1. The number 65 from Buxton to Sheffield
- Approximate duration: 1 hour 30 mins
- Frequency:** 7-8 times a day (Mon-Sat), 3 times on Sunday
- Operator: Stagecoach
- Tickets: buy a paper ticket on the bus, contactless payments accepted
- Wheelchair accessible: Yes
About the route: Winding its way through the rolling hills of the Peak District National Park for the majority of the journey. There are sure to be bucolic scenes and breathtaking views aplenty, without you having to worry about navigating steep descents, blind summits and sheep on the road.
Courtesy of Stagecoach
Things to do in Buxton
- Stroll around the 23 acres of Victorian-era pleasure gardens at Pavilion Gardens
- Browse the boutiques and stop for a coffee at the Cavendish Arcade
- Sample some of that famous Buxton Spring Water at the source
Things to do in Sheffield
Highlights along the route***
Image source: Parkwood Outdoors
A press release from Stagecoach Yorkshire name-checked some additional highlights on the route, stating: "It gives walkers, cyclists, climbers and tourists access to attractions including the Monsal Trail at Millers Dale and Tideswell’s famous fourteenth-century church of St John the Baptist known as the ‘Cathedral of the Peak’".
Matt Kitchin, Managing Director of Stagecoach Yorkshire, said: “The route allows passengers to sit back and admire stunning views of the Peak District and Derbyshire Dales. The service encourages people to leave their car at home and explore the beautiful destinations on our doorstep without the stress and cost of parking. By taking the bus on their day out, passengers can contribute to a reduction in carbon emissions helping to protect the local environment so that these beauty spots can be enjoyed for years to come.”
2. The 1A 'Coastal Clipper' from Lowestoft to Martham
- Approximate duration: 2 hours
- Frequency**: Every 30 minutes (Mon-Sat), every hour (Sunday & public holidays)
- Operator: First Norfolk & Suffolk
- Tickets: Pay on the bus (contactless cards accepted)
- Wheelchair accessible: Contact the operator
- Other things to note: Easy connection to the open top 1c for beach access in the summer and the route 99 which ventures further as far south as Southwold in Suffolk
About the route: This route traverses two counties and juxtaposes two worlds. Skirting the fringes of the Norfolk Broads and quiet beach-side communities between stops in busier resort towns like Great Yarmouth. With key calling points such as Hemsby, Winterton-on-Sea and Caister-on-Sea.
Courtesy of First Group PLC
Things to do at the Martham end of the route
Courtesy of the Communications and Marketing team at the National Trust (Norfolk & Cambridgeshire)
Things to do in Lowestoft
Highlights along the way***
- Scream if you want to go faster at Pleasure Beach in Great Yarmouth
- Hit the beach in Caister-On-Sea
- Win all the 2p coins at an old-fashioned arcade in Hemsby
Pete Waters, Executive Director of Visit East of England enlightened us to the fact that: "The Pleasure Beach at Great Yarmouth has the only remaining wooden rollercoaster in the UK, and one of only eight in the world. It's also only one of two where a brakeman is required to ride the train to control its speed - because there are NO BREAKS on the track." Mr Waters touched on the fact the value and ease of these coastal bus routes are being under-utilised by visitors: "We would love to get more people on public transport. Our research suggests that more than 90% of all visitors come by car and use those cars when they're here, rather than public transport." So you can certainly count this as one where you can not only travel up and down the coast in an easy and affordable way, but also have a more sustainable break that's kinder to the local environment and population.
3) The AD122 Hadrian's Wall Country Bus from Hexham to Haltwhistle
- Approximate duration: 1 hour 15mins
- Frequency**: Approximately five times a day
- Operator: GO North East
- Tickets: Singles and returns are available from the driver, other tickets are available online.
- Wheelchair accessible: Yes
About the route: The brilliantly named AD122 (get it?) allows you to take in the rugged scenery of England’s most northerly county and riding the full route will allow you to put yourself in the boots of a Roman soldier keeping guard against ferocious northern tribes. Notable stops include The Sill, the Roman Army Museum and various Roman forts along the way near the wall making it the perfect route for sight-seers. We’ll happily admit this one is more of a purpose-built route , but the price cap combined with the amazing history make it a worthy inclusion.
Courtesy of Go North East
Things to do in Hexham
- Tour Hexham Abbey, one of the earliest seats of Christianity in the country
- Catch a film at the beautifully preserved Art Deco cinema, The Forum
- Browse the shelves at the wonderfully independent Cogito Books
Things to do in Haltwhistle (or a little bit outside)
- Take a walk along and around the Grade II listed Lambley Viaduct
- Visit Thirlwall Castle, a 12th Century fortification built on the banks of the River Tipalt
- Explore Northumberland's largest area of ancient woodland Allen Banks and Steward Gorge
Things to do along the way***
- If you love history then all of it, if you don't, why are you here?
Dan Graham, Commercial Development Manager at Go North East, gave us more information on the route: "The AD122 Hadrian's Wall Country Bus connects Hexham and Haltwhistle with Roman Forts at Chesters, Housesteads and Vindolanda, as well as The Sill, and the Roman Army Museum in Walltown." Mr Graham also mentioned the great value on offer at present, adding: "The AD122 service from Hexham to Haltwhistle is 31 miles in length, and under the £2 fare cap, bus users save a whopping 70% against the usual cost of an adult single ticket on this route.The buses used on the route are wheelchair accessible, and include a commentary of some of the key highlights along the route, including Sycamore Gap. There's never been a better time to get out and explore the Hadrian's Wall!"
4) The Coaster Route 12/12A/12X and 13X, Brighton to Eastbourne
- Approximate duration: 1 hour 20mins
- Frequency**: Every 10-30 minutes throughout much of the day
- Operator: Brighton & Hove Buses
- Tickets: Pay on the bus contactless accepted
- Wheelchair accessible: Yes
- Additional information Dementia-friendly
About the route: A coastal classic, this route glides through some of the best scenery on the south coast, sandwiched between the South Downs National Park on one side and the English Channel on the other. Brighton is certainly one that we highly recommend for family days out. On the bus route you will see a plethora of natural wonders, including the gorgeous Seven Sisters and Birling Gap. Can spot paddleboarders on Cookmere Haven, stop for a walk on Telscombe Cliffs or Enjoy a drink in one of East Dean’s many rustic pubs.
Brighton and Hove Buses, Coastliner, 2015
Things to do in Brighton
According to our very own guide to the South Downs and surrounding area
- Ride the Brighton i360 138 metres into the sky for the best views of Brighton
- Stroll around the Royal Pavilion , an oriental style palace once the seaside retreat of King George IV
- Indulge in coffee and doughnuts on Brighton Palace Pier
Things to do in Eastbourne
Things worth stopping for on the way***
Nick Hill, Commercial Director at Brighton & Hove Buses says: "The Coaster routes boast some of the most breath-taking views in the UK. With the rolling hills of the downs on one side and the open sea on the other, you can enjoy a whole range of natural wonders as you journey between Brighton and Eastbourne for just £2: A saving of £3.50 per trip.”
5) Route X93/4 from Whitby to Scarborough
Approximate duration: 1 hour
Frequency**: Up to every 30 minutes
Tickets:Pay on board with cash or contactless, use 'Tap on Tap off'or pay in advance on the Arriva UK Bus App
Wheelchair accessible: Yes
About the route: Reliably shuttling between two of North Yorkshire’s premier seaside resort towns, this route is a really great way to explore other parts of this rugged and storied coast. Narrow roads, steep climbs, sharp drops and livestock in the road mean driving in this part of the country is not for the faint of heart, so you can relax while the local bus drivers make light work of it.
Image courtesy of Arriva
Things to do in Scarborough
According to our own guide to Scarborough
Things to do in Whitby
Our guide to Whitby suggests much more, but highlights include
- Tour the Abbey, a true Anglo-Saxon relic
- Grab an ice cream in the harbour
- Take a boat ride out of the harbour to explore the North Yorkshire coastline
Interesting calling points***
- Explore the charming but steep streets of Robin Hood's Bay
- Walk the coastal path from Robin Hood's Bay to Whitby
- 'Potterheads' should head inland to Goathland to see the real life Hogsmeade train station on the North York Moors Railway
A spokesperson for Arriva Buses, Jay Drummond agreed with many of our things to do suggestions, adding: “Whitby has the Abbey, accessible via the famous 199 steps and hosts annual Goth Weekend because of its connection to Bram Stoker’s Dracula. “Scarborough has the castle and two bays with glorious sandy beaches and in between both is of course Robin Hood’s Bay with its tales of smuggling history. This route also offers great scenic views over the North Yorkshire Moors.” This is certainly a route where you should grab a seat on the top deck if you can.
6) Route 55, Tiverton to Exeter
- Approximate duration: 40 minutes
- Frequency** Every 30 minutes
- Operator: Stagecoach
- Tickets: Pay on the bus, contactless accepted
- Wheelchair accessible: Yes
About the route: The shortest route on our list but no less scenic or interesting. Shadowing the River Exe for large parts of the route along narrow roads that pass through typical villages and quaint churches.
Image source: English Heritage
Things to do in Exeter
Things to do in Tiverton
Planning to stop off mid-route***
If you want to stop off in Bickleigh for a taste of rural life you can
So there you have it, we hope if you are planning to take a holiday in any of the above locations that you will try out these routes for an enjoyable and cost-efficient way to explore your destination, and if you are planning to visit a part of the country not listed, that you will be inspired to make the most of the £2 fare cap and seek out an unsung route of your own that you can combine with your summer holiday ideas.
*Always remember if you plan to make multiple trips then check with the operator for the best value ticket for you.
**Route start, end and calling points vary throughout the day and season so please check with the operator before you travel.
***Mid-route calling points are not necessarily route adjacent and may require additional, transport, planning and spend.