Posted by & filed under Escorted Rail Tours, Rail Diaries, Rail News, Rail Product Blog, Rail Tours, UK Rail Tours.

Island hop from Skye to Uist and from Harris to Lewis on this magical tour of the Hebridean islands. Every day is different as each sublime, rugged and breathtaking landscape unfolds before you. And for 2017 this popular tour is further enhanced with a visit to the Isle of Mill and a lovely journey on the western branch of the West Highland Line.

This Hebridean Islands Discovery Rail Tour is a great UK Rail Tour.

Departure Dates:
Saturday 17 September 2016
Saturday 22 April 2017
Saturday 30 September 2017

Tour Highlights:
Cruise betwixt the Isles amidst dream-like seascapes; look out for whales, dolphins & sea eagles
Both branches of the scenic West Highland Railway
The majestic Isle of Mull and Duart Castle, home of the Clan Mac Lean
The romantic ‘rail route to the Isles’
Stunning beaches ‘as far as the eye can see’
Naturalist’s paradise of birds & wildlife of the BBC TV series “Islands on the Edge”
Discover Hebrides ancient history spanning back 5000 years
Uists’ white shell beaches & freshwater lochs
Sample the traditional island lifestyle & local cuisine
Magnificent Highlands scenery, Ullapool to Inverness

Tour Itinerary:

2015 Hebridean Islands Discovery callanishstones,lewis_vssv1045562

Day 1: Saturday
Arriving in Crianlarich, we spend our first two nights in the Highlands at the welcoming Crainlarich Hotel.

Dinner is included

Day 2: Sunday
Lochs, glens and islands await today, as we explore the western branch of the West Highland Line, a contrast of quintessential Highland lochs and glens. Reaching Oban, we leave the mainland by ferry for the Isle of Mull, where we enjoy a visit to Duart Castle, the proud ancestral home of the Clan MacLean. Returning to Oban, we journey past Loch Etive and the appropriately named Loch Awe, before relaxing in our hotel bar with its extensive range of malts.

Breakfast and Dinner is included

Day 3: Monday
One of the world’s great rail adventures – the stunningly picturesque and romantic ‘rail journey to the isles’ takes us over Rannoch Moor to Fort William. Our journey continues across ‘Harry Potter’ famed Glenfinnan Viaduct where the Highlander Monument stands at the head of lovely Loch Shiel, then around Loch Eilt before reaching the Atlantic coastline at Mallaig. Stroll around the small town and harbour, then board the Isle of Skye ferry, touring the heavenly southern peninsula, “the garden of Skye”.

Breakfast and Dinner is included

Day 4: Tuesday
We travel the shores of Loch Snizort to Uig for the ferry cruise to North Uist. A tour of Benbecula and South Uist passing numerous lochans and beautiful beaches arrive at our hotel for a relaxing evening in a tranquil location.

Breakfast and Dinner is included

Day 5: Wednesday
We cruise to the Isle of Harris and Lewis; a rugged landscape of moorland, deep-sea lochs, mountains and a proud history. With an expert local guide we explore Harris before continuing northwards to Lewis and the capital Stornoway.

Breakfast and Dinner is included

Day 6: Thursday
Experience the dramatic landscape of Lewis on a full day tour in the company of our island guide, including the impressive standing stones of Callanish, a traditional thatched blackhouse settlement, and the ancient broch at Carloway.

Breakfast and Dinner is included

Day 7: Friday
Explore Stornoway, its harbour and eclectic architecture before we depart the Hebrides, crossing to Ullapool for the spectacular journey over the Highlands to Inverness.

Breakfast and Dinner is included

Day 8: Saturday
Bidding farewell to Inverness we take the glorious rail journey past the Cairngorms and southwards through Pitlochry to Edinburgh and homeward destinations.

Breakfast is included.

Hotel Information:

 

Hotel Crianlarich
Situated in Crianlarich at the heart of the West Highland Line, relax and enjoy your first evening in the Highlands.

Dunnollie Hotel, Isle of Skye
Set by the waterside of Broadford Bay on the Isle of Skye and in the foothills that lead to Skye’s mighty Cuillin mountains.

Dark Island, Benbecula
Spectacularly located amidst cornfields, leading to miles of golden sands.

Caberfeidh, Stornoway
Considered the best hotel in Stornoway, the restaurant specialises in locally produced and sourced cuisine.

Royal Highland, Inverness
A classic Scottish ‘station hotel’ offering charm and elegance combined with modern splendour.

Prices start from just £1029 per person to join and leave at the Hotel, please contact us today for quotation from your local railway station.

We offer some excellent rates

Whats Included?
7 nights’ bed, breakfast & Table d’Hôte evening meal
Rail travel & seat reservations from your Home Station to Tour Base (Standard or First Class)
Rail & coach travel, with transfers as described
All excursions and admissions as detailed
Services of experienced Rail Tour Manager

Fares

Fare Region First Class Standard Class Railcard Discount
London: Euston £1295 £1175 -£20
Greater London £1335 £1195 -£25
South of England £1345 £1205 -£25
East Anglia £1355 £1215 -£25
South West £1395 £1235 -£30
Heart of England £1285 £1165 -£20
Midlands £1265 £1155 -£20
Yorkshire £1190 £1135 -£15
North East £1180 £1120 -£15
North West £1225 £1130 -£15
South Wales £1320 £1190 -£25
North Wales £1265 £1155 -£20
Scotland £1095 £1075 -£10

To Join and Leave at the Hotel £1029
September Departure Supplement £70
Single Room Supplement £190

This great tour can be book now for a deposit of just £99 per person – however please remember deposits are Non Refundable

To enquire and receive a quotation for this tour please complete the form below or call us on 0191 246 0708

REQUEST A CALL BACK
You may be busy right now or would rather speak to one of our rail experts, about your plans, if our office is closed Simply fill in the details below, giving us some information about your requirements and we will call you back, at a time most convenient to you!

If you request a callback we will call you back during our opening times stated below, suitable to YOU!

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Telephone

I’d like to book the following tour dates: (required)

Departure station (required)

Return station (if different)

Number of adults

Class of travel required?

Do you hold any railcards?

How many railcards?

Your room requirements?

Other information

Posted by & filed under Escorted Rail Tours, Rail Diaries, Rail News, Rail Product Blog, Rail Tours, UK Rail Tours.

A joyful Cornish rail tour as we meander by train along scenic branch lines, capturing the cream of the coastal and countryside views, to visit charming ports and wonderful seaside resorts.

This Cornwall Classic Rail Tour is a great escorted UK Rail Tour.

Departure Dates:
2015 Cornwall Classic ld_lizardThursday 25 May 2017
Thursday 29 June 2017
Thursday 6 July 2017
Thursday 7 September 2017

Tour Highlights:
Journey along the famous English Riviera coastal route
Experience spectacular scenic branch lines
Visit the fabulous Eden Project
Take in beautiful Padstow, famous for its sea food
Taste the wines at the award-winning Camel Valley Vineyard
Steam nostalgia on the Bodmin & Wenford line
Explore delightful Looe, Penzance and St Ives
Stay at Lanhydrock Hotel, close to the lovely House and Gardens

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Thursday
Relive the happy days of childhood holidays, as we travel the route of the old “Cornish Riviera Express”, clinging to the sea wall at Dawlish before crossing Brunel’s mighty Royal Albert Bridge into Cornwall, and onto Bodmin Parkway, from where we transfer to stay for five nights at the lovely Lanhydrock Hotel.

Dinner is included.

Day 2: Friday
A day of gentle roaming by rail as we head west on the Cornish mainline to Penzance for sightseeing and views of St. Michael’s Mount, before taking the spectacular branch line journey to the pretty harbour resort of St Ives; this famous resort has it all: cobbled streets full of history, pretty fisherman’s cottages, beautiful creations in craft shops to stunning art at the Tate.

Breakfast and Dinner is included.

Day 3: Saturday
Today we board our coach for the short journey to the Eden Project for an unforgettable sensory journey of breathtaking beauty, as you step from steamy tropical rain forest into Mediterranean-type climates of the world. We then head for the North Cornish Coast to visit Padstow, a quaint working fishing port, whose seafood was made famous by Rick Stein. We return to Lanhydrock via the award-winning Camel Valley Vineyard, where we enjoy a tour and tasting.

Breakfast and Dinner is included.

Day 4: Sunday
We transfer to Bodmin for a wonderful journey of nostalgia on the Bodmin & Wenford steam railway, a time-capsule of yesteryear train travel. Then continue along the mainline to Liskeard and change trains to trundle along one of the prettiest rural branch lines in Britain, twisting, turning and hugging the riverside to the estuary at Looe where after a break for a little sightseeing on the banjo pier we return by train to Bodmin Parkway.

Breakfast and Dinner is included.2015 Cornwall Classic bodmin_&_wenford_railway

Day 5: Monday
Enjoy a day at leisure in Lanhydrock. Very close to our hotel is the enchanting Lanhydrock House & Garden, whereas nearby Bodmin, the county town of Cornwall, is also an interesting visit with its historic jail.

Breakfast and Dinner is included.

Day 6: Tuesday
After breakfast it’s time to bid farewell to Lanhydrock and join an express train homeward.

Breakfast is included.

Hotel Information:
The Lanhydrock Hotel
Located in the the countryside just outside of Bodmin, close to Lanhydrock House & Gardens, the Lanhydrock Hotel overlooks one of Cornwall’s finest golf courses amidst an area of parkland. Rooms are well-equipped with tea/coffee, bath and power shower, plus a view over the gentle undulations of the course.

Prices start from just £695 per person to join and leave at the Hotel, please contact us today for a quotation from your local railway station.

We offer some excellent rates

Whats Included?
5 nights’ bed, breakfast & Table d’Hôte evening meal, 1 tea
Rail travel & seat reservations from your Home Station to Tour Base (Standard or First Class)
Rail & coach travel, with transfers as described
All excursions and admissions as detailed
Services of experienced Rail Tour Manager
Hotel Porterage

Fares

Fare Region First Class Standard Class Railcard Discount
London: Euston £845 £785 -£15
Greater London £870 £800 -£15
South of England £870 £800 -£15
East Anglia £900 £830 -£25
South West £835 £770 -£10
Heart of England £860 £795 -£15
Midlands £930 £815 -£20
Yorkshire £995 £865 -£30
North East £1015 £875 -£30
North West £995 £850 -£25
South Wales £1055 £830 -£25
North Wales £955 £850 -£25
Scotland £1080 £915 -£35

Price to Join and Leave at the Hotel £695
Single Room Supplement £200

This great tour can be book now for a deposit of just £99 per person – however please remember deposits are Non Refundable

To enquire and receive a quotation for this tour please complete the form below or call us on 0191 246 0708

REQUEST A CALL BACK
You may be busy right now or would rather speak to one of our rail experts, about your plans, if our office is closed Simply fill in the details below, giving us some information about your requirements and we will call you back, at a time most convenient to you!

If you request a callback we will call you back during our opening times stated below, suitable to YOU!

Your Name (required)
Your Email (required)
Telephone

I’d like to book the following tour dates: (required)

Departure station (required)

Return station (if different)

Number of adults

Class of travel required?

Do you hold any railcards?

How many railcards?

Your room requirements?

Other information

Sending ...

 

Posted by & filed under Escorted Rail Tours, Rail Diaries, Rail News, Rail Product Blog, Rail Tours, UK Rail Tours.

Featuring two of the ‘Seven Wonders of the Canals’, this active tour based in historic Chester offers exciting heritage from Roman times to the waterways and railways.

This Canals, Steam and Historic Chester Rail Tour is a great escorted UK Rail Tour.

Departure Dates:
Sunday 9 April 2017 (5 days)
Sunday 14 May 2017 (5 days)
Sunday 11 June 2017 (5 days)
Sunday 16 July 2017 (5 days)
Sunday 8 October 2017 (5 days)

Tour Highlights:
Explore the world of canals at Ellesmere Port, as the heyday of narrow boats comes alive
Anderton Boat Lift, marvel of Victorian engineering 2015 Canals, Steam & Historic Chester andertonliftwithsaturn_waterwayimages
Masterpiece of the canals, breathtaking Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
Llangollen Steam Railway nostalgia
2000 years of history in the beautiful city of Chester
Relax strolling waterside paths and ancient city walls
Stay in heart of Chester, at one of north England’s finest, grand marque hotels

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Sunday
We arrive in Chester where our hotel is conveniently situated near the railway station. Afternoon stroll along the ancient City Walls to the Dee for a river cruise and charming views of the town from the water. Return through Chester’s attractive city centre.

Dinner is included.

Day 2: Monday
By train to Ellesmere Port to discover the colourful world of Roses & Castles at the National Waterways Museum. Enjoy a guided tour of the large collection of narrow boats, other canal craft and recreated workshops; time for further exploration at leisure before we cruise along the Shropshire Union Canal to Stanney Mill, before returning to Chester by train.

Breakfast and Dinner is included,

Day 3: Tuesday
Experience one of Robert Aickman’s ‘Seven Wonders of the Canals’. At the magnificent Anderton Boat Lift we trace the history of canal carrying and engineering and take the trip boat to descend the lift and cruise the River Weaver with refreshments on board. We return to Chester for an afternoon at leisure in the city’s winding medieval streets of black-and-white houses, its Roman museum, beautiful Cathedral, and the famous Rows. Walk the towpath below the towering walls, marvel at the massive and ingenious Northgate Staircase Locks, idle away a moment watching the boats in Chester Basin. There’s something to see at every turn in Chester.

Breakfast and Dinner is included.

Day 4: Wednesday
By private coach to the Llangollen Canal at Trevor for a breathtaking aerial cruise across another of the ‘Seven Wonders’, the spectacular Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Crossing 126ft above the River Dee, it is the highest and longest aqueduct in Britain and a World Heritage site. We continue by road to Llangollen with time to look around the delightful town before a thrilling steam train ride* along the beautiful Dee valley to Carrog. Alight at Berwyn on the way back and trace the canal feeder on foot to Llangollen – or stay on the train.

Breakfast and Dinner is included.2015 Canals, Steam & Historic Chester chestercitywalls_waterwayimages

Day 5: Thursday
Bid farewell to beautiful Cheshire as we take our homeward trains.

Breakfast is included

*In the unlikely event of the steam train being unavailable we reserve the right to substitute a diesel train (DMU)

Hotel Information:
Queen Hotel, Chester
Situated in the heart of Chester, directly opposite the railway station, the Queen Hotel is characterised by its elegance and Victorian heritage. The en-suite bedrooms offer modern facilities including direct-dial telephone, satellite TV, tea/coffee making facilities and free Wi-Fi. The hotel features delightful Italian gardens, bar and restaurant.

Prices start from just £520 per person to join and leave at the Hotel, please contact us today for a quotation from your local railway station.

We offer some excellent rates

What’s included?
4 nights’ bed, breakfast & Table d’Hôte evening meal
Rail travel & seat reservations from your Home Station to Tour Base (Standard or First Class)
Rail & coach travel, with transfers as described
All excursions and admissions as detailed
Services of experienced Rail Tour Manager
Hotel Porterage

Fares

Edit
Fare Region First Class Standard Class Railcard Discount
London: Euston £725 £610 -£10
Greater London £765 £630 -£10
South of England £775 £650 -£15
East Anglia £800 £665 -£15
South West £755 £650 -£15
Heart of England £665 £585 -£10
Midlands £615 £560 -£5
Yorkshire £635 £595 -£10
North East £690 £635 -£10
North West £600 £560 -£5
South Wales £725 £610 -£10
North Wales £585 £545 -£5
Scotland £755 £640 -£15

The price to Join and Leave at Hotel £515
Single Room Supplement £160
May, June, July Departure Supplement £50

This great tour can be book now for a deposit of just £99 per person – however please remember deposits are Non Refundable

To enquire and receive a quotation for this tour please complete the form below or call us on 0191 246 0708

REQUEST A CALL BACK
You may be busy right now or would rather speak to one of our rail experts, about your plans, if our office is closed Simply fill in the details below, giving us some information about your requirements and we will call you back, at a time most convenient to you!

If you request a callback we will call you back during our opening times stated below, suitable to YOU!

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Telephone

I’d like to book the following tour dates: (required)

Departure station (required)

Return station (if different)

Number of adults

Class of travel required?

Do you hold any railcards?

How many railcards?

Your room requirements?

Other information

Sending ...

 

Posted by & filed under France Ski by Rail, Italy by rail, Rail News, Ski Train, Snow Train, Switzerland by Rail, Uncategorized.

 

Benefits of taking the snow train
Here you’ll find RailTourGuide’s information and tips on using the ski train. There are many benefits of train travel when it comes to ski holidays, not to mention that it’s a more relaxed and comfortable way to travel than either flying or driving.
The average ski train journey to a French ski resort is around 9 hours. Check-ins tend to be much quicker with the Eurostar and you only need to arrive an hour before departure. Once you reach your final rail station, the journey to resort tends to be a lot shorter than a transfer from an airport (sometimes as little as 30-40 minutes). Another plus is that you don’t have to worry about being charged for excess weight or ski carriage when it comes to luggage. When you factor in the time it takes to travel by aeroplane – getting to the airport, checking in, going through security and waiting at baggage reclaims – followed by a 2-3 hour transfer to resort, the full journey by train can take a similar time.
Rail travel also rivals driving to the alps in terms of travel time. With no designated drivers, everyone can relax throughout the journey and arrive in the resort well rested. Getting the train is also kinder to the environment than flying or driving, so as well as minimising time and hassle, you’re minimising your carbon footprint too.

mountain-goggles-on-white

Night train and day train to the Alps
Eurostar has direct high-speed trains to Bourg Saint Maurice in the Alps, which leave twice a week – usually the first departs on the Friday evening (the night train) and the second on the Saturday morning (the day train). The bonus of taking the night train is that you can get in an extra two days of skiing – the Saturday that you arrive, and the Saturday you leave (as you’ll get to resort in the morning and depart in the evening).

French alpine stations v’s Austria and Swiss rail
Setting off from London St Pancras, via Ebbsfleet, Ashford and Lille, the direct Eurostar ski train runs to Moûtiers, Aime-La-Plagne and finally Bourg-Saint-Maurice. You can also book tickets to Lyon Part-Dieu, where you can then take a connecting train towards your chosen French ski resort.
In Austria and Switzerland, a lot of the bigger ski resorts have their own train stations – including Mayrhofen, St Anton, Zermatt and Davos. These aren’t served by direct Eurostar trains, but RailTourGuide’s can help you plan the perfect route.

Choosing a convenient ski resort – short transfers!
The French resorts are the easiest to reach by train from the UK.
Moûtiers station puts you within an hour’s drive of some of the best ski resorts in the Alps. In the famous Three Valleys (the world’s biggest linked ski area), Meribel is only a 30-minute drive away and you can usually reach Courchevel in under an hour. The most popular ski resort for Brits, Meribel has a family-friendly feel and lively après ski. Courchevel’s known for its high-end clientele, with 5-star ski hotels and posh boutiques. Both have excellent access to 600km of pistes for all levels of skier and snowboarder.
Part of the Paradiski area, purpose built La Plagne is about a 40-minute bus ride from Aime-La-Plagne station. La Plagne is split into a number of mountain villages, many of which have doorstep skiing from their chalets, hotels and apartments.
From Bourg-Saint-Maurice, you can reach the world-class resort of Val d’Isere in around an hour – a place famed for its pretty alpine architecture, snow sure ski area and mountainside après ski.

The journey
With the Eurostar, travellers need to check in at least an hour before the train is due to depart. Luggage doesn’t have to be checked in, just carried on (unless you’re bringing more than your allowance which, last time we checked, was two bags per person with no weight limit).
Seats are reserved and divided into Standard and Standard Premier. The main difference being that Standard passengers have to get their own meals from the train café, while Standard Premier passengers are served food and drink at their seats (which are slightly more comfortable than standard seats). Depending on the amount of people you travel with, you can request table seats, twin seats or solo seats. You’ll find more legroom than you get in planes and cars, and nothing’s stopping you from getting up to stretch your legs whenever you like. We like to take a neck pillow, so it’s easy to snooze while sitting.
Books, games and films are a good way to keep occupied, and you pass plenty of scenic landscape to enjoy from the windows. If you’re taking the night train, an eye mask and ear plugs can be handy. Night trains are alcohol-free, creating a quiet, restful atmosphere.

Local transport to the mountains
Bus companies like Altibus have coaches serving stations and ski resorts in France. It’s also possible to arrange a private transfer or a taxi from the terminal outside the station, or to join a shared transfer to your chosen resort. If you’re planning to hire a car, the big hire companies like Europcar offer collections and drop-offs at the main railway stations (e.g. Moutiers, Bourg-Saint-Maurice).

Other ways to incorporate train travel into your ski holiday
If you plan to ski Switzerland, you can fly to the Alps, then use the Swiss Rail to transfer to your chosen resort. There are rail stations at Zurich, Geneva and Basel Airports, which link to the stations in Zermatt, Davos and other resorts.
Contact us for a quote on your train travel or, try someone like SNO for package ski holidays by train. You can also use this type of specialist ski travel agent to book accommodation-only ski trips after arranging your bespoke train journey with us. Call us for advice on 0191 246 0708.

Posted by & filed under Italy by rail, Rail News, Rail Product Blog, Uncategorized.

The brand new fast and fully automatic PisaMover connection will link the Airport at Pisa with the city centre and the railway station Pisa Centrale. This new link should be fully operational by October 2016.

This automatic connection the PisaMover will operate on a daily basis from 0600 to 2359. The connection will take between 5/8 minutes.

But the PisaMover bus service is in operation now until October 2016!

The PisaMover Bus stop is located just in front of the Departures Terminal (hall check in A).

PisaMover Bus has a timetable departure of every 10 minutes and a journey time of just 8 minutes to get to Pisa Central Station.
The PisaMover Bus service starts at 6 a.m. and stops at 12 p.m, every day, including Sunday and Bank holidays, for each route (Pisa Airport – Pisa Central Station and Pisa Central Station- Pisa Airport). Ticket price is 1,30€* one way.

From Pisa Central Station you can reach any destination of the Italian railway network.

For any questions on the connection between Pisa Airport and Pisa Central
please call us on 0191 246 0708 or email sales@railtourguide.com

Posted by & filed under Rail Diaries.

 

Greece to UK with your Dog

I recently moved over to the UK and had huge trouble deciding how I would take my dog over to the UK with me from Greece. Since there aren’t that many answers out there, I wanted to inform anyone who might be looking for solutions how to do the journey. The thing with this trip is that you have to make an itinerary in my opinion and be super organised or things can go wrong and you will be stranded. I would suggest as I did have a notebook that is dedicated to the journey that contains inside phrases in each language that you may need to say to someone who will not speak English, Western Union close locations so you can get cash in 5 minutes if you need it, hotels that accept pets and of course taxi information and even maps stuck in your notebook. (Yes, I did do all of that!)

Why not via airplane?

We had a look for taking our dog to the UK by airplane and apparently it was not possible unless it was in cargo. All flight to the UK no matter which country you are departing from ask for pets to be placed in cargo (the part of the plane that has suitcases). This was something that we could not do since the conditions in cargo are not supposed to be good for pets. There are a lot of horror stories that you can read on the internet and even your vet will probably advise you not to do this to your pet. We could fly from Thessaloniki to Amsterdam however from there we would still have to take the ferry over to the UK and we would need a car to accompany us since we have a dog. From what I had read the dog is left in the car and you go on board. Again this was not an option for us. Even the fact that it could fly on the airplane with us to another country was scary since I had read that your dog throughout the whole flight has to be under your seat you are not allowed to do anything else. There was this story on the internet about a pug in USA who was on the flight with the owner and it started breathing heavily (some dogs get panic attacks in the air or have breathing difficulties) and the flight attendant would not allow the owner to get it from under the seat so they could calm it and it ended up dying. Airplane and dogs I don’t know I feel like its much more dangerous. This is why certain breeds are not allowed to fly on airplanes. Pekingese wasn’t so even if we had flown by airplane we probably would have had to travel to Athens or an island to get a flight from there because all flights from Thessaloniki to the UK either did not allow pets what so ever or had the pekingese breed banned.

Any other options to travel to the UK with a dog?

Ok, you have a few.
I had a look by cruise ship, if there was one that could take us from Greece to the UK and there was nothing. So that is not an option. Most won’t allow you to board to the cruise ship on its return journey anyway. You can travel by car to the UK and look at it as a road trip which a lot of people do that. There is also an option for you to send your dog from the place you are departing with a van that drives to your destination, usually only dog they will take and it will take them 1-2 days to get to your destination. I think they charge you around 500.00EU max and you can just fly over to the UK and meet your dog there. The only other option would be to have someone with a car pick you up from France or Holland and you get the boat over or go via the Euro tunnel.

Who to contact ?

http://www.railtourguide.com/contact/customer-service-after-sales/
sales@railtourguide.com

info@pets2go2.co.uk
http://www.pets2go2.co.uk/

Journey

There were many routes that you could take however this one seemed to work best for us. We were originally supposed to go via Venice to Paris but there was no tickets left so we had to opt for the Ancona route.

Igoumenitsa to Ancona via Minoan Lines with a Pet Cabin. 

Your dog is allowed to be in the cabin with you and all you need to do is take some dog diaper things to place on the floor so your dog can go on them for the toilet and then you just pick it up and bin it. The thing I did not like about this company was that the dog was not allowed anywhere else on the ship apart from the top of the ship which is obviously cold and open. We had a difficult time eating because we did not want to leave our dog in the room by itself. So we took turns to have a walk around the ship to pass time on our own rather than together and with the dog which I was not happy about. I think from the moment there are pet cabins on the ship, then you should be free to walk around the ship with your dog or at least be able to order room service from the restaurant. Now another thing that bothered me was the timing, we overheard a couple asking what time we would arrive in Ancona and it was 5.00 pm when they had said it was 3.30pm. My train was leaving at 5.20pm so I spoke with the manager who told me that they always arrive at 4.30pm and not 3.30pm and that I had been informed wrongly by the telephone ticket booking call center. Thankfully we arrived at 4.45pm and I just managed to get on the train in time. I also want to inform you that I had read on the internet that there are taxis outside the port. There are none which we found out when we arrived and we were so lucky that we found one guy with a taxi who took us to the train station otherwise we would have missed the train. BOOK a TAXI and inform them you have a dog also because some taxis are weird and wont allow it which will cause you further delay. Taxi fair cost us 15EU and its 5-10 minutes.

Ancona to Milan 

This journey allows dogs on and of course as all trains you are asked to have a cage at the size requirements they ask for and a muzzle. If you have an e-ticket just go for the train straight away and they will scan your e-ticket. I was told that I had to hand it in at the ticket office to get an actual ticket created, I was advised wrong. So e-tickets you just need them printed out and you hand them in to the guy who checks your ticket at some point during your journey. There were people sitting in our seats and they did not seem happy that we had moved them but don’t be scared if that happens because a lot of people just sit where they like and they do not give a damn about someone who has booked the seat. If that happens to you apologise and ask them to move, because you have a dog and you don’t want to be searching the whole train for seats. No one speaks English also so keep that in mind and no food went past so we were hungry once more. No muzzler, no cage and no complaints were made regarding my dog. The other bad thing was that I never thought of was make sure you ask the company to book you tickets for two seats together because we were put on four seats with a table which made it worse for the dog.

Milan to Paris 

Night train on the Thello trains which is over night and once again you are allowed to have you dog inside the cabin with you as long as you have a cabin. You may end up paying plus 50.00EU to the staff on board extra for your dog. Milan train station had terrible food and they did not speak English once again. As soon as we arrived after asking around we just sat and waited for the television to show our train and to go to the correct platform. The train cabin was smaller than expected however I really did enjoy it the journey. There was a lovely window and some blinds but we had the blinds open and could see the scenery outside as we were going past. We did not have to pay extra for the dog. We got free breakfast in the morning which I could get myself and bring it back to the room since the dog was not allowed in the restaurant. What I really hated about this train was that when we arrived nothing was announced on the train. The train did make a few stops throughout the journey and I figured the last stop which was were we were getting off was just another stop. I went and asked several people they all told me had not arrived in Paris. After about 15 minutes there was a knock on the door and the guy who worked on the train was checking the rooms and I was shocked to see everyone had left. Thank god it was the last stop otherwise we would have never have gotten off the correct stop and would have had further trouble. ALWAYS ASK THE TEAM and not the people on the train, there were never any announcements made on any trains apart from the ones in the UK.  So before getting off double check with the staff. Again no muzzler, no complaints and no cage was needed.

Paris (different station) to Calais

Again same rules cage has to be at the measurements they ask and the dog must have a muzzle.
This was seriously a pain in the backside. We get out of the Paris train station to go to another Paris train station so we could go to Calais. Again the internet said there would be no bother with my dog and the taxis. I asked roughly 10 taxis and they all kept saying no to me because we had the dog. I finally found a guy who let us on his taxi thank god and we managed to get there in time for the train. The fair cost 13EU however I gave him 20EU and thanked him for letting us and the dog in his taxi and it took us about 20 minutes. The journey to Calais was the nicest, new train that was double decker and there were people again in our seats who I asked to kindly leave because we had the dog and they understood and left. Very lovely journey.

Calais to London Kings Cross via Pets2Go2

You can speak with the company and you can arrange from them to pick you up from other places in France maybe even further out and drop you off somewhere else in the UK. We decided for them to drop us off is London since it would take less time for us to go to Durham via train than car. The driver was there exactly on time and in fact we arrived earlier and so had he. The driver was such a lovely guy who really helped us out with everything and always thought of our dog. He checked our passport before we left and he drove us over to London Kings Cross asap so we could over in time for the train to Durham. He kept asking us if we needed coffee breaks, dog breaks etc and he allowed us to not put our dog in the cage and have her on our lap which we were really grateful for. I would completely recommend this company and I would have easily have gone to Durham with them if they would get us there quicker than the train.

London Kings Cross to Durham 

Again same rules for the dog.
The train tickets ended up costing us a fortune but all we wanted was to get home since we were tired and hungry, We got on the train after 15 minutes of arriving, I paid with my euros at the ticket office and we could not find a seat on the train so we just sat on the floor in the middle of the carriages.

Overall
No passport checks, cage, muzzler was ever asked from us of course take the necessary steps because you may come across them. Leave big gaps between your journeys, if you can sleep over in a hotel. Pre book taxis that will allow pets. E tickets get straight on the train you don’t need to get them re printed or anything. Bring a pack lunch cause the food was terrible and hard to find with our dog. I have given the details above of the companies I booked these tickets through.  Make sure your train tickets are always for two seats not four so you don’t have to deal with other people that may distract or upset your dog. If you have any questions or need more information please leave a comment below and I will help you out as much as I can.

xxx

This blog was written by our customer Elpitha Efthimiadou

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Do you fancy taking the train between New York Penn and Boston Back Bay in 2016?

This offer is also available from Boston Back Bay to New York and the tickets are valid in Reserved Coach Class Seats

RailTourGuide have some great offers available for you if you are able to book early with prices starting from just £55 per person.

Amtrak Book Early Prompt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact either Daniel or Bev on 0191 246 0708 or email sales@railtourguide.com for more information.

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The long awaited Grand Central shopping centre, built above the newly renovated Birmingham New Street rail station, has opened to the public. RailTourGuide were invited to the launch of this exciting space right in the heart of Birmingham city centre.

Grand Central Sign Birmingham New Street

 

The mirrored exterior snakes above and around this busy main railway station in the heart of the Midlands. It has taken around five years to complete and is expected to draw thousands of visitors to its impressive shops and food courts.

 

 

 

Grand Central John Lewis

 

Why not see it for yourself and arrange a trip to this very impressive modern railway station which matches the modern stations like Berlin Hbf in Germany.

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On the UK rail network there are over 40,000 rail bridges, viaducts and tunnels, over 9,500 level crossings and around 1000 control signal boxes.

For more information and to book your rail tickets and passes please call us on 0191 246 0708

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Here is a short blog about rail ticket validation in France. This is a very simple process of placing your rail ticket into the small yellow SNCF validation machines at all the major French railway stations, prior to your journey.

ValidationMachine

On most TGV routes it is required that you validate your ticket, prior to travel by placing your ticket in the  grey mouth-like slot near the bottom of the machine. It allows you to insert one end of the ticket (length wise), use the left end of the ticket, where there is usually a bar code and an SNCF logo. Insert the ticket face up (magnetic stripe down). After you hear a printing noise similar to an old dot-matrix printer remove the ticket.

 

The validation machine has then validated your ticket so you are now ready to make your rail adventure!