You might already know that we go on trains quite a lot. We don’t drive and go absolutely everywhere; walks in the countryside, city trips to museums and family attractions, local days out, parks, farms, zoos and everything in-between… and yes, without a car. Living in Sheffield, we are regular passengers with Northern as it is our local railway that connects us to loads of great days out. In the past few months we have made full use of our rail card and gone on the train perhaps tooooo many times! This time, we fancied some fresh air and set out on our adventures to Kiveton Community Woodlands. Watch this to see what nature and wildlife we spotted…
You might not know this, but Northern is the second largest train operator in the UK with over 2,500 trains. The services are very regular and we never wait long for northern trains, they are often what I call the northern tube. There’s short local services as well as longer distance. Sometimes, we find it much easier to get the train compared to a bus for our days out. In general, I prefer the train for many reasons. It’s always quicker, it’s easier for toddlers (more space, train spotting and they can move around unlike on a bus) and we have a two together railcard which saves us a lot of money on fares. We keep renewing this as it saves us hundreds of pounds. I really recommend this; it’s one of our biggest money saving tips when it comes to public transport.
It’s worth having a look at trains if you are going locally even if there is a bus that goes there. For example, when I travel to local towns and cities such as Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham, I typically choose to take the train instead of the bus for the reasons mentioned above. You can check all of the journeys on the free Northern app where you can also book tickets, it is free to download and I find this really useful so I don’t have to stress about finding a ticket office or printing tickets off (or losing them!).
Northern is passionate about customer service and providing passengers a great experience whilst travelling. I have always felt welcome on board with northern rail and find their staff to be friendly. My son loves to hand over the tickets to the conductor, wave at the driver and make the train sounds; staff always wave back and include him as part of the experience which, when traveling with kids, small things like this make all the difference.
Here are just a few places we have been lately on Northern Rail: Bradford, Leeds, Barnsley, Elsecar, Peak District (Bamford, Hathersage and Grindleford), Wakefield, Scarborough, Cleethorpes, Worksop, Doncaster… shall I keep going?! haha.
It was no surprise that when contacted by Northern Rail and asked to be part of their Northern Culture campaign I was so excited! We already use their trains a lot; a big part of trips with a tot is how accessible all of our days out are because we don’t drive. I love encouraging people to use public transport and probably bang on about it way too much! We love being spontaneous and find a lot of our favourite places and days out by just deciding to go there to see what it is like, so we waited for a day we needed something to do and off we went to Kiveton Community Woodlands.
Kiveton Community Woodlands is just behind the Kiveton Bridge train station. Unfortunately (because we live in Britain and you can’t predict the weather)… it was absolutely chucking it down… but lately we have been trying to get outdoors whatever the weather. Last week, it was raining & we went for an adventure in the Peak District; it turned out to be a lovely day out! So it was no excuses for this time… sometimes you just have to bite the bullet! Plus, Eric loves puddles and mud so when it’s raining it’s fun for him.
If it had been a sunny, bright day we would definitely have set up a picnic up on the hills, admired the views and relaxed for a few hours; but because it was so wet, we explored inside the woods, did some splashing, slug hunting and flower identifying. And would you believe it… just as we were leaving to go home; the rain cleared up and the sun DID come out! Haha. You know you live in England when you get two seasons in one day! Oh well, we enjoyed it anyway. There is SO MUCH wildlife and nature there.
I definitely want to take Eric back when he is older with the idea of setting up a little scavenger hunt for him. Here’s just a few things we saw…
– Fish (and probably toads if we had searched hard enough)
– Berries, funghi and other fruits (would be perfect for foraging come the autumn)
– Birds and nests
– Wild flowers
– Shrubs and reeds
We consider ourself to be quite outdoorsy people but I didn’t know half of the wildlife we saw here. It reminded me that one of my New Years resolutions was to start learning more about nature and wildlife. I wanted to specifically get into foraging and learning about different types of flowers and plants which we have growing in the wild locally. I haven’t got around to doing any of this yet… sadly. But I’m definitely going to make it a priority!
Sometimes it’s just about doing something local, free, and easy. Big days out to family attractions full of action packed fun and things to do are totally fun, and we love days out like that. We do lots of them… but sometimes it’s nice to be reminded of the easy things in life and to escape for a few hours. Eric fell asleep in the sling as the rain cleared up, the sun came out, and me and Ollie just walked around looking at different flowers and plants. It might sound boring to some, but try it; go somewhere outdoors on a whim and get some fresh air. It’s relaxing and it clears your head. 😉
When was the last time you went outdoors to do nothing but explore? Do you travel by train often? Have you used Northern before? Comment down below and let me know!
Thank you for watching and reading. 🙂
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Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Northern. Although I was paid for this content, all views and opinions are 100% my own.
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