Pamper mum with these Mother’s Day gift ideas

Mother’s Day is slowly creeping up on us and like many of us if you’re struggling with what to get mum we have a few ideas to help you out. Sometimes it’s the simplest things that will make mum’s heart melt. No extravagant gifts…just a short visit home to see her could do the magic.

Whatever your plans, here are a few gift ideas to take along with you when you visit your mum, mother-in-law or even grandmother this Mother’s Day.

Flowers

Debenhams flowers
You can never go wrong with a bunch of fresh flowers. A beautiful bouquet of flowers is enough to put a smile on any mums face. Eden4Flowers has a great selection of orchids, tulips and even has a spring sale on at the moment.

Add an extra touch to your bunch of flowers with a gift to go along with your bouquet. Check out Debenhams for some ideas.

Chocolates

If you’re thinking of traditional gifts then you can’t go wrong with chocolates. Thornton’s has some great personalised chocolate gift sets starting from £3.49. Or, if the mum in your life likes something funky then Funky Hampers is the perfect place to start looking for fun chocolates.


Personalised and unique gifts

Make Mother’s Day even more special by putting your own personal touch on your gifts for mum. Why not do something out of the norm?

Personalised cushionIf you’re up for getting something different and not in every shop on the high street check out notonthehighstreet.com and you’ll find personalised mugs, wooden spoons, aprons, necklaces, and charm bracelets. With a huge collection of unique and creative gifts you’re bound to find something different to impress mum.

Why send flowers when you can send Biscuiteers! Biscuiteers has a great range of personalised biscuits which would make charming gifts for Mother’s Day. Check out their Mother’s Day collection here.

If you’re prepared to go that extra mile to give a personal touch to your Mother’s day gift, then check out the Gift Experience. You’ll find personalised shopping bags, cushions, oven gloves and even wine bottle openers.


Relaxing spa day

Make Mother’s day special by pampering mum. Wahanda has some great spa days on offer if you want to pamper mum for a day out. Spend the day relaxing together or even buy her a gift voucher if you want her to choose her own pamper package.


View from the Shard and afternoon tea

View from The Shard and Afternoon Tea for Two
If you’re looking for something exciting why not spend the day at the Shard. Enjoy London’s stunning skyline from the tallest building in Europe then relax with afternoon tea at the Hilton Hotel next door.

Want to keep it simple and go for a quiet afternoon tea? Check out these options from Buy a Gift with afternoon tea for two starting from £15.


Pamper sets

Treat mum on Mother’s Day with some pampering products. Molton Brown and Crabtree & Evelyn have some great papering treats to spoil mum head to toe! Or check out Body Shop’s heavenly hands gift set which could make great pampering treats for mum.


Candles

Yankee candlesChocolates and flowers are great gifts but how about something for the house? Yankee Candle has a great collection of scented candles that could be gifts for mums to cherish for months to come.

Cupcakes

For mums with a sweet tooth cupcakes from Interflora can make a tasty Mother’s Day treat especially if they’re as lovely as these!

Pay mum a visit and show her you care. Have a great Mother’s Day whatever you do!

Easter days out ideas

Easter is fast approaching, are you all set? To make sure you make the most of your Easter holidays we’ve put together a list of days out ideas across the UK.

cadbury's world
Cadbury World, Birmingham (West Midlands)

Get very egg-cited to celebrate Easter with Cadbury World! Hop to Cadbury World to enjoy an action-packed programme of chocolatey fun for the whole family, including an egg-cellent Easter Egg Trail for children. A must day out for some Easter fun and anyone who loves chocolates!

Visit http://www.cadburyworld.co.uk/ for more information.
Nearest train station: Cadbury World is a fifteen minute walk from Bournville Station.

Cardiff Castle, Cardiff (Wales)
If you want to tour an historical site visit the wartime tunnels last used as air raid shelters in the Second World War and take the family trail to explore the castle together. There is also a children’s dressing up corner with child-sized costumes.

Visit http://www.cardiffcastle.com/ for more information.
Nearest train station: Cardiff station – then just a ten minute walk.

Borde Hill Garden
Borde Hill Garden, Sussex (South East)

Become an explorer for a day! Hunt the hidden creatures and their eggs in the Garden, answer clues and solve riddles. A fun and educational trail for all ages. Find the Easter Bunny to claim your reward. Giant garden games available and activities for visitors young and old!

Visit http://www.bordehill.co.uk/ for more information.
Nearest station: Haywards Heath – then just a short taxi ride.

Blair Drummond Park, Stirling (Scotland)
If safari and adventure are what you are after visit Blair Drummond Park and experience a great day. From the Wildlife Animal Reserves to the Adventure Playground and many more attractions, there is plenty of fun and excitement for all the family.

Visit http://www.blairdrummond.com/index.php for more information.
Nearest train station: Stirling station – then just a ten minute bus or taxi ride.

Rutland Water
Rutland Water, Rutland (East Midlands)

Be a part of the Nature Reserve Egg hunt, learn to identify birds, take part in some crafty creations, and make a bird feeder to take home!

Visit http://www.rutlandwater.org.uk/events/easter-explorers/ for more information.
Nearest train station: Oakham station

Oasis leisure centre, Swindon, Wiltshire (South West)
Visit the Oasis leisure centre and enjoy a tropical environment which all the family can enjoy. The main pool has a slopped entry and there is a smaller pool for toddlers with an elephant slide and Pirate Ship. The main pool has a giant wave machine, water cannon, three hydro-slides, the ‘Lagoon Falls’ waterslide and the Domebusters.

Visit http://www.oasisleisure.co.uk/ for more information.
Nearest train station: Swindon station – then just a ten minute walk.

Natural History Museum
London (various)

There’s plenty of free activities on offer in London that make great days out without taking a toll on your pocket. If you fancy being indoors the Natural History Museum in London is a great place to visit. The architecture of the building, fascinating tours and archaeological exhibitions makes the museum an interesting visit for all ages.

Visit http://www.nhm.ac.uk/ for more information.
Nearest tube station: The museum is next to South Kensington station on the District, Circle and Piccadilly underground lines.

If you’re up for outdoor activities and something a bit different visit Newham City Farm, one of London’s longest established as well as one of its largest farms. Animals here include shire horses, goats, rabbits, peacocks, sheep and pigs to name a few! It’s a great day out to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and the best part is it’s free to enter!

Visit http://newhamcityfarm.co.uk/ for more information.
Nearest tube station: East Ham and Plaistow. Nearest Docklands Light Railway is Royal Albert.

Half Term Ideas for February

Stuck for half term entertainment ideas this February? Fear not! We’ve got suggestions from city-breaks to outdoor adventures (for the brave) plus a few sneaky offers to help make your budget go further.

City-breaks: Museums and Attractions

Whether you get up early for a day trip or find a hotel and make a stay of it, half term’s a great opportunity to show the whole family the sites and sounds of the UK’s great cities. Here are a few ideas that will help you decide which escape is right for you.

London

  • Visit London this Half Term

    Visit London this Half Term

    The Tate Britain and the Tate Modern both have events for kids this half term and both are open daily. Check out the Tate’s Kids and Families page for more info.

  • The Imagine Children’s festival at Southbank Centre has enormous sculptures, drawing and LEGO® activities, plus a dazzling Light Showexhibition. Children visit free outside of school hours and there are tours on 19th or 21st February.
  • The Natural History Museum in South Kensington is perfect for kids with its interactive displays. For more information visit the Museum’s website.

Edinburgh Half Term AttractionsEdinburgh

  • Explore the diversity of the natural world, world cultures, art and design, science and technology and Scottish history, all under one roof at the National Museum of Scotland. The museum is open daily and has family facilities.
  • Visit the UK’s only Koala’s at the Edinburgh Zoo.
  • Great for kids and parents, the Museum of Childhood showcases toys and games from across the ages, with hands-on activities, a puppet theatre and a dressing up area.

Manchester

  • Visit the Museum of Science and Industry to crawl through a victorian sewer, watch a 4D theatre or stand on the oldest surviving railway platform station in the world. The nearest station is Deangate, or a 20 minute walk form Manchester Piccadilly. Find out more at http://www.mosi.org.uk.
  • The National Football Museum has something for kids of all ages, including games and displays and a Discovery Zone. Admission is free and the Museum is right next to Victoria Station.

Be brave: venture outdoors

There’s nothing worse that couped up kids. Our advice, keep an eye on the weather and when there’s a break in the weather, be brave: make a go of it! We’ve found a bunch of ideas, accessible by train, to help you get out of the house and keep everyone sane.

National Wetland Centre, Wales

National Wetland Centre in Llanelli

National Wetland Centre in Llanelli, Wales.

The National Wetland Centre in Llanelli, Wales has a special half term family fun programme. There’s even an Estuary Café and a heated viewing tower, just in case you end up needing shelter.

Access via Llanelli Station, where you can get a bus or do the 2 mile walk if you’re feeling energised. The centre is open every day between 9.30am, and 5.00pm.

Visit http://www.wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/llanelli/ for more information.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh

With space to run around, and many gardens, including a rock garden to explore, these gardens are a delight whatever the season.  Even in the chilliest weather, there are always the heated Glasshouses, in fact the gardens have more than 25 of them, hosting flora from warmer climates, all over the world.

The Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh are open daily during half-term, from 10am to 5pm. For more information visit http://www.rbge.org.uk/the-gardens/edinburgh. The nearest rail station is Edinburgh Waverley, which is only 1.5 miles away and is connected to the Garden by Lothian Buses service 8.

Beaches in Winter

The beach in winter? Sounds crazy? Well, not if you rug up! On days when there’s a break in the weather there are great activities to enjoy, from walks to crabbing, amusements to rock hopping. Take a breath of fresh air and enjoy the nature you can take in along the UK’s coasts.

  • Ayr Beach: One of the best in Scotland, Ayr beach is great for picnics and sandcastle building and is easily accessible via Ayr Station for services from Glasgow.
  • Bristol: Take the Severn Beach line to Severn Beach, enjoy magnificent views of the estuary and imposing bridges.
  • BrightonWith regular trains from London and around the south coast, it’s easy to get to Brighton, where you can enjoy the famous beach, bustling lanes and the grand pier.
  • Formby: a glorious beach with dramatic sand dunes and sweeping coastal pinewoods. The beach is a 1 mile walk from Formby station with services to Liverpool.
  • Southend-on-Sea: With services from London Liverpool street in around an hour, visit Adventure Island amusement park, cliff gardens and several beaches.

Pssst – Did you know you can buy tickets less than 10 minutes prior to travel on our mobile apps? 

Offers to help your half term budget go further

It wouldn’t be trainline.com if we weren’t trying to help you save.

East Coast: Save when 3 or more travel

Save 22% when 3 or more travel on East Coast

Save 22% when 3 or more travel on East Coast trains

If you live along the East Coast line (routes from London to Yorkshire and Scotland), then our friends at East Coast have a deal for you! Anytime you book a journey of between 3 to 9 people on thetrainline, we’ll discount the fare by 22%.

So if you’re in London and fancy a break away to York or Edinburgh, or maybe you’re up north and want to visit the sites of London, taking the family just got a lot cheaper.

Find out more and book today.

£10 off at brilliant attractions, right across the UK

From duck boat rides

From duck boat rides to ghost and goul tours, save on attractions right across the UK.

From duck boat tours in London to ghost and ghoul tours in Edinburgh, our partner Getyourguide provides tickets to more than 624 attractions in towns and cities all up and down the country. This special offer to trainline.com customers mean you get a £10 discount whenever you buy £50 worth of tickets.

But hurry! This offer expires 31st January 2014.

To take up this great offer, click this link.

Favourite UK Half Term Holiday ideas (by Train, of course!)

Autumn is the perfect time of the year for a short break. With half-term coming up, we thought we’d share some ideas to make this autumn fun packed.  So, we’ve picked some of our favourite theme parks and beautiful coastlines around the country, which are accessible by train. Whether you prefer a relaxing walk by the coastline or a bit of adventure there’s bound to be something for you.

We hope this helps make your half-term holiday planning easier than ever!

Theme Parks

Alton Towers, near Stoke

Alton Tower is full of fun, thrill and adventure. With over 50 rides and attractions there’s plenty to do and see. The most visited theme park in the UK in 2012, Alton Towers has rides, a monorail, spa and a golf attraction, a waterpark and two on-site hotels.

Nearest station: Uttoxeter Rail. Alton Towers also run a number of bus services which connect with trains from Stoke-on-Trent, Leek, Nottingham and Derby.

Theme Park

Cadbury World, Birmingham

Cadbury World is where chocolate comes to life. Learn the story of Cadbury through video, demonstrations and interactive displays.

Nearest station: Bournville. It is a pleasant 15 minute stroll from here, with Cadburys World being fully signposted via fingerposts and wall-signs.

Chessington World of Adventure, Southwest London

Chessington has lots to explore, from great rides to a zoo and a sea life centre. The theme park also boasts nine themed lands including the Land of Dragons and Transylvania, with rides from runaway trains to the Dragon’s fury.

Nearest station: Chessington South. Regular services run from Waterloo, Clapham Junction and Wimbledon. From Chessington South Station, the theme park is approximately 10-15 minutes’ walk away and is signposted.
Chessington Zoo

Adventure Island, Southend

Adventure Island has 32 different rides and sits right alongside Southend Pier. Best of all – admission is free! With amazing selection of rides to choose from and great attractions, this place surely ticks all the boxes for a great day out for all.

Nearest station: Southend Central. Which is just a few blocks from Adventure Island.

The Eden Project, Cornwall

With individual biomes hosting a variety of plants collected around the world, The Eden Project is a fun eco education experience for the whole family. Explore plants, displays, interactive exhibitions and art works.

Nearest station: St Austell Rail. The Eden Project can be found several miles from St Austell – which is on the main line from London Paddington. Bus services run to Eden from the station and take approximately 30 minutes. Alternatively, you could also take the train to Luxulyan, which is roughly 2.5 miles from the Eden Project and offers a more scenic route from which to continue your trip on foot or bike.

Beaches

Blackpool Pleasure Beach

It’s the most famous pleasure beach in the UK and needs no introduction. An iconic British tradition Blackpool has something for everyone. Donkey rides, fish and chips, pier, arcades, sandy beach, kiss-me-quick stalls, candy floss and open-top trams. What more could you possibly want!

The nearest train station to Blackpool Pleasure Beach is unsurprisingly Blackpool Pleasure Beach station. However, can also go to Blackpool South station which is just 0.6 miles away. The majority of trains go to Blackpool North, which is 2.5 miles away. Although this is walkable and involves a pleasant stroll along the prom, many visitors choose to take a taxi or a tram instead.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Brighton Beach

Brighton’s pebble beach has been voted one of the top beach destinations, has blue flag status and is home to around 614 billion pebbles. Visit the famous Victorian pier for fish and chips and fairground attractions or soak up the atmosphere of pavement cafes as you stroll along the bustling promenade. Further inland boutique-style shopping in the Lanes and North Lanes compliments the high street stores of the town centre.

Brighton station is in the centre of Brighton about 15 minutes walk from the beach and lanes. Trains run regularly from Gatwick, Croydon and London.
Brighton

Belhaven, Scotland

This long, curving, sandy beach is great for going on long walks; having picnics and has splendid views across the Forth Estuary. Belhaven’s wide sands are backed with a dune ridge, the perfect spot for building sandcastles and playing beach games.

The beach is near the small town of Dunbar in East Lothian just walking distance from Dunbar station.

Sand castle

Falmouth

For crystal clear water, stretches of sandy beaches and secluded coves Falmouth is the place to go. A short walk will take you to the third largest deep water harbour in the world. To explore the area climb aboard one of the many boat trips or walk from Falmouth to explore nearby coves and beaches.

Trains run to Falmouth Station and Falmouth Docks. First Great Western runs services into Falmouth, connecting at Truro with the Western Main Line.
Falmouth

Cromer Coastline, Norfolk

Cromer is a beautiful town on the Norfolk coast renowned for its history of the sea, fishing and crabs. Its lighthouse flashes a guiding beam when the North Sea rides high, while the 14th century church stands guardian over the town.

Cromer station is right in the centre of town, just minutes walk to the coast line. Change in Norwich for mainline services.
Cromer

Time for one more?

I hate it when I’ve turned down that ‘one last drink’ to find my train home has left without me. I could have had ‘just one more’.

It doesn’t happen much these days. My trainline app knows my ‘home’ station so I just tap ‘next train home’ and see whether there’s time for one more or it’s time to dash. Genius.

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