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Car-free travel guide Part 3: Travelling with the family

Travelling by train can be an exciting trip in itself for young children! Here are our top tips for travelling with the family.

Tickets, please!

Nationally, children under 5 travel for free and children aged 5-15 travel for half price on the majority of fares.

You might be able to save money with a Railcard. The Family and Friends Railcard gives you a third off rail fares for up to four adults and 60% off for up to four children. Older teenagers might want to consider a 16-17 Saver railcard or 16-25 Student Railcard if they use the train frequently.

More information on Railcards: Railcards | National Rail

Buggies and pushchairs

Train operating companies, like Northern, ask that buggies are folded before you board the train. If available, you might be able to store unfolded buggies or prams in the wheelchair spaces, but passengers who use wheelchairs take priority for these spaces so please bear this in mind. Most Northern trains have the accessibility sign clearly marked on the outside of the train door; you might want to head for these doors, as staff can use a ramp between the train and the platform.  

Northern have a step-free access map. On the Hope Valley line, Chinley does not have any step-free access, while most of the other stations on the High Peak and Hope Valley lines have some step-free access to at least one platform, sometimes via a slope. You can check which areas of the station have step-free access here: Train Stations | Northern

Passenger assist is not available to pre-book for people travelling with a buggy.

On board facilities

All Northern trains have toilets with baby change on board. Most trains offer free wifi.

Northern don’t offer seat bookings, but many of the newer trains have plenty of seating around tables so up to four people can sit together.

Great family destinations on the High Peak and Hope Valley lines

Dore and Totley – Cross the road at the pedestrian crossing and enter Ecclesall Woods, a great place for kids to go wild! The Woodland Coffee Stop and toilets are about a 30 minute stroll through the woods from the station, following waymarked paths. A 10 minute walk from the station will bring you to Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet, an outdoor industrial heritage museum with café and toilets.

The station is step-free, although there is quite a big step between the train and the platform. This station has a covered shelter but not toilets.

Buxton – Kids will love Buxton Pavilion Gardens, a lovely park where you can find a miniature railway, Discover Buxton tram tours, café and toilets. There are family events in the Pavilion Gardens building throughout the year too. Older families will love Poole’s Cavern and Go Ape. Home | Visit Buxton

The station is step-free, with toilets, an indoor waiting room and community garden.

Glossop – Enjoy Glossop’s lovely park, Howard Park and Manor Park within a 15 minute walk of the station. Manor Park has a café, toilets, playground, miniature railway, skate park, mini golf and sensory garden. Howard Park is home to Glossop swimming pool and play area. Parks and open spaces – High Peak Borough Council

The station is step-free, with a National Key toilet operated by a RADAR key.

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