A Fun Family Day Trip To Brighton With Thameslink

One of our great loves to do together as a family is to travel and to chase adventure, we've become a family who is happiest when we are out and about exploring new and exciting places that we haven't visited before. It's funny actually, because I used to be such a homely sort of person and whilst I definitely still love being at home - all snug in my comfy clothes, I have discovered how important and how magical it is to get out and have fun and exciting adventures as a family.

Last week I was contacted by Thameslink trains, who asked if we would be interested in a last minute travel adventure visiting Brighton for the day via train in collaboration with their Step Into Spring campaign, and we absolutely jumped at the chance! I hadn't been to Brighton in years and nor had Adam, but we both remembered how fun and full of energy it was and of course, right on the beach too! And so we we so excited to be taking the boys to show them!

Travelling by train was so much fun and it had lots of other benefits too. I had planned some little activities to do as a family on our journey and I bought some mesh zip bags and filled them things like colouring pages and crayons, toy dinosaurs and books. Getting to travel by train was really exciting for the boys and it really added to the feeling of adventure. They both loved looking out of the train windows, seeing what they could spot and watching the other trains go by. Taking the train to Brighton also meant that we didn't have to worry about finding parking or paying for parking costs when we got there. And as the boys are 4 and 1, we didn't have to pay for their tickets. Thameslink offer great promotions to families with children that are a bit older too, like kids for £2 for family travel and they also offer savings on super off-peak tickets at the weekends.

Here are a few pictures from our journey..

 This photo makes me smile - it's almost like these two were having a little work meeting over coffee. (The coffee was ours, not theirs, but still ;).) 

After arriving at Brighton train station, it was a short walk down to the beach and sea front. We live a couple of hours away from the beach, so we get very excited at the first glimpse of the sea and we could see it in the distance during our walk. We stopped briefly at a little shop on the way to be a little bit cheesy and buy ourselves a postcard - mostly so that I could take the below photograph and get Ethan a little cuddly monkey toy that he'd spotted and said he loved.

The sea was beautiful and really glistened with the lovely weather that we were lucky enough to have. I don't think that I'll ever get tired of how happy the sea and the beach make me. Every time I visit the beach I feel such a sense of calmness - it must be so lovely to be able to live close to the seaside. 

It's funny because all week the weather forecast had predicted that it was going to rain all day long, but we got so lucky because it turned out that the weather app was again wrong (when will I learn not to trust it?!) and we ended up being quite a bit over-dressed in our jumpers, jackets and raincoats.

We had decided that we were going to spend as much time as possible down at the beach and on the pier, knowing how much fun it would be for us all. And for lunch, Adam had remembered a place that he'd had some tasty freshly made noodles before and so we went and found it and then sat together on a bench on the pier eating our noodles looking out over the sea, whilst the boys sat next to us and ate their lunch from the lunch boxes that we'd made up for them at home. (Top tip for parents of fussy eaters - take a lunch box with you, full of things that you know your little one/s will eat, to avoid stress/worry!).

After lunch with the sun shining high in the sky, we popped on our shades and went and bought ourselves some wristbands to go on the pier rides. Our youngest, Logan, was just a bit too small for some of the rides, but there were a couple that he could go on and he didn't mind waiting too much as he had a little doze in his stroller before getting to go and be totally in his element inside the soft play centre - Palace Play. He spent ages running around with his brother and his Daddy, burning his energy and wearing his Dad out, whilst I sat in the cafe right next to it sipping on an iced drink. (Thanks Hubby!). ;)

Ethan had the best time hopping on and off as many rides as he could. He wasn't big enough for them all, but there were still absolutely loads there for him to ride on and he just had the most fun going on them all with his Dad. At one point I even had a little tear in my eye watching them both together. It was a lovely reminder that all the tougher, more challenging days of being a parent are worth it one hundred times over for the magical, happy, family moments like these that you get from being a parent too.

Having fun with the boys on the teacup ride, Logan loved it but got so dizzy and I don't think I had even quite realised how dizzy I was going to get! ;) 

I've noticed lately that our little Ethan seems to be quite fearless when it comes to rides - he definitely gets it from his Daddy and not me! ;) 

And then this my fearless Husband. who I honestly think is just totally nuts sometimes. This ride was called the Booster and it catapults you 130 feet in the air! You wouldn't get me on it for a million pounds, but Adam? He just happily went on it all by himself! I mean, he did say the views over Brighton were amazing, but seriously.. he's crazy!

And then after that we decided to have a bit of a relax on some deck chairs on the pier, before heading to go and get ourselves some chips (because obviously chips at the seaside are an absolute must!). On our way back, at a little trinket shop on the pier, I spotted a little ornament trinket of two penguins snuggled up close together. And because I am a total and utter soppy romantic, I just had to get it because in a romantic sort of way, it reminded me of Adam and I. (I watched a show last Christmas about penguins and how they mate for life and stay together, taking it in turns to go out and work and find food for their baby. And well, that sort of just resonated with me and so now penguins remind me of Adam and I. See, I told you - I'm ridiculously soppy!).

After our chips, we went and ended our day in Brighton with a short walk on the beach - it had got a bit windy by then, but even so, Ethan was desperate to throw pebbles in the sea, so we went and threw a few in and then we made our way back to the train station. The walk was up hill and by then we were all a bit tired, so in hindsight perhaps we should have just hopped in to a taxi, but we made it  back and settled down on our train for the journey home. 

We had such a lovely day out in Brighton and it was so much fun to travel there by train with Thameslink. In all honesty I would never have thought to take the train before, I think I always imagined that it would be a bit tricky to do with our four year old and our rather active nearly-two-year old, but it actually just ended up making our spontaneous little adventure a whole lot more fun.

There are lots of benefits for travelling by train and I think if you plan it right and you take a stroller or a lighter pushchair with you for getting on and off the trains and you make sure you take a few different kids activities for the journey, as well as plenty of snacks. And if you go with the expectation that you will probably be doing lots of looking out of the window, pointing out different trees and buildings, then it really just ends up making your family adventure a lot more exciting!

Ethan cuddling up to his little monkey that we bought him in Brighton, on the train journey home. 

We'd like to say a huge thank you to Thameslink for working with us, we had such a wonderful time!

Do you like to take quick family travel trips by train? Where have you travelled to? 


  1. We LOVE Brighton. It looks like you had an awesome time. These photos have made me smile so much.

  2. Aw I"ve never been to Brighton but it looks fun! Gorgeous photos as always Alex xx

  3. Aah, looks like such a fun time! Sometimes its easy to forget there is all of these things to do when they are on your own doorstep! I need a good day out on the pier!

    Lyndsay | Fizzy Peaches

  4. Ahh looks like a really fun day out! I've never been to Brighton but would really like to go - without kids though haha! I always find train journeys quite relaxing with the kids. It makes a nice change from the car!
    Adam is CRAZY, you could offer me all the money in the world and you still wouldn't get me on those upside down rides! xx

  5. Ah this looks amazing so jealous!

  6. What a great day out. Aren't the boys growing up...love the pictures with your "fearless" husband.