Best holidays with no flights needed including Paris, Lyon, Dublin and Bruges
Dozens of holiday destinations are within a short train ride’s distance from the UK and can offer Brits a stress-free way to get out of the country.
Only the stoutest of heart have followed the travel news of recent weeks and not wondered whether they should go ahead with booking a holiday.
Airports have been filled with great lines of frustrated travellers, many hundreds of whom missed holidays because their flights were cancelled.
One arguably increasingly attractive option is to avoid air travel and hop aboard a train, which provide a much more comfortable way to travel.
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A recent survey by travel association ABTA found that one in two (50%) people agreed that environmental sustainability was important to them when choosing a holiday, compared to just one in five back in 2011.
Cutting your emissions by ditching air travel is one of the most effective ways to improve your carbon footprint while still getting to go out and enjoy the world.
It also means avoiding the ongoing chaos at airports across the country, as chronic staff shortages cause massive queues and long flight delays.
With this in mind, the travel experts at Forbes Advisor have compiled 10 of the best destinations to travel to in the quickest time from the capital – without having to board a plane.
1. Paris, France
Travel time (one way) from London – 2 hours 16 minutes
Lowest cost return ticket – £120
The original Eurostar route, you can find yourself in the French capital in little more than two hours from London.
Packed with famous landmarks, art museums, parks and beautiful quaint streets, Paris has something to offer for everybody.
The city also boasts more than 40,000 restaurants, so if you’re into your food, this could be the holiday for you.
2. North Wales, UK
Travel time (one way) from London – 3 hours
Lowest cost return ticket – £180
If you’re looking to stay in the UK, but escape the hustle and bustle of city living, North Wales provides one of the best escapes to unwind surrounded by natural beauty.
The Snowdonia National Park range offers spectacular views for an unforgettable mini break and is easily accessible from anywhere in the UK by train or car.
3. Antwerp, Belgium
Travel time (one way) from London – 3 hours 24 minutes
Lowest cost return ticket – £252
Antwerp, Belgium is one of Europe’s most loved city breaks. The architecture, coffee shops, galleries and boutiques make it a great option for visitors of all generations.
The city is easily accessible from London by Eurostar, with just one change in Brussels, and is also one of the greenest in Europe, with cycling being a popular method of travel.
4. Bruges, Belgium
Travel time (one way) from London – 3 hours 29minutes
Lowest cost return ticket – £211
Bruges, Belgium is the perfect getaway for history lovers, with the city laying claim to one of the best-preserved medieval towns in the world.
Just a 90-minute drive from Calais, the ferry or Eurostar are both easy options when travelling from the UK.
The city also has more castles than any other city in the world.
5. Amsterdam, Netherlands
Travel time (one way) from London – 4 hours 10 minutes
Lowest cost return ticket – £115
Amsterdam is one of the UK’s favourite destinations for city breaks, with journey time of just over four hours on the Eurostar.
The city is known for its historical attractions, museums and art, and distinctive colourful streets, oozing a cool, modern vibe.
Known as the cycling capital of Europe, the city is also one of the greenest places you can travel to, with over 800,000 bikes in the city alone.
6. Cologne, Germany
Travel time (one way) from London – 4 hours 15 minutes
Lowest return ticket -£233
Easily reached from London by train with a journey time of a little over four hours, Cologne, in western Germany is famous for its beautiful artworks, architecture, cathedrals and – of course – beer halls.
If you’re a fan of the festive period or winter getaways, it’s also home to one of Europe’s best Christmas markets.
7. Lyon, France
Travel time (one way) from London – 4 hours 56 minutes
Lowest cost return ticket – £145
The perfect trip for food lovers, France’s third largest city is home to an array of Michelin-starred restaurants and fantastic wine.
A train from London with one change in Paris means you can be in the French city in just under five hours, making the south of France more accessible than ever.
8. Dublin, Ireland
Travel time (one way) from London – 6 hours 30 minutes (Train to Holyhead, Wales and then ferry to Dublin)
Lowest cost return ticket – £143
A train from London to Holyhead, Wales and then a short ferry journey means you can be in Dublin in under seven hours.
A city rich in culture and breath-taking scenery, the Irish capital remains one of the easiest and most popular city breaks for a weekend away.
Dublin is also a great option for live music fans, with Temple Bar hosting live folk music and DJs throughout the year.
9 Scottish Highlands
Travel time (one way) from London – 8 hours
Lowest cost return ticket -£140
The Scottish Highlands is the perfect trip for wild adventure.
Easily located by train or car, there’s over 25,000 square kilometres to explore, from Inverness to Ullapool.
Renowned for its natural beauty and breath-taking landscapes, the Scottish Highlands offers a tranquil escape for those in search of some peace and quiet.
10. Lisbon, Portugal
Travel time (one way) from London – 37 hours
Lowest cost return ticket – £300
Although this trip has the longest travel time from London, it will definitely be worth it.
Cobbled alleyways, ancient ruins and gothic cathedrals sit among rolling hillsides and stunning beaches all a stone’s throw away from the colourful old town.
You can also find temperatures of 30 degrees in the summer months.
If money was no object, where would be the first place you went on holiday? Let us know in the comments below.
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