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Interested In Coach Passes

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Sep 15th, 2014, 01:56 PM
  #1
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Interested In Coach Passes

Can you purchase coach passes like you can rail passes? The train doesn't go just where I would like, and takes much longer than the coach does in some cases. Would it be practical to buy coach passes and use them in lieu rail passes? I think we will be located in Reading. My son wants to see Hadrian's Wall. The train takes 4 hours to get there where the coach says it's less then 2 hours. Thank you.
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Sep 15th, 2014, 02:10 PM
  #2
 
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It is at least 5 hours by road from Reading to Hadrian's Wall. There is no way a coach can get you there in two hours.

As for passes in the UK have a look at the National Express website and see what that says.
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Sep 15th, 2014, 02:41 PM
  #3
 
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Buses are slower in the UK for most trajectories - yet they are cheaper especially on a walk up basis. The National Express Passes - there is one for younger folks too - are good deals IF traveling a lot on coaches. Train fares can be very low if you book far enough in advance (www.nationalrail.co.uk) and are willing to put up with various restrictions like changing the specific train you've booked on, etc.

Consider the train if not on a starvation budget - trains are infinitely more comfy IME - heck you can get up and walk around - tough to do on a coach.

for coach info and pass info check the National Express web site:

http://www.nationalexpress.com/home.aspx

For trains not only www.nationalrail.co.uk but for general info and data on various railpasses: www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com. Passes are not sold at rail stations in the U.K. so if that option is it buy in your home country before leaving.

How much are you traveling and when and how many people traveling together - that all makes a difference on the efficacy of a pass on either coaches or trains.
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Sep 15th, 2014, 02:54 PM
  #4
 
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>>The train takes 4 hours to get there where the coach says it's less then 2 hours. <<

No way no how.

>>It is at least 5 hours by road from Reading to Hadrian's Wall.<<

That is for driving oneself w/o any stops and is more like 6 hours. No coaches will make that time and none would do it non stop.

The very FASTEST National Express coach from Reading to Newcastle takes 9 hours. and then you'd have to get another, slower local bus to the Wall.

You really need to find other references/resources because whatever you read was very VERY wrong.

You simply cannot visit Hadrian's Wall from Reading unless you are staying ove - and two night would be better than one.
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Sep 15th, 2014, 04:07 PM
  #5
 
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Plus where on Hadrian's long wall, only small bits of which remain discernible at least intact or seemingly so - or do you want to visit some forts and military camps along the wall.

It used to be at least the the Hadrian's Wall bus, a tourist oriented coach that took you to the best parts of the wall/forts used to scoot long it between Hexham and Carlisle - you could take the train to Carlisle then change for Hexham or if coming on the East Coast line I think at Newcastle to Hexham - anyway I stayed in Hexham a nice market town with ample accommodations and which is relatively close to the main tourist-visited part of wall - don't expect the Great Wall of China but a small wall of Hadrian - small in height not length.
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Sep 15th, 2014, 04:13 PM
  #6
 
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>>only small bits of which remain discernible at least intact or seemingly so<<

Not at all true - A lot of the Wall is intact.

But it really doesn't matter since Hadrian's Wall/Northumberland/Cumbria is not visitable from a base in Reading.
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Sep 15th, 2014, 04:16 PM
  #7
 
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I meant that if you just search willy-nilly for the Wall as I did first off you could walk right over it and never know it - IME at least where I looked the wall was a huge disappointment - just saying do not expect the Great Wall of China nor any semblance to it.

On limited time if that is the case I'd eschew the Wall for other places closer to Reading on a day trip. Like Avebury Circle, Stonehenge, Oggsford, etc.
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Sep 15th, 2014, 05:23 PM
  #8
 
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Agree that you need to get much better information on the actual travel times before making any specific plans.

Also - how many of you are there - bus may not make sense - for enough people car might be a better choice and would be faster.

And I think Hadrian's Wall is fascinating - but you need to get to the sites with reconstructions and museums - and how to get there form the nearest towns - and also check what days and times they are open.
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Sep 15th, 2014, 07:42 PM
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>>you could walk right over it and never know it - IME at least where I looked the wall was a huge disappointment <<

Then you went to the wrong bits.

But then you've posted that same opinion a few times in the past and were advised that vast parts of the Wall still exist. Guess you don't remember..

nyt: I 'think' the OP is visiting his/her son who is in Reading. Unless they have a few days -- Hadrian's wall won't work. If the OP comes back to clarify/fill in the blanks maybe we can help more.
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Sep 15th, 2014, 10:46 PM
  #10
 
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Reading is a significant railway hub, and its town-centre railway station is next door to a bus hub with lots of connections around the Thames Valley.

It has very very few coach connections to anywhere - and most of them are from an out of town coach terminal, poorly served by local bus connections.

The key exception to both those statements is the coach link to Heathrow, which runs from outside the railway station and is (for the next two or three years) a far easier, and usually faster, way of getting to Heathrow than the train - though Gatwick, London City, Luton and Stansted airports are easier to get to by train and tube. The Heathrow coach, though, has few links at Reading with coaches to anywhere else.
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Sep 15th, 2014, 11:21 PM
  #11
 
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It's around 550km to Hadrian's Wall from Reading.

None of your claimed timings are right - it would be around 6 hours to Hexham by train and 9 hours by coach.

Even driving would take 6 hours of non-stop driving.
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Sep 16th, 2014, 12:42 PM
  #12
 
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No, a coach can't get there in two hours from Reading. It's way too far for that to be possible. Where did you get that idea from? A coach is never going to be quicker than the train. I just looked up Reading-Carlisle and the fastest coach is over 8 hours.

Of course, a coach may go where trains don't, and they are cheaper on the whole, so that's the reason people use them.
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Sep 16th, 2014, 02:07 PM
  #13
 
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Perhaps they mean an AirBus from Heathrow to Carlisle in 2 hours?
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Sep 29th, 2014, 07:46 AM
  #14
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So sorry to have posted this and then not been able to check it every day. I had an unexpected opportunity to take a short vacation with my son and his family. Thanks to all of you for the information.

I see my information regarding the coach had to be wrong. We've about decided to go on to Edinburgh and stay there. I know we can get to Hadrian's Wall in Carlisle from there easily enough by train. There will be five adults in our party, and we're buying the unlimited Britt Railway passes here before we leave.

The problem was, everyone wants to see Stonehenge as well. Well getting from Gatwick to Stonehenge and then on to Edinburgh is a nightmare. I thought maybe we should stay in Redding as a central location. But another of our party thinks he HAS to see Hadrian's Wall and well, I just couldn't come up with a train schedule that would get us there and back in a day. People in the states tend to misjudge the distances in the UK.

You've all been a big help, and I really appreciate it. Thanks
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Sep 29th, 2014, 09:05 AM
  #15
 
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One caveat, you may well be paying much more for the pass than buying advance tickets. It depends on how many train trips and which routes you will be taking.
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Sep 30th, 2014, 07:44 AM
  #16
 
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the efficacy of a pass is not just cost but it allows you to hop on any train anytime - no advance planning - just show up at the station - these type of fully flexible tickets often cost a ton - so if flexibility and spontaneity are key a pass may be priceless.

Cheapest is not always the best IMO.
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Sep 30th, 2014, 10:42 AM
  #17
 
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For Hadrian's Wall on your own take a train to Hexham, near some of the best portions of still-standing wall - mini-buses and tour buses regularly roll to several of the best portions of wall from there.
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Sep 30th, 2014, 01:55 PM
  #18
 
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If not going to Scotland the BritEngland Railpass is cheaper than the BritRail Pass, valid in England, Wales and Scotland. don't over buy.
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