Backpacking to Europe – Part 30: Train Trip to Windermere

Backpacking to Europe – Part 30: Train Trip to Windermere


If you just reached here and wanted to read the start of our journey, let’s go to Part 1!

A train trip to the countryside

When I was planning for this Eurotrip, I never thought or heard of Windermere. It all started when I realized that my plan consists of cities per se. On the other hand, my colleague who was also planning for a Eurotrip around the same time with me were going to visit some countrysides in Switzerland. So, I googled “countryside in England” and I stumbled upon the Lake District. Windermere is one of the towns in Lake District. After due consideration, I decided for a train trip to Windermere.

To the countryside on a train trip to Windermere.
To the countryside!

The start of the train trip to Windermere

We waited for a couple of minutes at the departure hall of London Euston station. They did not provide any chair and everyone was staring at the board to see when the departure gates to the platforms will open. We waited until the LED board show ‘gate opens‘ and we walked to the gate, taking our luggage with us.

Leaving the city for a different experience
Leaving the city for a different experience

At the platform, we entered into the train and looked for our seats. I thought that the train is wide, at least like Malaysia’s ETS. However, the aisle was so narrow and there were not so many places to put our bags and luggage. To make it worse, there was a group of school children going to Glasgow in our coach and the scene was very chaotic. People finding places to put their bags, some kids looking for their seats and arguing with another person who already sat at a particular seat. The leg room was also small and I felt really warm inside the train. “This is going to be a very long train trip to Windermere“, Amira said to me.

The view of the countryside when having a train trip to Windermere – splendid!

If there is a consolation to our discomfort feelings in the train, it was the view. Along the way, we were presented with splendid views of England’s countryside. Green hills and sheep accompanied us throughout our journey. Once in a while, the train moved passed several small towns. The views of small towns, gloomy weather and greenery outside the window seemed like they were taken straight out of postcards.

One of the stops along the journey - Preston
One of the stops along the journey – Preston

The Virgin train that we were in was heading towards Glasgow. Since Amira and I were heading towards Windermere, we had to disembark at Oxenholme station to wait for a Northern train to Windermere.

Oxenholme. It was gloomy and feeling so country here.
Oxenholme. It was gloomy and feeling so country here.

Tips: Although Virgin and Northern are two separate brands, tickets can be purchased together but separate tickets will be issued. So, keep your tickets printed at the ticket kiosk in London properly. 

The journey from London to Oxenholme is around 2 and a half hours. We departed London at around 1.30 pm and reached Oxenholme at around 4.00 pm. The train to Windermere will depart at 4.22 pm. So, we had 20 minutes waiting time before the connecting train arrives.

Passing through some small towns
Passing through some small towns

Whilst waiting, we just sat on the bench and chatted about our journey so far. I told her that everything felt surreal and I could not believe that we were in the countryside, waiting to see England from a different perspective.

As if it was taken out of postcards
As if it was taken out of postcards

Northern Train trip to Windermere – the final leg of this train trip

A few minutes before the scheduled time for the Northern train to arrive, an announcement was made saying that the train is coming and approaching the platform. Suddenly, I heard the old-school sound of train moving on a rail track. “Eh, this sounds like the old KTM train (KTM is the train company in Malaysia) which goes to Kelantan“, Amira told me. “Yeah, it sounds like the old kind of train“, I replied.

My favourite view
My favourite view

It was true. The Northern train to Windermere was an old train, using fuel and was not electrified yet. (Later, I was made known that there were plans to electrified the train but it has not occurred yet as of February 2017). The train was not full and it was free seating. We chose our seat and just looked at the gloomy and cloudy weather. Halfway across our 20-minute journey, it rained. At 4.43 pm, we arrived at Windermere train station.

Windermere train station

Next: Part 31


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