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Should I pre-book trains for Edinburgh/London?

Should I pre-book trains for Edinburgh/London?

May 26th, 2011, 02:51 AM
  #1  
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Should I pre-book trains for Edinburgh/London?

I am planning on doing several day trips from Edinburgh and London to places such as Glasgow, Stirling, Oxford and Bath. I am also taking a train from Edinburgh to Coventry to visit a friend before taking a bus on to London. Should I pre-book these tickets? Would a britrail pass be useful? I am a student so I get a 20% discount on the pass. I calculated and it would save some money if I got the 4 travel days in one month full Britain pass. Until I realized that you have to pay a 25 pound reservation fee for each train you want reserve. Should I just get the pass and not reserve? Or buy the tickets in advance and forget the pass? I have never used a rail pass before so I am a little sketchy on how they work. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you!
Duda_Radulovic is offline  
May 26th, 2011, 03:15 AM
  #2  
 
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Yes you should prebook, no you shouldn't get a Britrail pass. £25 reservation fees are nothing but a rip off especially as you can get from Edinburgh to London for less than that.

You could consider a 16-25 Railcard which gives one third off tickets.

Book tickets when the cheap ones are released which is a maximum of 12 weeks before date of travel. You can buy the railcard on arrival in the UK but you don't need it to book tickets, but you need it when you travel

Try websites like eastcoast.co.uk, crosscountry.co.uk, virgintrains.com and firstscotrail.com for bookings and 16-25railcard.co.uk for the railcard.
alanRow is offline  
May 26th, 2011, 03:40 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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seat61.com great info on this and pass

If u are going to train RELENTESSLY pass might make sense

Almost all lose on pass because they never train their

base pass cost per day plus surcharges so usually

best for me to hop on train like a local on regional trains

or eurolines.com bus pass actually best cheapest for pass..

Booking special trains in advance might save but locks you in

and usually does not to shipping costs etc.

So personally just usually stay flexible train like a local

to save... lots of nice places to exlpore on your way

Lake country of the North on your way and the highlands

around Inverness are awesome plus of course

my ancestral clan Home Blair Castle wonderful do not miss.

Happy Planning,
qwovadis is offline  
May 26th, 2011, 03:43 AM
  #4  
 
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www.eurolines.co.uk

student discounts get pass cost per day

below half of what railpass costs

with no sneaky surcharges.
qwovadis is offline  
May 26th, 2011, 04:20 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
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You can register at trainline.com for an email alert as soons as the cheap advance single fares go on sale (12 weeks in advance). Last month I got the LON-EDI ticket for GBP 14.50!!
navas_am is offline  
May 26th, 2011, 08:48 AM
  #6  
 
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"I would book in advance - you always get it cheaper online in advance." Wrong, many routes - especially commuter routes - cost the same whether you buy 12 weeks in advance or 5 minutes before you board the train

"Always book a return ticket even if you are not returning by the same way, it's usually cheaper than a single trip ticket."

NO IT ISN'T - It's unusual for return tickets to be cheaper than a single ticket - though a return ticket might be cheaper than 2 single tickets.
alanRow is offline  
May 26th, 2011, 09:30 AM
  #7  
 
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""Always book a return ticket even if you are not returning by the same way, it's usually cheaper than a single trip ticket."

I have never, ever, found this on a British domestic train.

What the poster in probably getting confused about is that it's often the case that an advance purchase return is cheaper than a walk up single.

If and only if it's worthwhile buying an andvance purchase at all. It's always likely to be worthwhile on journeys from London to Bath and Edinburgh, virtually never between Glasgow and Stirling, often between London and Oxford (though the bus is almost always cheaper on that route), and virtually always from Edinburgh to Coventry.
flanneruk is offline  
May 26th, 2011, 10:02 AM
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I have never heard of a reservation charge. Must be going through a third party.
rogerdodger is offline  
May 26th, 2011, 12:01 PM
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"I have never heard of a reservation charge. Must be going through a third party."

Raileurope are known for extortionate charges - but in this case OP was talking about a railpass and these days there are additional charges for everything.
alanRow is offline  
May 27th, 2011, 12:35 AM
  #10  
 
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Okay I shouldn't have said always. It can be done sometimes, especially if a particular company is doing a deal. I have found with trains such as the eurostar it is cheaper buying a return eg 76 one way 65 return for one adult london to paris. Even if I am not returning that way.

However, I also think it's my logic that if I can get two tickets for one pound more than a single ticket - it's cheaper. The return ticket is insanely cheap (if you know where and when you are going to be traveling). The return ticket can be one or two pounds added to the single ticket eg it the single ticket is 51 pounds, the return ticket will be 52 pounds. So in effect the price of the tickets is 26 pounds compared to 51 if i was only going one way. It can come in handy if you know some one who wants to do the return leg and you dont - you both get cheaper tickets.

Advance purchase in my experience is always cheaper than walk up (except when you are going very short distances eg Loughborough to Nottingham). For example if I book a trip London to Edinburgh to leave today it is 114 second class return, if I book it for August it is 65 second class return. I think it also depends on the day of week and year you intend to travel as well. If you book in advance you can get first class fare often much cheaper as well, sometimes for not much more than a second class ticket eg London to Nottingham one way second class 12 pounds, first class 17 pounds (you get a cup of tea/coffee/juice, a bikkie, free wifi for duration of the trip). I am okay with parting with an extra five pounds for the wifi and refreshments, more than that Im not, up to the traveler I guess.
Travel_Britain is offline  
May 27th, 2011, 01:06 AM
  #11  
 
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that should read:

If I can get two tickets for one pound more than a single ticket, if I book at the same time, rather than two separate singles - I should do so - it's cheaper.

Apologies if the first post was misleading in anyway re the return tickets - I was posting in a hurry
Travel_Britain is offline  
May 27th, 2011, 08:36 AM
  #12  
 
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"I have found with trains such as the eurostar it is cheaper buying a return eg 76 one way 65 return for one adult london to paris."

What has Eurostar got to do w/ anything?? It's pricing model is much more similar to some airlines -not UK trains.

"Advance purchase in my experience is always cheaper than walk up"

Just not true. Advance purchase is often cheaper -- but not close to 'always'. Really depends on the route.

ITS clear you want to direct traffic to your blog/website -- but it would help if the advice you posted was accurate.
janisj is online now  
May 27th, 2011, 09:43 AM
  #13  
 
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@ janisj

"Just not true. Advance purchase is often cheaper -- but not close to 'always'. Really depends on the route."

Look this was just MY EXPERIENCE which I explicitly said - I also said on on shorter distance commutes this not necessarily true - but I explicitly said that also. I personally, think you are arguing semantics here - however, if you are going to call me out then quote me correctly, not selectively.

What I was saying that rocking on up to the station and expecting to get a cheap ticket is not the best idea - especially if you are trying to get the most out of your money. Especially if you are paying a lot to get to the UK in the first place, then you want to get the most out of the money you have left over to travel around the country. You have to do the legwork and check the dates and the prices yourself. Booking advance tickets has always served me well, and I regularly travel around the UK on trains. Personally, I don't like paying an arm and a leg when I don't have to.
Travel_Britain is offline  
Nov 30th, 2011, 12:39 AM
  #14  
 
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The cheapest way from London to Edinburgh is always Megabus. The trip is not the nicest ever but I've done it many times without any problems. Tickets start from £1.50 so can't complain...
Sophal is offline  
Nov 30th, 2011, 02:50 AM
  #15  
 
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And IME, between London & Edinburgh it's cheaper to fly than get the train. But not sure this journey features in the OP's plans ?

Long distance trains like Edinbugh-Coventry are nearly always cheaper to book in advance.

Commuter trains like Edinburgh-Glasgow/Stirling are not cheaper - in fact I'm not sure you can even get advance tickets for Edinburgh-Glasgow, and I'm pretty sure I've not been allowed to buy a full price return as it's basically 2 singles. What is cheaper is to get a cheap day return, which usually means etting off after 9.30 with a restriction of coming back during the evening rush hour.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Nov 30th, 2011, 05:30 AM
  #16  
 
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caroline: Useful info, but just in case you are posting to more threads just now . . . this one is 6 months old and there are several others about Edinburgh that have popped to the top. sophal has topped several old-ish threads today.
janisj is online now  
Nov 30th, 2011, 06:23 AM
  #17  
 
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Hi janis - ah right, thanks. I noticed one was old but not the rest !
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
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