|Subject: Re: England by rail|
Train, anywhere for a short distance, is the best way to travel. England and the rest of the UK has an extensive rail network and distances are comparatively short and quick. London to Edinburgh takes 4-5 hours, to Bristol/Bath 90 minutes, to Plymouth about 3 hours.
The best solution for any foreign visitor is to buy a Britrail pass. I've done it twice and you can just get on any train at anytime and travel anywhere or on any number of trains in a day (24 hours). The most sensible pass is the flexipass which allows so many day's travel (eight or 15 I think) in either one or two months. It's also accepted by all the train companies. All you have to do is validate the starting date of the pass at the railway station at the start of your first journey and thereafter you just present it to the guard on each train you travel on. You'll also need to enter the date of each day's travel and the guard might ask for a passport to make sure you're the proper user.
The price works out much cheaper than buying tickets in England but you can only buy the pass overseas NOT in the UK.
So one or two months of pass validity will give you heaps of time to explore a lot of Britain. I think that pass is also valid for Northern Ireland and may also give you some discount on ferries. You'd need to check on this and there should be a web reference.