Thursday 12 January 2023

Train Travel Plans for the New Year

UK and International Rail Tours

By this time of the year I usually have a couple of plans fully formed and others taking shape. This year is slightly unusual in that no fewer than three European train tours are already booked. One British short hotel/spa break is booked but I am not yet sure whether I shall be doing that one by car or by train, so it doesn't count yet! Dates have been chosen for the usual August trip to the south coast, the last time we shall be doing in the way that we have been doing for several years, but nothing has yet been booked: time to get on with it!

The first European holiday by train will be to Amsterdam in early spring, using the through Eurostar service to Amsterdam for the first time. I was going to book direct with Eurostar, who also would have booked a hotel, but I looked elsewhere and discovered Planet Rail who were offering a similar deal but with a better-located hotel for our purposes. I telephone them and took their advice on dates, times and other details and booked Standard Premier Eurostar tickets and the hotel in Amsterdam. Now I need to look for at least one day trip to visit the tulip fields, a sight no longer available in south Lincolnshire but common when I was growing up here.

In the summer we are going to the south of France with a Great Rail Journeys escorted tour, including a day in Monaco and a river cruise on the Rhône. This will give us the return to Nice, Cannes and Avignon which we promised ourselves when we went there independently a few years ago, along with much else. I just fear it may be a little too warm there, but we shall see. In the autumn we finish our three years of annual trips to Italy with a visit to Lake Maggiore, again with Great Rail Journeys.

This all leaves us with several shorter British trips to arrange as we owe visits to several friends whom we have not seen since before the Covid pandemic. Once the disruption in the rail industry has settled down (when ever that is going to be), then we shall be in a better position to make plans: currently everything has to be contingent on the trains running on the planned days. I also need to restart the programme of day tours for my friends, once I am confident that they will not be disrupted.

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