Step aboard for a railway journey of cultural discovery…

Whether it’s tempting your taste buds with local delicacies, browsing treasure-trove museums or wandering medieval cobbled streets in search of the perfect coffee stop, our culture-themed tours are all about getting under the skin of a new destination.

From historic cities brimming with cultural intrigue to famous wine regions and fascinating ruins, we’ve hand-picked the world’s most inspiring destinations and designed carefully crafted itineraries that combine must-see sites with local secrets. Professional guides bring their local knowledge and historic insight to our escorted tours, offering a unique perspective on the places we visit.

The best bit, of course, is that you’ll be hopping between cultural hotspots by train. With journeys on heritage railways, steam trains, trams, funiculars and cable cars to enjoy, this really is the only way to travel.

Call us at 01235 227288 to enquire about our Railway Culture Tours today.

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Some of the highlights you can expect from our culturally inspired holidays by rail

(Please note that itinerary and destination availability varies through the year and each year, therefore the tour mentioned may not currently be available at the time of reading. We mention them to describe the types of experiences you could typically expect with this style of tour.)

Marvel at ancient civilisations by train

Our escorted culture tours will take you on a journey back in time to discover some of the world’s most treasured historic sites. Admire the Kingdom of Bhutan’s perfectly preserved fortresses and monasteries, catch a train to the famous Incan citadel of Machu Picchu or explore the ancient Sri Lankan capital of Polonnaruwa with its fascinating ruins and gigantic rock sculptures. Closer to home, uncover Sicily’s Roman, Byzantine, Greek and Saracen heritage, tour the beautifully preserved Roman amphitheatre at Nimes or visit Jordan to see the world-renowned Roman ruins of Jerash and the ‘Red Rose City’ of Petra.    

Explore historic towns

Strolling through cobbled alleyways, exploring secret squares, browsing colourful markets and breathing in the exotic smells of unknown streets – discovering a new city is among the greatest joys in travel. Our escorted tours will introduce you to cultural capitals around the world, bypassing the tourist traps to uncover a host of hidden treasures. Will you head for southern France to stroll around the Old City of Nice and the historic alleys of Avignon? Maybe you’ll choose to explore the oldest inhabited city in Europe on a rail tour of the Balkans. Or perhaps your journey will take you to Montenegro and Serbia, where you’ll come across a smorgasbord of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture. Wherever you go in the world with us, a journey of cultural discovery awaits. 

Museums and heritage sites

Ancient temples, cliff-clinging monasteries, folk art and marvellous museums – our stellar itineraries are crammed with cultural highlights. Our professional guides will help you dive deeper into an area’s cultural heritage, from the galleries of Turin and the churches of Venice to Bulgarian craft workshops and the wartime history of Belgium. You’ll have plenty of free time for your own adventures too, with the chance to visit the museums, galleries and sightseeing spots that reflect your personal interests. What secret gems will you discover?      

Vintage railways

Travelling on historic heritage lines is the ultimate introduction to a new culture. Our escorted cultural itineraries encompass journeys on some of the world’s best-known and most beautiful vintage railways, from Mexico’s Copper Canyon Railway to Georgia’s narrow-gauge Borjormi-Bakuriani mountain line. There’s the chance to find out more about rail history, too, with visits to fascinating museums such as the Lousado railway museum in Portugal and Belgium’s Train World. Flexible tour options mean that both enthusiasts and culture junkies can enjoy the experience of a lifetime.  

Wining and dining

Eating and drinking is an integral element of any culture trip and you’ll find plenty to titillate your taste buds on our tours. We’ve picked out the very best places to try regional produce, browse tempting markets and enjoy local cookery. Sample a selection of real ales on our Trains, Ales and Gardens tour of Central Wales or combine steam trains with wine and port tasting on a tour of Portugal’s Douro Valley. Head off the tourist route in Slovenia to lunch in local restaurants and classic wine cellars – or intersperse river cruising with wine tasting in the Loire Valley.      

Train travel through stunning scenery

It isn’t just fabulous food and historic locations that make our culture tours special – in between browsing museums and tucking into sumptuous local delicacies, you’ll be travelling through some of the world’s most beautiful scenery. Why not embark on the adventure of a lifetime in Peru, where your travels will take you past high lakes and volcanoes, around canyons and through wild mountain scenery? Maybe you’d rather head for the Alaskan wilderness to spot bears, eagles and whales – all from the comfort of a train carriage. Or hop on a series of funiculars, cable cars and mountain railways to explore the Dolomites and soak in views of sparkling lakes and high peaks. Natural beauty and cultural intrigue – the ultimate combination.