It’s 6.30 in the morning, and the alarm goes off beside me. I like to wake up to a birdsong, which I usually associate with the squished tube ride to work. However, today I am going to York and so the covers are flung off and I am more than ready for an adventure.
The day’s journey is made even more special by the fact that we are travelling with Lintenair or, for the puzzle solvers amongst you that can figure out anagrams or perhaps saw the campaign video reveal (watch it below if you haven’t already), the Trainline app!
Yes, if you read my last post about the brand new way to travel with queue-free boarding, city centre terminals at each destination and lower CO2 emissions than most other transport options, all of which is managed from your mobile, you may be surprised to know that this type of travel, amazingly, already exists in the form of train travel with the Trainline app.
We decided we wanted to take a day trip to York, somewhere we’ve been wanting to go to for ages. Tickets were booked on my mobile on Wednesday, downloaded on the Sunday morning that we were due to travel and we were ready to go. The app shows you your ticket, your seats and a QR code for the train conductor to scan, so you have everything in one place without having to shuffle through ten paper tickets to find the right ones!
It took us just 15 minutes to get from home to Kings Cross and we had a delicious breakfast at Leon before boarding the train five minutes before it pulled out of the station towards the beautiful, historic town of York.
The conductor came around and scanned my phone for the two QR codes and the next thing we knew, after speeding through the fields of yellow and beautiful countryside, we were in York.
It was exactly the day we wanted. Gently waltzing through the cobbled streets, between the sand coloured stone buildings and Tudor houses, dodging packs of tourists with their camera phones pointing dramatically in every direction.
We ducked down an alleyway and out the other side onto the Cathedral Green.
Walking around the stunning architecture and down another quaint little street, we suddenly came across a National Trust House, not curious enough to look around the house (The Treasurer’s House), we noticed it was free to walk around the Gardens. The most beautiful walled town garden I’ve seen in a long time with Wisteria growing up the side of the building.
Keen to explore more, the paths led us all the way around the cathedral and back into the cobbled streets where we headed to The Botanist for lunch. With great food and even better cocktails, it was a recommendation from our friend Jess (The Travelista), who is a York local, to go to the Botanist for lunch and once again, it didn’t disappoint.
Ever the indecisive couple, we shared the Chicken Kebab (a Botanist specialty) and the Steak and Stout Pie washed down with The Botanist cocktail for Ben and a Lavender and Peach Martini for me.
Walking it off wasn’t a problem with all the cute little specialist shops in York, including a shop dedicated to Teddy Bears, one dedicated to a dizzying array of knives, one to all things Christmas (seriously, all year ‘round!) and LOTS of sweet shops.
We paused in a few and picked up some coffee table books.
Then we spotted Betty’s Tea Rooms and just couldn’t resist. We had walked past the larger Betty’s too, but it was packed and there was a huge queue so it made much more sense to go to the cuter, smaller version where we were sat immediately.
Jess had said we had to try a Fat Rascal; a Betty specialty scone filled with dried fruit and served with hot butter. Not doing things by halves, we had ours with jam and clotted cream, tea and coffee.
We did a bit more window-shopping after that, before leisurely walking along the river side back to the station to catch the train home to London.
From start to finish, the whole process was easy and quick; no queuing on the day and the tickets purchased and sent directly to my phone. Ben and I have now vowed to do more little day trips away from London. There are so many beautiful UK towns to explore, and we will definitely be using the Trainline app to get the tickets. The big question is: where do you recommend we go next?