Train vs Bus for Day Travel From London

Old Jul 2nd, 2006, 11:10 AM
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Train vs Bus for Day Travel From London

I am planning 7 to 10 days based in London and want to take 5 or 6 day trips to outlaying cities (Bath, Brighton, Cambridge, etc). Budget concerns are making me wonder what is the cheapest way to accomplish this. Should I just buy a bus or train ticket individually for each stop when I hit London or is there something I can purchase from the US that will cover several stops. I've checked out a Eurorail pass but I don't know where to check individual price points to each stop to compare it to a rail pass. Any suggestions would be appreciated!!!!
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Old Jul 2nd, 2006, 11:12 AM
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The cheapest way to visit Bath, Brighton, Cambridge, etc. is to not sleep in London. Going from town to town instead of back to London has the additional advantage of not wasting half your travel time returning to where you started.

I think you should arrange your objectives in geographical order, enter your itinerary at http://www.railsaver.com/railsaver.asp, click the button that says "Only if rail passes save me money" and hit the calculator icon.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2006, 11:30 AM
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Thanks for the input...I'll check out the website. I am planning to do day trips to most of the places because my nights will be taken up with doing as many West End plays as I can fit in!!
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Old Jul 2nd, 2006, 02:09 PM
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I think your best strategy would be to buy Cheap Day Returns (a very economical kind of fare). The alternative would be a 4-day BritRail England Flexipass or London Plus Pass combined with one or two Southern DaySave passes.

http://www.acprailnet.com/britrailbook
http://www.southernrailway.com/main.php?page_id=122
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Old Jul 2nd, 2006, 11:03 PM
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You can't sensibly travel between the cities you mention without going through London. Southern Railways serves only Brighton of the places that seem to interest you.

There may be arcane passes available only outside the UK that actually meet your needs: I just live here.

Check train journey times and prices at the Nationalrail.co.uk site. Within 90 miles or so of London, just buying the straightforward walk-up day return ticket is usually your best best (£15-£20 return for Cambridge or Brighton at weekends and after 0915ish weekdays). Check validity on the return leg: some companies are beginning to restrict cheapo availability on some trains between 1630 and 1900.

Depending how much travelling you're planning, you might find the £20 investment on a Network Card (available on the spot at any manned ticket office) worthwhile: it gives you and most travelling companions a further 33% reduction on offpeak fares.

Bath is often just outside this area, and you might find a tour bus is actually the cheapest option. Scheduled buses don't usually make sense for daytrips from London, since they take about twice as long as the train. The one exception to this rule is Oxford, where buses take only a bit longer and - if you haven't got a a Network Card, or want to travel at times cheapo train fares aren't available - can be a fair bit cheaper (oxfordtube.com AND oxfordbus.co.uk)
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Old Jul 2nd, 2006, 11:35 PM
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You might want to consider using the Explorer Days from London Walks for Bath and Cambridge.

http://www.walks.com/Homepage/Explor...s/default.aspx
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Old Jul 3rd, 2006, 02:51 AM
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The advice to look for a base outside London is mostly good. For Oxford, Bath and Brighton such a base would be near the railway station in Reading, but for Cambridge you would have to cross London thus: Reading, Paddington, underground, Kings Cross, Cambridge, 2 hours each way, so you might better base yourself in London or even Cambridge for that. If you ask Google for City of Cambridge and City of Reading, then look for tourist information you can find complete lists of bed and breakfast houses and two star hotels.

If you do take a base in London then Bloomsbury would be quite suitable, and cheap. You would start each day with a local bus, to Paddington (82 minutes for Bath and an hour for Oxford), to Kings Cross (an hour for Cambridge), and to Victoria (52 minutes for Brighton). On Saturdays and Sundays a cheap day return is valid any time, but Mondays to Fridays it is valid from 0930 or even 1000 only.

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