The railway station in Stamford is discreetly tucked away on the side of the town centre and many residents do not realise what an asset it is to live on such a useful route, so this page concludes with a brief section for those who live here, about how to get out ... although they'll always want to come back!
Getting Here, for visitorsStamford is on the Cross Country line between Stansted Airport and Birmingham New Street, which has major junctions at Ely, Peterborough, Leicester and Nuneaton, so wherever you live in the UK, or wherever you're staying if you come from abroad, it is quite easy to find. Stamford is just 15 minutes' train ride from a change-of-train at Peterborough for those coming from London, Scotland or the north-east of England, and 90 minutes from Birmingham for those coming from Wales or the west or north-west of England. Services are hourly throughout the day, with a couple of extra trains here and there, although they finish rather earlier in the evening than one might like and do not start until lunchtime on a Sunday - but then you might not want to get here much before then anyway! One tip if you're coming from a distance on a First Class fare and changing at Peterborough is to book a separate standard class ticket for the last leg from Peterborough to Stamford - it is a very short trip and the extra charge for First Class is a lot to pay for 15 minutes in a bigger seat in a Cross Country Turbostar train.
Now you've arrived ...
When you leave the station the waymarked route into the town centre, leftish and ahead, takes you through a small housing area built on the site of the former goods yard, but if you are not carrying too much luggage to climb a few steps you can turn right and into the streets of St Martin's, the part of the town south of the river. The nearest hotels here are Candlesticks, the famous George of Stamford, and the William Cecil. These are within a couple of minutes of the station, another couple of minutes from the shops and a short walk from Burghley House, which you are bound to want to visit. All are full of character in themselves.
The Crown Hotel, in All Saints Place, is the place to be.
You will not want for food and drink here: Stamford is well-provided with restaurants, coffee houses, pubs and bars and the only difficulty is deciding between the huge choice of excellent places to visit. Some of them are an attraction in themselves, such as the Tobie Norris in St Paul's Street and Melbourne Bros in All Saints' Street.
Going Away, for residentsAs regular readers of this blog (or of All Saints' Parish News!) will know, I travel a lot by train from Stamford. While Peterborough would be an even better starting place, Stamford is such a great place to live that I'll put up with the slightly less convenient travel opportunities! Without a change of train, we can travel smoothly and comfortably by train from Stamford to:
- Stansted Airport
- Birmingham New Street
- and several smaller places en route
Yorkshire, Scotland and the North East
London and the South East
|Breakfast is available between|
Peterborough and London within the price
of a First Class ticket
South Coast, the South West and South WalesFor Brighton and Portsmouth we go via London as above, taking the Victoria Line tube to Victoria for Southern's trains to the coast. For anything west of there and all the way round the coast to Glasgow (!) we travel via Birmingham.
We have hourly trains from Stamford to Birmingham New Street from where, at the "hub of England" (England and Wales, really) there are trains to almost anywhere. CrossCountry Trains has more mileage than any other company and reaches all our major cities except London (and it gets close to that), and it is centred on Birmingham. For the south, we take a train to Bristol, usually staying on it to our destination which can be in Somerset, Devon or Cornwall, or we can change again at Bristol Parkway for South Wales or Bristol Temple Meads for Portsmouth, Weymouth, Poole and lots of other places. Or just Bath. There are trains to Cardiff from New Street as well.
North Wales and the North West
We have not really done this part of the country yet, but when we do we know that for Wales we'll be changing at Birmingham New Street again, and for the English Lakes and beyond we'll change at either Nuneaton or New Street depending on the timing of connections.
It is all really very simple, or, at least, it is if you plan the trip in advance (and that allows buying of cheap Advance tickets as well) and keep careful control of your luggage (see article under "Luggage" tab above): when there are changes of train you do not want your stuff scattered all over the coach and four or five bags and other things to gather up and carry to another train. I always travel with one hand free to open doors, show tickets etc, and I do that by taking one wheeled case and a small backpack, and if that is insufficient another small case that fits over the retractable handle of the first. Only the backpack is ever opened on the journey and I make sure any books, computers, cameras etc that I might want to use while travelling are packed in that. Easy
And so, off to the station. Eastbound trains for Peterborough and East Anglia normally leave on the hour, westbound for Oakham, Leicester, Nuneaton and Birmingham at five past. (So the station is quiet for 40 minutes of each hour, a good time to be collecting tickets purchased in advance online!) There is a car park with a modest charge, several local taxi services, and the bus station is about five minutes walk away across the meadows, so if you do not live within easy walking distance as I do, those are options.