Family days out can be great fun but they can also leave the grown-ups exhausted. Why not cut out some of the hassle on your next outing and visit one of the UK’s fantastic attractions by train?
No traffic, no parking worries, just miles of family adventure.
Take the family out by train
Train travel doesn’t just reduce the stress of a family outing, some attractions and train companies offer discounts if you travel by public transport. Which means you can relieve some of the stress on your bank account at the same time.
You can also do your bit for the environment.
Even if you travel in a full car, going the same distance in a train (unless you are the only people on it) will produce less CO2 emissions.
‘Train travel remains overall the most environmentally friendly mode of motorised passenger transport in Europe — in terms of greenhouse gas emissions — as compared to travelling by car or plane, according to two transport and environment studies published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) today.’
As well as supporting families who can’t afford a car.
For many families in the UK a car is a luxury item they just can’t afford. Which means they are reliable on public transport, not just for fun days out, but to get to work or school, do the shopping, or even attend medical appointments.
By choosing to use public transport we can help make sure our networks remain open and available, and even see some improvement, for people who really need them.
We can also give ourselves and our kids a great day out!
UK attractions offering discounts for public transport arrival
By their very nature, offers come and go but all of these were correct at the time of writing (August 2022). If you want to find your own day-out-by-train destinations, it can be easiest to start by looking on the trainline website instead of the attraction’s own site.
When you start looking, you’ll find plenty out there to choose from but to whet your appetite, we’ve selected five of the best, hopefully with something for everyone.
What if I can’t find an attraction my family would enjoy?
If you can’t find the right incentive from an attraction you fancy visiting, there’s nothing wrong with asking them if they would consider offering a discount for public transport. As so many visitors are interested in the environment, your query might get them thinking (especially if you ask it on social media)!
Thorpe Park public transport discount (Surrey)
- Offer: 2 for 1 when you travel by train
- Nearest station: Staines
- Station to attraction: 950 Express bus (15 minutes)
- Great for: Family fun and thrills
- Don’t miss: The UK’s fastest roller coaster ride (0-80 mph in 2.5 seconds)
Legoland public transport discount (Berkshire)
- Offer: 2 for 1 when you travel by train
- Nearest Station: Windsor & Eton Riverside or Windsor & Eton Central
- Station to attraction: 702 or 703 bus (10 minutes)
- Great for: Young families and budding builders
- Don’t miss: The LEGO MYTHICA alternative universe
Cadbury World public transport discount (Birmingham)
- Offer: 20% off when you travel by train
- Nearest Station: Bournville Station
- Station to attraction: Walk (0.2 miles)
- Great for: Chocolate lovers of all ages
- Don’t miss: Diving into liquid chocolate in the 4D cinema adventure
WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre public transport discount (Lancashire)
- Offer: 15% discount when you arrive by public transport
- Nearest Station: Burscough Bridge Station
- Station to attraction: Walk (2.5 miles)
- Great for: Nature lovers and bird spotters
- Don’t miss: Dancing flamingos in their pink costumes
Eden Project public transport book offer (Cornwall)
- Offer: Free Eden Project Guide Book if you arrive by public transport
- Nearest Station: Luxulyan Station (infrequent trains) or St Austell Station
- Station to attraction: Luxulyan – walk (2.5 miles), St Austell – bus (30 mins)
- Great for: Anyone who loves great ideas and our environment
- Don’t miss: Your family’s first tropical rainforest
Making family train travel cheaper
If you’re not travelling locally, the price of train tickets can sometimes be a bit daunting. Don’t forget you’ll be saving on fuel and parking costs as well as your attraction discount.
Here are our top tips for reducing the cost of booking family train tickets:
- Invest in a National Rail Family and Friends Railcard
- Check out the 16-17 Saver Railcard for young adults
- Travel at off-peak times (outside Mon-Fri rush hours)
- Book your tickets well in advance
- Consider using a ticket splitting app to find cheaper prices
- Your rail company may offer fixed price fares for families and mega-cheap kids fares. For example Kids for a Quid on selected lines and GWR’s Family Train Tickets. So it’s worth checking before you book.