Here’s the best way to spend a journey to Roses, from three York students who did it

A diary of how we spent the two and a half hour train journey to and from Lancaster

Roses 2024 might be over, following a third consecutive victory for Lancaster. After making the journey to support York’s sports teams on the Saturday of the tournament, here is our experience of the journey to and from Lancaster, and some inspiration for how you could spend the journey in future years.

Catch up with your friends

Being sat with your friends for two and a half hours gives you a perfect opportunity for a catch up without distractions. After covering the important topic of what sports you most want to see at Roses, there will still be plenty of time to talk about how much work you’ve got left to do in this assessment period, and have a gossip.


What better opportunity is there to make sure you get the daily Wordle and crosswords done for the day?

Read a book

Being stuck on the long train journey gives you the opportunity to make a start on that book you have been meaning to read for ages. Plus, you can enjoy guilt-free reading, as it isn’t eating into any “study time”.

Stress about finding a connecting train from Preston back to York tonight so you aren’t stranded

Travelling seems to always bring complications, especially with connecting trains. Having this much time on the train allows you to deal with the dreaded Trainline notifications saying that your train has been cancelled, so you can calmly find an alternative. Or not so calmly, which was our initial reaction.

Eat – Sainsbury’s meal deal from York train station

Rather than spending time trying to buy and eat food at Roses, we made sure we picked up a Sainsbury’s meal deal before we set off on the train journey. Plus, it meant we were prepared for the inevitable travel hunger.

Live stream a football game/watch TV

If the train journey clashes with the time that your favourite team are playing, then there’s always the option of watching the game on a device on the train.  Patience is important with this one – buffering and slow signal may be an issue!


This one feels self-explanatory, but of course, you get the benefits of being better rested for when you get to Lancaster, and the time passing faster. A deep sleep also means you can zone out the noise of everyone else on the train.

Start on your essay (or at least pretend to)

If you’ve got deadlines looming or just want to make a head start on your assessments, the time to kill on the train would be a good opportunity to get started on your work. Or you could bring with you the things you need to start your essay, and spend the time on the train chatting.

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