Heathrow airport terminals, and central London. The average journey time on trains to London is 55 minutes.
    Travel Tip – Oyster cards and National Rail travel cards are available to use on this route.
Heathrow Express and Connect trains are equipped with extra luggage racks

Heathrow Express and Connect trains are equipped with extra luggage racks

2. When you arrive at Heathrow

A Map of rail connections between Central London and London Heathrow Airport

A Map of rail connections between Central London and London Heathrow Airport. Image: Heathrow Airport

Trains to London Gatwick Airport

Gatwick stands out as one of London’s airports that is best connected by rail. Gatwick Airport station is easily reached by trains from London Victoria, as well as other locations around the south-east.

Gatwick Express trains operate between London Victoria station and Gatwick Airport every 15 minutes

Gatwick Express trains operate between London Victoria station and Gatwick Airport every 15 minutes. Image: Vera Blossom

1. How to get to Gatwick by train

  • Gatwick Express Trains from London Victoria to Gatwick Airport run every 15 minutes (Journey Time: 30 minutes, travels direct)
    Travel Tip – extra Baggage racks are available on Gatwick Express services.
  • Southern Trains from London Victoria to East Croydon, Southampton, Portsmouth and Brighton stop at Gatwick Airport station. (Journey Time from East Croydon to Gatwick: 25 minutes)
  • Thameslink services operate direct from London Bridge, St Pancras, and Bedford to Gatwick.
    Travel Tip – Thameslink services also connect passengers to London Luton Airport, making transferring between airports easier.
  • First Great Western services link Gatwick Airport to Redhill, Reading and Guildford.
Gatwick Airport train station is a few minutes walk from the South Terminal, and is equipped with extra large lifts to make it easier to carry your bags.

Gatwick Airport train station is a few minutes walk from the South Terminal, and is equipped with extra large lifts to make it easier to carry your bags.

2. When you arrive at Gatwick

Gatwick airport is well connected to major towns and cities in South East England. Image: The London Toolkit

Gatwick airport is well connected to major towns and cities in South East England. Image: The London Toolkit

Trains to London City Airport

London City Airport, located in the heart of London’s Docklands is a popular hub with business travelers, offering fast flights to European City destinations from the heart of the city, but flights from London City now increasingly offer good deals for leisure travelers too.

The Docklands light railway provides the easiest service to London City Airport

The Docklands light railway provides the easiest service to/from London City Airport from Central London

1. How to get to City Airport by train

  • The Docklands Light Railway (DLR) connects London City Airport with Central London.
    Travel Tip – the DLR can get busy during peak times, and there isn’t any extra luggage space. Pack light where possible if flying from London City.
  • The airport has it’s own DLR station. You need to take a DLR train from Canning Town to Woolwich Arsenal.
  • The DLR can be accessed from Stratford International station, or by taking the London Underground Jubilee Line to Canning Town. Local bus services can also connect you from Central London’s rail terminus stations.
    Travel Tip – DLR trains are driverless. Pick a seat at the front of the train, put on your train driver’s hat and let your imagination run wild.

2. When you arrive at City Airport

The London City Airport Docklands Light Railway station exit leads directly into the airport’s tiny terminal, with it’s cafe’s and check in desks. be sure to look out the window during take-off for awesome views of the city of London.

This way up.

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Trains to London Stansted Airport

Stansted is one of London’s busiest airports, and sees lots of early morning flights to top destinations. Fortunately, the airport is well connected by rail, making it perfect for catching an early morning flight.

The Stansted Express offers the fastest service between Stansted Airport and Central London. Image: Visit London

The Stansted Express offers the fastest service between Stansted Airport and Central London. Image: Visit London

1. How to get to Stansted Airport by train

  • Stansted Express Trains from London Liverpool Street to Stansted Airport run every 15 minutes (Journey Time: 47 minutes, stopping at Tottenham Hale) This is the fastest connection to Central London.
    Travel Tip – Avoid Central London by catching the Stansted Express at Tottenham Hale, which is also on the London Underground Victoria Line (36 mins from Stansted).
  • You can also take a train from Stratford to Tottenham Hale to connect to the Stansted Express.
  • CrossCountry operate trains from Stansted to Peterborough and the Midlands, where passengers can take onward connections to Leeds, Newcastle and Scotland.

2. When you arrive at Stansted

Stansted Airport train station is attached to the only terminal, which is used for both departures and arrivals. Be sure to snap an Instagram of the award winning station roof, designed by architect Norman Foster. The terminal itself has been recently renovated and features a great selection of coffee bars and shops.

The route of the Stansted Express. Image: Stansted Express

The route of the Stansted Express. Image: Stansted Express

Trains to London Luton Airport

Luton is best connected to London and Brighton. The nearest station to Luton Airport is Luton Airport Parkway. London Luton Airport is the UK’s 5th largest passenger airport, and saw 10.4 million passengers through it’s gates in 2014.

A train service from London to Bedford calls at Luton Airport Parkway. Image: Wikipedia

A train service from London to Bedford calls at Luton Airport Parkway. Image: Wikipedia

1. How to get to Luton Airport by train

  • Thameslink operates direct services from Brighton and Bedford as well as several London stations including London Blackfriars, Farringdon and Kings Cross St Pancras, with an average journey time of around 40 minutes. (Fastest journey time: 45 minutes)
    Travel Tip – St Pancras has step-free access from Kings Cross, making this a convenient choice for rail passengers using the East Coast Mainline(which connects you to other destinations in the Midlands and North)
  • East Midlands trains services call at Luton Airport Parkway on it’s routes from London to Yorkshire. (Journey time from London is approx 25 mins)

2. When you arrive at Luton

Luton’s nearest station is Luton Airport Parkway, from where rail travelers can continue their journey on the shuttle bus service, this is free to rail ticket holders. (Journey time from Station to Airport: 10 minutes)

Thameslink operates services between Bedford and brighton via London that call at  Luton Airport Parkway.

Map of Thameslink connections to Luton Airport. Image: Thameslink


Best Restaurants near: Birmingham New Street Station

Best Breakfast at Birmingham New Street

If you’re arriving on the train to Birmingham New Street and find yourself looking for breakfast, Cherry Red’s Cafe Bar prides itself on a range of freshly made healthy breakfasts, from American style Pancakes with Maple syrup to the classic full English. Breakfast is served all day at Cherry Red’s, and equally hearty vegetarian and vegan options are also available (including a selection of locally made gluten free and vegan cakes, which claim to “taste even better than the original“)

Cherry Red’s Cafe Bar is located on John Bright Street, less than 5 minutes walk from the station.

Best Working Lunch near new Street Station

Looking for lunch near New Street Station? Look no further than the Bacchus bar at the Burlington Arcade, New Street. This Nicholson’s pub serves up top pub grub in a quiet and dark decor. If you’re feeling ravenous, try the Wild Boar and Choritzo burger. The venue is well known for it’s efficient service, and customers have been known to comment that “lunch at The Bacchus is like being in the set of a Harry Potter book”.

The Crypt like architecture of the Bacchus Bar makes it a unique lunch spot.

Image: Trip Advisor

The Bacchus bar is located at the Burlington Arcade, New Street, less than 5 minutes walk from the station.

Fine Dining near Birmingham Station

If you fancy treating yourself to some quality fine dining new New street, check out Purnell’s. Offering informal fine dining and Michelin-starred cuisine in a victorian building, Purnells is “Dedicated to sociable and relaxed fine dining. The Purnell’s menu offers a variety of inventive ‘Brummie tapas’ dishes, ideal for sharing. Sample dishes include spiced potato and lime croquettes with duck egg mayonnaise, and neck of lamb with capers and basil emulsion” (you may dribble now).

Purnell’s in Birmingham is around 6 minutes walk from Birmingham New Street Station, and less than 5 minutes from Birmingham Snow Hill Station. Tasty!

Romantic meal near Birmingham New Street

Boasting an impressive food and drink menu, Asha’s is a top spot for a romantic meal in Birmingham. Combining Contemporary Indian Dishes (try the Chingri Malai Curry: Sautéed prawns cooked in a tomato-onion purée and finished with coconut milk) and equally stunning cocktail menu (try the Gin and Juniper-based ‘Giddy in Goa).

Guinea Fowl Angar Tikka is one example of the contemporary take on Indan cuisine available at Asha's

Image: Asha’s

Asha’s is less than a 5 minute walk from Birmingham New Street Station.

Quick drinks near Birmingham  New Street

If you fancy a quick tipple before heading home, Brewdog Birmingham a sturdy watering hole, and the Punk IPA a reliable choice. If you glance across the road, you’ll be able to see Cherry Red’s, which will still be open and serving drinks to eager punters. If you’re on the Northern side of the station (near Birmingham Cathederal, check out The Windsor Pub for good drinks deals and food served through to 10pm.

Killing an hour in town… #beer #brewdog

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What’s in the Station?

There are plenty of places to eat and drink, as well as shops in Birmingham New Street Station if you’re in a hurry. Popular outlets include Marks & Spencer, Upper Crust, Starbucks Coffee, Costa Coffee, Camden Foods and Cafe Ritazza.

Newcastle quayside at night time

5 Best Nights Out in Britain

Cities in the UK are generally crammed full of opportunities for exciting things to do at night. Whether you are interested in British pubs, theatre, music or night clubs, these five UK cities have loads to offer.

Nights out in Newcastle

Newcastle quayside at night time

What to do in Newcastle

Tyne Bar Newcastle. Live music and DJ sets

Image: Tyne Bar

If you’re looking for live music in Newcastle, go where the locals go! A popular hangout is Tyne Bar. The outdoor stage hosts free musical performances and jam sessions. There’s a cool atmosphere with a disco ball spinning under the Glasshouse Bridge. This pub is tucked away on a large grassy area which affords wonderful river views.

Digital club, Newcastle. Image: Digital

Image: Digital

If you fancy a more club vibe, the City Vaults bar and club has a great dance floor, and Digital offers club nights and live music. If it’s good beer and a traditional pub atmosphere you want, then Crown Posada with its comfortable Victorian architecture, stained glass windows, dark wood paneling and authentic wall lamps is for you.

Travelling in Newcastle

Night buses in Newcastle run later on Friday and Saturday nights. They serve Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland, Washington, and Durham with convenient central stops. Don’t ride the train of shame! The Last trains from Newcastle depart around 11:00pm. Download the Trainline app to plan your journey home in advance.

Nights out in Manchester

Manchester riverside in the evening

What do do in Manchester

There are lots of things to do at night in Manchester. Nightclubs and bars can be found all over the city. Alter Ego on

Manchester's Canal Street boasts some of the UK's best loved LGBT venues.

image: Mikey, Flickr

Princess Street is a favourite hangout of the gay crowd. Others might enjoy The Fantasy Bar at Deansgate.

If you’re looking for a party, Manchester is the answer. The Oxford Road Corridor hosts some of the city’s most vibrant

clubs. Try out ‘Space‘ and ‘The Deaf Institute‘ for starters. Looking for an alternative to the mainstream? There are dozens of independent bars to discover in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, and the cobbled Canal Street is a world famous LGBT hangout with loads of bars and clubs.

If you’re feeling theatrical, The Opera House in Quay Street plays

Music Hall. Image: Deaf Institute

Image: Deaf Institute

host to touring musicals, ballet, concerts, and a Christmas show in a beautiful old building. The Manchester Palace theatre is located on Oxford Street. They offer everything from productions of ‘West Side Story’ to ‘West coast’ (a musical review on works by the Beach Boys).

Travelling in Manchester

There’s no problem getting around Manchester and to nearby towns at night. Buses run later Friday and Saturday, providing central stops and connections to Piccadilly Gardens, Shudehill Interchange and other Manchester city centre areas. Don’t end up on the train of shame! The last trains depart Manchester Piccadilly around 12:00am on weekdays, and slightly earlier on weekends. Use our live train times on the Trainline website or mobile app to make sure you don’t miss the train.

Nights out in London


What to do in London

St Pauls Cathedral and Central LondonAs you would expect in the nation’s capital, London’s night life is varied and rich. Nights out in London might start with dinner at any one of London’s fine restaurants such as The Ivy, The Ledbury or La Gavroche. London boasts many nightclubs and bars. The best areas to check out are Central London, Dalston, and Vauxhall.

The Ledbury London

Image: The Ledbury

Live music in London offers something for everyone. You can hear everything from blues and country to Classical and Indie at

London’s live music venues. Check out what is going on in Camden, Soho and Shoreditch for starters. London hotels offer lots of options for the weary clubber. The Ritz Club in Piccadilly offers a night club and casino with limo service, as well as a restaurant and an upscale bar.

Travelling in London

It’s easy to get around London at night and from there to nearby towns. The London bus network has many stops, new buses, more frequent services at night and improved accessibility. A single bus fare costs £1.50. Trains to London run from most major cities.

Night out in Glasgow

glasgow at night

What do in Glasgow

Buchanan Street Glasgow, Image: Nulkr.dave, Flickr

Image: Nulkr.dave, Flickr

If you’re looking for night life in Glasgow, twenty-five-year-old Sub Club is the centre of dance music. Its basement space has a low ceiling but boasts a top-notch sound system. For the music and nightclub scene, the city centre is where the action is. The finest jukebox in Glasgow will lure you to the doors of  Nice n’ Sleazy‘s, where you can pop on some of the world’s coolest tunes and enjoy the cheap

Bent nmoustaches play Nice n’ Sleazy in Glasgow

Image: Greg Neate, Flickr

food. The biggest cluster of clubs and bars can be found around Sauchiehall Street. Hotels in Glasgow with night clubs offer the traveller entertainment and accommodations under one roof. Check out Abode and Radisson Blu.

Travelling in Glasgow 

Night buses in Glasgow are great for getting around the city, as well as to connect you to other cities like London and Edinburgh. There are 11 late night services departing from Glasgow city centre all weekend. This service operates on a flat fare rate starting at £2. Tickets can be purchased on bus from the driver. Glasgow station is also super close to the town centre, and the metro offers another way to travel around the city.

Nights out in Brighton

Brighton Pier on a sunny day

What to do in Brighton

Coalition, Brighton

Image: Coalition

Brighton is legendary on the club scene, with some top venues to make your night. Check out Coalition under the Kings Road Arches for Chart, Dance and Dubstep (plus live music nights). Take a short walk down the beach and you’ll find Volks, which has been running underground club nights on Brighton sea front

Burger Brothers, Brighton. The ultimate tasty soaker-upper.

Image: Burger Brothers

for 20 years.  If you want to line your stomachs before you head out for the evening, grab a bite in one of the city’s fantastic restaurants, such as Burger Brothers or Plateau.

If you’ve partied a little too hard and missed the last train from Brighton, why not spend a night at one of Brighton’s cosy little B&B’s, such as Upper Rock Gardens.

Travelling in Brighton

Night buses in Brighton connect with all the Brighton nightclubs for a flat fare which is valid in the city limits. Buses also connect Brighton to Shoreham, Saltdean and Patcham. Night buses run every night from Hove Street to Brighton Marina and from Portslade Station to Sussex University and between Old Steine and the universities. Trains to Brighton depart frequently from London Victoria.


5 Summer Holidays in England

You don’t need to travel abroad for an enchanting summer holiday. Bathed in sunshine and dancing with natural beauty, England has some great summer holiday spots. What’s more, they’re super accessible by train. Whether it’s a weekend break in the city or two weeks submerged in sublime landscapes, this summer is all about celebrating the best that England has to offer.

1. Go Camping in Cornwall

Tucked away in the southwest England, Cornwall is an ideal spot for a summer camping or caravan holidays. As the train rumbles into the county the landscapes begin to stretch with primitive beauty, the lush green valleys cascading to coastal cliffs and secluded beaches. Surf paradise Newquay and Cornish capital Truro are the biggest towns with the best connections for trains to Cornwall. Then one of the best things to do in Cornwall is to take the St Ives Bay Line, the train skirting along the Cornish coast to the sapphire waters and almost-white sand of St Ives, one of Cornwall’s premier destinations.

A map of Cornwall reveals endless choice for caravan holidays or places to pitch a tent. All along the coast you’ll find relaxed white stone villages that spill onto surfing beaches and towns that revel in their quirky traditions. With so much open space you’re spoilt for a choice of campsites in Cornwall.

Campsites in Cornwall

2. Rent a Cottage in Devon

Devon boasts some of England’s few stretches of real wilderness, the blissfully quiet landscapes full of prehistoric monuments, grazing sheep, and hundreds of intrepid walking trails. Devon holiday cottages immerse you in this diaphanous splendor as this summer holiday offers supreme escapism. Hotels in Devon are usually of the small boutique variety, even if they don’t advertise themselves as such. When taking trains to Devon, the university city of Exeter and coastal city of Plymouth offer the most connections, both to London Paddington and cities in the north. Use Exeter St Davids and Plymouth Station. In Devon, Brixham is one of England’s cutest towns, the fisherman houses standing over a quaint harbour. Dartmouth Steam Railway is also a great way to get around and follow one of England’s most picturesque rail routes.

Salcombe park #Devon #Salcombe #park #harbour #views

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3. Hit the Beach in Sussex

When the sun comes out there’s probably no better place in England than the beaches of West Sussex. Regular direct trains from London make this southern coastline an easy escape for a short seaside summer holiday. Head straight to Brighton and revel in its beaches and colourful character. Nip across to Hove for secluded beaches and the same impression of charm. How about Hastings, a delightful seaside town with a famous battle history and some evocative castle ruins? Then there’s the vibrant huts on the beach at St Leonards. All these seaside destinations have direct train links to London Victoria. For something more private, change trains at Brighton and head to Winchelsea to discover the dramatic deserted beaches of Camber.

#Hastings 🇬🇧❤️

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4. Walk on the Mountains in the Lake District

England’s largest national park, the Lake District is a treasure trove of serene lakes, alpine hikes, and adventure. These are England’s highest hills (or mountains as we all love to call them) and their peaks reflect gently in a series of quiet lakes. Lake District hotels and Lake District cottages are always great value and surrounded by exquisite panoramas. The Lake District is extremely easy to reach by train with two stations on the West Coast Main Line between London Euston and Edinburgh Waverely or Glasgow Central.

Alight at Penrith for the northern lakes; including the wonderful scenic Lake Ullswater, the great hikes from Keswick, and Derwentwater, probably the region’s most picturesque lake. Stop at Oxenholme for the more popular Lake Windermere, where an open top bus connects many hiking trails and destinations between Bowness and Ambleside. Check out a more detailed Lake District map to plan your visit.

5. Discover a new City – Liverpool

Gone are the days when Liverpool was merely a humorous stereotype. For decades, the city of the Beatles has hardly made a mark as an English holiday destination. Foreign tourists have always flocked to the city, lured by its Victorian architecture, effervescent locals, and promise of evening fun.

Liverpool was voted European Capital of Culture in 2008 and the easy to walk city centre radiates the city’s personality. Liverpool Lime Street has fast direct connections to London and many other major cities. Step out from the station and you’re outside St George’s Hall, probably the finest neo-classical building in England. Then explore the Tate Liverpool, Slavery Museum, Maritime Museum, and Liverpool Cathedral – all of them completely free to enter. Finish the summer holiday by rocking to Beatles memories in the Cavern Club or at the Beatles Story.

#pub #cavernclub #beatles #beatlesmania #liverpool #england

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attractions beach city cornwall destinations devon ideas liverpool summer
A Royal Air Force Typhoon performs at the Royal International Air Tattoo. Image: Peter Gronemann, Flickr.

UK Airshows 2015 by Train

Those magnificent men (and women) in their flying machines! We have a glorious history of aviation here in the UK, and what better way to take in all of the exciting airshows dotted around the country than by hopping on the train?  Here are some top Britain’s top ‘air-tractions’, and some handy hints on how to make your way there by rail.  It really is the only way to fly…

The Royal International Air Tattoo – RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire – 17-19 July

The world’s largest military airshow, RIAT showcases truly incredible aircraft, including US Air force Black Hawks and Apaches, with pride of place going to those iconic RAF ‘planes flown by the heroic ‘few’ during the Battle of Britain, the Hurricane and Spitfire. Oh,and a little troupe you might be familiar with:The Red Arrows.

A Royal Air Force Typhoon performs at the Royal International Air Tattoo. Image: Peter Gronemann, Flickr.

A Royal Air Force Typhoon performs at the Royal International Air Tattoo. Image: Peter Gronemann, Flickr.

Getting There:  The closest major station to the site is Swindon, which has direct links to stations in London and Wales, plus trains to Swindon come from as far afield as Manchester without having to change more than once.  Once you arrive, a shuttle bus will be waiting to take you direct to RAF Fairford.

Scotland’s National Airshow – National Museum of Flight, East Fortune, East Lothian – 25 July

Wing Walkers wow the crowds at Scotland's East Fortune Airshow. Image: Gareth Edwards, Flickr

Wing Walkers wow the crowds at Scotland’s East Fortune Airshow. Image: Gareth Edwards, Flickr

Scotland’s largest airshow features the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and an aerial display by the awesome RAF Red Arrows, not to mention air acrobats the TRIG team in their biplanes, as well as classic aircraft from Spain, Jordan, the USA and much, much more.

Getting There:  You’re not going to want to miss this, and the best way to ensure that is to travel to Scotland, stopping at Edinburgh where there is a regular rail service to North Berwick, the closest station to the site.  Once at North Berwick, simply take the free shuttle bus straight to the museum.  Easy!

Red Bull Air Race – Royal Ascot 15-16 August

The UK leg of the world’s most adrenaline-fueled motorsport competition comes to Ascot racecourse! Watch Britain’s own Paul Bonhomme and Nigel Lamb take on the world’s best as they negotiate the twists and turns of the unique Red Bull air race course, each one vying to take home the championship crown.  Gripping stuff.

Kirby Chambliss wows the crowds navigating the air race course at the 2014 Red Bull Air Race. Image: Tony Hisgett, Flickr.

Kirby Chambliss wows the crowds navigating the air race course at the 2014 Red Bull Air Race. Image: Tony Hisgett, Flickr.

Getting There: Reading station runs regular services to Ascot, making the site easily accessible from London. Indeed, trains from Waterloo to Ascot will get you there in under an hour, including the (roughly) 7 minutes it takes to walk to Royal Ascot from Ascot station.  There are also direct trains to Reading from as far away as Manchester and Newcastle.

Bournemouth Air Festival – Bournemouth – 20-23 August

Bournemouth airshow plays host to a jam-packed festival of flying fun, with music, military displays and, of course, the very finest in classic aircraft – you can watch it all, right on the beach.  The Red Arrows will be on display, not to mention the state-of-the-art RAF Typhoon and a rare chance to see the history-making Avro Vulcan, a true marvel of British engineering brilliance in it’s final year of flying.

The last flying Avro Vulcan bomber, XH558, performs a fly by  at Bournemouth Air Festival. Image: let's go out Bournemouth

The last flying Avro Vulcan bomber, XH558, performs a fly by at Bournemouth Air Festival. Image: let’s go out Bournemouth

Getting There: Did you know It’s possible to get from Glasgow to Bournemouth by train, only having to change once?  Yes, Dorset is a well connected part of the world, with services to Bournemouth running from most major cities, with very few changes. Trains from London Waterloo to Bournemouth will get you there in less than two hours, on average.

Battle of Britain Anniversary Show – IWM Duxford – 19-20 September

“Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few”.  2015 marks the 75th anniversary of the RAF victory in the Battle of Britain, the desperate struggle for our nation’s very survival.  What better way to pay tribute to sacrifices made by those brave airmen than to witness the magnificent sight of their Spitfires and Hurricanes as they take to the sky at RAF Duxford, home of the first WWII Spitfire squadrons.  Not only that, but just in case you missed them earlier in the year, you’ll have another opportunity to see the Red Arrows in action.

Generations of Spitfires ready to scramble from Duxford's pan. Image: Tony Hisgett, Flickr

Generations of Spitfires stand ready to scramble from Duxford’s pan. Image: Tony Hisgett, Flickr

Getting There:  The closest station to the site is Cambridge, which will be running a free bus to IWM Duxford on the day of the airshow. Cambridge station is well-connected, and trains from relatively distant UK cities (Cardiff or Leeds, for example) will get you there with no more than two changes required. Chocks away!

attractions festival festivals ideas

The 10 most beautiful train station clocks in the world

Without them, we’d miss our trains, but how much attention have you paid to those beautiful, historic and downright quirky clocks that adorn the world’s railway stations? Here’s our pick of the best.

10. Flinders St Station, Melbourne, Australia

Flinders Street station is known for its distinctive timepieces. Each of the nine clocks above the entrance shows the next departure for a different line. Once, they were changed manually – 900 times in an eight hour period – but now, fortunately, a computer does the job.

9. Antwerp Centraal Station, Belgium

Antwerp Central Station regularly tops the polls for the world’s most beautiful railway station and we think its clock should too. The ornate design features the city’s coat of arms.

8. Tianjin, China

Technically, this quirky clock occupies a site on a nearby roundabout rather than on the station building itself, but Tianjin’s Century Clock is so unique most train passengers will walk the few hundred metres to see it if they haven’t done so before.

Tianjin Clock, China.

Tianjin Clock, China.

7. Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

Not only does this station have an exceptionally beautiful clock, Pietermaritzburg station is also the place where Mahatma Gandhi was thrown off a train when a white man objected to him riding in the first class compartment – even though he held a valid ticket.

Pietermaritzburg station clock .Image: Fran Simmons

Pietermaritzburg station clock .Image: Fran Simmons

6. Waterloo Station, London, England

More of a meeting place than a thing of beauty, the clock at Waterloo Station is a popular meeting point for travellers. It was made by Gents of Leicester and is thought to date back to the 1920s. It was under this very clock that Del Boy met Raquel. Cushty!

Clock says 2 hours and 10 minutes til my holiday starts!

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5. Osaka, Japan

Japan’s well known for being innovative, and so the water clock at Osaka Station should come as no surprise. Osaka’s position as the third busiest station in the world means that this clock isn’t going unnoticed.

Time is precious. Only spending a limited time in Japan. 🎌

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4. Every railway clock in Switzerland

The iconic design of the Swiss railway clock has been adopted and adapted the world over. Originally designed in the 1940s by Hans Hilfiker, Apple famously had to agree to pay $21 million in licensing fees after using a similar clock when it launched iOS6’s Clock application back in 2012.

The iconic design of the Swiss railway clock adorned stations, office buildings and wrists around the world.

The iconic design of the Swiss railway clock adorned stations, office buildings and wrists around the world.

3. St Pancras Station, London

Another entry for dear old England! The Gothic clock tower that rises above St Pancras station is a unique London landmark. The tower beneath the clock has been redeveloped into a penthouse that can be hired out for drinks receptions and private dining.

2. Porto, Portugal

Look closely and this classic century-old Art Nouveau clock in pretty São Bento station has an unusual dial. IIII is often used on clocks as it looks better opposite the VIII than the conventional IV.

Porto Station Clock and departure board

1. Grand Central Terminal, New York City

This could well be the world’s most expensive railway station clock. With four faces crafted from opal and encased in brass, the timepiece that sits on top of the information desk at Grand Central Station has an estimated value of over $10 million.

#newyork #nyc #grandcentralstation #manhattan #usa #clock

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