A family day trip to London with the Trainline mobile ticketing

When I was offered the opportunity to review the trainlines app which offers users the ability to both purchase tickets on their smartphone and scan at the barrier - no paper ticket needed, it couldn't have come at a better time. I had a trip to London that Saturday to take the children to the Natural History Museum already planned but me being the unorganised mess I am, had not yet purchased our tickets. 

So I downloaded the trainline's app to give it a whirl. 

From the app you can plan your journey, check live train times & platform information and buy tickets for any UK rail route in seconds (up to ten minutes before boarding!)

No wonder they're the UKs most downloaded train app

This inforgraphic they've put together explains why this app is so great perfectly!

The mobile ticketing option I used is only available on selected routes, but there are lots of them, so it wasn't hard to find this option and purchasing them is super easy. 

Once you've purchased your selected mobile tickets, they'll be available to view on the app in the 'My tickets' bit (bottom right button) 

There are tabs for outbound and inbound journeys along the top which shows you times/ reserved seat info and a button to view the actual tickets.

Clicking that gives you this barcode which is what is scanned by the ticket collector on the train or what you scan at the ticket barriers at certain stations to get in/ out. 

It was just typical really that on the two trains we travelled on that day, we were not asked for our tickets so I was not able to test out this aspect. 

Not that it takes much testing. They ask for your ticket, you open the Trainline app to access your mobile ticket, they scan it and you're down. Easy peasy.

It is good to note that once your ticket is downloaded onto your phone, you do not need internet connection to access it after this.

I was a little worried my phone would have no signal or something!

On the day of travel you will need to click to activate the ticket. You can do this right before you travel but once activated the tickets cannot be amended.

I was also a little worried to be relying so much on technology. 

What if my battery died? What if I lost my phone? What if it was having one of it's hissy fits and refused to work?

And then P reminded me that: 

a. I am a natural born worrier. If it wasn't that I was worrying over, it would have been something else.

b. The chances of me losing my phone or something else happening to it are exactly the same as me losing a paper ticket or my purse with them in being stolen!

c. Technology is the way forward. Everything is going mobile now and I should get with the times!

In actual fact in the last god knows how many years, I have never lost my mobile phone as it is permanently attached to me but I have indeed lost paper tickets. Most recently, my daughters Little Mix tickets for April. Ooops!!!

Last time we went to London was a year ago. 

We booked our tickets in advance for the best possible prices and what we thought would save time.

But in reality it didn't save much time. 

We still had to arrive early to allow time to  go into the ticket office, queue and collect the tickets. This took 15 minutes at least in the end! 

This time it was quick and easy.

Lucky really as we were running a little late having had to wait for Nanny to come to ours to look after 1 year old LB (we didn't think it would be very fun for him stuck in a pushchair for the day and it meant we had full attention on the older two for a change) 

We arrived to the station literally minutes before the train arrived. Just enough time to park and pay & display. 

Thank goodness tickets were sorted and on my phone ready and waiting! 

All boarded and sat in our seats, London was 116 miles or 1 hour and 16 minutes away. 

I made sure I had a bag FULL of snacks, drinks and activities for the kids to do, to keep them entertained for the journey.

Within no time at all and several cereal bars and flapjacks later, we were in the big city.

BB is doing about Dinosaurs at school at the moment and he is loving it so we took the opportunity to take him and LL to the Natural history museum to learn some more. 

I had been warned in advance about the queues, especially on a weekend but I think luck was on our side yet again. We arrived 30 minutes after opening and queued a mere 15 minutes in glorious sunshine to get in. We headed straight to the dinosaurs where there were no queues at all. 

BBs face was a picture throughout. He was literally mesmerised by it all and in awe of the dinosaurs. 

It was the perfect start to our day. Fun, free and educational. I couldn't have asked for more! 

We could have literally spent a whole day here and still not seen everything. 

And whilst LL enjoyed it lots too, she's a girl. And what do girls love most in life? 


She was really keen to go & spend the money Nanny had given to her for he day so we headed off to Covent Garden in the afternoon. 

Not before stopping for a bite to eat at Ma Pluckers in SoHo first to recharge our  batteries!

Their afternoon tea was beyond delicious and there is so much to say about it, I'm going  to save it for a whole post of its own! 

I love Covent Garden! It's my favourite area of London. 

The children really enjoyed the street perfomers and wanted to use some of their money to put in their buckets which I thought was lovely. 

But in terms of shopping, it failed to light LLs fire. 

So we had a last minute dash back across town to Hamleys where the HAD to be able to find something!! 

They both spent their pounds and we headed back to Euston for the train home. 

It had been such a loooong day, I think we were all very glad to take our seats and rest our tired legs on the journey back. 

Never one to just rest though, LL entertained herself with some foil pictures on the way home and BB looked through his dinosaur book from the NHM!

He couldn't wait to go into school on Monday to tell all the class about his day.  I was amazed at just how much information he had retained from the museum as he reeled off a ton of facts he had learned.

LL also couldn't wait to tell her class all about it. Her topic at school this term is transport so she was very excited to tell them about the trains, tubes, London buses & taxis! 

Linked up to:


  1. Sounds like an interesting concept, I'd be like you though and panicking that my phone wouldn't work properly. Love the Natural History Museum #WTWW

  2. It looks like a great day out! My two love visiting museums. I would be constantly unsure of having the ticket on the phone, I like having solid paper to hold on to, but you're right that it's just as easily lost as the phone, so need to worry really. I'm one of those who refuse to get completely with the times, I really do not want a kindle and prefer to have paper books, much to my families annoyance! Hee hee! Thanks for linking up to #Whatevertheweather :) x

  3. That app looks really good. Looks like you had a lovely day. We love visiting the museums in London when we come over, especially the Natural History one. It is in such a stunning building too :-) #countrykids

  4. It's great that you had so much fun exploring the Natural History Museum with the kids, dinosaurs are always a big hit with little ones! That lunch looks yummy, so many different things to try on the plate. It sounds like you were rushed off your feet trying to find some exciting things to buy before heading home again.

  5. I am so scared of London! I dont know why. But I know sooner or later I need to face that fear and go there. This is such a lovely trip! No worries about driving too! #countrykids

  6. I loveeeeee the Natural History Museum. It's so amazing in there. It sounds like a really lovely trip. I love taking the train to London and to anywhere really. You don't have to worry about driving or parking and it's nice to just relax sometimes. This app sounds great! Thank you so much for sharing your adventure with #whatevertheweather xx

  7. I loved going to London as a child. It was always so exciting, especially as we were from the country.

    Even now, I love being a complete tourist - there's just something about London.


  8. What a fantastic day out. I do love trips into London by train. I've taken my little boy (nearly three) next door to the Science Museum a couple of times which he absolutely loved but have not visited the Natural History Museum yet. Looks like you had a lot of fun. Ooo that food looks good! Haven't been to Covent Garden in years either, looks great. Thanks for linking up to #MyFavouriteTrip Polly x


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