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10 Things to Do on a Long Train Journey

Friday 26 August 2022

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Travelling by train can be an amazing experience. The idea of being transported from A to B within such a short space of time is incredible in itself, but seeing the sights of the beautiful British countryside adds an extra dose of magic to your journey.

However, even we can agree that long train journeys can be boring, and we often find ourselves thinking of ways to keep us busy to pass the time. That’s why we’ve come up with 10 things to do on a long train journey, whether you’re travelling solo or taking the family away.

Play a game

Few activities pass the time quicker than playing a game. Whether it’s a physical travel game like Monopoly deal or you own a portable console like a Nintendo Switch, it’s now easier than ever to lose yourself in fun. If you’re travelling on a long train journey with someone else, Bananagrams is always great fun. For solo travellers, the wide range of games available on the Switch or the Android and iOS app stores ensures you’ll never get bored.

Read a book

Reading can be time consuming, hence why we’re always complaining about our lack of time to do it. Long train journeys offer the perfect opportunity to get lost in the latest novel or piece of non-fiction, distracting you from your travel time. Whether you prefer the feel of real-life pages or a single-screened e-reader, you should always prepare yourself for some reading time.

Listen to a podcast


Still finding it difficult to pick up a book and start reading? Audiobooks may be your best bet. Thanks to the advent of software like Audiobooks and Audible, there’s now a multitude of page-turners right at your ears. So, whether you fancy some classic literature or are learning from non-fiction, you can sit back, relax, and take it all in.


Most people cope with long train journeys with the help of technology rather than sitting and relaxing. Why not take the opportunity to go tech-free and meditate your way to your destination? It’s proven to reduce pain and anxiety, and is a great way to gather your thoughts – just don’t fall asleep and miss your stop.

Learn a new skill

What’s the one thing you’ve always wanted to do? From reading music to learning a language, a long train journey gives you the chance to get stuck into a new hobby. There are how-to books and mobile apps on an extraordinary range of topics, and there are so may video tutorials to discover online teaching you new skills and knowledge.

Learn about your destination

How much do you know about where you’re headed? What’s its history, what are the best things to do, and where do you need to go when your train arrives? If the answer to those is ‘I don’t know’, it might be a good idea to find out. Spend your time on the long train journey doing some research on your destination, ensuring you make the most of the time you have there.

Watch a film or TV show

Whether you pay for Netflix yourself or borrow your parents’ login, there’s a huge number of TV shows and films at our fingertips today. If there’s a film you haven’t had the time to watch or you need to catch up on the latest episode of your favourite TV show, a long train journey gives you a great chance to do so. Top tip: download your favourite shows while connected to WiFi to save your mobile data and reduce buffering if travelling through remote areas.

Plan your day

What are you doing when you reach your destination? What will you have for dinner? Do you have anything to do on the long train ride back home? These are all questions you can answer on your journey, planning and structuring your day to ensure you live it to the fullest. Creating a personal plan is great for your well-being, so take the time to make the most of your time.

Meet new people

Most solo train journeys involve us doing things as individuals: reading, listening to podcasts, watching TV shows. Few of us actually take the time to sit and talk to whoever’s sitting right next to us. In fact, speaking to new people is something we’re doing less and less, with technology mainly to blame. Take the opportunity to talk to your fellow passengers, asking them how they are and where they’re going – you’ll be surprised how great you feel after.

If you’re looking for things to do on a long train journey, don’t forget to book an Advance ticket via our website or our CrossCountry app. You can also find information on how to get cheaper train tickets via our special offers page. If you need more information, you can contact us here.

The UK is bursting with fun activities. Whether you’re visiting one of the best castles in the UK, the best theme parks in the UK, or the best waterparks in the UK, you can always travel by train. CrossCountry has services running up and down the country to ensure you can get to the places you need to be.

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