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Cindy4 Sep 7th, 2007 11:57 AM

Britrail pass for London and Cambridge
My husband and I will be in London for the first time next week. We got the Britrail London plus pass from Rail Europe. Should this completely cover all our transportation needs to get from Gatwick to London, tour London, get to Cambridge, and to Bishops Stortford, which I understand is right by Stansted airport. I booked us a B&B for the last night in Bishops Stortford to fly out the next morning out of Standsted. Will this pass cover everything and everywhere we are going? The RailEurope website info on this pass seemed to cover everything, but previous posts here were confusing to me about all the differnet cards to get, and made me wonder if the pass covers everything, and seems is at or below the cost for buying train tickets as you go, why are more people not using it, am I just not seeing hidden costs with the pass?. Any help appreciated.

TimS Sep 7th, 2007 01:20 PM

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but while your passes will be good on any rides you take on National Rail trains within London, they will not be good on the Underground (tube) or on city buses, both of which you'll likely ride a lot while exploring London.

Your passes are good on the Gatwick Express, Southern trains, or First Capital Connect trains, all of which you can take from Gatwick to London. However, you can buy a ticket for a Southern train and combine it with a one-day travelcard for a total of £10, so long as you buy them together at Gatwick. That combination will get you to Victoria station and then on to anywhere else in central London by tube and/or bus.

An open return (roundtrip) ticket for London-Cambridge costs £22. A cheap day return, when available, costs £13.

A single ticket from London to Bishop's Stortford costs £10.80.

For travel in London, buy Oyster cards or travelcards. Which is better depends upon how long you'll be in the city. See for details.

If you are allowed to do so, I suggest you return your passes and get your money back.

rogerdodger Sep 7th, 2007 01:25 PM

Your pass is good for train travel from and to London. It does not cover transportation in London. Be sure to have the pass validated at Gatwick. I assume you purchased the flex pass good for a certain number of trips over an 8 day period. Sorry I don't know anything about Bishops Stortford.

janisj Sep 7th, 2007 01:51 PM

what did you pay? For most short time visitors, britrail passes don't save any money - and are often much more expensive that just buying point-to-point tickets.

Sorry . . . .

janisj Sep 7th, 2007 01:57 PM

And to confirm what the others say - where did you get the idea the pass would cover touring London? The website clearly only mentions trains. Essentially, trains don't go through London. You need the tube and buses for that

jewela Sep 7th, 2007 03:05 PM

I think my sister got this pass. She paid $180.00 for 7 of 15 days, which worked out cheaper for her. They took 5 "out of London" trips, plus used it to get from and to Gatwick. They still bought an Oyster card, and added cash as needed.

NeoPatrick Sep 7th, 2007 03:13 PM

Paying $180 for 5 trips ($36 average) doesn't sound like much of a deal for trips like you are mentioning. If going to York, Dover, Birmingham, etc. (in other words, long trips) then maybe.

If Cambridge is the furthest you are going from London, I can't imagine any pass being "worth" it.

Cindy4 Sep 7th, 2007 03:35 PM

Thanks everyone. Maybe it will not cover everything, and not be the cheapeast, but having never gone there I just did not know what to do. I just found this site and here we are leaving next week. Part of my dilema was I am staying in Cambridge the week in England because I will be attending a medical conference on some/part of the days. I will have about 3 days to go back and forth to London, and be flexible with the conference. I did look up the point to point price, and the Gatwick Express, which individually all together seemed more expensive, if I took 3 trips into London/other areas during the week. I paid $124 for the 4 day pass. My husband paid $75 for 2 days as he is flying in 2 days after me, since I will be so busy the first couple of days with the conference with no real free time. He is also coming from Gatwick, which the express train alone is $38 I believe, and then into London, and on to Cambridge, until we go back to Bishop's Stortford for our flight out of Stansted to Germany. Knowing we have to go back and forth to Cambridge so much does this still seem a rip off? The train schedule I checked seemed to show it is less than an hour train ride from London to Cambridge, is that true? Also, how much is the pass for the tube for a couple of days? Thanks so much for the help.

TimS Sep 8th, 2007 05:51 AM

With several trips back and forth to Cambridge, the pass isn't such a bad idea after all. Since it looks like your time in London will be intermittent, an Oyster card may be a beeter option than either a one-, three-, or seven-day pass. Let the Oyster computer do your work for you. You will never pay more than 50 pence less than the cost of a one-day travelcard each day.

Cindy4 Sep 8th, 2007 06:45 AM

Thanks Tim. I will check into the Oyster card. As you can tell I am completely unfamiliar with all transportation in this area. I will follow your instructions and let the Oyster computer do the work. I assume this can be done at the Victoria train station? Thanks so much for your help.

TimS Sep 8th, 2007 06:56 AM

Yes, buy your Oyster card at Victoria station.

TimS Sep 8th, 2007 08:19 AM

One more thing. For an advance look at the London transportation system, go to to print two maps, a tube map and a central London bus map that shows the location of major tourist attractions.

Cindy4 Sep 8th, 2007 08:35 AM

Thanks so much for all your help. I feel more prepared now.


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