European travel from England, Scotland and Wales has been given the green light. Our top places to visit by train where you can still enjoy your space.
As quarantine rules have been lifted for travel between England, Scotland, Wales and most of Europe, and the FCO has given the go ahead for travel too, we can think of no better mode of transport for this first, special trip back out into the world. We may not be able to embrace everyone we want, but we can certainly start to embrace travel again. *
Take on part of the Tour de Mont Blanc from Chamonix, rent a bike in Lyon to take on some of the Via Rhôna Trail or reunite with loved ones in Atlantic coast locations such as Biarritz, Arcachon near Bordeaux or Hendaye on the Vélodyssée cycling trail. For more French joie de vivre, head to Toulouse to start a cycling or walking holiday along the Canal du Midi.
There is no better time to breathe the fresh air of the Swiss Alps especially with high-speed trains that take you from Paris to Geneva, Zurich and Lausanne in as little as 3 hrs. All are gateways to the country’s vast open spaces of mountains and lakes. Switzerland is undoubtedly a special place to reawaken the senses. There is also a direct, seasonal route between Geneva and Marseille which is open from beginning of July and takes just 3 hrs 42 mins.
The quickest route to Italy from the UK by train is via Paris, from where a 5 hrs 30 mins train takes you to Turin, gateway to Gran Paradiso National Park. Most of Italy’s train network is open for business too, with Italian idylls such as Florence and Tuscany, Venice, Rome and the Puglia Peninsula welcoming tourists back into metaphorical if not yet physical open arms.
Germany’s efficient and widespread train network means that you can get to the likes of Bavaria or the Black Forest, the Rhine or wine regions by rail in a heavenly holiday heartbeat. The Germans invented the word ‘wanderlust’ after all, and if outdoorsiness is what you crave, we have a train station to suit your needs.
With direct Eurostar connections to Amsterdam, and a superb network of trains in the Netherlands, this is a quick and easy way to start exploring the European mainland again. With thousands of cycle routes, including the celebrated North Sea Route, beaches , campsites and lakes, this is a great summer to go Dutch.
*PLEASE NOTE: Customer safety is a priority for not only us at Rail Europe but also for the train operators we partner with. Each country and train company is putting in place safety measures to address the ongoing World Health Organisation COVID-19 guidelines. Read more. Also, remember that although you can now travel internationally from the UK by train, domestic travel by train is still recommended for essential use only. Travel to Spain is not recommended at present.
Image credits top to bottom: Banner pic © Swiss Travel System AG, 2018, Tobias Ryser, Lac Blanc France iStock ©porojnicu, Lake Geneva and Swiss Alps iStock ©Bluejayphoto, Tuscany sunset iStock ©Javarman3, Bikes on Amsterdam bridge iStock ©Nisangha
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