Exotic-sounding getaways in East Anglia you can visit by train

Published on: Wednesday, 7 July 2021
Last updated: Monday, 4 September 2023

  • Greener Anglia

With confusing travel restrictions on foreign destinations this year, UK travel and staycations are the answer for many of us.
There are so many beautiful places to get away from it all in East Anglia and our trains can take you straight to the stunning coastlines, countryside, towns and cities of Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Essex quickly, conveniently and safely for a day trip or a longer break.
While we’re discouraged from travelling abroad, we’ve picked out some exotic-sounding places right here on our network that might offer a fun alternative.
Here are some of our favourites:


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Credit: Susan O, Trip Advisor

Next door to the bustling holiday resort of Great Yarmouth, California boasts a gorgeous sandy beach to rival its American namesake, although we can’t guarantee it will be as hot!
The village gets its name from the discovery of some 16th century gold coins on the beach in 1848 at the time when everyone was talking about the California gold rush.


This tiny hamlet in the lovely Suffolk countryside lies equidistant between Needham Market, Ipswich and Wickham Market stations. Take a folding bike with you to ride out past Gibraltar and on to the beautiful house, gardens and parkland of Helmingham Hall to enjoy bucolic scenes of quintessential English countryside.


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Sandy Holland-on-Sea beach is between Clacton-on-Sea and Frinton-on-Sea, so you could enjoy a lovely walk along this part of the Essex coastline getting off at either Clacton-on-Sea or Frinton-on-Sea and taking in all three destinations. Clacton offers all the fun of the fair with its pier and traditional seaside atmosphere, while Frinton offers a much quieter destination and pretty beach huts.


America is part of the parish of Sutton-in-the-Isle on the outskirts of Ely, a fascinating and historic Fenland city. You can spend many hours in Ely discovering all its charms – including its majestic Cathedral known as the “Ship of the Fens”, its waterways and the unusual ‘Eel Day’ festival.

Norwich’s French borough

After the Norman conquest in 1066, a colony of French traders established a thriving ‘French borough’ in the city. This is one of the oldest parts of Norwich with many historic attractions including the Castle, built by William the Conqueror, the Cathedral, Norwich Market, Tombland and the medieval churches of St Peter Mancroft, St Giles and St Stephens.

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Norwich Cathedral Credit: Bill Smith/NorwichCathedral

Colchester’s Dutch quarter

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This picturesque area of the town is just north of the main High Street behind The George Hotel and features quaint old streets and buildings dating back to before the 16th century when Flemish refugees made it their home after fleeing religious persecution in Spain. Don’t forget to explore Colchester’s other delights including its shops, castle and zoo.


Head to London, one of the world’s most multi-cultural cities, to find flavours, sounds and customs from all around the world.
Enjoy a taste of the orient in the city’s famous Chinatown with its Chinese supermarkets, bakeries, and over 80 different Chinese restaurants to enjoy. And in January, it’s a great place to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
Plan your trip at https://www.greateranglia.co.uk/tickets-fares/find-right-ticket-you where you can find a range of great value fares and use the cheapest fare finder tool.
You can travel with confidence on our trains. We are still carrying out enhanced cleaning and sanitisation of all our trains and our train cleaners are hopping on after every journey to wipe down touch points with virucide
On most services there is still plenty of space, especially if you use the full length of the train. We’re running a slightly reduced timetable – with over 85 per cent of the usual services now running. If you haven’t travelled with us since last March, you’ll notice our new longer trains on many of our routes – which means more space for everyone.
For more details on what we are doing to help you travel during the pandemic, please follow this link: