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seahawker Jan 18th, 2006 11:29 AM

London to Stratford daytrip
Planning a daytrip this summer from London to Stratford. For someone who won't be renting a car, what's the best way to get to Stratford and enjoy what might be there? I know it's about a 2-hour journey.

PalQ Jan 18th, 2006 11:41 AM

easy on your own. Train to Salisbury then hop frequent buses, both local and ones by tour operators, but cheap to go the several miles to Stonehenge from the train station. Leave time for Salisbury as it's a wonderful town with a great cathedral.
As for transit the cheapest day return ticket on the National Rail web site that gives fares for all the UK is 24.5 pounds or nearly $50
If you're going to be in London several days you may want to do another day trip or take trains from the airport - thus the London Plus rail pass may be of use to you - a 2 day out of 8 day period - any two days you want of unlimited travel on nearly all train lines within about a 100 mile radius of London, including Salisbury and places like Oxford, Cambridge, etc. would cost $70 - it's not good on the Heathrow Express but is on train to Gatwick, including Gatwick Express - also comes in 4 day versions and 7 days (details from Raileurope who markets it them in US - they are not sold in UK - as usual i recommend calling BETS (800-441-2387;, a RailEurope agent but who doesn't charge some of their handling fees and who, in my experience, have expert staffers well schooled in UK rail.
Taking Eurostar to Paris? LondonPlus pass qualifies for passholder fare on Eurostar - $75 - a great fare as can be used on any day and can be changed once in Europe up until time of departure without penalty. On a weekend passholder fare could well be $75 cheaper than other fares - meriting purchase of a LondonPlus pass in itself.

PalQ Jan 18th, 2006 11:53 AM

Oops sorry - i meant to respond to a question further down about Stonehenge and my addled brain hit your posting thinking it was the same one.
But the LondonPlus pass may even be more valuable to you as it goes almost all the way to Stratford but not quite - you'd have to pay about $15 supplemental fare above what the pass covers. Check day return fares at to see what fares are and whether the pass would help.
Sorry for my error.

flanneruk Jan 18th, 2006 12:51 PM

Personally, I'd say you're making a mistake by not driving. There's only one train route, and it's really pretty boring.

Driving, you can stop off at Oxford (now virtually impossible if you're training to Stratford), drive through the Cotswolds and pop into the incomparable parish church at Warwick.

But chacun a son gout.

The cheapest train deal is Chiltern's "Just 15", valid on most direct trains, which costs £15 return and requires no faffing about with cards or prebooking. You can get 33% off with a Network Railcard, but this only makes sense for most visitors if there are more than two of you.

There are a few buses a day. But they take longer, go less often and mostly cost more.

PalQ Jan 18th, 2006 01:06 PM

Oxford, the Cotswolds, Warwick Castle and Stratford in one day! Now that's my kind of travel! I went to Stratford by itself last year and spent most of the day there itself and felt rushed. Each to one's own taste!
Boring train ride? Boring motorway and if you take the side roads you'd need about a week to get there.

PalQ Jan 19th, 2006 10:06 AM

As for the Just 15 return fare of 15 pounds - i searched and this fare is not available on most direct trains but only on ones leaving late in the day - it seems the days i searched the 12:54 direct train was the first it was available on - the 8:54 and 10:54 direct trains did not offer it but had a day return of 25 pounds - the cheapest practical fare for day trippers it seems.

seahawker Jan 19th, 2006 10:44 AM

Thanks for the advice. Considering my limited time, sounds like I'll go with a Plan B and save Stratford to when I have more time.

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