Dozens of holiday destinations are just a short train journey from the UK, offering Brits a hassle-free way to get out of the country.
Only the bravest have followed the travel news of the last few weeks and not wondered if they should book a holiday at all.
Airports are filled with long lines of frustrated travellers, many of whom have missed their holidays because their flights have been cancelled.
Arguably an increasingly attractive option is to avoid air travel and hop on a train, which offers a much more convenient mode of travel.
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A recent survey by travel association ABTA found that one in two (50%) people agreed that environmental sustainability is important to them when choosing a holiday, compared to just one in five in 2011.
Reducing your emissions by not traveling by air is one of the most effective ways to reduce your carbon footprint while getting out and enjoying the world.
It also means avoiding the ongoing chaos at airports across the country as chronic staff shortages lead to massive queues and lengthy flight delays.
With that in mind, the travel experts at Forbes Advisor have compiled 10 of the best destinations you can travel to in the shortest amount of time from the capital — without even boarding a plane.
1. Paris, France
Travel time (one way) from London – 2 hours 16 minutes
Cheapest return – £120
On the original Eurostar route, you can find yourself in the French capital in just over two hours from London.
Packed with famous landmarks, art museums, parks and beautiful scenic streets, Paris has something for everyone.
The city also boasts more than 40,000 restaurants, so if good food is your thing, this could be the vacation for you.
2. North Wales, United Kingdom
Travel time (one way) from London – 3 hours
Cheapest return – £180
If you are staying in the UK but want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, North Wales offers one of the best escapes to unwind amidst natural beauty.
The Snowdonia National Park Range offers spectacular views for a memorable short break and is easily accessible by train or car from anywhere in the UK.
3. Antwerp, Belgium
Travel time (one way) from London – 3 hours 24 minutes
Cheapest return ticket – £252
Antwerp, Belgium is one of the most popular city breaks in Europe. The architecture, cafes, galleries and boutiques make it a great option for visitors of all generations.
Easily accessible from London on the Eurostar with just one change in Brussels, the city is also one of the greenest in Europe, with cycling being a popular mode of transportation.
4. Bruges, Belgium
Travel time (one way) from London – 3 hours 29 minutes
Cheapest return ticket – £211
Bruges, Belgium is the perfect getaway for history buffs as the city lays claim to being one of the best preserved medieval cities in the world.
Just a 90 minute drive from Calais, the ferry or Eurostar are both easy options when traveling 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
Cheapest return – £115
Amsterdam is one of the UK’s most popular city break destinations, with a journey time of just over four hours on the Eurostar.
The city is known for its historical sites, museums and art, as well as its distinctive colorful streets that exude a cool, modern vibe.
Known as the bike capital of Europe, the city is also one of the greenest places to travel 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 accessible from London by train in just over four hours, Cologne in western Germany is famous for its beautiful artwork, architecture, cathedrals and – of course – beer bars.
If you’re a fan of the festive season or winter holidays, it’s also home to one of Europe’s best Christmas markets.
Travel time (one way) from London – 4 hours 56 minutes
Cheapest return – £145
France’s third largest city is the perfect trip for foodies and is home to a range of Michelin-starred restaurants and fantastic wines.
A train from London with a single connection 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)
Cheapest return – £143
A train from London to Holyhead, Wales and then a short ferry ride means you can be in Dublin in under seven hours.
Rich in culture and stunning scenery, the Irish capital remains one of the easiest and most popular city breaks for a weekend break.
Dublin is also a great option for fans of live music, as Temple Bar offers live folk music and DJs all year round.
9 Scottish Highlands
Travel time (one way) from London – 8 hours
Cheapest return – £140
The Scottish Highlands are the perfect trip for wild adventures.
Easily accessible by train or car, there is over 25,000 square kilometers to explore, from Inverness to Ullapool.
Renowned for its natural beauty and stunning landscapes, the Scottish Highlands offer a tranquil haven for those in search of peace and quiet.
10. Lisbon, Portugal
Travel time (one way) from London – 37 hours
Cheapest return flight – £300
Although this trip has the longest travel time from London, it will definitely be worth it.
Cobbled streets, ancient ruins and Gothic cathedrals nestle between rolling hills and stunning beaches, all just a stone’s throw from the colorful old town.
Temperatures of 30 degrees can also be found in the summer months.
If money were no object, where would you vacation first? Let us know in the comments below.