The most scenic and relaxed way to travel
Britain's rail network is modern and efficient. It covers all the main cities as well as smaller regional towns. The network is made up of a few large companies, which run routes from London to stations all over Britain, and smaller companies running routes in regional areas.
To plan your journey across Britain by rail, use the VisitBritain journey planner.
You can find up-to-the-minute information about routes, fares and train times on National Rail. For detailed information about particular routes and services you could also try looking on the train operators' websites.
You can buy a train ticket for any departure point to any destination on the National Rail network at any train station, train travel point or online. Prices vary greatly depending on a number of factors including:
Journeys may be cheaper if you book in advance or buy a non-refundable ticket. Journeys are usually cheaper if you travel outside peak hours: 05:00-10:00 and 15:00-20:00 Monday to Friday.
For information, exact fares and to book tickets online, go to the National Rail website.
If you're going to make lots of train journeys, there are a number of passes available to help you get the best value. Britrail passes are a great value way to travel by train and let you either plan ahead or decide day by day. These tickets can be used on all of the privatised train companies that operate mainline services in Britain including the Heathrow and Gatwick Express.
For more information and to find which rail pass is best for you, check out the VisitBritain Shop.
The Heathrow Express train is the fastest way to get into central London from Heathrow Airport. Trains depart every 15 minutes and take just 15 minutes to reach London Paddington train and underground station. The same journey by taxi would take about 1 hour 15 minutes and cost 4 times as much.
Book online at the Heathrow Express website for the cheapest tickets.
The Gatwick Express train is the fastest way to get into central London from Gatwick Airport. Trains depart every 15 minutes and take just 30 minutes to reach London Victoria train, bus and underground station. The same journey by taxi would take about 2 hours and cost 4 times as much.
Book online at the Gatwick Express website for the cheapest tickets.