11 of the Best Train Trips from Newcastle with Kids

We love travelling by train and I've lost count of the number of train trips I've taken with the kids over the years. Travel by train is often faster, is definitely less hassle and offers benefits such as 2 for 1 entry to certain attractions when you travel by train (see one of my previous posts linked at the bottom of this post for details). We wouldn't be without our friends and family railcard and for just a small fee, you can save 1/3 off adult rail fares and 60% off kids tickets throughout the year. Find out more about friends and family railcards here (affiliate link).

11 of the Best Train Trips from Newcastle with Kids

Best Train Trips with Kids - Durham 

11 of the Best Train Trips from Newcastle with Kids - Durham
Durham Cathedral 

Durham is a nice and short trip for beginners - it's usually the first stop from Newcastle, is super cheap and a very short journey of 10-20 minutes. The train station is a short walk into the city centre (it's fairly steep too) and what I love about Durham is how compact and easy it is to walk around. There's lots to keep families entertained from a trip to Durham Cathedral (free entry), Burgers from Fat Hippo Durham, River Cruises, Durham Botanic Graden, Crook Hall Gardens and Riverside Walks.

Best Train Trips with Kids - York 

11 of the Best Train Trips from Newcastle with Kids - York
National Railway Museum, York 

York is another quick and easy trip to take from Newcastle. There are regular direct trains, it only takes around an hour and if booked in advance, prices are usually pretty reasonable. There's absolutely loads to see and do in York for families including exploring The Shambles and York Minster, taking a tour around York's Chocolate Story, the York Dungeons and River Cruises, stopping for cake at Betty's, York City Walls, Jorvik and Dig, Clifford's Tour, the National Railway Museum and more. I could actually go on forever! It's such a pretty city to just walk around too.

Best Train Trips with Kids - Edinburgh 

11 of the Best Train Trips from Newcastle with Kids - Edinburgh
Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh 

Edinburgh is another gorgeous city and one I'd highly recommend visiting with kids, especially when their Christmas Markets are open. Fun activities for families include Dynamic Earth Museum, Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh Zoo, National Museum of Scotland and Camera Obscura Museum. There are plenty of direct trains serving Edinburgh from Newcastle and the journey time is around 90 minutes

Best Train Trips with Kids - Glasgow 

11 of the Best Train Trips from Newcastle with Kids - Glasgow
Botanic Gardens, Glasgow 

Glasgow is closer than you may imagine and a direct train should take around 2.5 hours from Newcastle. I have visited Glasgow twice (although never with the kids - hopefully this will change this year) and absolutely love this city. There's plenty to keep kids occupied including Glasgow Science Centre, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Riverside Museum, Scottish Football Museum, Glasgow Police Museum, Glasgow Botanical Gardens, People's Palace and Gardens and countless galleries.

Best Train Trips with Kids - Carlisle 

11 of the Best Train Trips from Newcastle with Kids - Carlisle
Carlisle Castle

Carlisle is somewhere I'd never have thought about visiting with kids by train but I changed my mind after making the trip a few years ago. There are direct trains and the journey should take around 90 minutes. The scenery as you pass through the countryside is beautiful. Carlisle is home to the fantastic Tuille House Museum and Gallery, Carlisle Castle, Cumbria's Museum of Military Life, a World in Miniature Museum and plenty of parks and open spaces. You can easily spend a day here.

Best Train Trips with Kids - Leeds 

Leeds is another place I've visited several times without the kids but never got around to taking them. Again, hopefully this will change this year. I've noticed there's so much to see and do here for kids from the Royal Armouries Museum to the Leeds Canal, Trinity Shopping Centre and Leeds City Museum. Direct trains from Newcastle leave regularly and should take around 90 minutes.

Best Train Trips with Kids - London 

11 of the Best Train Trips from Newcastle with Kids - London
Tower of London 

Many people shudder at the thought of taking the kids to London for one day only but we've done it 4-5 times now and it's honestly fine, especially if you manage to get cheap tickets. Accommodation costs can be high so if you're on a budget, London in one day is achievable if you don't squeeze too much in. We usually leave at around 8am, visit two attractions and have something to eat then return in the evening. Obviously, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to places to visit with free attractions such as the Natural History Museum, Science Museum or British Museum, lots of tours including Houses of Parliament Audio Tour, playgrounds (I recommend Diana Memorial Playground or the playground on the Southbank) and paid-for attractions including the London Aquarium, Shrek Adventure, London Eye, Tower of London and Madame Tussauds. There are direct trains to Kings Cross from Newcastle and journey time is usually around 3 hours.

Best Train Trips with Kids - Halifax

11 of the Best Train Trips from Newcastle with Kids - Halifax
Eureka Museum, Halifax

Eureka! The National Children's Museum is located right next door to Halifax train station which is why it makes my list. I'd especially recommend this place to under 7s and there is loads of hands-on fun and role-play opportunities. You can also visit Shibden Park, Bankfield Museum, The Piece Hall and more. Journeys normal take around 2 hours 20 minutes and you will usually need to change at Leeds or Huddersfield.

Best Train Trips with Kids - Manchester 

11 of the Best Train Trips from Newcastle with Kids - Manchester
Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester 

I think Manchester is the place I've probably visited most often with the kids in tow (although to be fair, this is mostly to travel to the airport). We love this city though and highly recommend MOSI museum which is free to visit plus LEGOLAND Discovery and Sealife at The Trafford Centre (a short bus trip or uber ride from the train station). Direct trains take around 2 hours 30 minutes from Newcastle and be careful, there are several train stations in Manchester so make sure you know which one you are travelling to (we usually go for Picadilly which is pretty central). Other activities include the Manchester Museum, Manchester United Stadium Tour, the National Football Museum and the Chill Factory.

Best Train Trips with Kids - Alnmouth 

11 of the Best Train Trips from Newcastle with Kids - Alnmouth
Alnmouth Beach 

If you fancy a day at the seaside, you can catch the train to Alnmouth in Northumberland direct from Newcastle. Tickets are inexpensive and there's a journey time of around 30 minutes. The beach is unspoilt and stunning here, the high street is home to beautiful tea rooms and there's a cute play park too. If you fancy making a day of it, you can catch the bus to Alnwick from the train station too. Here are a few ideas for things to do in Alnmouth. 

Best Train Trips with Kids - Bradford 

11 of the Best Train Trips from Newcastle with Kids - Bradford
City Park, Bradford 

The journey to Bradford is just under 2 hours by train with a quick change at Leeds so is easily do-able in a day. The main reason I'd recommend this city is for the fantastic National Science and Media Museum which is FREE to visit and perfect for inquisitive older kids. You can fill a full day here, especially if you book a film at the IMAX too. As well as the museum, there's Bradford Industrial Museum, City Park Mirror Pool and Fountain, Bradford Ice Rink and more.

Let me know your favourite days out by train - I'd love some more recommendations to try this year.

If you're planning a trip by train, make sure you check out these money saving tips:

NB I have worked with the train companies mentioned in this post in the past but not been asked or paid to include them in this post. 

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11 of the Best Train Trips from Newcastle with Kids



  1. One of the best things about living in Newcastle is how many incredible places we can get to easily by train! We are so spoilt .. I love York, Leeds and Edinburgh and really don't take advantage enough of how close they are and what cheap tickets you can get!

  2. Hi there, why not Berwick upon Tweed? 40 min North of Newcastle and we have lovely beaches, a wonderful river, and great history! We have activity providers too - check out active4seasons.co.uk

    1. My memories of Berwick are sketchy so I can't really include in my personal guide - good reason to visit and remind myself of what there is to do though :-)

  3. I love the train ride up to Edinburgh, definitely going to do that this year with our girls!


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