Half-Term Magic: Unleash Train Adventures for Less!



15 min read

With half-term on the horizon, families are yearning for an exciting escape. Look no further than a budget-friendly train adventure! This comprehensive guide equips you with practical tips for planning an affordable rail journey and sparks your imagination with a variety of captivating destinations accessible by train. Get ready to create unforgettable memories without breaking the bank!

Half Term Train Holidays
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The Power of Planning: Mastering Budget-Savvy Travel

A successful budget adventure starts with smart planning. We'll equip you with key strategies to stretch your travel budget further

  • Embrace Technology: Platforms like TrainSplit revolutionise train travel planning in the UK. TrainSplit specialises in finding and optimising split-ticketing options, helping you secure the most affordable fares. By breaking down journeys into smaller segments, TrainSplit identifies the most budget-friendly combinations. This empowers you to make informed choices and enjoy cheap train tickets without compromising on comfort or convenience.
  • Book in Advance: While TrainSplit can help unearth hidden deals, securing the best fares often comes down to planning ahead. Booking your train tickets well in advance, particularly for popular routes and peak travel times, can lead to significant savings compared to last-minute purchases.
  • Consider Off-Peak Travel: Flexibility is key! If your schedule allows, consider travelling during off-peak hours or weekdays. 
  • Explore Railcards: Depending on your travel frequency and group size, a railcard might be a worthwhile investment. Railcards offer discounts on train fares throughout the year, potentially saving you a substantial amount over multiple trips. Explore our Digital Railcards page to see if a railcard is right for you:

By following these tips and utilising TrainSplit's innovative split-ticketing technology, you can transform your train travel plans into budget-friendly adventures. Remember, a little planning goes a long way when it comes to stretching your travel budget and maximising your enjoyment!

The TrainSplit app makes it easy to find cheaper alternative journeys through split ticketing.

The app is available on both iOS and Android devices. Just search for "TrainSplit" in your app store and download the app today.

Explore the UK's Gems: A World of Inspiration Awaits

The beauty of train travel lies in unlocking a world of possibilities. While we've highlighted some exciting destinations

Cambridge: A City Steeped in History and Charm

Trains to Cambridge
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Journey beyond the train station and discover the captivating city of Cambridge. Renowned for its prestigious university, Cambridge offers a treasure trove of experiences for families of all ages.

  • Stroll Through Time: Immerse yourselves in the city's rich history. Explore the majestic King's College Chapel, a stunning example of Perpendicular Gothic architecture, or marvel at the grandeur of Trinity College, Sir Isaac Newton's alma mater.

  • Punting on the River Cam: Embark on a quintessential Cambridge experience with a punt ride along the scenic River Cam. Glide past the historic colleges, admiring the weeping willows that grace the riverbank, and enjoy a unique perspective of the city from the water. Pack a picnic basket for a delightful afternoon on the river.

  • Uncover Hidden Gems: Wander through the enchanting Corpus Christi College Clock Court, a hidden gem showcasing a fascinating astronomical clock. Explore the Fitzwilliam Museum, housing an impressive collection of art and artifacts from around the world, or get lost in the tranquil beauty of the University Botanic Garden. This sprawling garden boasts diverse plant life, from vibrant flower beds to towering greenhouses, offering a haven of peace and nature in the heart of the city.

  • Family-Friendly Fun: Beyond historical exploration, Cambridge caters to families with a variety of fun activities. Take the kids on a ghost tour to discover the city's spooky side, or let them loose in the interactive exhibits at the Museum of Technology. Catch a family-friendly show at the ADC Theatre, the oldest student theatre in the world, or enjoy a delicious meal at a traditional pub with a welcoming atmosphere.

Cambridge offers a captivating blend of history, culture, and family-friendly fun. With its charming streets, scenic waterways, and endless exploration opportunities, it's the perfect destination for an unforgettable family adventure.


Whitby: Unveiling a Seaside Gem

Trains to Whitby
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Nestled on the dramatic Yorkshire coast, Whitby beckons families with its unique blend of seaside charm, rich history, and captivating atmosphere. Here's what awaits you in this enchanting town:

  • Unwind on Sandy Shores: Whitby boasts a magnificent sandy beach, perfect for building sandcastles, paddling in the shallows, or simply soaking up the sunshine. Pack a picnic basket and enjoy a delightful family day by the sea.

  • Step Back in Time: Climb the 199 iconic steps leading to the ruins of Whitby Abbey, a magnificent 7th-century monastery offering breathtaking panoramic views of the town and coastline. Explore the fascinating history of the abbey, which Bram Stoker famously used as inspiration for his gothic masterpiece, Dracula.

  • Explore the Bustling Harbour: Immerse yourselves in the vibrant atmosphere of Whitby's bustling harbour. Watch fishing boats bobbing on the water, marvel at the impressive array of seabirds soaring overhead, and sample fresh seafood in one of the many harbourside restaurants.

  • Sail into Adventure: Embark on a thrilling boat trip from the harbour. Explore the dramatic coastline from a different perspective, spot playful seals basking on the rocks, or even try your hand at sea fishing for a truly memorable experience.

  • Family-Friendly Fun: Whitby caters to families with a variety of activities. Take the kids on a Dracula-themed tour, delve into the fascinating exhibits at the Whitby Sea Life Centre, or enjoy a fun-filled day at the Whitby Leisure Park with its arcades and rides.

  • A Foodie's Paradise: Beyond fresh seafood, Whitby offers a delightful culinary scene. Sample the town's famous Whitby scampi, a delicious treat enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. Explore the charming cafes and traditional pubs, or indulge in a delicious ice cream cone while strolling along the pier.

Whitby promises an unforgettable escape for families seeking a captivating blend of seaside fun, historical intrigue, and family-friendly activities. So pack your bags, hop on a train, and get ready to create lasting memories in this enchanting coastal gem!


Liverpool: Where Maritime History Meets Modern Buzz

Cheap Train Tickets to Liverpool

Liverpool pulsates with a vibrant energy, captivating families with its rich maritime heritage, iconic music scene, and contemporary flair. Here's a glimpse into what awaits you in this electrifying city:

  • Dockside Delights: Delve into Liverpool's maritime heart at the Albert Dock. This UNESCO World Heritage site boasts a stunning collection of restored warehouses, now transformed into museums, shops, and vibrant bars. Explore the fascinating Maritime Museum, or take a boat tour through the historic docklands.

  • Beatles Mania: Immerse yourselves in the legacy of the Fab Four at the world-renowned Beatles Story. This interactive museum takes you on a captivating journey through the band's rise to fame, showcasing memorabilia, instruments, and recreated recording studios.

  • Football Fanatics?: Liverpool is a footballing mecca. Catch a thrilling match at Anfield, the legendary home of Liverpool FC, or explore the interactive museum showcasing the club's illustrious history.

  • Family Fun on the Waterfront: Enjoy stunning views of the Mersey River from the iconic Royal Liver Building. Take a ride on the giant wheel at the Wheel of Liverpool for breathtaking panoramic vistas, or stroll along the lively Pier Head waterfront with its bustling atmosphere and street performers.

  • Beyond the Docks: Venture beyond the waterfront and discover Liverpool's cultural gems. Explore the impressive collection of art and artifacts at the Walker Art Gallery, or catch a family-friendly show at the renowned Everyman Theatre.

Liverpool promises an unforgettable adventure for families seeking a dynamic city break brimming with history, music, and exciting attractions.


Stratford-upon-Avon: Stepping into Shakespeare's World

Trains to Stratford Upon Avon
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Nestled in the heart of Warwickshire, Stratford-upon-Avon offers families a captivating journey into the world of William Shakespeare, England's most celebrated playwright. Here's what awaits you in this charming town:

  • Shakespeare's Birthplace: Step back in time and explore Shakespeare's Birthplace, a beautifully preserved Tudor house where the Bard himself was born and spent his early years. Imagine young William crafting his first plays within these very walls!

  • Royal Shakespeare Theatre: Immerse yourselves in the magic of live theatre with a performance at the renowned Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Witness Shakespeare's timeless plays come to life on stage, or choose from a variety of family-friendly productions throughout the year.

  • Explore Shakespeare's World: Delve deeper into the life and works of Shakespeare with a visit to New Place, his grand Elizabethan residence. Explore the beautiful gardens and imagine Shakespeare writing his most famous plays here.

  • Beyond the Bard: Stratford-upon-Avon offers more than just Shakespeare. Take a scenic cruise along the River Avon, explore the charming shops lining the historic streets, or visit the MAD (Mechanical Art & Design) Museum for a dose of interactive fun.

  • A Touch of History: Uncover Stratford-upon-Avon's rich history with a visit to Anne Hathaway's Cottage, the childhood home of Shakespeare's wife. Explore the beautiful gardens and learn about life in Tudor England.

Stratford-upon-Avon offers a unique blend of history, theatre, and charming English countryside, making it the perfect destination for a family getaway filled with cultural exploration and lasting memories.


Brighton: A Vibrant Seaside Escape

Cheap Train Tickets to Brighton

Brighton, England's vibrant seaside resort, beckons families with its iconic pier, buzzing atmosphere, and diverse attractions. Here's what awaits you in this dynamic coastal town:

  • Pier Power: Stroll along the iconic Brighton Pier, a Grade II listed structure brimming with amusement arcades, thrilling rides, and a fun-fair atmosphere. Challenge yourselves on the helter-skelter, enjoy panoramic views from the top of the i360 observation tower, or simply soak up the lively atmosphere.

  • Beachside Bliss: Relax on Brighton's iconic shingle beach, perfect for building sandcastles, paddling in the shallows, or enjoying a refreshing swim in the English Channel (water temperature permitting!).

  • Royal Pavilion Delights: Explore the extravagant Royal Pavilion, a breathtaking seaside palace built for King George IV. Immerse yourselves in the opulent Regency architecture and marvel at the exquisite interior design.

  • The Lanes: A Shopper's Paradise: Lose yourselves in the charming maze of narrow streets known as The Lanes. Explore a treasure trove of independent shops, quaint cafes, and vibrant street art, perfect for finding unique souvenirs and soaking up the bohemian atmosphere.

  • Family-Friendly Fun: Beyond the beach and pier, Brighton offers a variety of activities for families. Explore the fascinating underwater world at the SEA LIFE Brighton, catch a family-friendly show at the Brighton Dome, or take a scenic ride


Oxford: Where History and Education Collide

Cheap Train Tickets to Oxford

Beyond its world-renowned university, Oxford offers families a captivating blend of historical landmarks, charming architecture, and a vibrant cultural scene. Here's what awaits you in this prestigious city:

  • College Capers: Embark on a self-guided walking tour past the majestic colleges that define Oxford. Marvel at the architectural grandeur of Christ Church College, featured in the Harry Potter films, or peek into the tranquil courtyards of Merton College.

  • Museum Adventures: Explore the fascinating collections at the Ashmolean Museum, housing treasures from around the world, or delve into the history of science at the Museum of the History of Science.

  • Punting on the River Cherwell: Glide along the scenic River Cherwell on a traditional punting tour. Enjoy a unique perspective of the university colleges and admire the picturesque riverside scenery. Pack a picnic basket for a delightful afternoon on the water.

  • Bodleian Library: For bookworms of all ages, a visit to the magnificent Bodleian Library is a must. Explore the historic reading rooms and marvel at the vast collection of books and manuscripts.

  • Family Fun Beyond History: Oxford caters to families with diverse interests. Take the kids on a ghost tour to discover the city's spooky side, or let them loose in the interactive exhibits at the Oxford Science Centre. Catch a family-friendly show at the renowned Oxford Playhouse, or enjoy a delicious meal at a traditional pub with a welcoming atmosphere.

Oxford offers a unique blend of academic heritage, historical intrigue, and family-friendly activities, making it a captivating destination for an enriching city break.


New Forest: Unwinding in Nature's Embrace

Trains to New Forest
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Immerse yourselves in the natural beauty of the New Forest, a sprawling national park located in Hampshire, southern England. Here's what awaits you in this enchanting escape:

  • Forest Delights: Explore the ancient woodlands of the New Forest on foot, by bike, or even on horseback. Encounter roaming ponies, deer, and other wildlife, and discover hidden glades and tranquil streams.

  • The Enchanting Villages: Uncover the charm of the picturesque villages nestled within the New Forest. Explore Brockenhurst, a gateway to the park, or visit the historic village of Beaulieu, home to the National Motor Museum. Sample local produce in charming tea shops and browse unique souvenirs in independent shops.

  • Family Activities: The New Forest offers a variety of activities for families. Take the kids on a wildlife safari to spot deer, pigs, and ponies, or visit the New Forest New Forest Open Air Museum to learn about the region's rich history. Let loose in the exciting play areas at Go Ape! or enjoy a thrilling day out at Paulton's Park, a family-friendly theme park.

  • Beachside Fun: The New Forest boasts a beautiful coastline with sandy beaches. Head to locations like Highcliffe or Hengistbury Head for a day of building sandcastles, paddling in the shallows, or exploring rock pools teeming with marine life.

The New Forest offers a refreshing escape for families seeking a haven of nature, charming villages, and exciting outdoor activities, perfect for creating lasting memories.


Manchester: Where Industrial Grit Meets Cutting-Edge Cool

Cheap Train Tickets to Manchester

Thrumming with a vibrant energy, Manchester captivates families with its rich industrial heritage, cutting-edge museums, and electrifying music scene. Here's what awaits you in this dynamic city:

  • Industrial Explorer: Delve into Manchester's industrial past at the Museum of Science and Industry. Explore interactive exhibits showcasing the city's role in the Industrial Revolution, from the development of textiles to the evolution of transport. This museum is a treasure trove for curious minds of all ages.

  • Football Fanatics?: Manchester is a footballing powerhouse. Catch a thrilling match at Old Trafford, the legendary home of Manchester United, or the Etihad Stadium, home to Manchester City. Both stadiums offer tours that take you behind the scenes of these iconic clubs.

  • Musical Marvels: Immerse yourselves in Manchester's musical heritage at The Lowry. This renowned arts centre houses exhibits showcasing the city's vibrant music scene, from the sounds of Joy Division to the modern indie bands shaping the current landscape.

  • Canalside Adventures: Stroll or cycle along the picturesque Manchester Ship Canal. Explore the vibrant bars and restaurants lining the canal, or take a boat trip for a unique perspective of the city.

  • Family-Friendly Fun: Beyond museums and history, Manchester caters to families with a variety of activities. Explore the underwater world at SEA LIFE Manchester, catch a family-friendly show at the Palace Theatre, or let loose in the exciting play areas at Trafford Park.

Manchester offers a stimulating city break for families seeking a blend of historical exploration, cultural experiences, and exciting activities, ensuring a memorable adventure for all ages.


Cornwall: Unveiling a Land of Enchanting Beauty

Cheap Train Tickets to Cornwall

Cornwall, England's enchanting southwestern peninsula, beckons families with its dramatic coastlines, charming fishing villages, and captivating Celtic heritage. Here's a deeper dive into some of the most popular destinations, allowing you to choose the perfect Cornish town to suit your family's interests:

  • Newquay: For the surfing enthusiasts and beach bums, Newquay is a haven. Renowned for its consistent waves and vibrant surf culture, this town offers lessons for beginners and challenges for seasoned surfers alike. Explore world-famous Fistral Beach, a surfer's paradise with golden sands and buzzing surf schools. Beyond the waves, Newquay offers family-friendly attractions like the Newquay Zoo and the thrilling rides at Waterworld leisure park.

  • St Ives: If you crave a quintessential Cornish experience, St Ives is a dream come true. Nestled on a picturesque bay with narrow cobbled streets and a captivating harbor, this charming town exudes artistic flair. Explore the Tate St Ives, a renowned art gallery showcasing modern and contemporary art, or browse the many independent galleries showcasing local artists' work. St Ives is also a haven for foodies, with fresh seafood restaurants lining the harbor and charming cafes tucked away in hidden corners.

  • Falmouth: History buffs and maritime enthusiasts will find themselves captivated by Falmouth. This historic port town boasts a rich maritime heritage, evident in the National Maritime Museum Cornwall and the fascinating Pendennis Castle, a Tudor artillery fort. Explore the bustling harbor, a hive of activity with ferries, fishing boats, and yachts. Take a boat trip to discover the hidden coves and secret beaches that pepper the surrounding coastline. Falmouth also offers a vibrant selection of shops, cafes, and restaurants, catering to all tastes.

  • Truro: For a taste of Cornish culture and a touch of urban buzz, Truro is the place to be. Cornwall's administrative capital boasts a magnificent Gothic cathedral, the Truro Cathedral, a landmark that dominates the city skyline. Explore the charming independent shops lining the narrow streets, or visit the fascinating Royal Cornwall Museum to delve into the region's rich history and geology. Truro offers a vibrant nightlife scene with pubs and bars catering to all preferences.

Choosing Your Perfect Cornish Escape:

Whether you crave the thrill of surfing waves, the charm of an artistic haven, the rich tapestry of maritime history, or the vibrancy of a city escape, Cornwall has a town waiting to capture your heart. Consider your family's interests and use this information as a starting point to plan your unforgettable Cornish adventure.

Fun on the Rails!

Train journeys can be a fantastic opportunity for families to connect and create lasting memories. While the scenery whooshing by can be captivating for a while, keeping little ones entertained for longer journeys is key. Here are some creative ideas to transform your train trip into an adventure:

  • Unleash the Inner Game Master: Pack a bag of travel-friendly games and activities. Card games, travel-sized versions of board games, or magnetic puzzles can provide hours of entertainment. Don't forget classic favorites like "I Spy" or storytelling games – they're timeless for a reason!

  • Offline Entertainment Arsenal: Download movies, audiobooks, or educational podcasts beforehand. This ensures you have a variety of options to keep everyone engaged, even if the Wi-Fi signal weakens.

  • Journaling for Junior Adventurers: Encourage children to create travel journals. Provide notebooks, pens, and stickers to document their journey. They can sketch the scenery, write stories about their imaginary train adventures, or collect ticket stubs and interesting leaflets as mementos. This not only keeps them occupied but also serves as a cherished keepsake of their trip.

  • Transform the Window into a Canvas: Turn the train window into a canvas for creativity. Let imaginations run wild! Challenge children to spot different colored cars or animals grazing in fields. You can even play a scavenger hunt, creating a list of things to find outside the window.

  • Tech Time with a Twist: If you do allow screen time, use educational apps or websites that incorporate learning with fun. Virtual tours of museums or interactive quizzes about the places you're passing through can add an educational element to the journey.

  • Snack Time Extravaganza: Pack a variety of healthy and fun snacks to keep energy levels up. Turn snack time into a game! Blindfold children and let them guess the flavors, or create fun food arrangements using cookie cutters.

  • Board Game Bonanza: Many train companies offer designated quiet carriages. If you're not in one of these, be mindful of noise levels, but simple board games like checkers or travel bingo can be a fun way to pass the time without disturbing fellow passengers.

Remember: With a little planning and these creative ideas, your train journey can be just as much fun as the destination itself! So pack your bags, unleash your creativity, and get ready for an unforgettable family adventure on the rails!

Find Your Home Away From Home: Book Your UK Accommodation In Advance

Booking your accommodation in advance is your key to a stress-free holiday. Find the perfect place to unwind after exploring exciting destinations, all within your budget. This way, you can relax knowing everything's sorted, allowing you to focus on creating unforgettable memories with your loved ones.


With these budget-friendly tips, captivating destination recommendations, and engaging train journey activities, your family's half-term adventure is just waiting to begin! Let TrainSplit be your partner in creating unforgettable moments and discovering the beauty of the UK together. Remember to explore our platform for potentially cheaper fares and valuable travel tips. We wish you a safe, fun-filled, and affordable half-term break!

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