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glenmd Mar 29th, 2009 07:21 PM

York as a daytrip?
Hello again. Back with another question.

I am planning two days trips for my 2 weeks in London. One will be to Windsor but the other one I am undecided on. Right now I am thinking about York (the primary alternatives would be Dover and Bath). York is apparently 2 hours away by rail, but the main attractions are within easy walking distance on the train station and the notion of walking the city walls appeals to me for some reason. A couple of questions:

1. I keep hearing all the time about problems with rail service on the weekends. Just how worried should I be about this? With transit already eating up 4+ hours of the days, substantial delays would be a big problem. Of course, I could just go during the week.

2. One of the reasons I am willing to go this far from the city on a day trip is that I was hoping to see some of the countryside. Can anyone who has taken the train to York comment on the scenery on the way?

Thanks for any info you can provide.

janisj Mar 29th, 2009 10:13 PM

No decent scenery to speak of between London and York -- but thankfully the train rolls really fast.

Weekends is when most rail work is done - so it is much more likely for delays and possibly being bused for substantial parts of the route.

Take an early AM train and travel back to London after dinner, and you'll have a full day for York.

flanneruk Mar 29th, 2009 11:06 PM

Trains are no more or less reliable at weekends than any other time. Engineering work is announced ahead of time: go to, and look up the journey for the date concerned. Revised schedules are nornally shown if there aer workls on a given day, and it's worth checking the 'engineering' tab on the site as well. If there are weekend disruptions, they can prolong your journey by 5 mins or 2 hrs - but the information's prepublished.

Morgana Mar 29th, 2009 11:15 PM

Janis is quite right (as usual) - mainly flat or gently rolling countryside, all underwhelming but perfectly pleasant. Always something to see - fields full of crops or livestock, villages with their church spires, etc etc
We live near York and my husband commutes to central London on average once or twice a week for work, as do numerous others. It's absolutely fine for a day trip. Not aware of any work on the line at weekend at the moment.
York is very compact and you can be out of the station and into the city in minutes. Don't miss the fantastic Railway Museum (free entry and a short pedestrianised walk from the station, it's clearly signed as you get off the train).

soogies Mar 30th, 2009 03:56 AM

We just got back a few days ago. Just make sure you get on the right train :D! My over-eager husband led us to the wrong train and with all the "repairs" we had to make to our journey it took over 4 hours once.

We really didn't experience any significant delays and we rode the trains a lot. In my opinion, the scenery from London to York is nice but there are prettier areas.

We did find that in general, trains run less frequently on weekends. York was not so much a problem as Nottingham and Lincoln, for instance. If you miss a direct train, you might end up having to change and therefore adding time (as in our above scenario.)

As Morgana says, do go to the Railway Museum through the train station passageway - we really enjoyed it. As it was a slow day, we had our own helper who tagged along and pointed out details. I went up to the top floor and did some genealogy research. Everyone was very knowledgeable and helpful.

We also climbed to the top of York Minster and what a treat - worth the 237 steps. If you love little churches, York has them in abundance, as well as St Mary's Abbey ruins (where York Museum is). The grounds there are just beautiful.

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