Awesome autumn days out to take by train

An image of an autumn road through a rural field
by Limara Salt
5 October 2023

Long walks with crunching leaves underfoot, browsing winter markets and getting cosy with a warm drink while swathed in wool – even with the lowering temperatures autumn is a great season to get out and about.  

From Margate to the Cotswolds, the UK has many spots to visit to a perfect day or weekend, and when you book with Virgin Trains Ticketing, it’s just another opportunity for Virgin Red members to earn points or unlock savings on their journeys.  

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So where can you go? Check out some great recommendations for trips to take this autumn.  

Ponies and hiking in the New Forest 

Reachable from London Waterloo in just 90 minutes, the New Forest has eight stations and connections with nearby towns like Southampton and Bournemouth, so wherever you are you can find your way there.  

Once you’ve arrived, there are over 140 miles of paths to walk and cycle through, whether you want to take a stroll through the trees or tackle a long-distance hike to the coastline. You’re sure to see wild ponies on your way and can even explore the forest on horseback. There are also loads of water-based activities to enjoy like sailing, windsurfing and kayaking along the Beaulieu River.  

An image of a pony in the New Forest

Climb Surrey’s Stepping Stones walk 

There’s no shortage of natural beauty in Surrey, and Box Hill and Westhumble train station is just a stone’s throw from the famous Stepping Stones trail. The perfect place to stop and watch the river flow by, the trail is dog friendly and 90 minutes long.  

Sign up for a National Trust membership with Virgin Red and earn two points per £1 for more access, exclusive content, and free parking across the country.  

An image of the Stepping Stones in Surrey, UK

See Beatrix Potter’s house in Lake District 

If stunning natural beauty is your thing, England’s biggest national park has mountains, sandy coastlines, lakes and soaring mountains. Oxenholme Rail Station is the nearest station for the Lake District, and once you’re there you can explore Windermere, Ambleside town, take a boat tour around Coniston, and so much more.  

You can even visit the house that inspired Beatrix Potter’s stories in Hill Top. As well as the house there is a gorgeous garden with flowers and vegetables, a secondhand bookshop to peruse before grabbing a snack in the independently run Joey’s Café, a cosy spot in the orchard serving locally roasted coffee.  

An image of Beatrix Potter's house in Lake District

Embrace spooky season in Burley 

Known as the witchy capital of Hampshire, Burley New Forest is a great place to visit during spooky season.  

The quaint village gained its reputation during the 1950s when a self-styled white witch lived there, and it’s now bursting with witchcraft and magical shops. For lots of fun with friends and family, the best time to visit is during Halloween when there are fancy dress competitions, games, pumpkin carving, and more.  

Take a train to the Kent coast  

If you want to pack a few places into one trip, the seafront towns in Kent coast are a great option. Start with the retro kitsch of Margate and take a ride on the colourful roller coasters or, if the weather lets you down, head inside for an hour or two on the indoor roller rink.  

An image of Margate beach in summer

Nearby Whitstable was built in 1831 and is a great place for fishing and a peaceful stroll on a sandy beach. Or how about nearby Broadstairs for Victorian-style sweet shops and seeing the boardwalk beloved by Charles Dickens?  

Explore Cotswolds’ historic towns  

Home to some of England’s most historic and famous towns and villages, a train to Kemble gives visitors access to a handful of great places to take in. Known as a wool town, Tetbury has the picturesque Market House dating back to 1655 with three rows of striking stone pillars. You can also see 17th century weaver cottages with a simple stroll down Chipping Steps.  

An image of The Chipping Steps in Cotswolds

10 miles away is Cirencester, a market town known as the ‘Capital of the Cotswolds’ that has ancient buildings to check out and is a good base when exploring the wider area. Last but not least is Malmesbury, the oldest borough in England and has a high street with independent shops leading to the 12th century abbey.  

Earn points as you discover more of the UK with Virgin Trains Ticketing. Not yet a member of Virgin Red? Sign up to Virgin Red to unlock more rewards.