For a truly nostalgic day trip to the seaside, track down a steam train special. On page 60 of July’s The Simple Things, Travis Elborough takes a train to the sea.
‘As someone who grew up by the seaside but has lived in two landlocked cities over the past three decades, I need few excuses to head to the
coast on a whim or having spotted a decent weather report. Like Ishmael in Moby Dick, I am occasionally gripped by an almost uncontrollable urge to ‘get to sea’. And my preferred means of reaching these longed-for shores is invariably a train.
‘Although railway stations can be the stuff of humdrum commutes,disruptions
and disputes, I treasure the possibilities they offer as means of escape to coastal adventure. The destination boards at Manchester Piccadilly, Leeds, Chester, London’s St Pancras and Fenchurch Street proffering the options, respectively, of visits to Blackpool or Morecambe, Scarborough, Llandudno, Broadstairs and Margate, Southend and Leigh-on-Sea.
‘Here a railway ticket can serve as a passport to a place of sights (if not actually sun), sea and vinegary fish and chips, where parking is no concern of mine. Travelling light on these occasions only helps to add a certain devil-may-care air of fleetfootedness to the whole affair.’
Read more in July’s The Simple Things.