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Simplon-Orient-Express by Jour-reveur, Wikimedia 2010

Photo by Jour-reveur licensed under CC

If you’re looking for a relaxing way to get off the beaten track and explore new places, why not consider booking yourself on a train journey for your holiday? We look at a selection of rail journeys from the fast to the leisurely, and the very high to under the sea.

Enjoy stunning scenery on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway

For a leisurely and historic journey, try the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Built by George Stephenson, the Whitby to Pickering steam railway line opened in 1836, and the trains on this route criss-cross the River Esk and head uphill though woodland to the Victorian station of Goathland. The surrounding scenery may be familiar if you’ve seen the TV series Heartbeat (Aidensfield) or Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Hogsmeade).

After Goathland, the train climbs onto wild moorland covered with heather, crossing bogs and passing old lead mines, before finally reaching its destination at the historic market town of Pickering.

Travel in luxury on the Simplon-Orient-Express

For luxury, there is one journey which stands out above the others and that is the fabulous Simplon-Orient-Express.

It still goes to Venice, as viewers of the David Suchet series will know, but it also offers a number of fabulous day trips around the UK. It is truly reliving a moment of history to travel in the Pullman carriages that transported the Royal families and famous people through the ages.

The seats are more like armchairs, from which you can admire brass luggage racks, gleaming crystal and silken lampshades, whilst sipping champagne and being served five-course gourmet meals from attentive staff.

Travel at 186 mph on the Nozomi

Moving across the world to the East, you can find top speed and modernity on the Nozomi - Japan’s bullet train which hurtles along at 186 mph. However, the ride is so smooth you can stand a coin on the table and it won’t fall over.

It’s faster than flying and has an amazing punctuality record, averaging an arrival time within six seconds of its scheduled timetable! It boasts views of Mount Fuji (which passes in a flash), and the service is wonderful with bowing attendants and excellent sushi.

Moscow to Beijing on the Trans-Mongolian route

For the ultimate train ride, there is none other than the Trans-Mongolian route, which covers 5,000 miles and takes seven days from Moscow, across the Urals and onward to Siberia, bearing south into Mongolia and east across the Great Wall into China before terminating at Beijing.

There are plenty of options to get on and off, including Yekaterinburg, the site where Tsar Nicholas and the entire Romanov family were murdered, Lake Baikal, the Mongolian capital Ulan Bator and the Gobi desert.

There are shared carriages, or 4-berth or 2-berth cabins, and for a special treat there are a number of luxury private trains – although they come at a premium price.

London to Paris through the Eurotunnel

The Eurotunnel, connecting London to Paris in just over two hours, is the longest and deepest undersea train journey in the world.

The food is excellent, especially if you upgrade to first class, and there’s a departure at least every hour.

The countryside both in the UK and France is a pleasure to watch through the window.

Climb to 4,829m on the Central Andean railway

Climb to 4,829m while crossing the Andes from Lima to Huancayo on the Central Andean railway in Peru. That’s almost four times higher than Ben Nevis (1,343m).

Oxygen cylinders are available, but this isn't for the faint-hearted, or anyone with heart problems or high-blood pressure - there is a danger of altitude sickness. The journey takes 12 hours and is so steep that the track zig-zags across 66 bridges and through 59 tunnels. The scenery is stunning and has a desolate beauty - very little can grow at this altitude.

It is an extreme journey, and possibly one you may prefer to simply read about from the comfort of your home!

If you have any further queries, please get in touch with us.

Note: The information given is by way of suggestion only. It is correct, to the best of our knowledge, but we cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions on our part.

This article is brought to you by Silver Travel Advisor

Further information

For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 678 1174

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