Best places to travel with children

Thursday, 21 July 2022

The summer holidays are nearly here, so now is the time to plan those days out with the kids! And forget that stressful car journey, there are lots of great places over the East Midlands that are within easy reach by train.

Things to do in Sheffield with kids

National Videogame Museum

National Video Game Museum

Kids always on their game consoles? Complain that they don’t want to be dragged away from them to go out for the day? Then the National Video Game Museum in Sheffield has you covered!

The UK is one of the world’s most important centres for video game development, so, like any art form, it makes sense for the industry to have its own national museum. And it features fun for the whole family, including the ability to play games on all sorts of consoles from history.

The National Video Game Museum is located in Castle House, on Angel Street, S3 8LN. It is a 10-minute walk from Sheffield Railway station, or you can take the tram from the station to Castle Square.

National Emergency Services Museum

The National Emergency Services Museum

For something a bit different, and for the chance to sit in a real-life fire engine, the National Emergency Services Museum offers a unique day out that includes 100s of exhibits from the history of the emergency services – including a huge range of different vehicles. You can also discover what the emergency services were like in Victorian times.

The Emergency Services Museum is located on Wes Bar, S3 8PT. You can take a tram from the Railway Station to Sheffield Cathedral or Shalesmoor, which takes around 15 minutes.

Travel info and getting around

Sheffield railway station is right in the centre of the city, off Cross Turner Street. Trains run directly to Sheffield from Manchester, Liverpool, London St Pancras, Nottingham, and Leicester.

There is a tram system in Sheffield called The Supertram that has 50 stations over four different lines – all originating from the City Centre. It is possible to buy a day group ticket for two adults and three children too. You can find more information on The Supertram here.

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Things to do in Nottingham with kids

Nottingham Castle

Nottingham Castle

First built in 1068 and then largely demolished and rebuilt in the 17th century, Nottingham Castle is now a museum and art gallery offering plenty for your family day out.

Having recently undergone an extensive refurbishment over the last few years, Nottingham Castle features all sorts of highlights – including the chance to fire a virtual longbow in Robin Hood Adventures and explore the ancient caves underneath the castle.

Tickets to Nottingham Castle offer family tickets for two adults and up to three children. It is located on Lenton Road (you cannot miss it, it’s on a huge hill!) and is a 15-minute walk from Nottingham Station.

MeetSpace VR

Image © MeetSpace VR

MeetSpace VR

If you are struggling with day-out ideas for older children or teenagers, then MeetSpace VR may just be your saviour. With various types of VR experiences, arcades, escape rooms and a digital play wall for the younger ones, there should be more than enough to keep all ages happy –especially your fussy teen!

MeetSpace VR is located at the Victoria Centre, Nottingham, NG1 3QN. Prices vary depending on the activity, and most activities require booking in advance. It is a 15-minute tram journey from Nottingham Railway Station Tram Stop to Victoria Centre Tram Stop.

Travel info and getting around

Nottingham railway station is located on Carrington Street, just south of the River Trent in the City Centre. Direct trains to Nottingham run from London St Pancras, Leicester, Manchester, Liverpool, Norwich, Sheffield, Peterborough, and Grantham.

Nottingham has an extensive tram system called Nottingham Express Transit, that runs through the City Centre from Hucknall to Toton Lane and Clifton. You can purchase a Group Ticket for unlimited travel for the day on the tram. Find out more information on tram tickets here.

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Things to do in Leicester with kids

National Space Centre

Image © National Space Centre

National Space Centre

The National Space Centre is the place to visit if you have a space-obsessed little one, featuring six galleries packed with all sorts of exhibits including rockets and meteorites. There is also the new Tetrastar Spaceport simulator, where you can blast off into space yourself!

Note that you must book in advance. The National Space Centre is located on Exploration Way, LE4 5NS. You can take the 22A bus from Leicester Railway Station directly, and the journey takes around 30 minutes.

Leicester Museum and Art Gallery

Image © Leicester Museum and Art Gallery

Leicester Museum and Art Gallery

Leicester Museum features all sorts of exhibits and events that can keep your little ones entertained for hours, including the Dinosaur Gallery – which features the 15-metre Rutland Dinosaur and all sorts of fossils.

Leicester Museum is free to all visitors, and there’s no need to book in advance!

The Museum is located on New Walk, LE1 7EA. This is only five minutes from the railway station (just along the A594 dual carriageway), so Leicester Museum is perfect if you need to kill an hour or two with the kids and don’t want to worry about further transport.

Travel info and getting around

Leicester railway station is located on London Road in the City Centre. Trains run direct to and from London St Pancras, Nottingham and Sheffield run direct to and from Leicester.

There are extensive bus services to and from the railway station, and you can save on both your bus and rail tickets with PlusBus.

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Things to do In Derby with kids

Paradise Island Adventure Golf

Fore! Paradise Island Adventure Golf is the ultimate nautical-themed take on mini-golf, featuring two 18 holes of adventure golf that will see you exploring an abandoned shipwreck, navigating through sea caves, and trekking through a monkey temple.

It is located within the Derbion Shopping Centre, which is a 10-minute walk from the railway station.

Museum of Making

Museum Of Making

If you’re looking to teach your children about some of the rich and varied history of Derby, then a visit to the Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill is a must. Based in the Derwent Valley Mills UNSECO World Heritage Site, the Museum of Making takes a look at Derby’s 300-year history of creativity in the industrial sector.

There are regular hands-on workshops held at the Museum of Making that are suitable for all those of all ages. The expert makers at the museum are on hand to help your children display their creativity with a whole host of activities to enjoy, including the likes of claymaking and hands on assembly. The workshops are run regularly, but we would advise you get in touch with the Museum of Making to check which dates they are running to avoid disappointment.

At the end of your journey through Derby’s industrial past, your family can enjoy a bite to eat in the brand new on site café and a browse through the shop to finish off your trip through history.

Entry to the Museum of Making is completely free for all of the family unless you’re heading to one of the temporary exhibitions.

Travel info and getting around

Derby railway station is around a ten-minute walk from the City Centre. Trains to and from Derby run directly from Nottingham, Sheffield, and London St Pancras.

Buses run constantly to and from the station, and you can save on your bus and train tickets with PlusBus.

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Tips on travelling with children by train

For information about travelling with children on our trains, including information on discounted tickets, keeping kids entertained and baby changing facilities, you can visit our travelling with children page to find out more.

Find out how you can save on children's train tickets on our child tickets page.