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Where Could Your Senior Railcard Take You?

December 22nd, 2022

Do you have a senior railcard? In later life, you can apply for a senior travel card that you can use on trains across the UK, which entitles you to a discount on your ticket price. 

If you want to travel in later life, a senior railcard will open up the UK’s fascinating cities and beautiful countryside to you. Travel from London to the Scottish Highlands, from your home to the seaside, or from city to city. With a senior railcard, the world is your oyster, and it’s time to visit the places you’ve always longed to explore.

Who Is Eligible For A Senior Railcard?

railway track

In the UK, anyone aged 60 or over can apply for a senior railcard – you simply need to be able to provide proof of your age, via a valid UK driving licence, passport, or National Identity Card. 

If you’re a veteran of the Armed Forces, you may be eligible for the Veterans Railcard, and there’s also a Disabled Persons Railcard, which entitles both you and an adult companion to a third off your rail travel. You may be eligible for this travel pass if you have a visual or hearing impairment or epilepsy, so do your research to see which type of travel card you may be eligible for.

How To Apply For A Senior Railcard

You can apply for a senior railcard either online or in person. If you’re applying online, you simply need to fill in a form and submit your payment, and your senior travel pass will be sent to you either via the post or digitally. You can store a digital senior travel card on up to two devices, and the railway staff will simply scan your card each time you travel.

If you’d prefer to apply for your senior railcard in person, simply take your chosen form of ID with you to your nearest staffed railway station – you’ll then be able to use your travel card straight away.

However you choose to apply for your senior railcard, you’ll need to pay a fee of £30 (payable annually), but the cost of your travel card will soon pay for itself in the savings you receive on your train tickets.

The UK’s Best Railway Journeys

The UK is home to some absolutely stunning scenery, and a senior railcard opens up more routes to you that you may not have travelled before. You’ll be able to use your senior travel card for some of the UK’s best railway journeys listed below, but always check the train provider’s website before booking as some routes may come with different charges for seniors. 

Here are four of the most thrilling railway journeys in the UK to add to your travel bucket list:

1. St Ives Bay Line

st ives in cornwall

The St Ives Bay Line in Cornwall is arguably the best use of all for your senior railcard. It takes just 10 minutes to travel along the St Ives Bay Line from St Erth to St Ives, but during that short time you’ll be treated to some absolutely stunning, breathtaking views of the Cornish coast, and across the sea. Whatever time of year you choose to travel this line, the view will be incredibly dramatic, from a grey expanse of stormy sky to miles of calm, blue ocean.

This train journey will take you through the beautiful Carbis Bay, before you arrive at your destination – the scenery is so amazing, you’ll want to ride the line again and again. 

If you’re travelling through Devon on your way to Cornwall, use your senior railcard to travel along the Exeter to Plymouth line too. This rail journey also takes in some gorgeous coastal views as it travels along the seafront at Dawlish. With its combination of sea views, tunnels, and dramatic red cliffs, this is definitely one of the UK’s most fun train journeys of all.

2. Caledonian Sleeper

If you’ve always loved the idea of sleeping on a train, booking a journey on the Caledonian Sleeper is a must. Bear in mind that you can use your senior railcard towards the cost of the train ticket, but you will usually need to pay full price for the cost of the berth.

Depart from Aberdeen, Inverness, or Fort William in Scotland and travel overnight to London, or vice versa. Going to sleep on a train is a fun novelty whatever your age, and you’ll wake up in a different country. The journey time takes around 11 hours in total – you can usually board the train from around 8pm, arriving at your destination by 8am the next morning.

Tickets for a journey on the Caledonian Sleeper would be a good idea for a big birthday present for a train enthusiast – just remember to get their senior railcard discount when you’re booking.

3. Jacobite Steam Train

jacobite steam train travelling over glenfinnan viaduct

The Jacobite Steam Train journeys along Scotland’s world-famous West Highland Line. There is just one standard adult fare for this railway, but it’s a must on any UK travel bucket list.

This thrilling steam train travels along the Glenfinnan Viaduct, immortalised in the Harry Potter film series, which sees the scarlet Hogwarts Express journey over the bridge, surrounded by beautiful scenery. 

Journeys on the Jacobite Steam Train begin close to Ben Nevis, before travelling through magnificent countryside, taking in the country’s most westerly train station at Arisaig, and continuing along the iconic viaduct. A trip on this steam train is great fun for big kids and grandchildren alike. For special occasions such as big birthdays, you can even arrange to enjoy afternoon tea on board.

4. Snowdonia Mountain Railway

If you’re close to Wales or heading there for a holiday, a ride on the Snowdonia Mountain Railway is a must. There is just one standard fare for adult tickets, but if you book for the early 9am service, you may be able to get an early bird discount – you may not be able to use your senior railcard, but the journey is more than worth it.

snowdonia mountain railway

Taking a ride on a mountain train is a real thrill for big kids and little ones alike. Your train will depart from Llanberis station, embarking on a 2.5-hour journey to the summit of Mount Snowdon. There’s a 30-minute stopover in Clogwyn after 45 minutes, where you can take in fresh mountain air and truly breathtaking views. Wrap up warm and take a camera – prepare to be wowed by the out-of-this-world scenery.

Travel Bucket List: Railway Edition

Outside of the UK, you may not be able to use your UK-issued senior railcard, but there are some fantastic railway journeys to add to your travel bucket list. Read on from some of our top recommendations:

1. Take A Ride On The Eurostar

While you may not be able to use your senior travel pass on the Eurostar, riding this train needs to be on your travel bucket list. The Eurostar departs from London St Pancras, and you can travel to Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, or Rotterdam.

From London to Paris, the journey time is around 2 hours, 15 minutes, which means it’s possible to have a day trip from London, or a long weekend away. Whether you’re taking the grandchildren to Disneyland, or have simply always wanted to see the Eiffel Tower or the Mona Lisa in person, a ride on the Eurostar would be a real treat to add to your train travel bucket list.

view of Paris from the railway

2. Experience Interrailing

Interrailing is often seen as an activity for students, but it can be a great way to travel around the continent, whatever your age. Rail travel in Europe is much cheaper than in the UK, and interrailing allows you to travel by train between 33 countries, including Spain, France, Germany, Croatia, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. And if you’re aged 60 or over, you’re entitled to a senior travel pass, which gives you 10% off your rail fare.

Choose the countries you’d most like to visit, and plan your route – book hotels or AirBnBs in the places you’re planning to stop at, and experience different cultures and cuisines throughout Europe while you’re still able to.

3. Ride The Orient Express

The Orient Express is one of the most famous trains in the world, especially if you’re a fan of Agatha Christie’s much-loved novel. Today known as the Venice Simplon-Orient Express, the train travels various routes between Venice and London, meaning you can take the train from Budapest to London, Venice to Vienna, Paris to Venice, and many more. 

Expect grand decor inspired by the art deco style of the 1920s and enjoy ultimate luxury on board the iconic train; treat yourselves to dinner onboard and a glass of champagne for the full luxury train experience. This addition to your train travel bucket list does come with a premium price, but it’s one to save up for if you’re celebrating a special occasion, or even to toast your well-deserved retirement.

4. Explore the West Coast Of The USA

coast starlight train, west coast of USA

The Coast Starlight is a railway route that journeys along the West Coast of the USA, from LA to Seattle during an unforgettable 35-hour journey. The train journey begins in Washington, before travelling through Oregon and finishing up in California, meaning you’ll take in three US states during your trip.

This breathtaking train journey takes in stops including Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Portland along the way. Disembark in San Francisco and hop aboard a shuttle bus to the city to see the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, or get off at Sacramento to visit the California State Railroad Museum.

Coast Starlight trains travel alongside the Pacific Ocean, through forests and gorgeous valleys on this thrilling train journey – it’s a must for your travel bucket list, and a wonderful way to see this part of the world. Train operator Amtrak offers a senior discount on the Coast Starlight, so you’ll be able to benefit from a senior travel pass.

Days Out For Railway Enthusiasts Near New Care Homes

If you have a loved one who’s living in a New Care home and you’d like to treat them to a special train journey for a day out, there are some fantastic railway experiences within easy reach of our care homes.

For example, the Derwent Valley Light Railway, which offers steam train rides, is located just a 45-minute drive from our Adel Manor Care Home in Leeds. Around an hour in the other direction from Adel Manor, you’ll find the Keighley & Worth Valley Steam Railway, which snakes through the gorgeous Yorkshire countryside. Meanwhile, the East Lancs Railway – another brilliant day out for steam train enthusiasts – is not too far from our Bridgewater Manor Care Home in Salford.

And if your loved one is a fan of trams as well as trains, Blackpool regularly plays host to vintage tram running days, and is very easy to get to from The Hamptons Care Centre in Lytham St Annes.

If you have any questions regarding the logistics of taking your loved one for a day out from one of our care homes, please don’t hesitate to contact us