With the cost of living constantly on the rise, one of the first cost-cutting measures for many families has been the annual holiday. Between rising fuel prices and air taxes, holidays abroad are becoming increasingly expensive. Luckily there is still a range of affordable travel options available on our doorstep – through an affordable and family-friendly mode of travel: the train.
Often overlooked for its larger neighbour Newcastle, Durham is hidden gem in the north of England. It is everything an English city should be – it has history, culture, good food and entertainment
The undisputed star of Durham is its Cathedral, regularly voted as Britain’s most beautiful building and widely regarded as the finest Norman building in Europe.
Elsewhere for a cheap day out, you can’t beat the picturesque walk around the Durham University campus. Its old world charm and refined elegance easily matches that of Oxford and Cambridge.
Best of all, the train station is conveniently located in the centre of town, with walking distance to a number of the breath taking attractions. Remember the most affordable train fares are always found online, while travelling in off-peak periods can also help to cut costs.
Perhaps a city that has changed like no other in the past decade is Glasgow. It is now set to host the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and has recently been named the European City of Culture.
While most people head straight to the nation’s capital when arriving in Scotland, Glasgow offers a equally exciting destination with a remarkably lower price tag.
So whether it’s the famous Old Firm Derby or a gig at the legendary Barrowlands, Glasgow has it all. Glasgow is accessible via rail with regular services from across the UK. Remember to buy rail tickets well in advance, ideally twelve weeks prior to departure, to reduce fares even further.
Skipton is the quintessential Yorkshire market town - a sort of ‘Bath of the North’. At its heart is the remarkable Skipton Castle, which saw its original foundations laid in 1090.
Despite the battering it received throughout history, tireless preservation has kept the castle in excellent condition. The town really comes to life on market day and whether it’s a cheap lunch, new clothes or a second hand book, you’ll find it all at ‘down market’.
Another thing you must not miss whilst you’re visiting Skipton is a cup of tea at one of their countless tearooms. This classic British beverage is always best accompanied by an Eccles Cake or scones with jam and cream.