A train trip to the Spooky Seas

This is a collaborative post.

Two excited little girls stood on the railway platform dancing a train dance. As their carriage puffed up, they jumped up and down. We were off!

Family and Friends Railcard

A day out in Birmingham is always a treat. They’ve been going to the National Sea Life Centre regularly since they were tiny, but they never tire of it. And one of the most exciting parts of the day is always the ride on the train.

But I must admit, it was starting to get a bit expensive. Libby turned five a few months ago, and since then we’ve been having to pay for her train ticket. So I was delighted to hear that with a Family and Friends Railcard, we could keep the cost down.

In fact, for a single from Birmingham to my local train station, the cheapest adult fare is £10.90. With the Family and Friends Railcard, it cost £7.20 for me and £2.10 for Libby, a total of £9.30. Making it cheaper for me to travel with Libby than without her. Railcard estimates that families using this card save an average of £131 per year.

Spooky Seas at the National Sea Life Centre

From 14th to 31st October, the National Sea Life Centre has a spooky theme. It is decked out with freaky cobwebs and pumpkins. Visitors can learn about the spooky and magical creatures of the deep. From ghost-like jellyfish to camouflaged sea horses to not-so-scary sharks.

Family travel | If you enjoy days out with the family, you have probably noticed how expensive rail travel can be. When children get to five years old, you have to pay for their seat on the train. And if you have several children, it can get expensive. Thankfully, Family and Friends Railcard have come to the rescue, with cheaper fares for adults and children so families can travel together for less.

Photo courtesy of National Sea Life Centre Birmingham

Family travel | If you enjoy days out with the family, you have probably noticed how expensive rail travel can be. When children get to five years old, you have to pay for their seat on the train. And if you have several children, it can get expensive. Thankfully, Family and Friends Railcard have come to the rescue, with cheaper fares for adults and children so families can travel together for less.

In the 4D cinema, visitors can watch the Octonauts on their Amazon adventure. The penguins were particularly friendly during our visit, coming over to see what we were up to when we crouched next to their enclosure.

Family travel | If you enjoy days out with the family, you have probably noticed how expensive rail travel can be. When children get to five years old, you have to pay for their seat on the train. And if you have several children, it can get expensive. Thankfully, Family and Friends Railcard have come to the rescue, with cheaper fares for adults and children so families can travel together for less.

Family travel | If you enjoy days out with the family, you have probably noticed how expensive rail travel can be. When children get to five years old, you have to pay for their seat on the train. And if you have several children, it can get expensive. Thankfully, Family and Friends Railcard have come to the rescue, with cheaper fares for adults and children so families can travel together for less.

We learnt spooky facts about the creatures of the deep. Like the way that shoaling fish like tuna stick together for protection and sea horses change colour to avoid predators. As always, Libby loved touching the creatures in the rock pool, whereas Lia was a bit too nervous. A lovely addition today was being able to watch the otters on a camera while we were in a queue for the 4D cinema.

A favourite lunch

After we left the Sea Life Centre, I let the girls decide where to go to lunch. Whenever we go to Birmingham, they usually ask to eat at Wagamamas. But a few months ago, we had dinner at Yo Sushi! in Worcester. Realising there was a Yo Sushi! in Birmingham as well, the girls asked to go there.

There’s nothing more fun that sitting by the conveyor belt, grabbing the food you want. We decided to go to the restaurant in Grand Central, which is right next to New Street train station. It made a nice change to be at the station early rather than running for the train.

Family travel | If you enjoy days out with the family, you have probably noticed how expensive rail travel can be. When children get to five years old, you have to pay for their seat on the train. And if you have several children, it can get expensive. Thankfully, Family and Friends Railcard have come to the rescue, with cheaper fares for adults and children so families can travel together for less.

Saving money on days out

We regularly go for days out in the West Midlands. I always find it more relaxing to go by train, and with a Family and Friends Railcard it’s relatively inexpensive. You can buy one for £30 for the year. The card gives you 30% off adult fares and 60% off children’s fares.

The card can be used by up to 4 adults when travelling with up to 4 children aged 5-15. Two adults can be named on the card, which means that my husband can use it if he takes the children for a day out without me. If you’re looking to make use of the card over half term, check out my West Midlands October half term post. For Christmas, head to my post about Christmas days out in the West Midlands.

Family travel | If you enjoy days out with the family, you have probably noticed how expensive rail travel can be. When children get to five years old, you have to pay for their seat on the train. And if you have several children, it can get expensive. Thankfully, Family and Friends Railcard have come to the rescue, with cheaper fares for adults and children so families can travel together for less.

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Please note, this is a collaborative post with Railcard. All views, opinions and desperately excited children are my own.

38 Comments

  1. October 16, 2017 / 8:54 am

    The Family & Friends Railcard is so good! I had a nasty shock in the summer when I travelled with just my 16yo and realised we had to pay full fares! 🙁 If we have at least one of the others with us my eldest and I can at least benefit from the reduced adult fares. Glad you had such a lovely day out. I will never cease to be jealous of you having children who eat at Wagamama and Yo! Sushi.
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted…October half-term – not going on holidayMy Profile

    • monsterid October 28, 2017 / 10:21 am

      Oh gosh yes, what a nightmare. And if there had been three of you then you could have got a reduction for a group ticket, but two adults is expensive! He could probably get a young person’s railcard now though?
      Nat.x

  2. October 16, 2017 / 11:44 am

    OoOh I like the idea of exploting the Spooky Seas. What lies beneath our murky seas? Bahhhaaaa.
    I just bought a family and friends railcard for our trip to London. Very good savings!

    • monsterid October 28, 2017 / 10:20 am

      Yes, well worth it for London. It might make me more inclined to go regularly if it’s a bit cheaper.
      Nat.x

  3. October 16, 2017 / 1:57 pm

    The sea life centre looks amazing! I love that you took the train too, it’s always nice to get their by public transport, especially when it’s cheaper with a Railcard!

    • monsterid October 28, 2017 / 10:19 am

      Yes you’re right, it’s much better environmentally to use public transport too.
      Nat.x

  4. October 16, 2017 / 3:42 pm

    I love the Family and Friends Railcard and it can pay for itself in one trip – especially with us going to London a lot. Each year there’s usually at least one offer to get it cheaper too.
    pinkoddy recently posted…Bill’s Children’s MenuMy Profile

    • monsterid October 28, 2017 / 10:17 am

      Yes, it will make London so much cheaper!
      Nat.x

  5. October 16, 2017 / 6:17 pm

    Hi Nat, travel is expensive these days. I’m sure it’s probably cheaper to fly abroad than to travel by train in the UK. The family railcard sounds like a sensible purchase for a family. And the National Sea Life Center looks like a place to visit this October.

    xx
    Debbie recently posted…Monday Morning Blog Club 16/10/2017My Profile

    • monsterid October 28, 2017 / 10:15 am

      Yes you’re probably right actually. Time to get some sunshine perhaps 😉
      Nat.x

    • monsterid October 28, 2017 / 10:14 am

      Ah that’s good, it must be brilliant not having to pay for them. It’s amazing how much more things cost when they turn 5.
      Nat.x

  6. October 17, 2017 / 9:25 am

    The railcard sounds really useful – I will have to remember that once my daughter reaches 5! We really like to travel by train – I agree that it is much more relaxing. #familytraveltips

    • monsterid October 28, 2017 / 9:58 am

      Yes, well worth remembering. I wish I’d bought one as soon as she turned five.
      Nat.x

    • monsterid October 28, 2017 / 9:58 am

      That’s a shame, Wagamamas is fabulous.
      Nat.x

    • monsterid October 28, 2017 / 9:57 am

      I agree, we should’ve got one years ago too. We’d have saved a fortune.
      Nat.x

    • monsterid October 28, 2017 / 9:57 am

      Yeah, it’s a great place to go for Halloween. We’re looking forward to their Christmas event.
      Nat.x

  7. October 18, 2017 / 6:04 am

    The railcard sounds great for money saving. We don’t use the train enough. My eldest loves it on the train though. The national sea centre sounds great too.

    • monsterid October 28, 2017 / 9:56 am

      It was a lovey day out and the railcard is well worth it.
      Nat.x

  8. October 18, 2017 / 10:59 am

    Oh we used to live in the West Midlands and the National SeaLife Centre was one of our favourite places to go. Railcards are brilliant aren’t they as rail travel is so expensive nowadays. They look so cute in their pics and glad you all had a brilliant time. #familytraveltips

    • monsterid October 28, 2017 / 9:51 am

      Thank you, it was a fabulous day.
      Nat.x

  9. October 18, 2017 / 4:47 pm

    You can’t beat a trip on the train it adds to the whole day out! I’ve been amazed at the savings a family railcard makes, a must have! X

    • monsterid October 28, 2017 / 9:48 am

      I’ve been amazed too, it’s cheaper to travel with them than without them!
      Nat.x

  10. October 18, 2017 / 9:42 pm

    Never been to Birmingham, but this sounds like brilliant Halloween related fun day out! #familytraveltips

    • monsterid October 28, 2017 / 9:48 am

      It’s a brilliant day out, we always enjoy it.
      Nat.x

    • monsterid October 28, 2017 / 9:47 am

      That’s brilliant about kids travelling free. It actually works out cheaper with the railcard than if we didn’t pay for the kids though as there’s money off adult tickets too.
      Nat.x

  11. October 22, 2017 / 10:05 pm

    You have just reminded me that our railcard has expired!!! We use it mostly over Christmas as we prefer to get the train when the roads and carparks are so busy. We have never visited the sealife centre and we are so close to Birmingham…one to add to our list!

    • monsterid October 28, 2017 / 9:39 am

      Yes, it’s so much more relaxing on the train when roads are busy. You’ll love the Sea Life Centre, Christmas is a lovely time to visit.
      Nat.x

  12. October 23, 2017 / 10:47 pm

    Sounds like you had a lovely day out. The Family & Friends railcard is so good for saving money on train journeys. We got one for our trip from Land’s End to John O’Groats and it made such a difference on all our train tickets.

    • monsterid October 28, 2017 / 9:32 am

      It’s amazing isn’t it? I’m sure we’ll get loads of use out of it this year.
      Nat.x

  13. October 29, 2017 / 1:20 pm

    Sounds like the railcard is amazing value for money! I really need to look into getting one.

    • monsterid November 14, 2017 / 11:22 pm

      They really are good value, it has saved us money already.
      Nat.x

  14. October 30, 2017 / 6:54 pm

    This certainly sounds like a great deal to me. Though if I go out with the girls I’m usually accompanied by hubby too. I’ll have to get some tips from you as to how you do it. #familytraveltips
    Helena recently posted…Living Arrows – Fun on the FarmMy Profile

    • monsterid November 14, 2017 / 11:19 pm

      I think it gets a little easier to manage them on your own as children get older, it certainly has for me.
      Nat.x

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