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Four days, four cities, 40p

a northern rail pacer train in the station with text that reads UK travel four days four cities and a price sticker that reads £0.40

Yes it is true, in just four days we visited four different cities for just 40p!

How did we do it?

Our local railway company had a flash sale and were offering tickets from £0.10 single fare for a very limited time. We were lucky enough to grab tickets to York, Manchester, Lincoln and Leeds. Three of our return tickets also only cost £0.10 each!

in the foreground a northern rail pacer train waiting at the station platform with a more modern train in the background
Mostly we travelled on these outdated ‘Pacer’ trains, which appear to be buses on rails. They are due to be replaced, having been in service for many years. You either love them or hate them. They can be fun to travel on occasionally, but an uncomfortable and overcrowded daily commute is not so much fun I guess.

1. York

The very first time I visited York was such a long time ago. It was when my brother had recently started secondary school, and I was still at primary school I think. One of his teachers had chartered a whole train to take all the pupils and their families on a day trip from Kent to York Railway Museum. I can’t imagine that even being possible now. Let me know if you know – can you still hire a whole train, and how much does it cost??

It is something that really stuck with me as a brilliant experience, and it was great to have the opportunity to return to York, but with my husband this time.

The Railway Museum is free to enter, although they do suggest a £5 donation. It is just a short walk from the main railway station.

My favourite thing was being able to go inside a Japanese Bullet train. The museum is also home to many carriages used by the UK Royal family through the decades.

From the museum you can get on the road train which takes you into the city and up to the Minster. It costs around £3.00 for adults (as at September 2019).

York Minster is a magnificent Cathedral, sadly it was damaged by fire 35 years ago. All the fire damage has since been repaired, however, the cathedral was undergoing some renovations when we were there. There is some scaffolding along one side and you can see the stonemason at work.

From the Minster, we walked to the old shopping street called The Shambles. After that we looked for Betty’s Tea Rooms before going to catch our train home. Betty’s is celebrating 100 years and was as popular as ever.

2. Manchester

The second of our four cities in four days was Manchester. It was a rainy day, so we were pleased to duck out of the weather and catch a tram to Media City.

The Metrolink network in Manchester is large and modern, with frequent trams to many destinations around the city, such as the airport, shops and the football stadiums. You can also travel to the neighbouring cities of Bury and Rochdale.

Media City is where you will find the television and radio studios, some restaurants and the Blue Peter garden. If you haven’t heard of Blue Peter then let me tell you it is a very popular children’s show here in the UK. Not only that, it is the longest running children’s TV show in the world! It was first broadcast in 1958 and has been shown in continuous seasons ever since.

We felt very at home in Manchester, probably because it reminded us a lot of being in London. We will definitely be returning soon for a proper look round. I didn’t get chance to visit the big craft shop there, and I really want to tick that off my list soon.

3. Lincoln

The third city, Lincoln, is a mix of old and new. It has a Cathedral and a Castle, but also a vibrant waterfront with cinema, bars and restaurants overlooking Breyford Pool. You can get boat trips from here (another one to add to my list) as well as just sit and watch the world go by.

It is a steep climb up to the Cathedral and Castle, but worth it if you can manage the walk. On the way you will find independent shops and quaint buildings.

Lincoln Cathedral is also being renovated, so there was scaffolding obscuring a lot of the outside. If you want a photo then you need to buy a postcard …

4. Leeds

Last but not least is Leeds. The railway station is enormous and is well placed for all the shopping centres, and the Leeds and Liverpool canal.

It was raining again so we couldn’t spend as long walking along the canal as I would’ve liked, but we did stay long enough to see a water taxi on the move, and a boat going through one of the locks.

Four cities in four days – was it worth it?

In most cases we saw everything we wanted to see each day, apart from Manchester. Obviously I can’t complain about the cost; 40p was just amazing value! It helped that my husband had done a lot of research before hand (once a tour guide, always a tour guide), so we had a plan.

We couldn’t plan the weather … although we did see lots of rain showers we managed to stay reasonably dry. There is plenty to do in these four cities that is under cover.

The journeys to get to these four places went very smoothly, apart from going to Manchester where the train was overcrowded. This was partly due to people going to see the cricket at Old Trafford, and partly because we were on a Pacer train (as described in the photo at the beginning of this post).

If you have been to any of these places, what did you think? Drop me a comment please, I would like to know 🙂

Thanks for reading,

Read more about another day out: https://marieceline.co.uk/visiting-wakefield

More photos and video from our days out will be available soon on my YouTube Channel, please make sure you subscribe! I will also be trying out IGTV for the first time too www.instagram.com/mschoffy

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9 thoughts on “Four days, four cities, 40p”

  1. When I first saw the title I was like what!? But I remember seeing this sale and I wish it had covered my local train station because what a bargain!! Glad you had a good time and stayed mostly dry haha

  2. Traveling around for 40p is soo cool, what a bargain. And you got to see so much too, so that’s really lovely! Glad you had a good time 🙂

  3. Brilliant value at 40p! Even if the trains are old 😉 Glad you enjoyed York, I’m there a lot and it has a special place in my heart. I was born near Manchester so used to go a lot as a child when my Dad ran a garage there. I went back last year for a one day course. I loved the trams! Definitely want to go for a longer trip sometime x

    1. I thought you must have known a lot about York when you got my clue on Twitter. Manchester was just so lovely – we felt comfortable there. Maybe when I am better we should meet up?

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