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Experience great family days out by train!

Family days out

Taking a day out with the family? Have a look at some of the attractions we at South West Trains love to visit. There is something for all the family!

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ZSL London Zoo

ZSL London Zoo has been entertaining and delighting visitors since opening to the public in 1847. With over 800 animal species, exciting and innovative exhibits it’s a great day out in the capital for all ages and sizes.

Go deeper into Tiger Territory, ZSL London Zoo’s latest landmark exhibit. Visitors will embark on a journey through the Indonesian jungle and come face-to-face with one of nature’s most breathtaking predators, the Sumatran tiger.

But there is more in store! ZSL London Zoo invites visitors to head down to Penguin Beach and watch London’s largest colony of Humboldt Penguins dive, swim, frolic and feed. Walk through the African forest and discover our colony of western lowland gorillas or immerse yourself in London’s only living rainforest. Visitors can also enjoy our daily animal displays, feeds and talks!

ZSL London Zoo is within walking distance of Camden Town and Regent's Park underground stations, both of which can be reached from London Waterloo.

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The EDF Energy London Eye - London

Launched in 2000, The EDF Energy London Eye is the world's largest observation wheel! Giving you and the family some fantastic views all across the big city it is a fantastic experience for all. It is an exciting trip for all the family! Just a short walk from London Waterloo, so you can't miss this world famous skyline.

EDF Energy London Eye is only a few minutes walk from London Waterloo and with fares to London starting from £10, start preparing your trip now. The earlier you book your train tickets, the less you pay.

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Mercedes-Benz World - Weybridge

Mercedes-Benz World offers a fantastic day out for the family. This large complex is home to Mercedes handling circuit where you can take the opportunity to test drive the latest models around the handling circuit. Mercedes-Benz World offers driving lessons to anyone over 1.5m tall. This means children as young as eight or nine can drive on part of the original Brooklands Circuit. Also adjacent to the circuit, Brooklands Museum has a large collection of early motorcars, motorbikes and aeroplanes including Concorde. Entry to the Mercedes complex is free to the public.

You can catch the frequent shuttle bus from Weybridge station to the complex too.

So, if you fancy a day out with a difference, book your train tickets to Weybridge online today and visit the Mercedes-Benz World tomorrow!

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The Spectrum - Guildford

Guildford's Spectrum is a magnificent leisure complex containing four pools with flumes, an olympic sized ice rink as well as a 32 lane ten-pin bowling alley. Just a mere five minutes walk from Guildford London Road station. It is a perfect family day out packed with fun and activities for kids! Why not race your friends on the Surf - a three lane slide - or try out Ice Xtreme on Friday and Saturday evenings where you can take to the ice alongside great music.

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Marwell Wildlife Zoo - Eastleigh

Immerse yourself into the animal kingdom with a trip to Marwell Wildlife Zoo; with so much to see and do, it is a fun day out for people of all ages. Get up close to over 180 exotic and endangered species and experience animals from around the globe. The 140-acre park is set in beautiful, landscaped surroundings with spectacular views to enjoy.

Travelling to Marwell Wildlife at a weekend or a Bank Holiday? Velvet M bus service departs from Eastleigh railway station for Marwell Wildlife starting from 1025. From then onwards, they will leave at 25 past every hour until 1725. Buses from Marwell Wildlife for Eastleigh railway station go at 45 mins past the hour from 1045 to 1745.

Click here for more information on the Velvet M bus service.

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Mid Hants Railway Watercress Line - Alton

Let off steam on the Watercress Line! Sit back and relax and watch as mile after mile of Hampshire’s picturesque countryside pass you by onboard the steam train. With unlimited travel on the day of your visit, you have the freedom to hop on and off the train and venture around the markets towns of Alresford and Alton as well.

Don’t forget to try a cream team from the onboard West Country Buffet and listen out for the clickety clack of the train passing over the rails and the beat of the exhaust.

Book your train tickets to Alton station online and catch the Watercress Line from Alton station at platform 3.

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Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust – Barnes

Hop on a train and head down the track from the hustle and bustle of London to Barnes for a haven of tranquillity and relaxation for both humans and wildlife.

Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) is a leading UK conservation organisation saving wetlands around the country and with a centre in London, the WWT brings the countryside close to the busy capital.

Wander around the lakes, pools and gardens and keep a look out for the different species of birds, frogs and newts you may encounter. Or join one of the guided tours and learn about the wetland history and wildlife.

The WWT is only a 15 minute walk from Barnes station (or five minutes on buses 72 or 33).

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Mottisfont Abbey House and Gardens - Mottisfont and Dunbridge

Mottisfont Abbey, with its world-famous collection of old-fashioned scented roses, is less than a mile from Mottisfont & Dunbridge station. Also vist the house itself with its delightful and individualistic decor, including the "Whistler Room". As well as the traditional walled garden, there is a new year-round garden near the "Font" itself. If you have time, there are also woodland walks alongside the beautiful River Test.  Join the National Trust - if you are not already a member - and your visit, as well as entry to their other properties, is free.

This property is open all the year round, but during Autumn and Winter only opens on certain days each week - please confirm the property will be open on the day you plan to visit.

A short walk along country lanes links Mottisfont & Dunbridge station with the village centre and the National Trust property. When returning to the station, make sure you follow the "Station" signs from the village centre and not the Test Way, which does not pass the station.

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Combined tickets

Have you heard about Combined tickets? When you travel by train you can buy a discounted attraction ticket to a range of attractions including Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and Hampton Court Palace plus many others. For more information visit our Combined tickets page. You'll find loads of great ideas for days out!

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard - Portsmouth Harbour

Just a few minutes walk from Portsmouth Harbour Station, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard offers a fun day out for all the family. You entry ticket gives you not only the stunning sight of the HMS Victory but also a chance to look around 6 other attractions including the HMS Warrior 1860 and The Mary Rose Museum. Find out what it's like to work in the modern Royal Navy with a visit to the Action Stations, an exciting range of physical activities, technology experiments and simulators.

This is the perfect day out with the kids!

Travel by train and get £13.60 off your attraction ticket with combined tickets.

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Advance fares destinations

We offer great discounted train fares when you buy your ticket in advance on many longer distance routes to and from London. You can check out all the destinations on our Advance fares map for a range of exciting destinations and save up to 75% by booking in advance!

We have also listed a few attractions below which are located in one of our Advance Fares destinations to inspire you with great day out ideas.

Splashdown Waterpark - Poole

Visiting Poole? Head down to Splashdown Waterpark! There’s something for everyone – from big kids to little ones – with some of the UK’s most exciting waterflumes. This spectacular water park is open all year round so don't miss a great fun from a sheer vertical drop to lazing around in the Red River Rolling.

If you are travelling to Poole from London, book early with our Advance fares for just £12 Standard Class and £20 First Class, one way.

From the station, you can catch a bus to Tower Park.

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Weymouth Sealife Centre - Weymouth

Visit Weymouth Sealife Adventure Park and Tower and see over 1,000 creatures from giant crabs to seals and otters. It's the perfect attraction for the whole family with fun kid’s rides and Splash Lagoon as well as an interactive rockpool giving children the chance to hold a crab and touch a starfish!

Travel to Weymouth from London with our Advance fares for just £14 Standard Class and £23 First Class, one way, when you book early.

The Sealife Centre is approximately a 20 minute walk from Weymouth station. If you follow signs for the beach and walk along the promenade you will find the Sealife Centre easy. Alternatively, you can get the Number 4 bus outside of the Cash Converters store. Turn left out of the station, follow the road ahead and then bear to the right, the bus stop will be straight ahead.

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The New Forest National Park

Leave your car behind and enjoy the natural beauty of the New Forest National Park. Sit back, relax and see more of this unique landscape as you arrive by rail. Brockenhurst rail station sits in the heart of the New Forest and is just 90 minutes direct from London Waterloo.

From Brockenhurst you have easy access to buses, cycle hireTwizy electric vehicle hire as well as the open top New Forest Tour buses which criss-cross the whole of the National Park every day and every hour during the summer.

If you are travelling to Brockenhurst, Lymington Town or Lymington Pier from London, book early with our Advance fares for just £10 Standard Class and £16 First Class, one way.

You can even ask the New Forest Travel Concierge at Brockenhurst rail station for the best places to see wandering ponies, picturesque villages and stunning scenery.

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Crealy Adventure Park - Exeter

Enter the magical land of Devon’s Crealy Adventure Park one of the best outdoor family attractions in the South-West.  There is so much choice in what to do. Scramble around the amazing Adventure Zone with six super slides, aerial walkways high overhead, climbing nets, ball pools and mazes. Whatever the weather at Devon’s largest theme park, the fun never stops with hours of awesome indoor play. Crealy also has plenty of seating to sit and relax, and outlets for ice creams and cold drinks to make your day chilled!

Travel to either Exeter Central or Exeter St. Davids train station and travel the rest of the way by taxi or by going to Exeter bus station where you can catch the 52A or 52B bus, which will take you to the top of Crealy's drive.

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Tank Museum - Wool

Hop on a train to Wool and learn all about the history of tanks and tank crews at the Tank Museum. With its impressive and unique collection of over 300 vehicles, it is regarded as one of the best displays of tanks in the world. Explore the museums six large halls and come face to face with the world’s first ever tank, the German Tiger tank and the Modern Challenger 2.

If you are travelling to Wool from London, book early with our Advance fares for just £13 Standard Class and £21 First Class, one way.

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Southbank Centre – London

In the midst of London’s most thriving, cultural quarter stands the world’s largest single run arts centre.The Southbank Centreoffers something for everyone with a wide-ranging artistic programme throughout the year including classical and world music, rock and pop, jazz, dance, literature and the visual arts.

There is also an array of cafes and restaurants to tantalise your taste buds as well as various shops and markets to browse through.

The Southbank Centre is also home to a number of iconic venues from the Royal Festival Hall, one of the leading performance venues in the world to the Hayward Gallery, which regularly presents exciting and innovative exhibitions.

The Southbank Centre is only a few minutes walk from London Waterloo and with fares to London starting from £10 why not start preparing your trip now? The earlier you book your train tickets, the less you pay.

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