In recent months we've made use of day returns on the train as I have not been fit enough to drive yet. Using our senior railcards we have booked tickets at www.thetrainline.com and collected tickets at the station.
So far, I cannot fault the service: tickets are cheaper buying in advance and trains have been clean and on time. People complain a lot, but with a bit of planning, trains are good - just sit back and relax.
I am sure it would be more hassle on a commuter train in the week, but at weekends it works well. For one person, with a railcard I bet you'll find trains cheaper than a car for a moderate journey.