Need help with rail tickets London/Paris

Apr 6th, 2007, 11:41 AM
  #1  
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Need help with rail tickets London/Paris

We will be traveling to Paris (4 days) and then to London (8 days) in July. I am confused on rail passes. From what I can tell, we can't save money by purchasing a rail pass with the places we are going (plus the UK seems to be less participatory with other rail passes except within their own countries). This will be how we are using trains/rails:

Paris - will be using the Metro and then the RER A from the airport & RER B to Disneyland Paris

Paris to London: via high-speed train

London: Tube, Day trip to Edinburgh, Day trip to Windsor

Besides Oyster cards for the Tube, does anyone see any other "lumping together" we can do to save money on rail?

Thanks so much!

LuvtheGators is offline  
Apr 6th, 2007, 11:57 AM
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There are no rail passes that would benefit you in either country (metro/tube passes are a different animal altogether)

But whoa up a bit -- a "Day trip to Edinburgh" ?? You will spend more than 8 hours on the train - plus getting to/from Kings Cross so more like 9+ hours. A day trip to Edinburgh isn't really viable.

Even flying w/ all the advance check in, travel to/from airports etc isn't really doable. Sure, lots of business travelers do go up and back in a day - but they are going to one meeting and maybe a business lunch. Not trying to tour the castle, Holyrood, Arthur's seat etc.
janisj is online now  
Apr 6th, 2007, 12:18 PM
  #3  
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Thanks JanisJ ~

We were looking at the Day trip to Edinburgh through Golden Tours or seeing if it's cheaper to do on our own. Leaves at 7 a.m. and gets you in around 11 am. For that amount of time, we want to do the first-class seats. Then it takes you to the castle, old town etc, and leaves time for shopping and lunch on your own. Train departs at 5:30 I think for the return to London.

I've seen good reviews about the tour, so I am hoping that it is worthwhile, and not "just a train ride"
LuvtheGators is offline  
Apr 6th, 2007, 12:23 PM
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I personally think that's nuts (and I'm being polite) - nearly 9 hours on the train for 6 hours in Edinburgh. but to each his/her own . . . . .

How much are they charging you for this??
janisj is online now  
Apr 6th, 2007, 12:25 PM
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Re: Paris-London via Eurostar train. Best buy these tickets now if sure of your times as fares vary greatly on these trains and cheapest tickets often must be booked months in advance to get - especially on Fri, Sat and Suns

some good sources: check www.eurostar.com and www.voyages-sncf.com for ticket fares in euros, and always check RailEurope in U.S. as they surprisingly on this route can be competitive and at times cheaper. BETS (800-441-2387),a RE agent, is the best i know at booking these expertly and they won't charge RE's $15-18 mailing fee either. But be sure to check in fares in euros and thru RE or BETS as fares can vary greatly amongst the two so always compare. There are special senior fares for 60+ and under 26 and kids 15 and under.

But you could pay literally hundred bucks or so more if you just show up and buy ticket then.
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 6th, 2007, 12:29 PM
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Never mind - just looked it up £167 pp! That is more than nuts.

For that you get 9 hours on the train, a bus tour around the city and entrance to the castle -- that's it. For £334 (bloody h**l ! )

I would definitely recommend you save that money and stay in London.
janisj is online now  
Apr 6th, 2007, 12:45 PM
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You can save some money by using transit passes for getting around Paris. If you expect to use public transit pretty regularly, I think your best all-around deal would be a day pass called the Mobilis, which gives you access to metro, bus, and RER. If you search for references to Mobilis on this site you'll find a fuller explanation of this and other alternatives.

I must say, I agree 100% with janisj about the Edinburgh day trip. It's a shame to spend all those hours of your precious vacation sitting in a train, and believe me there are plenty of wonderful things to see in and around London. Scotland deserves a separate visit another time!
mlaffitte is offline  
Apr 6th, 2007, 12:47 PM
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Thanks PalenQ - we are booking tix this weekend so this def. helps!

As far as Edinburgh, I don't mind the train ride as we have never been on one. Plus, this is a semi-Harry Potter themed trip, so it kinda goes hand-in-hand with that. I agree it is crazy pricey - that's why we were looking at doing it on our own rather than the tour. But, the prices I found for rail to Edinburgh, the tour was much cheaper.

Still trying to figure the Edin. tour thing out I guess. Thanks to these boards, we decided to do Windsor on our own rather than w/ a Stonehenge/Bath tour since I don't see how you could do all 3 in a day.

Thanks for your replies! This is my first day as a poster on these boards - have been reading for a bit and finally decided to join in on the fun.
LuvtheGators is offline  
Apr 6th, 2007, 01:02 PM
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ira
 
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Hi L,

We did a daytrip to Edinburgh from London a few years ago, on our own.

Took an early train up.

Visited the town (take a cab up to the castle), had dinner and took the late train back.

We were lucky to have a full moon on the ride back, with fog across the moors. Terrific.

ira is offline  
Apr 6th, 2007, 01:09 PM
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You won't run into JK . . . .

janisj is online now  
Apr 6th, 2007, 01:13 PM
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Booked in advance online, fares can be as low as 14.05 GBP each way. Use the Journey Planner at www.nationalrail.co.uk for timetables and fares. If you don't see discount fares for your date in July, don't assume they're sold out. Those seats are usually released 30-60 days in advance. Do a dummy booking in that date range from today and see what you find.
TimS is offline  
Apr 6th, 2007, 01:16 PM
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TimS - incredible fares. My Q is if you are leaving from Paris can you book tickets in pounds thru UK site? Or do you have to use French Eurostar pricing? Thanks
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 6th, 2007, 01:55 PM
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PalenQ - Sorry, I didn't make it clear for which which route I was quoting fares. It's London-Edinburgh, not Paris-London.

LuvtheGators - If you choose not to spend the night in Edinburgh, there is a way to have an even longer day there. Take the Caledonian Sleeper from London to Edinburgh, arriving early in the morning. Take the last train back to London in the evening. Bargain berths on the Sleeper start at 19 GBP. Here's a link to a page where you can learn about the Sleeper: http://tinyurl.com/g9ehd.
TimS is offline  
Apr 6th, 2007, 02:26 PM
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I agree w/ TimS. If you take the sleeper from Euston, you can make a day of a trip to Edinburgh. You don't lose any sightseeing time in London that day/night since the train doesn't leave until 11:30 p.m.. You arrive in Edinburgh early in the a.m. and have an entire day free to do what you want. then back on an evening train to London.

Still awfully expensive for one day in Edinburgh - but a HECK of a lot better than just 6 hours in the city.
janisj is online now  
Apr 9th, 2007, 07:46 AM
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I've taken the Caledonian Sleeper night train to Scotland and found it very very plush, as night trains in Europe go.
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 11th, 2007, 09:19 AM
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I've also ridden the night train from Scotland to London in "reclining seats" and would never recommend this ever!

The seat reclined about an inch and was rather uncomfortable and seats were wedged together - this was the most horrible night train i've ever experienced and felt that i had been done bamboozled by the term "reclining seats" - get some kind of berth at least.
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 11th, 2007, 09:30 AM
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In Paris, you would probably make good use of a 5-zone Carte Orange, since you need one CDG ride (€8,10) and two Disneyland legs (€6,25 each way) in addition to 4 days around town. Present a 1" square ID photo when you buy it.

CO is valid from Monday through Sunday, and is sold from Friday to Wednesday. If your dates overlap a weekend or you arrive after Wednesday, you will need a different strategy.
Robespierre is offline  
Apr 13th, 2007, 02:54 PM
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Is Harry Potter the only reason you are going to Edinburgh? It is one of the most beautiful cities in europe, the castle, museums etc.I am sad when I read of americans coming to europe and going to disney Paris and now a Harry Potter theme trip to Edinburgh!!
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Apr 15th, 2007, 10:53 AM
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Leather1036:
You aren't even worthy of a response, but here goes: No, it is not the only reason. I was saying the train ride would be interesting because of that fact in addition to the scenery. We have done extensive research on the castle, shops we want to see in old town, and just happen to be following the same route my parents took 25 years ago on their honeymoon.
After being to Paris before and now spending 14 days in Europe, I think we are allowed to venture to a theme resort and have some time away trying something new, don't you think?
What a rude comment when you don't even know how full our itinerary is with much anticipated and much planned visits to museums, galleries, historic sites, etc. As having a minor in classical/ancient studies, I can assure you, that we are giving plenty of time to historical sites and probably know more about them than you do. To each his own - I recommend keeping comments to yourself until you know someone's full itinerary on these boards.
LuvtheGators is offline  
Apr 15th, 2007, 12:31 PM
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Re Edinburgh, most of the things that a tourist would want to see in Edinburgh are within 15 minutes WALK of the train station.

For something like the Royal Yacht you pay £1 each way for a 22 bus (which stops 5 minutes walk from the train station) or £2.50 for a day pass on the buses (see www.lothianbuses.com ).

Booking via www.gner.co.uk MAY get you a fare of £12.50 each way if booked 6-8 weeks in advance, but DON'T travel on Fridays as the cheap fares are few and don't travel on weekends as the 4h30m train journey each way may become 7 or 8 hours.

As an alternative have you considered taking the FirstScotRail Calendonian Sleeper service from Euston station to Edinburgh - their bargain berths can be EXTREMELY cheap and you'd save one or two nights London accommodation to boot as well as getting something like 16 hours in Edinburgh
alanRow is offline  

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