Penzance to York

Hello, We are traveling by train from Penzance to York in mid-September.
We are looking for an interesting stop along the way for 1 or 2 nights - small, quaint village as opposed to cities. Wanting to stop somewhere along the train route - thanks for any recommendations! Cynthia

Posted by Bob
Bristol, UK
347 posts

The cross-country train from Penzance to York only stops at larger towns, so you would not be able to simply get off in a "small quaint village". As it would probably not be worth breaking your journey before Exeter or after Derby, two possible places to stop are as follows: 1. Get off the train at Bristol and get a train to Bath. The Bristol-Bath journey takes about 15 minutes and there are four trains an hour during most of the day. This may not be appropriate if you are already visiting Bath as part of your tour. 2. Get off the train at Cheltenham and take the bus to Tewkesbury (every 15 minutes or so) or perhaps to Winchcombe (infrequent buses) or Painswick (bus every hour). Bus times can be checked at

Posted by j.c.
NC, United States
868 posts

You will, at some point, be more or less close to the moors of Dartmoor, so you might, say, rent a car in Exeter and backtrack a bit. Giving up the notion of spending all your time in a "quaint village", plan on idling around in the car. Stay the first night somewhere else (Two Rivers?) then Exeter on the second night. Wake up, have breakfast, get the train. Early on in my British excursions, a charming Irishwoman advised me that "quaint" means "leaky and draft". She was right.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
12880 posts

Bob's suggestion of 2. Get off the train at Cheltenham and take the bus to Tewkesbury (every 15 minutes or so) or perhaps to Winchcombe (infrequent buses) or Painswick (bus every hour). is a good one. Winchcombe is definitely a very nice village (or small town). Not the easiest by bus though. Tewkesbury has the abbey and a nice water meadow (as long as the Severn River is quiet) but if the smallness of the village is important it is the largest named.

Posted by Cynthia
Courtenay, BC, Canada
2 posts

Thanks everyone - on second thought, we have decided not to go to the Cotswolds this time - seems too rushed! And we don't want to rent a car. So we will stay 4 nights in Penzance
(any recommendations?) and then 1 train up to York for 2 nights (again, would love recommendations - mid-range B & B, not chain hotel) then on the Northallerton (we have booked in there.)

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
12880 posts

It would be worth your taking the 8:28 train from Penzance to York, if you can. It is the only direct train which will go all the way to York in one go. Eight hours and a minute is a long time in one seat. The later trains involve changing trains, at least in Birmingham, often in Bristol Temple Meads. The disadvantage of changing trains is that you have settled in and have to do it all over after getting on the new train. The advantage of changing trains is that you can stretch your legs and maybe pick up food provisions if you have are getting hungry or thirsty. In Birmingham now, you can even get (decent but not great) burritos next to the departure lounge.

Posted by david
837 posts

Yes, suggestion would be to rethink your Cornwall base. St. Ives and Falmouth, for two, are towns you might want to consider. Also, what can you see of Cornwall, without a car, for four days? The area is very spread out and the charm is widely spread over that area.

Posted by Cathy
Clemson, SC
17 posts

I believe there is a bus or busses that go around from Penzance to St Ives in Cornwall. We had a car while there but saw busses on the roads (some of them double decker with open tops). A couple in the bed and breakfast where we stayed (near St. Buryan) planned their day carefully so that they could take the bus to a starting point on the SW Coastal path and hike to another point where they could catch a bus back.