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Holiday options without car

(28 Posts)
bookwormbabe Fri 28-Oct-22 13:15:21

As we are without a car for the foreseeable due to my husband having to surrender his license for medical reasons and me not driving, we are looking to book a car-free holiday for next year, preferably with no flying involved and local departure points by coach or train. I was wondering whether anyone has used and has thoughts on any of the following:

Rail Discoveries
Great Railway Journeys
Shearings (we have previously used Leger, but no experience of Shearings)
Lochs and Glens
Just Go!

Calendargirl Fri 28-Oct-22 13:22:23

We have used Shearings in the past. They are part of Leger now. We had a recent Leger Luxuria tour, and talking to others, sounds like Shearings now seem to be the lower end of the coach market.

Plus they don’t pick up locally to us any more, which isn’t very convenient, whereas Leger do.

If anyone else still finds Shearings ok, please say. I am only quoting what others have said.

Greenfinch Fri 28-Oct-22 13:23:08

I would highly recommend Lochs and Glens. We had a lovely Mountains and Mistletoe holiday with them last year and intend to use them next Spring. They are very caring and efficient and have loads of pick up points and they are excellent value for money. Try a short break with them first.

choughdancer Fri 28-Oct-22 13:25:24

I don't know about any of those, but I can recommend coming to Penzance if you are able to get a train from where you are! From here you can hop on a bus or train to most places in Cornwall, you can go on a ferry to the Scilly Isles, lie on the beach (sorry can't guarantee the weather!), go to the theatre, visit gardens, eat very well, find lots to do.

I've lived here for many years and have never got bored with Penzance!

M0nica Fri 28-Oct-22 13:36:45

We have been on several rail journeys, although I cannot tell you with which company because we tend to pick a specific advertise holiday rather than a specific operator, but we have been with Arena (now no more) and, I think, Great Rail.

On train holidays, unless you are travelling abroad, you often have to get yourself to the start destination. On overseas train journey, you are usually expected to carry your own luggage, although if you enquire, some do have facilities to get your luggage to your chosen destination.

Aldom Fri 28-Oct-22 14:02:04

If anyone is planning a Sh*****gs, or any coach holiday may I suggest you do some research before booking. Recently I looked at a couple of their holidays for next year. But when I Googled the reviews for the hotels they were offering I had a shock. In each case reviews were mostly negative. The descriptions of each of the hotels on offer were pretty dire.
It is wise to to check out hotels for yourself.
Having said that, older members of my family have recently had an excellent coach holiday with a North Wales coach firm. I don't have the name of the firm at the time of writing, but will find out and put it on the thread. smile

Norah Fri 28-Oct-22 14:06:13

Have you considered cruising?

Aveline Fri 28-Oct-22 15:41:24

Some travel companies will pick you up from home and deliver you there afterwards. Titan tours does this and there are others I believe.

M0nica Fri 28-Oct-22 16:15:36

... and there is always SAGA.

kittylester Fri 28-Oct-22 16:38:05

I was going to make the same suggestion as aveline.

We have been on River cruises with Riviera without using the car. Taxi to the train, train to EuroStar and the reverse on the way home.

Galaxy Fri 28-Oct-22 16:40:30

We never take a car abroad, the train services in much of Europe are excellent, the Italian lakes was very easy to get around under our own steam.

V3ra Fri 28-Oct-22 16:47:54


... and there is always SAGA.

My Dad cruised with Saga. The fare includes a taxi from home to the departure port (and help with the luggage).

luluaugust Fri 28-Oct-22 16:56:46

We have used Rail Discoveries and Great Rail Journeys here and abroad. All the hotels have been fine, slightly different standards in some but no big problems. Luggage is our problem now without a car but on a couple of occasions we have been able to have our cases sent ahead. Friends have used Saga and had a good time.

BlueBelle Fri 28-Oct-22 17:01:33

I ve never used any but mum and dad used to holiday with Shearings every year and could never speak highly enough of them
Hope that might help

Calendargirl Fri 28-Oct-22 17:34:22

Titan owned by Saga now, I think.

BrightandBreezy Fri 28-Oct-22 17:43:32

I know you said preferably no flying but if you could take a short flight we found a holiday by the side of Lake Garda lovely. We had a hotel near the ferry landing stage. We took ourselves off for boat trips to the villages around the lake quite easily. This meant no getting up and out early as is usually necessary on coach tours. One hotel only and days out at our own pace. It was also easy to book days out by coach to other places to ring the changes. Of course if airports present a partiular problem this wouldn't work. I think Saga and other operators do coach travel to Italy though.

bookwormbabe Sat 29-Oct-22 11:25:33

Thanks very much for all the replies so far. Lochs and Glens sound good, and they do pick up from our town, so the suggestion of a short break with them sounds great. We have cruised before, and could get ourselves to Southampton by train, so that is also an option. Will definitely check out reviews of hotels before committing to any coach tour.

Greenfinch Sat 29-Oct-22 13:58:34

Just to add that the hotels used by Lochs and Glens are spacious , comfortable and in idyllic settings often beside a loch as ours was in Arrachar. We had a magnificent view over Loch Long. The only trouble was that it rained much of the time( but it was in November).

Cabbie21 Sun 30-Oct-22 11:55:58

I found this thread interesting, so I looked up some of the companies for more details. Unfortunately I was not always able to find starting times, but for those I could find, I realised this would be a problem, as we would struggle to make the early starts, especially when we’ve added an extra half hour for a taxi to the pick up point.

Madgran77 Sun 30-Oct-22 13:20:37

Always a good experience with Great Rail Journeys ...many times!

ParlorGames Sun 30-Oct-22 13:27:12

We have booked through Leger, Lochs & Glens and Rail Discoveries in the past. All were different types of holidays and did measure up to expectations.
It might be worth mentioning that Rail Discoveries do expect you to be able to handle your own luggage on and off trains.

Norah Sun 30-Oct-22 13:34:07

We're soon flying into Raleigh. We'll take a taxi home, enjoy not driving jet-lagged, then hire a car to tour about. Best of both.

Mollygo Sun 30-Oct-22 13:41:34

Great Rail Journeys in the Swiss Alps was really enjoyable - but it was about 6 years ago when we went.

LadyHonoriaDedlock Sun 30-Oct-22 13:54:00

Get an Interrail pass and just go! Follow your nose, stop off for a few days in any town ot city that catches your fancy. When you move on, see what trains are leaving for interesting places. It helps if you know a few people on yout route but it isn't essential.

I had a great time doing that for a month a few years back. Went to Dover, took the Sea Cat to Ostend and took it from there. I went to Brussels, Luxembourg, Strasbourg, Basel (I had a friend in Basel and stayed a week, just exploring the endlessly fascinating Swiss railways. I went on to Vienna, Prague, Kraków (another extended stay in a lovely city), then home via Berlin, Frankfurt, the Rhine and Mosel valleys and back to Luxembourg, Brussels and Ostend.

It might not suit everybody but it was perfect for me. You meet so many interesting people on the way.

Aveline Sun 30-Oct-22 14:09:34

Heaving luggage around and coping with high steps and stairs at stations is obviously a problem for the OP hence her request for holiday suggestions.