Classic Scottish cuisine

Fine shades of green pitted with shades of purples and greys, delicate hues of browns and creams and textures so varied they make your eyes sparkle with anticipation. The view being described is not that out of the window as the Belmond Royal Scotsman meanders along with a gentle rhythm, but the view of the… Read more »

A day in Stockholm

Vibrant, eclectic and brimming with history, Stockholm a very unique city made up of 14 islands is the capital of Sweden. From the old to the new Stockholm is a city that welcomes all and wants you to embrace the excitement of discovering something new. With famous landmarks dominating the skylines, history, art and Fika,… Read more »

Shopping in Paris

Paris Planet Rail

As far as cities across the world go, Paris really does seem to have it all. From its world-famous sights, art and museums, delightful coffee and pastries, to a totally unique shopping experience that will make your Parisian visit even more memorable. Paris is a fashion capital known all over the world where you are… Read more »

A view of Switzerland in winter

There are many ways to enjoy the wondrous scenery of Switzerland and no matter where you travel the views will open up around you in panoramic pictures that are hard to believe are even real, fairytale images of natural beauty and magical wintery scenes that will stay with you forever in a dream of winter… Read more »

48 hours in Oslo

Oslo, the capital of Norway, is an impressive city and I can’t think of a better word to describe it other than ‘dramatic’. The extraordinary contrast between stunning natural beauty and contemporary design especially in its architecture is impressive and will really provide a city experience like no other. Oslo is brimming with history, art… Read more »

Seven Christmas markets in Cologne

Spanning the Rhine River, Cologne is a 2,000-year-old city with a lot to offer. Impressive Gothic architecture and a stunning Cathedral reaching up to the sky, a museum housing masterpieces by Picasso and Warhol and a chocolate museum that will make your mouth water, it is easy to see why Cologne would be a tempting… Read more »

Montreux at Christmas

Chateux de Chillon Planet Rail

We all get swallowed up in the commercial side of Christmas and it is all too easy to lose the special feelings Christmas time brings. It is a time for celebration, traditions, sharing precious moments with family and friends and truly indulging and relaxing, and what could be more relaxing than escaping the hustle and… Read more »

48 hours in Barcelona

Barcelona by First Class Rail

Situated between the sea and the mountains, Barcelona is the capital of Spain’s Catalonia region and is a hot spot city for art and architecture. You will not be disappointed with the amazing choice of things to see and do in this vibrant city, the difficulty will be choosing just what to see in only… Read more »

The Shongololo Express

Back in the 1980s, a gentleman named Rohan Vos bought and restored a few vintage train carriages and steam locomotive with the intention to use them as a private hotel on wheels for his family and friends to enjoy holidays in the countryside. However, he soon discovered this was a very expensive way to travel.… Read more »

Belmond Royal Scotsman

The Royal Scotsman Planet Rail Holidays

Breathtakingly beautiful, a palette of natural colours mixed to delicate perfection, textures so vivid and contrasting they bring this masterpiece to life. Only this isn’t an artist’s painting we’re talking about, this is the view from the Belmond Royal Scotsman, an experience in life that is sure to awaken the senses in every way. Established… Read more »

The Verona Opera

Verona is a city in Northern Italy’s Veneto region, it is famous for being the setting of Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and is home to one of the world’s best preserved ancient structures, the ‘Arena di Verona’ a magnificent Roman amphitheatre full of history dating back thousands of years. Built during the first century AD… Read more »

A modern ride aboard the Belmond Grand Hibernian

Waiting smartly at the platform sits a train glistening and gleaming in midnight blue and silver, the Belmond Grand Hibernian awaits you. You’ll be greeted by a host of staff suited to perfection ready to take you off on an exquisite whirlwind adventure through the Emerald Isles. As you step aboard the train you’ll escape… Read more »

The Jewel of the Italian Lakes – Lake Como

Lake Como is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful areas of Northern Italy’s Lombardy region. With its stunning natural beauty, this is the ultimate picture-perfect destination. Nestled into the foothills of the Alps, Lake Como sits in the shadows and awe-inspiring beauty of the snow-capped mountains, with ancient villages and opulent villas scattered along the… Read more »

A visit to Amsterdam

As the capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is a city bursting with variety and life. A city with fascinating canals, unique architecture and so much to discover from its historical links to modern art, eateries, and boutique shops. To really enjoy an authentic experience of Amsterdam you have to hire a bike. Visitors are often… Read more »

A day to explore… Madrid

An elegant city with a relaxed vibe, renowned for its rich collections of European art, manicured parks and sophisticated boulevards…. It can only be the Spanish Capital Madrid, an exciting city waiting to be explored. With statement architecture both old and new, tasty treats to sample and so much to see, how is it possible… Read more »

A brief history of the Taj Mahal

  Located on the banks of the river Yamuna in the Indian city of Agra, the Taj Mahal was built to encapsulate the love a man had for his wife. Inspired by love, loss and sorrow after she died giving birth to their 14th child, the Taj Mahal is a Mausoleum that reflects love in… Read more »

48 hours in Copenhagen

Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark is a small but perfectly formed city that is bursting with culture and exciting things to see and do. Full of history, art, famous landmarks, stories and tantalising cuisine, Copenhagen is a vibrant city waiting to be explored, 48 hours in this unique city is sure to create memories that… Read more »

Top 5 places to visit while in Rome (and a few extra!)

Finely detailed yet breathtakingly dramatic, classical with modern elements and with history, art, architecture and fashion, it is easy to see why visiting Rome is so appealing. The capital of Italy is a treasure trove of archaeological and artistic gems waiting to be admired, exquisite architecture, elaborate fountains, epic views and attractions to see that… Read more »

24 hours in… Milan

Great things to do when you have a day in Milan. Milan in Northern Italy is the capital of the Lombardy region, and after Rome, it is Italy’s most popular city. Bursting with art, history, museums and being one of the world’s leading fashion capitals it is sure to be a whirlwind visit. Boasting a… Read more »

A brief look at the Cannes Film Festival

Cannes Film Festival

Famous, picturesque and stylish in so many ways, it has to be Cannes. The resort town on the French Riviera is known for the Boulevard de La Croisette that curves along the coast gleaming with glitz, glamour and style, not bad for what was originally a tiny fishing village in the 1830’s. Immaculate sandy beaches… Read more »

48 hours in… Paris

valentine's day first class rail holiday 2016

48 hours in Paris – Of course it’s not enough, but if you’re in France’s capital for 2 days, we’ve highlighted some of the top interests and attractions to see and do. Paris – Sophisticated, glamourous, elegant and most of all romantic, A city that exudes art, history, fashion, architecture, landmarks, mouth-watering cuisine, fine wines… Read more »

The Orient Express In Literature & On Screen

Orient Express Welcome

The divine elegance and grandeur of a train personifying the glamour of the golden age – it can only be the Venice Simplon Orient Express. And of course, the world’s most famous train has been experienced by some of the world’s most famous people. Below we’ve tracked down some of the best examples of the… Read more »

48 hours in Venice – What to see?

Orient Express Special Venice compressed

So you’ve got 48 hours in Venice and want to get as much in as possible? Here’s what we think you need to have on any ‘must see and do’ list for your visit. Venice is the capital of Northern Italy’s Veneto region. Built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the… Read more »

A brief history of the Trans-Siberian Express

Trans-siberian express engine

One of the greatest undertakings of the 19th and early 20th Century was the construction of the Trans- Siberian Railway. Without doubt this is one of Russia’s most magnificent accomplishments. It was in 1891 on the 31st of May when Tsar Alexander III and his son marked the start of construction with a Church service.… Read more »

The Delights of Danish, Swedish and Norwegian Cuisine

When thinking of Scandinavian cuisine many people conjure up images of pickled herrings or meatballs at their local Ikea cafe, however the Nordic cuisine is rich and diverse with distinct differences between countries and regions. A culinary revolution has taken place in the last few years with a highly regarded reputation for world class restaurants… Read more »

Discovering The Swiss Chocolate Train

chocolate-train montreux planet rail

The Chocolate Train in Switzerland…A dream or reality? This train is very much a reality but full of the things that dreams are made of. Sweet tooth lovers will be in awe at the ‘The Chocolate Train’. A train fully dedicated to the world’s most delightfully delicious, delicate and tempting sweet treats. Boarding at the… Read more »

Discovering India’s Palace on Wheels – Adventure Awaits

Take a journey on the luxurious ‘Palace on Wheels’ and revel in the wonder of this magnificent rail holiday. This exquisite train takes you on a unique trip of a lifetime discovering the diverse landscapes and cultures of Rajasthan in India. This exquisite seven-night adventure takes you through the extraordinary countryside of mystical India, visiting… Read more »

10 Must See European Cities to Visit by Train

Did you know Strasbourg is just over five hours from London – and simply beautiful… Air travel can be an exhausting ordeal at the best of times, and with the security checks, passport control & luggage recovery all making for a veritable medley of queueing, disappointment and delays, we’re all looking for a less stressful,… Read more »

48 Hours In… Montreux

Montreux is a charming town in Switzerland that sits between Lake Geneva with its shimmering blue water and the magnificent snow topped mountains of the Alps. Montreux is a truly special place. Being in the Alps, as you can imagine, there is spectacular scenery to behold (forgive us if we mention the word ‘scenery’ more… Read more »

Discover The Scottish Highlands aboard the Royal Scotsman

royal-scotsman-logo planet rail

If you’re looking for a unique blend of adventure, activity and travel with the absolute luxury of first class food, wine and accommodation, then this trip aboard the Royal Scotsman is perfect for you. Departing from Edinburgh Waverley station the Belmond Royal Scotsman begins its Highland journey. Meandering through Stirling, Gleneagles and Perth and onto… Read more »

Guy’s Triathlon Challenge! 2017

Guy Tri Challenge 2017

Our illustrious leader, Guy Saunders is soon to be taking part in the Castle Howard Super Sprint Triathlon on 22nd July 2017 – his first ever! You can sponsor Guy by visiting his sponsorship page, and here’s what Guy has to say about his forthcoming challenge: “I am taking part in the Castle Howard Triathlon… Read more »

Visit Venice By Rail – A City Of Romance and Delights

Grand Canal and Basilica Santa Maria della Salute, Venice, Italy

Venice… No city in the world can compare to the mystifying beauty of Venice. Situated in Northern Italy this unique, romantic floating city consists of more than one hundred small islands linked by bridges in a shallow lagoon. With beautiful Venetian architecture, a fairy-tale atmosphere and sumptuous helpings of charm to behold, it’s no wonder the… Read more »

How do I book a trip on the “Orient Express”?

Book A Trip On The Orient Express ~ Through Planet Rail (of course…)! So you’re considering booking a trip on the Orient Express? Though it will be on the Venice Simplon Orient Express as the traditional Orient Express is technically retired at the time of writing. There are many vendors out there selling a wide range… Read more »

How Much Does The Orient Express Cost?

How much is it to travel on the Orient Express? Orient Express Cost Uncovered. “How much does the Orient Express Cost?” A great question we often get asked is ‘How much is the Orient Express?’   So, how much does the Orient Express cost? Well, again, we should highlight that  the “Orient Express” doesn’t technically… Read more »

Where Does The “Orient Express” Go?

Where Does The Orient Express Go? One of the most frequently asked questions we get asked is “where does the Orient Express go?” This is a little bit complicated so we had better start at the beginning… The ‘Orient Express’ was a regular scheduled train service which ceased to operate in 2009. The train often… Read more »

Train Holiday Memoirs – A Planet Rail Customer’s Account of their Train Holiday to Switzerland & Italy by Rail Part 13

October 4, 2014 It was quite sad sitting on our little balcony overlooking the Bay of Naples yesterday – our last day in Sorrento. Although the area is so commercialised and busy we both loved the views and especially the Amalfi coast. It’s an absolute must for anyone interested in beautiful sea vistas! Although we… Read more »

Mothers Day Lunch on the British Pullman

With Mothering Sunday soon upon us we thought what a great time to have a look at how we can help you celebrate this special day here at Planet Rail. If you would like to spoil your mother with something a little different this Mother’s Day, we have a fantastic fine dining experience on board… Read more »

Train Days Out Across the UK

Happy New Year and welcome to 2017. We thought we’d start the year with a post to introduce you to some fantastic days out to in the UK that celebrate our iconic railways right here in Blighty.               We are lucky to have such fascinating history in this country,… Read more »

A Festive Adventure: Cologne’s Christmas Markets by First Class Rail

A Festive Adventure: Cologne’s Christmas Markets by First Class Rail   Hot mulled wine, twinkling fairy lights, bustling stalls and the scent of roasted chestnuts… There’s nothing quite like a Christmas Market. Whether you’re a festive fanatic who starts the Christmas shopping in summer, or a self-proclaimed Scrooge who refuses to acknowledge the ‘C’ word… Read more »

Luxury Trains For 2017 – Holiday By Rail: A Video Collection

We’ve shared some of the most iconic rail journey videos here to give a flavour of some of the adventures we can help you to experience in 2017 Do you want to know what it’s really like to experience and Orient Express Holiday? Perhaps you’re curious to know what the Belmond British Pullman is like inside? Or… Read more »

An Italian Holiday of Contrasts: Rome & Sorrento by First Class Rail

Italy by rail There’s no place quite like Italy…   It is Europe’s hub of art, history and culture. The Land of Love, and our affectionately named ‘Boot’. Discover Italy by Rail Italy by rail – sitting snug in the heart of Southern Europe, nestled beneath France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia, its peninsula kicks out… Read more »

Sharon’s Superb Swiss Adventure by Rail

Switzerland By Rail September 2016 At Planet Rail, it’s not just our customers who believe we offer an award-winning combination of excellent service and wonderful holidays with carefully chosen itineraries, rail routes and hotels. It’s not just our customers who choose a Planet Rail holiday but our staff do too! When planning her recent holiday,… Read more »

Orient Express Holidays review from our customers

We always ask our travellers to feed back to us on their holidays and love to hear how their trips went. So we’ve taken a few of our most recent pieces of feedback and think you’ll find them interesting – we think they give a really good picture of what one of our favourite and most popular Orient… Read more »

Palace on Wheels: An Inspirational Odyssey By First Class Rail

Taj Mahal Palace on wheels

India’s Palace on Wheels: As the seventh largest and second most populous country in the world, India is certainly a force to be reckoned with. Occupying 3.2 million square kilometres of Planet Earth’s largest continent, India consists of three major zones – the mesmerizing Himalayas, the lush Indus-Ganga and the ancient Deccan plateau. Its impressive… Read more »

Explore the Trans-Siberian Railway Aboard the Golden Eagle

Trans-siberian express engine

The Trans-Siberian Express: a unique rail travel experience. For more than 100 years the Trans-Siberian Railway has connected west and east Russia, its network branching off into Mongolia, China and North Korea. Construction commenced in the late 1800s, under the supervision of Russian ministers who were personally appointed by Tsar Alexander III. In 1916, the… Read more »

El Transcantábrico Clasico – An Unforgettable Journey Through Green Spain By First Class Rail

El Transcantábrico train

Discover the delights of north Spain aboard the Transcantábrico, one of the world’s finest tourist trains. Climb up the picturesque mountains, wind through the lush valleys and stream past the glorious coastlines of the country’s northern region, punctuating your journey with visits to Spanish gems including Palencia, Bilbao and Gijon. El Transcantábrico Clasico offers a week-long train… Read more »

Italy by Train with Planet Rail’s Grand Tour of Italy

The Grand Tour of Italy – Discover Italy by Train: An Authentic Italian Experience by First Class Rail There’s something extra special about Italy. Tucked beneath France, Switzerland and Austria, Italy’s infamous boot extends into seas of southern Europe, its Mediterranean coastline extending across an impressive 7,600km. Playing host to some of the most beautiful… Read more »

Discover The Scottish Highlands Aboard The Royal Scotsman

The Belmond Royal Scotsman is the Caledonian answer to the Orient Express.   This luxurious cruise train offers a variety of Highland holidays, ranging between two and seven night tours aboard. Travelling from the capital’s Waverley Station, the Royal Scotsman winds its way north through stunning scenery, passing glens, skirting lochs, and following miles and miles… Read more »

Travel By Train – Explore and Indulge in Europe’s Imperial Cities

Explore and Indulge in Europe’s Imperial Cities By Train Our Imperial Cities holiday is a unique experience, combining the pleasures and treasures of central Europe with luxury rail travel. This outstanding train journey highlights the Habsburg cities of Prague, Budapest and Vienna – not forgetting the German gems of Berlin and Nuremberg to commence and… Read more »

Train Holiday Memoirs – A Planet Rail Customer’s Account of their Train Holiday to Switzerland & Italy by Rail Part 2

September 19, 2014 Edinburgh Waverley Station Having been up all night watching the results of the big vote (The Sottish Referendum on Independence) we arrive at Edinburgh Waverley station tired but relieved and ready to start our much anticipated train holiday. It would have been sad to go away and to think that everything would… Read more »

5 luxury train holidays to take in 2016

Train holidays have always had a certain romance about them, and they’re currently enjoying a renaissance in their popularity. With this in mind we thought we’d share our hand-picked top 5 train journeys for 2016 – so if you’re looking for a unique holiday with a loved one this year, and want the luxurious surroundings… Read more »

Vote for us at the British Travel Awards 2015

We are delighted to let you know that Planet Rail has once again been shortlisted in the British Travel Awards. This year we are proud to have been nominated in a 2nd category, the “Best Holiday Company for Customer Service” The British Travel Awards are the most prestigious of their kind in the travel industry. So we are… Read more »

Escape by Rail this Winter with Planet Rail

As the leaves turn brown, the clocks go back and the nights draw in, if you are looking for a Winter escape by rail, we hope that you will find inspiration from our suggestions below.As you know all of our holidays are tailor-made and can be adapted to suit your individual requirements, so please feel free… Read more »

Luxury 5 Star River Cruise offers by Rail this Winter

Planet Rail is delighted to offer two new winter cruises with AmaWaterways, combining First Class rail travel with some of Europe’s best river cruises. The 7 night wine themed Seine River Cruise to Paris & Normandy on board the 5 star AmaLegro on 20th November 2014 – Prices from £1,799 per person. The 7 night… Read more »

Rail Holidays to Lake Garda

With its pristine serenity there are few more relaxing destinations in Europe than Lake Garda. But there is much more to a tailor made Planet Rail itinerary than the famous lake. The railway journey traverses some of Europe’s finest scenery, winding through two different sections of the Alps and revealing the mountains in all their… Read more »

Thinking of a Rail Holiday to Venice?

With its captivating waterways and charming atmosphere, Venice has been attracting visitors for 600 years. Built on a lagoon, Venice remains remarkably unchanged and authentic. For over 150 years visitors have been making the romantic rail journey here, and since 1919 Venice was the end point on the famous Venice Simplon-Orient-Express Rail Line. It seems… Read more »

High Speed Author Signings on-board Virgin Trains

This autumn, Virgin Trains have launched the UK’s first ever high speed book signings, which will take place on their West Coast route. A whole range of well-known authors have already been confirmed including Norwegian crime writer Jo Nesbo, British writer Joanna Trollope and comedian turned author Ruby Wax. The dates and specific train routes… Read more »

Last Chance to Vote in the British Travel Awards 2013

We are honoured to be shortlisted in the ‘Best Holidays by Train Company’ category in The British Travel Awards, the most prestigious awards in the travel industry. Voting closes on the 30th September so you don’t have long to make your vote count.   It is simple and quick to place your vote and we… Read more »

The Glacier Express and Scenic Switzerland Escorted Holiday

We can’t wait for our next Planet Rail holiday to begin. We have a group departing this Thursday 12th September, to scenic Switzerland via the fantastic Glacier Express! We thought it would be nice to share with you all some of the sights we will be treated to on our train holiday. Our first class… Read more »

Rail Travel: A Greener Way to Travel

Rail travel emits ten times less CO2 (carbon dioxide) compared to flying to the same destination. Air travel is one of the biggest contributors to global warming, traveling by an alternative form of transport such as by rail is one way in which we can reduce our individual carbon footprint and limit the impact our… Read more »

The Record Breaking Mallard Steam Train

July marks a special occasion for train lovers, the 3rd of July marked the 75th anniversary of the beloved LNER Class A4 4468 Mallard steam train. A truly outstanding Yorkshire classic, built in Doncaster back in 1938. The Mallard is historically significant because it is the holder of the world speed record for steam locomotives… Read more »

Experience the Romance of Venice

If you have ever met someone off a train, arrived at a busy station or simply sat and people-watched from a station café, then you would probably agree that rail is the most romantic way to travel. So what more romantic journey could you undertake than a rail holiday to Venice? As soon as you… Read more »

We’ve been shortlisted in the British Travel Awards

The British Travel Awards are the most prestigious awards in the travel industry, so we are thrilled to be shortlisted in the ‘Best Holidays by Train Company’ category. Voting is simple, easy, and every vote counts. We are urging anyone who may have travelled with us, anytime from 2008 onwards to please vote. If you… Read more »

Celebrating 5 years of Planet Rail

To celebrate our 5th anniversary we are offering an exclusive free room upgrade to a deluxe lake view twin or double room during our Glacier Express and Scenic Switzerland escorted holiday.The upgrade to a deluxe room is available for 2 or more customers who book this fully-escorted tour departing on the 12th September 2013. The… Read more »

Summer Holiday by Train – Nice and the Côte d’Azur

While we have been blessed with some glorious British sunshine over the past few weeks, for many of us our thoughts turn to this year’s summer holiday. If you aren’t a fan of flying or choose not to fly for environmental reasons there are still plenty of holiday options. In this post we will be… Read more »

Special Offer! FREE cabin upgrade – Orient Express to Venice

Book by Friday 24th May for a free cabin upgrade on board the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.   At Planet Rail we are offering you a 5 night and 6 day – trip of a lifetime on the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express for just £2,795 per person including a free cabin upgrade. The upgrade alone which is to a cabin suite… Read more »

Our Top 5 Honeymoon Destinations By Rail

Rail holidays make for the perfect honeymoon. If you are looking for something a little bit special for your honeymoon, why not consider a honeymoon by train? Here’s our top 5 fabulous rail holidays for a honeymoon with a difference: 1. Amsterdam, Bruges and Brussels Eurostar whisks you in first class style from London to… Read more »

London to Venice aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

There is something about the glamour and history of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express that lends itself to the imagination like no other train journey – from James Bond in ‘From Russia With Love’ to Agatha Christie’s ‘Murder on the Orient Express’, films and novels have attempted to capture the romance and mystery of the world’s most… Read more »

Honeymoon Inspiration: Grand Tour of Italy

“Enjoy your romantic honeymoon!” are words many of us will have heard, or even shouted as we wave off the newly-weds. But what do we mean by ‘romantic’, what images does this conjure? Is it sun, beaches and palm trees or unique and captivating cities? Is it magical and picturesque scenery, mountain peaks and sparkling… Read more »

Welcome to our new website

Planet Rail is delighted to introduce a new range of Cruise by Rail holidays, combining First Class rail travel with some of Europe’s best river, canal and ocean cruises. Please check our Cruise by Rail section for exciting new cruise itineraries and destinations which will be added in the coming weeks. Read more »