Travelling by train to Center Parcs Sherwood Forest from York with a baby

Our first adventure with Sydney was a winter break away with friends to Center Parcs. Sydney was only five months old so it was his very first holiday. Our friends were driving from further north so the plan was to meet them at the final destination and as neither one of us could drive we decided the best option was to travel by train/ taxi.

For the train journey we knew that we needed to travel as light as possible as we would also have the pram to deal with. At five months we had just started weaning Sydney so we had food/ formula to think about, sterilizing equipment, plenty of warm clothes, sleep suits, nappies, swim nappies, wipes etc. As well as these essentials we had to think about where we would sit Sydney in the day time when he would be not in his pram, at home he had his play mat, play gym and baby rocker but we knew that it would be hard to pack all of these items.

We set about researching baby travel items and found all sorts. We found sterilizer bags for the microwave, a Pop-Up Travel Cot 

and our best find off ebay was a travel bouncer chair which folded up to fit in a bag.

We managed to pack all of our clothes and essentials in to two bags ( Graham’s Cricket bag and a suit case) We needed to keep the underneath of the pram free in case we needed to fold it on the train. We used the car seat that clicked into chassis of the pram and we bought a fleecy foot-muff so Sydney would be nice and warm.

We travelled on quiet Monday mid afternoon in November. There weren’t too many people around and the platforms were fairly clear. We decided to aim for the wheelchair space on the train( Coach F on East Coast) as we knew if free that there would be extra room for the pram and we would be close to the luggage racks. Our plan was to get a direct service to Newark North gate then get a taxi from the station to Center Parcs.

The train was on time and we stood in the right position on the platform, luckily the wheel chair space was free as the train was very quiet. We were able to get straight on with ease and get settled for the forty minute journey to Newark North gate. We had pre booked a taxi but we called once we were on the train to let them know that we were on schedule.

We arrived at Newark North gate which was a small station and we managed to find the exit via the lifts easily enough. Just outside our taxi awaited the firm we used were “Babs Cabs” and we found them family friendly and very efficient.

Sydney fell asleep about ten minutes into the train journey and slept through the twenty five minute taxi ride to Center Parcs.

We found our journey stress free and everything seemed to run smoothly.

Our tips for travelling by train would be;

If possible try and travel during quiet periods of the day; just after the morning rush (usually after nine o’clock) or before the teatime rush (between one o’clock and four in the afternoon).

Pre book your seats, if not aim for coach F/H ( On East coast trains) as there seems to be more space and H tends to be an unreserved carriage.

Organise your time, arrive early, check the platforms and find out where to stand on the platform. Make sure your children are safe, either strapped in the pram or holding your hand for when you get on the train. ( If needed ask a staff member for help)

We hope this helps if you are planning to travel by train in future, we found it to be a good option for us.

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  1. Caroline Macdonald says:

    That sounds brilliant! I wish I had had this advice before I traveled to Devon with my 6 month old. Tbh I’m not sure if it would have helped; I pre-booked the seats so we had somewhere to sit, unfortunately our train was cancelled and the train we were told to travel on was packed so we were were sat on the floor at the end of a carriage. As it was a 5 and a half hour journey I needed to feed my lo which was difficult, At one point I burst into tears and no-one helped me, No-one offered their seat to me, It was awful. I had to get off and change in Birmingham – which is huge- and when we got on the next train it was worse we were stood next to the door. A poor old lady stood next to us wet herself cause we couldn’t get near the toilet. I had to feed and change my baby in his pram. Its not something I would do again on my own!! x

  2. admin says:

    I know, it is a nightmare when trains are cancelled, especially when you are travelling such a long way. The trains to Devon tend to be really small as well. Sounds like you had an awful time no wonder you burst in to tears!! Good luck if you ever do it again. Thank you for your comments.x

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