Planes, trains and automobiles

Mar 17th, 2000, 01:36 PM
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Planes, trains and automobiles

The various posts express the pors and cons of each mode of transportation in the UK.

I originally planned on purchasing a 15 day Brit Rail pass for about USD 500. and going everywhere by Train. Would a cheaper 8 day pass for 300USD be better, combined with car rental; or is it best to wait and buy a family rail card once I arrive in the UK?

We expect to spend 3 weeks in the UK. (At some point we will take the train from London to Glasgow/Edinburgh and back.)
Mar 17th, 2000, 02:01 PM
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How many in your family? that makes all the difference in the world as to the economy of driving vs train.

And though your header says "planes". you don't ask about them. Flying Glasgow-London(STN) could be cheaper than train, depending on your dates of travel.
Mar 17th, 2000, 08:08 PM
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Sorry, We are 2 adults and one 13 yr old. Hope that minor detail helps!
Mar 18th, 2000, 06:52 AM
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Three is enough to favor car rental over train, cost-wise (though less convincingly so than 4 or more). That's not to say that there isn't an appropriate role for train and plane in your itinerary, and without knowing your goals better, it's hard to say for sure. For example, I cannot predict whether you should fly in and out of London versus flying into London and out of Scotland. That depends on your city of origination and the dates involved. And a lot depends on how much/whether you want to see other CITIES in the UK. Likewise, if you want to arrange your trip in a certain order.

And of course, strict cost-based decision-making foolishly ignores questions of safety, convenience and time.

You probably will not want to have a car in London, even to the point of taking train or plane to another destination to begin a car rental.

I am not as knowledgeable as many others on this board about the costs or difficulties of having a car in other medium or smaller cities in the UK. I hope you get some contributions from some others who are. I am sure there will be proponents of your trip being ALL train (or plane).

Ben Haines, for one, is a superb resource on this board for London and many other places in Europe, and he does not own a car, if memory serves me correctly.

Best wishes,

Mar 18th, 2000, 07:20 AM
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Check out - this is a direct quote from their website:
"Buy one adult or Senior pass, and one accompanying child (5-15) gets a pass of the same type and duration-free." I used DER last year and it was less hassle than obtaining passes from my local AAA travel agent.

Given the prices you quoted, I assume that you are talking about Britrail Flexipasses. Let's assume you spend 3-4 days in London and 2-3 days in Edinburgh (barely adequate in both cases). You would have to travel by train EVERY day you are not in these cities to fully use a 15 day flexipass. I would recommend buying the 8 day passes and supplementing with a rental car in the Scottish Highlands, the English Lake District, or the Cotswolds. Alternatively, you can also round out your trip with a couple of day tours by minibus (I know of several leaving from Edinburgh for the Highlands, and from Windermere for the Lake District).


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