Family train travel
How to travel, family style
Travel savvy with your little ones
Train travel should be an adventure (in a good way), whether you’re 6 years old, or 60. That’s why we make sure that journeys with us are as fun and as easy as possible, if you have young train travellers in tow. You’ll find fun activity packs, special tickets for family travel, and more – all you need to keep everyone from toddlers to teenagers smiling.
Inside they’ll find a treasure trove of puzzles, games and pictures to colour in, plus plenty more to make the journey an adventure.
Every tiny tummy needs a treat from time to time, and for little ones on a health kick, we have plenty of nutritious options. There’s fresh fruit, porridge, hummus and bread sticks or veg sticks, Naked bars as well as natural fruit juices.
Still feeling peckish? We also have cakes (several are gluten free), crisps, and chocolate.
If your nippers fancy something more substantial, they can tuck into a tuna sandwich, or a bacon roll, or burgers.
...have priority for our wheelchair spaces. Wheelchair-friendly toilets and baby changing facilities are also available.
The railcard costs £30 a year, and you save a whopping 33% off adult fares and 60% off child fares.
We have a fair bit of experience in the area, and our advice is that children shouldn't travel unaccompanied with Virgin Trains until they are mature enough to understand the unique ins and outs of rail travel.
1. I'm travelling with an under-5, can I book a seat?
Children under the age of 5 can travel free of charge and don't need a ticket, but please remember that this means they don't have a seat reservation and so will be expected to sit on your knee if the train is busy. If you want them to have a seat reservation then you will need to buy a child’s ticket.
2. Planning to travel during a busy period?
When travelling with little ones, keep the whole family happy by avoiding the very busiest travel times (typically mornings and evenings during weekdays, and evenings on the weekend). Journeys will also be louder and more crowded when there’s a big match, event or performance on, so you might want to check before you travel and take an earlier or later train to enjoy the ride.
3. Can I breastfeed my child onboard?
When it’s time for the little ones feed, please feel free to do so while onboard or at our stations. If you’d like a little privacy to breastfeed your baby, just speak to our staff and they’ll see what they can do to make you comfortable.
4. Can I travel with my pram/pushchair?
Pushchairs and prams are welcome on board all of our services, as long as they’re folded and stored like any other item of luggage. Customers with wheelchairs have priority for our wheelchair spaces. Wheelchair-friendly toilets and baby changing facilities are also available.
Have a read of our blog.
5. Is my child entitled to a discounted ticket?
For children aged between 5 and 15 there are discounted fares available which you can book online at Virgintrains.com and at stations.
One of the best value ways to buy tickets for kids is with a Family & Friends Railcard. This gives a 33% discount on adult fares and a 60% discount on child fares when you all travel together in Standard Class. You can find out more about them here.
6. At what age can children travel unaccompanied?
Train travel should be an adventure, and your first train journey without your parents is a big moment. However, we like to make sure everyone on our trains is safe. We have a fair bit of experience in the area, and our advice is that children shouldn't travel unaccompanied with Virgin Trains until they are mature enough to understand the unique ins and outs of rail travel.
Responsibility for an unaccompanied child remains the parent’s, or those acting on behalf of the parent. Only you can decide if your child is old or mature enough to travel alone. If we notice children travelling unaccompanied and have concerns for the child’s safety, we’ll contact the British Transport Police for assistance.
You'll find some helpful guidance for children travelling alone created by the British Transport Police here.