Please note the following blog post has been written as part of a paid collaboration with National Express. All opinions are my own.
With the increase in domestic travel in the UK, people are looking to travel closer to home now more than ever. But travelling in the UK doesn’t just involve having to drive or spend money on petrol or expensive train fares.
As travel reopens in the UK, I was recently invited to explore the UK with National Express to discover how easy it is to travel by coach in the UK. Coach travel is a great, affordable way to get around the country, visit family, explore new cities and save money.
So if you’re hoping to plan a budget UK day trip or getaway, coach day trips are a great way to do that.
National Express runs coach services all over the UK and if you’re based in the East Midlands, here are a few ideas for coach trips from Nottingham with National Express.
Benefits of travelling by coach in the UK with National Express
- Easy for those unable to drive or who don’t have a car
- You’re guaranteed a seat
- No booking fees if you sign up and book when you create an account
- Two suitcases up to 20kg and a piece of hand luggage are included in your ticket
- Booster seats for children and wheelchair lifts available on most services
- Great for those who don’t want to worry about having a designated driver on a trip
- Avoids expensive city car parking fees
- Ticket prices are very affordable (and much cheaper than UK train fares!)
- Lots of flexible routes and times to suit you
- Quick and easy, you can just sit back and enjoy a book, music, movie etc without worrying about the drive
- Travel by coach is the most environmentally friendly form of transport and produces up to 5x less CO2 per passenger than the average car journey
- The average fleet age is 3 years old and all coaches are fitted with leather seats, air conditioning, toilets and plug sockets so you can travel comfortably
I found my while trip with National Express incredibly straightforward both booking online and on the coach itself. It was so reassuring to not only see the additional measures they had put in place to ensure safety and hygiene but also comforting to know that I had my ticket ready, I didn't have to worry about finding parking at my destination and my luggage was included in the ticket price.
All the staff were so helpful and the drivers explained the temperature testing before boarding as well as helping myself and other passengers with luggage.
Plus I love the added bonus that I can get work done on the coach journey and then watch a movie on the way home when I'm too tired to work!
Steps that National Express is taking to ensure high cleanliness and hygiene standards
Of course using public transportation is a concern for some people at the moment but National Express have put extra measures in place to ensure passenger safety and to meet government guidelines.
I felt completely safe and comfortable during the entire journey and was really happy with the additional measures put in place.
Face coverings are required on all journeys
Temperature screening prior to boarding
Hand sanitiser is available for all passengers to use
Enhanced cleaning procedures with antiviral cleaning solutions
Additional filters fitted which block 99% of airborne particulates and improve air quality
Drivers wearing protective equipment
You can read more about their safety measures here.
Coach trips from Nottingham
Here are 5 ideas to help you plan a coach trip, whether you’re looking for coach day trips from Nottingham or overnight getaways, National Express has plenty of great options to suit your trip and of course plenty of options throughout the UK too.
You can find the Nottingham National Express coach stop on Station Street next to Nottingham Train Station.
You might also be interested in these 30 Nottingham day trip ideas.
Sheffield Day Trip
Sheffield is just a short 1hr 10minute journey, making it the perfect option if you’re looking for coach day trip options from Nottinghamshire.
With great coach times leaving before 9am, you can really make the most of a day trip there and get home at a good time too. Tickets to Sheffield from Nottingham cost me just £20 for a return journey.
What to do in Sheffield:
Grab breakfast at Canadian Breakfast Cafe - Cabin. It’s pancake and waffle heaven!
Explore the local stalls at Moor Market
Enjoy the beautiful architecture at the Peace Gardens
Visit the unique indoor gardens at the Winter Garden next door to the Peace Gardens and it has free entry
Visit Kelham Island Museum which is also free entry!
Grab a coffee refreshment at The Grind Cafe
Enjoy a drink at the Fat Cat Pub and try some local beers from Kelham Island Brewery
Choose from the huge selection of food at the Cutlery Works food hall
Lincoln Day Trip
The historic market town of Lincoln is a beautiful and seriously underrated destination, making it perfect for travel by coach, holidays from Nottingham area or a fun day out.
Tickets start from £6.20 and the journey takes just over an hour.
What to do in Lincoln:
Grab breakfast at the Cosy Club in the unique restored Corn Exchange building
Visit Lincoln Castle
Climb Lincoln Cathedral for amazing views across the city
Explore the historic area of the city and vibrant local stores along Steep Hill’s cobbled street
Take a walk along the river and see the historic High Bridge
Birmingham Day Trip
A Birmingham day trip by coach is a brilliant option if you’re in the Midlands. It’s just a 2 hour coach journey from Nottingham and tickets start from just £6.
Birmingham is a great day out for the whole family with shopping, culture and attractions for everyone.
What to do in Birmingham:
Enjoy a great brunch from Yorks Cafe & Coffee Roasters, or the cool Gas Street Social
Spend some time exploring the Gas Street area around the canals with the cool boutique stores, restaurants and bars
Hit the shops at Birmingham Bull Ring
If the High Street isn’t your thing, don’t miss the vintage shops in Digbeth
Sample the local craft beer at Burning Soul Brewing Co
Leeds Coach Trip
Leeds is full of things to do for a day trip or overnight stay, coaches from Nottingham take 2 hours 20 minutes and buses leaving at 8.20am mean you could make this a day trip if you’re looking for a day out.
Tickets start from just £6.20 with National Express.
What to do in Leeds:
Enjoy breakfast at the sleek Olive & Rye cafe
Visit one of the oldest and largest indoor markets in Europe at Leeds Kirkgate Market
Explore the boutique stores at the colourful Corn Exchange
Learn about the history of Leeds at the Leeds City Museum
Take the water taxi on the river to see the city from a unique perspective
Enjoy some craft beers at the home of Northern Monk beers
Or for drinks in the city centre, head for The Brewery Tap
London Coach Trip
Visiting London by coach is a great easy option from the Midlands and only takes 3 hours 20 minutes so you could possibly make it a day trip if you take the early morning or 6.20am coaches.
But a London coach trip is also great if you’re planning an overnight trip to London because tickets are just £2.90 one way!
What to do in London:
Of course there are countless things to do in London but if you’re visiting for a short day or overnight trip, here are some ideas to get you started.
Go on an open top bus tour to see all the main sights
Visit Madame Tussauds or ride the London Eye for an exciting attraction to visit
Visit the Tate Modern
Explore the vintage stores and eateries around Camden Town
Wander the colourful streets and markets around Portobello Road
See the famous Harry Potter film location and beautiful architecture at Leadenhall Market
See the city from above at the Sky Garden - it’s free, just book tickets in advance!
Grab a picnic to enjoy along the Thames from Borough Market
If you’re planning to stay in London longer, why not use this 4 day London itinerary to plan your trip!
Summary: Coach travel in the UK with National Express
National Express makes it easy to travel by coach and see more of the UK while on a budget. UK holidays are more popular than ever and sticking to a budget when there’s so much demand can be tricky. But coach travel can help you keep your trip budget friendly while allowing you to see more of the UK and without having to worry about pesky baggage or parking charges!
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