Family Day at York Races Reviewed – A Northern Adventure


As readers of the blog know, we love to have lots of adventures across the UK but these are almost exclusively with travelling by car.  Having your own car do have advantages but often we arrive with an exhausted Doc, cramped children and knowing our luck having spent hours sat in traffic.  After our trip to Scotland last year we realised that train travel is ideal for families and offers so many conveniences which really make the travelling element part of the holiday experience.  So we decided to see more of the UK using the train, not just the usual commuter choices, but further places which would really allow us to really enjoy the train journey.  When we were asked by Northern to work with them on a trip to the York to visit one on the Family Day at York Races we were eager to give it a try.

Why Northern

Northern is the second largest rail operator in the UK which is hardly surprising given that it connects much of the North of England and is used by thousands every day.  Being born and bred in the North, Northern was my usual transport mode throughout the years I worked and studied in Manchester.  The train to York was surprisingly a direct train ride from our local train station, so it was perfect as the children could really make themselves comfortable for the journey without us worrying about changes and having to pack and change trains.  The trains were ideal for a lengthy journey, really comfortable and there was plenty of table seats so the little adventurers had ample space to do activities, play and even nap on route.  After our trip to York, we have definitely decided that we need to plan lots more train adventures in 2018!


Family day at the Races


In a ‘former life’ before the arrival of my little adventurers, I have been to the Races with work and I couldn’t picture children really enjoying the experience.  When I saw that York Racecourse along with others offered occasional family days, I was keen to see how these differed from a normal race day and whether it would it be something that families would really enjoy.  Travelling with Northern through their Back a Winner campaign means that you can get a discount off your admission cost and with two children admitted free of charge with a paying adult, the day offers fantastic value for money.  Family day at York was full of lots of great activities for children to partake in.  There is a huge tent of activities from reptiles to inflatables, to using diggers and face painting, everywhere you looked you could see lots of happy children.

What did we think of the Family Day at Races

We returned home from our day to York we were really impressed with the whole experience.  I know a day at the races doesn’t automatically conjure up family-friendliness but we definitely thought it was a unique family day out which was really good value for money.  With the discount by Travelling with Northern coupled with children entering for free, it was a really great and different day out.  Travelling by train was really perfect with children and the two hours passed really quickly with the children able to do homework, read books, play games and generally relax and enjoy the ride.    As it was a family day, the dress code was a less formal than normal, the races started with younger jockeys able to race their horses and the tent of activities was great and varied.  Lots of the activities were provided free of charge, with a few charging extras but this was still only a few pounds per activity.  We saw lots of families with picnics and small tents and windbreaks so it was much more of a relaxed atmosphere with lots of noise and hustle.  The little adventurers like to watch the horses zoom past and choose random numbers of who they thought they would win.  Forget looking at odds, the little adventurers chose things like favourite numbers or the colour of the jockeys top!  As we returning via the train, we were also able to spend some time in York city centre and it was truly stunning.  The cobbled, quaint streets littered with quirky building looked something from Diagon Alley and has definitely made a return visit to York high on the list.

I was pleasantly surprised with how much we enjoyed our day at the Races with little adventurers in tow.  I made a short video of our time at the Races and realised just how much there was for families to do.  We do lots of days out and love to try the slightly quirkier choices and this though initially sounded like one, we had lots of fun and would highly recommend it to families.



We were guests of Northern for our day at the Races but as always we only agree to adventures which would happily pay for ourselves.  All words and opinions as always are honest and my own.


I am a traveller, mother and blogger. We love to go on adventures (big and small, near and far) and strive to show our children how amazing and beautiful the world is! I caught the travel bug many moons ago and despite having three little adventurers, I still suffer from "itchy" feet. We love the great outdoors and one another. Come and join the fun :)

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3 Responses

  1. I LOVE travelling by train – it is just so less stressful isn’t it! In fact we managed it last month to travel to Manchester Airport from Newcastle. Love your photos. I haven’t taken my three to the races but we have a couple of family days here in Newcastle – I think they’d enjoy them.

  2. MummyTravels says:

    I really should make more use of the train – it is a lot more fun with kids. And I definitely wouldn’t have considered a day at the races but with the free and discounted entry and all the activities, it sounds a great idea.

  3. Flyingkids says:

    Traveling by train is such a fun experience!

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