Revealed: the top leisure destinations on the Greater Anglia network outside of London

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Norwich was the most popular destination outside of London for leisure passengers travelling on the Greater Anglia network in 2019.

Nearly 650,000 leisure journeys were made to Norwich last year. More than half a million people opted for a trip to Cambridge while 427,000 chose to visit Chelmsford. Colchester attracted 420,000 people while Ipswich welcomed just under 400,000.

Destination Number of journeys during 2019
Norwich 649,469
Cambridge 544,474
Chelmsford 427,849
Colchester 420,437
Ipswich 396,509

Although passenger numbers have been much lower this year due to the pandemic, travelling by train is now an option again for all journeys, provided customers follow all travel advice to keep safe - including wearing a face covering, which is mandatory unless you are exempt, and maintaining social distancing rules wherever possible.

Greater Anglia has signed up to a safer travel pledge which sees the company take actions to keep passengers and staff safe.

Trains and stations are being cleaned more frequently, free hand sanitiser is available at all staffed stations and signs, floor markings and one way systems help customers to maintain social distancing.

Customers are encouraged to plan their journeys in advance. They can find out which trains are less busy on the Greater Anglia website and buy tickets online to minimise time spent at the station.

Martin Moran, Greater Anglia’s Commercial, Customer Services and Train Presentation Director, said: “We have some wonderful destinations on our network, and we help millions of people explore the East of England every year.

“East Anglia has so much to offer including blue flag beaches, great family attractions, world class culture, heritage, landscape and food, and shopping destinations.

“Travelling by train is sustainable and better for the environment. Customers should book their tickets in advance to get the best deals and fares.

“We’re doing all we can to help people travel safely this summer, so people can take advantage of the lovely weather and explore the east.”

Greater Anglia is now running new trains on the mainline between Norwich and London Liverpool Street, and on rural lines. The new trains are longer, with more seats, air conditioning, free Wi-Fi and plug/USB points.

Highlights of the Top 5 destinations

Norwich boasts two cathedrals, a host of independent shops and restaurants, and a wealth of history and heritage.

Norwich cathedral under a clear blue sky

You can see Cambridge from the water by punting around the city, taking in views of the world-class university and beautiful landscapes.

Chelmsford is a great place for a family day out - catch one of the outdoor theatre performances or visit the farmers’ market at Hylands Park, enjoy a walk through one of the parks and a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants in the city.

Explore Colchester, Britain’s Oldest Recorded Town. Visit Firstsite for some of Britain’s best-known artists, immerse yourself in history at Colchester Castle or pack a picnic and watch a movie at the town’s outdoor film festival in Castle Park.

See Ipswich from the water with an Orwell River Cruise. For those who prefer activities on dry land, Christchurch Mansion and Ipswich museum have recently re-opened.

Anyone looking for travel inspiration can visit www.greateranglia.co.uk/discover. To find out more about the best places to visit on our network visit www.greateranglia.co.uk/destinations.