Travelling with children on Avanti West Coast Trains

Nothing beats a day out with the family, but when it comes to taking the train, forward-planning is everything. Between all the colouring books, snacks and games, it’s important to make sure you have the right tickets for your young travel companions. 

Here’s everything you need to know about children’s train fares and travelling with kids on Avanti West Coast trains.

Are child rail fares discounted?

You can get discounted rail fares for kids between the ages of 5 and 15. Book children’s train tickets here on the website, through our mobile app, or in person at one of our stations.

How can I save money on children’s train fares?  

If you’re looking for a cheaper way to buy train tickets for your children, check out the Family & Friends Railcard. You get 33% off any adult fares and a massive 60% discount off fares for any children with you when you all travel together in Standard Class.

Online: It’s easy to buy tickets on the Avanti West Coast website. Just head over to our Book a Journey page, enter the details of the trip you want to make and browse the options to find the best tickets. You can also buy multiple tickets together. Perfect if you’re travelling in numbers.

Avanti West Coast app: Our handy mobile app lets you book on the go, with train tickets available up to 10 minutes before departure.

Station tickets machines: You can buy tickets in a jiffy using ticket machines at stations on the day of travel. You can collect pre-paid tickets here, too.

By phone:
Prefer to book over the phone? Give us a call on 0345 528 0253.

In person: Head to the nearest staffed train station to buy train tickets in person. 

Kids under five travel free

There’s no need to book a ticket on an Avanti West Coast trains for kids under the age of five. But, keep in mind that this means they won’t have a seat reserved on the train and will need to sit on your knee if the train is busy.

If you want to make sure your child has a seat of their, you can always book a ticket at the standard child price.

Tips for travelling on trains with children 

We want to make sure that train travel is an adventure, whatever your age. Here are a few of our top tips for travelling with kids on Avanti West Coast trains. 

Get your entertainment sorted – Whether its books, toys, games or gadgets, make sure you’ve got enough to keep the youngsters occupied. If you’ve got a tablet or phone, don’t forget that our trains come with free onboard entertainment via our app, and that includes a brilliant selection of kid-friendly movies, TV shows and games.

Book window seats if possible  – It’s amazing what a difference a nice view can make, give your sprogs a chance to see the changing landscape as you journey to your destination. 

Be on stand-by for ‘emergencies’ – If you can, try and choose a seat near the toilets – there’s one located in every carriage – and ask a member our staff if you need help finding the baby-changing facilities.

Travelling with the family 

Avanti West Coast family ticket offer

Bag a bargain when you take a trip with the family. From £42 for the whole crew, or First Class family tickets starting at £84.60. 

Snack time

We’ve got a delicious selection of on-board goodies to satisfy even the pickiest of passengers, with healthy options and indulgent treats to stave off any mid-journey stomach rumbles. 

We all need a treat from time to time, but if you’re watching your little ones’ sugar intake, we have plenty of nutritious nibbles to keep them happy. There’s fresh fruit, porridge, Naked bars and natural fruit juices.

If you all feel like you deserve something sweeter, we also have a selection of cakes, chocolate, sweets and biscuits with several gluten-free options.

When lunchtime hits and you’re in need of something a bit more substantial, we have a range of kid-friendly sandwiches, as well as bacon rolls and burgers.

Mum-to-be pass 

If you have a baby on board, we’ll make sure you always get a seat on an Avanti West Coast train with our Mum-to-be pass. 

Find out more >

Reserved wheelchair space onboard

Wheelchair space is available onboard and must be kept available for wheelchair users.

Wheelchair-friendly toilets are also available onboard. If you need help locating them, please just ask one of our team.

Whilst prams and pushchairs are welcome on our services, they must be folded and stored safely in the luggage compartments on your coach – not in the wheelchair space.

Travelling with a pram or pushchair

You’re welcome to bring along a pram or pushchair, please just make sure they’re folded and stored safely in the luggage compartments on your coach.

Extra-space toilets with changing facilities are also available onboard. If you need help locating them, just ask one of our team.

Please do not use the clearly marked wheelchair spaces for prams or pushchairs. This is reserved for wheelchair users.

Tickets for the whole family

Travelling with the whole gang? The Family and Friends railcard lets you save money when up to four adults and four children are travelling together – you don’t even have to be part of the same family. 

For just £30 a year, you can save 33% off adult fares and 60% off child fares.

Can kids travel alone?

Setting off on your first train journey without your parents is a stepping stone. However, we like to make sure everyone on our trains is safe.

Our advice is that children under the age of 13 shouldn't travel unaccompanied on an Avanti West Coast Train. Younger children should not travel unless accompanied by an adult.

If our staff notice children travelling unaccompanied, or have concerns for a child’s safety on board one of our trains or in the station, we will contact the British Transport Police for assistance.

For guidance on children travelling alone, take a look at some helpful tips from the British Transport Police.

Tips for travelling with children

Booking a seat for a child under five

Kids under the age of five can travel for free and don't need a ticket on Avanti West Coast trains, but this means they won’t have a seat reservation for the journey and if the train is busy, they will be expected to sit on your knee. If you want to reserve a seat for your child, you’ll need to buy a child’s ticket for the standard price.

Taking the train with kids during a busy period

It’s best to steer clear of the busiest travel times if you’re taking the train with youngsters. Try to avoid travelling in the mornings and evenings during weekdays, and evenings on the weekend if possible. If there’s a big event taking place, like a football match or a festival, journeys will be louder and more crowded, so check before you travel and try to book a different time. You’ll have more space to stretch out and enjoy the journey. 

Breastfeeding on the train 

Please feel free to breastfeed on-board Avanti West Coast trains or at our stations. If you’d like a little privacy while you feed your baby, ask a member of our train staff and they’ll do their best to accommodate you and your little one.

Save big with group travel

Making tracks with the whole gang? If there are more than three of you travelling, you can save 20% on your fares with one of our group tickets.

Team up now > 

2-for-1 at Great British attractions

Discount days out for you and a pal. Stick with us and we’ll get you two-for-one entry into some of Britain's most popular attractions.

Explore destinations > 

Europe is just one booking away

We’ve teamed up with Eurostar to bring the continent that little bit closer. Jump on a train at your nearest Avanti West Coast station, change at St Pancras International and you’ll be strolling the Champs-Élysées before you can say “un billet s'il vous plaît!”

Book now >