London to Beijing by rail holiday

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

We have put together a selection of our favourite rail journeys including some truly epic trans-continental adventures. A welcome by-product is that it also allows us to consider our impact on the environment when we travel. Maintaining a balance between looking after the planet and supporting the 10% of the global population who depend upon tourism for an income, often in poverty stricken areas where their culture is a viable asset, demands some significant soul-searching. By choosing to travel by land, rather than flying, even in at least one direction, we can promote the role of responsible tourism as a way forward for the future. Our adventures are based on taking regular scheduled train services which form vital connections, linking countries and communities. And we avoid using so-called ‘cruise’ or ‘hotel’ trains which carry far fewer people and operate for tourists only.

When we researched this trip it became apparent that most Trans-Siberian Railway trips available to travellers are based on joining the train in Moscow, on the assumption that to reach Russia from London it is necessary to take a flight. We have purposely offered this tour including rail travel from the UK to Moscow as we firmly believe that this enhances the trip and of course it is better for the environment. Furthermore we have decided to take a slightly longer route to Moscow, travelling by train via two of Europe’s poorer nations, Romania and Moldova, where tourism is vital to help develop their economies.

The hotels used on our rail based trips have been chosen for their proximity to the railway stations, therefore often avoiding the need to take a road transfer. When possible we also actively encourage travellers to explore each location on foot. And again accommodation has been carefully selected with this in mind.

The Impacts of this Trip

We believe that tourism is a double edged sword that needs to be wielded very carefully. Our philosophy is to have a limited amount of group departures – usually between one and three a year - for each of our itineraries or we may offer private trips only. By limiting our presence in areas where local culture can be quite fragile, we aim to avoid ‘over tourism’ whereby an area changes in character due to repeated and prolonged exposure to large numbers of tourists. We want to visit an area as friends, not intruders and to ensure that what we see will also be there for others to enjoy for many years to come.

This particular tour operates on a private basis only and for most of the journey you will travel unaccompanied. This has much less impact when travelling through rural areas, reducing our environmental and social affects. Along the way you will meet our local guides for sightseeing. They will be from the town or region that you are visiting and they will be pleased to share their local knowledge. We have purposely chosen not to include all of the meals as part of the price of your tour. On most days this will leave you free to choose where you would like to eat. The guides will be pleased to offer recommendations and they will only suggest locally owned establishments with menus based on regionally sourced produce. We encourage you not to only spend your money in the hotels, but that your visit should always benefit other businesses in the local community.

When travelling on the Trans-Siberian travellers welcome the chance to get off the train for a leg stretch as it makes regular stops along the way. On occasions these stops can be for 30 minutes or more, so it’s an excellent opportunity to buy local food and produce from the many vendors who will be on the station platforms waiting for the train. We encourage our travellers to do the same as it not only helps to supplement the choice of food available from the train’s dining car, but it’s an excellent way in which to directly support the local communities through which the train passes.

To further demonstrate our commitment to supporting local communities the accommodation that we use for the stopover in Siberia is a locally owned homestay. This means that the host family benefits from the direct income and that tourists experience the authentic Russia.


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