Three-day itinerary to Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon and Brighton by train

Explore Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon and Brighton in just three days with a BritRail M-Pass.
hand holds phone with BritRail app in front of a train passing through English countryside
The BritRail app. Image courtesy of VisitBritain

Discover picturesque English towns with a BritRail England M-Pass, using London as a connecting point to fantastic destinations. The M-Pass is a train travel pass that offers great value for money, exclusively for oversea visitors to Britain. With the M-Pass you can hop on any train in England at any time, for completely stress-free travel as you explore the country.  

Simply download the pass to your mobile phone before arriving in England and either scan the barcode on your phone, or show it to a guard, at the train station’s gates. Tickets start from just £121 for a three-day adult pass with unlimited train travel, and children under 15 go free with each paying adult. 

Day one: Oxford

Follow in the footsteps of great thinkers, poets and scholars in Oxford, home to the oldest university in the English-speaking world. 

Travel time: London Marylebone or London Paddington to Oxford – 1 hour by train.

Bodleian Library rooftop at the University of Oxford

Morning

After enjoying a pastry and hot drink on the speedy train journey, it’s time to start exploring the city of “dreaming spires” with insider knowledge from an expert tour guide. Hop on a bike and ride under the beautiful Bridge of Sighs, visit JRR Tolkein’s house and cycle along the river Thames on the Guided Cycle Tour of Oxford.  

Alternatively, sit back and relax on the City Sightseeing bus tour with highlights including the picturesque Oxford Canal and Christ Church College, featured in the Harry Potter films. 

Afternoon

Take a leisurely punt down the river with a picnic basket for lunch, before an afternoon of sightseeing. Discover 1,000 years of history on the Oxford Castle Unlocked Guided Tour, where theatrical actors portray the thrilling tales, murders and legends of past inhabitants. 

Blenheim Palace in Oxford with reflection in water pool in the gardens

Wind up the day with a trip to beautiful Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill. Admire the landscaped parkland designed by Capability Brown and gaze upon the sensational romantic architecture at this World Heritage Site.

Book tickets to Oxford attractions.

Day two: Stratford-Upon-Avon

Discover the birthplace of William Shakespeare at this quaint market town, set upon the River Avon. 

Travel time: London Marylebone to Stratford-Upon-Avon – up to 2 hours 30 minutes by train.

Morning

Explore homes connected to one of Britains's greatest literary figures with a Shakespeare’s Birthplace and Two Houses Pass. Start by immersing yourself in live theatre and tales of his early life at his birthplace on Henley Street, before strolling by the street’s charming shops to Shakespeare’s New Place

The beautiful garden at Shakespeare’s New Place commemorates the site of his family home in the last two decades of his life, where it is believed he wrote The Tempest. Then it’s a short walk to admire beautiful Jacobean-style furniture at Hall’s Croft, the home of the playwright’s daughter Susanna.

aerial view of Stratford-upon-Avon with the River Avon

Afternoon

Learn all about Shakespeare’s formative years in the 14th-century buildings at Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall, and try and impress the school master with your knowledge in class. After trying your hand at Tudor homework, it’s time for a spot of afternoon tea at Hathaway Tea Rooms with sumptuous scones and dainty sandwiches. For a leisurely end to the afternoon, relax on one of Avon Boating’s traditional vessels as you cruise down one of the finest rivers in the country. 

Purchase an Explorer Pass for free entry to the homes, schoolroom and river cruise, and a discount at the tea rooms. 

Day three: Brighton

Combining Regency grandeur with a lively arts scene, this seaside town offers great architecture, quirky shops and fantastic places to eat and drink. 

Travel time: London Victoria to Brighton – 1 hour by train.

The Royal Pavilion palace in Brighton at sunset

Morning

Admire the beautiful Sussex countryside on the train before you arrive in the city centre and jump aboard the City Sightseeing bus tour, with a stop conveniently located just outside the station. 

On the 11-stop tour, marvel at the stunning Royal Pavilion, King George IV’s 19th-century party palace; take a stroll around Brighton Marina, a working harbour; and stop off at SEA LIFE Brighton aquarium, home to more than 150 marine creatures including sharks, turtles and seahorses. 

Afternoon

Spend the afternoon soaking up the town’s vibrant atmosphere, starting by tucking into golden fish and chips on the iconic Brighton pier for lunch. After eating your fill, explore the colourful shops in The Lanes filled with antique jewellery and quirky souvenirs. 

stone Brighton Beach with with Brighton Pier on a cloudy day

Once your bags are full, it's time to pop into one of Brighton's unique pubs for a drink. Grab one of the few seats at the Great Eastern, a tiny pub with an impressive whisky list, or settle down in front of the cosy fire at The Prince Albert, handily located next to Brighton Station for the quick return to London.  

Book tickets to Brighton attractions.