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Stunning countryside, beautiful towns and quaint villages - the North of England has it all, add in the friendly locals and it’s the perfect destination for a holiday or day out exploring. Family-friendly attractions are around every corner, offering something for everyone wherever your interests lie, and all accessible by train. So, let’s take a look at our top ten days out in the North. 

1. Lyme Park, Disley

Set within a stunning deer park, and surrounded by over 1000 acres of wild moorland, Lyme House stretches back an impressive six centuries. Enlarged, and changing with each generation, the collections housed here reflect the life and times of the Legh family. From the haunted Knight’s Bedroom, once slept in by Mary, Queen of Scots, to the Long Gallery, where evacuees sheltered during World War II, the slices of history are lovingly preserved by the National Trust. 

For fans of the BBC’s adaptation of Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice, Lyme Park played Pemberley, home of the dashing Mr Darcy, and site of his now-infamous lakeside dip! 

 

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2. Knowsley Safari Park, Prescot

With wild tiger trails, meerkat mansions, and greeting giraffes, Knowsley Safari Park delivers on every level. Taking the Baboon Bus allows you to get up close and personal with many of the animals, including the big cats, buffalo and white rhinos. Being part of projects designed to protect and preserve global biodiversity, sustainability and build up numbers of endangered species, Knowsley put the focus on making education fun. Their animal experiences give you the opportunity to feed sea lions, fly birds of prey, walk with lions and lots more. It really is a wild ride!

3. The York Dungeon, York

With realistic sets, talented actors, and fantastic special effects, the York Dungeon offers a great day out. Informative, immersive and wonderfully entertaining, there’s so much to see and do. Vikings, plagues, witches, the legendary Dick Turpin and his beloved Black Bess, the Dungeon takes you on a grand tour through over 2000 years of history. 

 

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4. Blackpool Zoo, Blackpool

From red pandas to penguins, from tarantulas to tigers, Blackpool Zoo is home to over 1500 animals, all in their own psychologically enriched areas. As part of global conservation projects, the Zoo plays an important role in securing the survival of a wide range of species, including Orangutans, Asian Elephants, and Amur Leopards from the far eastern corner of Russia. 

With a sponsorship scheme, you too can play a part in saving these animals in the wild, plus receive regular updates on your chosen beast, free tickets and much more. 

Whether you’re an animal lover or just fancy a day out, Blackpool Zoo is more than just a zoo, it’s an experience!

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5. TeamSport Indoor Karting, Newcastle

With sites throughout the UK, Newcastle’s Indoor Karting has a range of great experiences to choose from, including group packages and family deals. If you think you’re up to the challenge, there’s even the British Indoor Karting Championship to enjoy. Partnered with Motorsport UK, this event is designed for grassroots Karting drivers, so book yourself a place. 

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6. Lancaster Castle, Lancaster

Overlooking the beautiful city of Lancaster, there’s been a castle here for over 1000 years. Of international importance, history has been made within the walls, with the castle being visited by royalty, including our current Queen, Henry IV in the 15th century, James I in the 1600s, Napoleon and Queen Victoria in 1850. It has also experienced its share of dark history, playing an important role in the now-infamous Lancaster witch trials in the early 1600s. 

With the large Gatehouse, the Governor’s House, and the Well House - home to the witches before their sentencing, among the many building to explore, there’s plenty here to keep everyone’s interest. 

 

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  • Perfect family day out
  • Nearest station - Lancaster
  • https://www.lancastercastle.com/

7. North Yorkshire Moors Railway, Grosmont

Catching the steam locomotive at Grosmont, enjoy the 180-year-old railway through some of the most glorious countryside England has to offer. Run by volunteers, the steam and diesel engines are authentically restored in the nearby sheds, and preserved for generations to come. With a range of railway experiences, including joining in with the footplate crew, dining in the sumptuous Pullman carriage, or exploring the engine sheds, there’s plenty of excitement for the whole family. 

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8. Southport Treasure Trail, Southport

Huge fun for the entire family, taking a treasure trail around the ancient town of Southport allows you to explore its vibrant and exciting history. Following the dark twisty passageways, through open squares and picturesque parkland, much of the town dates back to the days of the Vikings. The trail takes in the museum, the architecturally important town hall, and many of the older buildings, with the beach providing the perfect way to relax after exploring the town. 

Dog friendly, accessible for prams and wheelchairs, and taking as long as you want it to, a treasure trail is great fun for the whole family. 

 

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  • From £9.99
  • Nearest station - Southport
  • https://www.treasuretrails.co.uk › Merseyside 

9. Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Blackpool

Designed to offer the maximum amount of fun, Blackpool Pleasure Beach more than delivers. Home to the UK’s only Nickelodeon Land, it’s perfect for tiny tots, but with an unparalleled intensity of rides, awesome for bigger kids, too. With glorious shows to enjoy, plenty of places to take a break and grab a bit to eat, and lots more besides, Blackpool Pleasure Beach is the family fun day out. 

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10. Great Northern Museum, Newcastle

The Great Northern Museum is a vast maze of galleries housing collections as diverse as dinosaurs - including the great T. Rex through to Ancient Egypt. For tiny tots, the Mouse House offers the perfect play den, with child-focused interactive collections, while the Living Planet explores how we are affecting our world and what to do about it. From natural history, and geology to archaeology, world cultures, and local artifacts, the collections are designed to fascinate and educate. 

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Take the train this summer

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FAQs

The Family and Friends Railcard is a great money saver, giving you ⅓ off rail fares if four adults are travelling together, and if four children between 5 and 15 years old are travelling, you can save up to a whopping 60%.

With two adults named on the card, only one has to be travelling with at least one child aged between 5 and 15 years.

At just £30 for a whole year or £70 for a 3-year card, you can use it as often as you like, and obviously, the more you do, the more you save!

Northern App

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Northern App

Streamline your journey and get tickets straight to your phone. Making your journey contact-free.