Below are a series of maps, detailing the different transport methods we have used on our travels around the United Kingdom and beyond.
Map 1: Rail Travel
Our main mode of transport is the train, which we regularly use to get between our homes near Carlisle and Preston. There are frequent services to all major towns and cities in the country, making them a useful tool for us to explore. We regularly use the West Coast Main Line that runs between London and Glasgow/Edinburgh, as well as the Merseyrail services between Southport and Liverpool. There are many other routes run by different operators and each point represents a train station we have either caught a train from or disembarked from one at. The rail system across Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) operates as one entity and tickets run between the three local countries. There are various sites you can use to buy tickets, and we regularly use the Transpennine Express site here, and you could also visit the National Rail site here to get timetables, alterations to services, disruptions and news of engineering work. Some other well known sites include thetrainline.com.
The system in use in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is also intertwined however it is completely separate from Great Britain so to buy tickets you should use the Northern Irish Rail site here or the Irish site here.
Map 2: Light Rail Travel
Aside from main line travel, we also used various Light Rail networks around the UK, which have a fast and frequent service serving a specific area, such as the London Underground, Newcastle Underground (Tyne & Wear Metro), Glasgow Subway and Manchester’s extensive network of trams. All the points featured are stations we have caught a tram/train from or disembarked from one at.
You can visit the sites for London Underground, Manchester Metrolink, Tyne & Wear Metro and Glasgow Subway by following the links. There are other regional trams aside from Blackpool, including Nottingham, the West Midlands, Sheffield and Edinburgh.
Map 3: Heritage Rail Travel
There are hundreds of heritage railways around the UK, and various other countries, preserving old railway lines that no longer exist such as the South Tynedale Railway, or, like the West Lancashire Light Railway, a heritage railway has grown up around a small site used to store old equipment to save it from the scrap heap. You can visit the websites for the South Tynedale Railway, West Lancashire Light Railway by clicking the names on this line.
Map 4: Ferry Travel
Some great ways to explore cities and major lakes can be by boat or ferry. We have sailed down both the River Mersey (Liverpool) and the River Tyne (Newcastle) on local ferries, as well as explored Loch Lomond and the Islands of Scotland using larger boats. Our best trip by water however was from the town of Birkenhead near Liverpool, where we got a direct ferry overnight to the Northern Irish capital city, Belfast. It was a fantastic experience and a great way to see the UK or local cities.
Each point on the map represents a ferry terminal we have embarked or disembarked at. You can visit the Stena Line site for Irish Ferries here, Mersey Ferries here, Shields Ferry (Tyne) here as well as Caledonian Ferries in Scotland here. For Loch Lomond we used Sweeneys Cruises.
Map 5: Air Travel
Air travel is of course one of the easiest ways to get around the world, and we have used it to get to the British Territory of Gibraltar, our first place outside of the British Isles!