Calling all art lovers. A new trail has been launched highlighting galleries, festivals and venues accessible by train.

The ‘Thameslink Art Trail by Rail’ showcases places of interest along the Thameslink community rail network stretching from Brighton to Bedford, St Albans and Cambridge to Sevenoaks and Shoreham in Kent.

The online art trail is designed to encourage more people to take the train for leisure. It has been produced by a group of Community Rail Partnerships on the Thameslink rail routes.

Tim Barkley, chair of Southeast Communities Rail Partnership Community Interest Company, said: “There are so many wonderful art galleries, trails and museums just waiting to be explored. Most are close to railway stations so it’s a great opportunity to take a Thameslink train and have an informative day out. There’s so much to see and do.”

Among the venues highlighted on the trail is Brighton Toy and Model Museum which is the Community Rail Network station partner at Brighton. Also featured are the Royal Pavilion in Brighton and Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft.

The online art trail follows the group’s existing initiative, ‘Countryside, Capital and Coast’, which promotes the accessibility and benefits of using the train to travel to, from and through London for leisure journeys. The initiative came second in the Best Communications category at the 2021 Community Rail Awards.

Alice Mannion, campaigns & leisure promotions co-ordinator at Community Rail Network, said: “We’re delighted to have been able to support the development of this online art trail and the wider ‘Countryside, Capital and Coast’ initiative. It’s great to see this group of community rail partnerships come together to work on a joint project promoting sustainable, healthy travel on a wider scale and showcasing the connectivity and ease of rail travel beyond their area.”

The ‘Thameslink Art Trail by Rail’ sits within Community Rail Network’s Scenic Rail Britain tourism website, linking it to an established audience.

The Thameslink group consists of Southeast Communities Rail PartnershipDarent Valley Community Rail PartnershipMeldreth, Shepreth & Foxton Community Rail PartnershipMarston Vale Community Rail Partnership and Beds & Herts Community Rail Partnership.

Find prices and book your tickets through Thameslink here.

Please check with venues for opening times and directions.

Photo montage showing exterior of Royal Pavilion in Brighton, exterior of Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft and model trains from Brighton Toy and Model Museum