From Kent To Dublin By Train

Travelling from Kent to Dublin and back by train & ferry (& bike!)

 

I don’t do much of any photo journaling on this blog, but I thought I’d share one of my more adventurous jaunts from a few years ago now. I made the solo journey from rural Kent to Dublin and back in a weekend using my bicycle, the train & ferry.

I was exhausted by the end of it, but delighted in my achievement! Here’s how it went. Oh, and I did take more pictures than these, but left out the ones with my friends for privacy’s sake.

 

The tickets: £66 return.

This was in 2011, mind.

I know what, I'll go to Dublin for the weekend!
I know what, I’ll go to Dublin for the weekend!

 

Travelling from Pluckley station to Dublin.
Flying would be far too normal for me. 7:20 a.m and waiting for the first of 3 trains for the day.

 

Fast forward past the trains to the ferry! I know, I wasn’t much of a travel blogger back then. I’m still not.




 

Leaving Wales. A very smooth crossing for my first time ever.

 

First sight of Ireland, woop woop!

 

But then, I was easily excited. Travelling by sea was so much more exciting than flying though!

 

 

They waved at me 🙂
Wandering around Dublin.

 

 

Outside of Butler’s Chocolate Cafe… just to prove I was there.

 

The coolest buskers.

 

Leaving Ireland on the ferry to Holyhead.
In a flash, it was time to go home.

 

After the ferry, I was stuck in Holyhead for two hours. What can you do when you’re stuck in Holyhead for two hours? Cross the funky bridge, I guess.

 

After the funky bridge I crossed the less-than-funky town to the one good bit… but then again, this was a long time ago and there might be a bit more to do in Holyhead now…

 


A massive leap to the penultimate train of the day, the high speed from St. Pancras to Ashford. I had to overshoot my stop on the fast train and take a slower one back to my local station. Then home after 12 hours of travelling, including about 20 minutes of pedalling!

 

Trains, ferries and… bicycles?

To make this work, I had to ride my bike from my village to Pluckley station in Kent, and leave it with a friend who lived very close by.

On the way to Ireland, it was unbelievably exciting. On the way back, it was unbelievably exhausting! But I was buoyed up by the idea of saying I’d made it all that way and back without my car. But I’ll add that I did get a lift to the ferry port once I’d made it there.

Of course I wasn’t blogging when I made this trip, or I’d probably have taken more pics of the dilapidated bike and the rest of the train stops! Still, it’s a cool trip down memory lane for me.

If you fancy making a journey like this then check out Seat 61 for info on how you can get from any rail station in the UK to any station in Ireland on the same ticket. It’s the site I used to get me there and back. There are actually decent pictures of the entire journey!

 

Over to you…

What’s your most convoluted overland trip been?

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2 Comments

  1. From Slough to Ligourio, a small village in mainland Greece! My friend has a villa there and wanted to take a jeep over, so 4 of us went on a journey. we had a trailer on the back, and fitting our cases in was like a jigsaw puzzle, they had an exact way to be put in and we got it down to a fine art! We took almost 3 weeks to get there as we made it into a holiday as well, so stopped anywhere we liked the look of. then we had a week in Greece and flew home. A couple of stops are especially memorable, in France a small b&b.. the owner had her own vineyard, and we sat in a small courtyard garden drinking a bottle of the best red wine we ever tasted! We bought several bottles but they never tasted as good as they did that evening, the scent of the flowers in the courtyard in the warmth of the evening, the anticipation we had for the rest of our adventure, and the relaxed atmosphere at the end of the day, resting our weary bones! Also Annecy- like a mini Venice, eating sea food by canals with street entertainment, and staying by the lake surrounded by mountains of France and Switzerland. Switzerland was wonderful too, we arrived as it got dark, and after asking for recommendations we followed a man in a Land Rover who barely spoke any English up a never ending, winding track (wondering if we were being led to a real Heidi like cabin as we had requested, or if we were following a mad axe muderer!) There was no way to turn around so we had to keep going, and suddenly the track opened out to the most picturesque mountain cabinlike hotel. It was like a storybook, the rooms overlooked mountains full of twinkling lights at night, goats with tinkling bells all around us in the morning, beautiful mountain flowers like a carpet when we ventured out. Breakfast was cheese, raspberries and freshly baked bread. We also went through Italy, our advetures are too many to mention ..not all were good. the jeep used unleaded petrol, in Italy they fill it up for you. We clearly asked for, and showed, what we wanted, but the attendant thought we were mistaken and filled it with diesel! He got into trouble for that, but we spent hours in a dusty, hot petrol station stinking with fumes, and nowhere near anywhere else, while the jeep was put up on ramps, and drained then filled with what we asked for in the first place. Seemed to take forever, no one was in a hurry, and no one spoke English (or at least if they did, they decided not to!) We stayed a few nights in Rimini too, and finally reached Brindisi from where we travelled by ferry to Greece. All four of us said it was the best holiday we ever had. It wasn’t the only time I made a similar journey .. I once went with my daughter (who didn’t drive at the time) from Slough, to Ireland to collect a Luton Van, back to Slough to load it with furniture and then travelled a different route with it to Ligourio, this time through Germany, Austria then Venice and an overnight ferry from Venice. That trip took only 4 days as we were limited with time, and was a whole different story!But still a great adventure.

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