Planning for the Summer with National Railcard

The Sun is shining, thermometers are rising, and the kids are out of school. With everyone busy planning to make the most of their summer holidays, expect
to see busy airports and endless traffic.

If you’re looking for a nice day out with the family, there are endless opportunities right at the doorstep with no hassle. Whether you want to get active and explore,
find somewhere to take the kids, or just catch the best of the summer weather here are some ideas from
National Railcard*, which provide a third off rail travel, to give you some inspiration!

Outdoor Theatre

If you haven’t been to an outdoor play before, it’s like any normal performance except that you can watch the sunset as you follow Shakespeare and most venues allow you
to bring your own refreshments too. So if you’re interested in loading up on Pimms and heading off in search of novelty, Cambridge’s Shakespeare Festival is running from 11th July – 27th August. 

Travel: Off-Peak Return tickets for two from
London to Cambridge with a Two Together Railcard – £32.00 (based on two adults)

Usual Cost: £48.40

Total Saving: £16.40


Take the children for a run around the garden whilst you admire the views. A must-see if you’re nearby is Sudeley Castle & Gardens. Immerse yourself in 1,000 years of history in the only private castle in England
to have a queen buried in its grounds!

Travel: Off-Peak Return for a family of four from
London to Cheltenhan Spa with a Family & Friends Railcard – £87.60 (based on two adults and two children)

Usual Cost: £154.50

Total Saving: £66.90



Less of a history buff? Try the zoo! Aside from the massive ones like Twycross Zoo, it’s worth checking out smaller, less crowded options like Paignton Zoo that has the
most animals in the South West and is also wheelchair and pushchair friendly.

Travel: Off-Peak Return tickets from Bristol
to Paignton with a Disabled Persons Railcard which provides a third off for you and a friend when they travel with you – £49.10 for two adults

Usual Cost: £74.40

Total Saving: £25.30



Here’s a shocker: UK beaches can actually be better than foreign counterparts in terms of price, quality, and hassle. The one drawback? This only applies when the weather is good. But when the sun is up and the sky is blue, some great Instagram photos are yours for the taking.

Travel: Off-Peak Return from
Birmingham to Aberystwyth for two people with a Two Together Railcard – £40.80

Usual Cost: £61.80

Total Saving: £21.00


Shopping in London

The shops, the culture, the capital. The big city’s appeal never truly dies, for a bit of quality time London gives you world class shopping and adventure wrapped into
one. And if you want to get the full experience whilst counting the pennies, you can get 25% off entry to the Gardens on top of the Shard if you’ve got a National Railcard.

Travel: Off-Peak Return from Manchester to London with a 16-25 Railcard – £54.40

Usual Cost: £82.40

Total Saving: £28.00



No longer just a student’s game, there are now festivals for all ages. If you want something other than just Glastonbury, set to have the most crowds, try BoomTown Festival.
Set up in 2009, the festival is built like its own city with nine different districts, each with their own genre of music. It’s also a friendly place for children with cheaper tickets for teens and under 12s go free! If you take the family via train to Winchester
Station, the festival tickets also guarantee you a free ride on the shuttle bus to the festival!

We also love the free tribute rock festivals across the North West. Festwich is our favourite and we have been every year so far – except this year! I’m just a bit too pregnant to be rocking out at the moment…

Travel: Off-Peak Return for a family of four from
Cardiff to Winchester with a Family & Friends Railcard – £157.10 (based on two adults and two children)

Usual Cost: £277.20

Total Saving: £120.10


Lake District

Looking for something a bit off the beaten Summer Holiday track? Want a bit of time for reflection? How about renting a cottage in the Lake District for a week? You can
go hiking, enjoy the views, sit down with a good book, the world is your oyster. Perfect for both young and old looking to avoid the cost of expensive package holidays and everyone else looking to avoid the hassle. One of our best family days out was taking a boat out on Windermere for the day and simply taking in the calm and tranquil surroundings.

Travel: Off-Peak Return
from Manchester to Windermere with a Senior Railcard – £15.60

Usual Cost: £23.60

Total Saving: £8.00


When it comes to saving money, for just £30 a year the Railcard saves people £148 on average, making it worth over four times as much as it costs. Plus as well as saving
on travel, those who really want to get the most for their money can take advantage of offers on theatre tickets and days out. 

In fact, when we backpacked along the Jurassic Coast last summer, our Family & Friends Railcard saved us over £300. You really can’t ask for better value than that! 

A Railcard is a great way to start putting away some cash whilst having a great time this summer.

To get more information check out

*Railcards include the
16-25 Railcard,
Two Together Railcard,
Family & Friends Railcard,
Senior Railcard and
Disabled Persons Railcard. Prices and savings correct as of July 2016. 

*post written in collaboaration with National Railcard. I have been compensated for this post. 

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