Transportation based outside London

Old Feb 22nd, 2013, 07:05 AM
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Transportation based outside London

There are many threads on transportation within Lodon with day trips on the side. DH and I are planning to visit a friend in Maidenhead and will be staying with them for 8 days this March. If we purchase the 7 day travelcard instead of the 7 day standard season ticket, the train from Maidenhead to London Paddington and back plus busses, trains and trams within London zone 1-6 are already covered (or do I need 2, 1 from maidenhead to London and 1 from London to Maidenhead)? If I do day trips to Oxford, Bath and possibly Stonehenge, do I need to top up or pay the difference as the travelcard is insufficient to cover the fares? DH has an oystercard, can we load this and pay for two ticket differential? To get the 2for1 advantage we need paper tickets which should be available at Maidenhead station? It does get confusing and all I want is convenience and best value, not really the cheapest fare. Our plan is to visit London 3 to 4 days to visit the usual london spots and to do 3 to 4 days day trips (Windsor, Bath, Oxford, and maybe Stonehenge-might join a tour for this) Thank you!
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Old Feb 22nd, 2013, 07:26 AM
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This is not my area of expertise - since we always stay in the center - but I believe that Maidenhead is outside zone 6 - and that you need separate tickets to get from there into London - where you can use the regular tube passes.

I would check with your friend for details - and costs involved.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2013, 08:19 AM
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Travelcards, Oysters and the like are for use within the London travel area: i.e., not Oxford, Bath, Stonehenge - for those you would buy a separate ticket from the national rail companies. I doubt if there's any advantage in attempting to game the system by buying a ticket from the edge of whatever London travel zones you've paid for, since for those places you would normally take a train that doesn't stop at suburban stations within the London travel area.

If you felt like it, you could play around with checking fares on www.nationalrail.co.uk, using the map of suburban rail stations:
http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/system...onnections.pdf

But I doubt if it'd be worth the effort.

As for travel to and from Maidenhead, there's no substitute for local knowledge - ask at the ticket office at Maidenhead station what the balance is between an all-zones London Travelcard plus add-ons to and from Maidenhead every time you go up to town, or whatever add-on travelcard(s) they can sell you to add to a weekly season ticket between London and Maidenhead
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Old Feb 22nd, 2013, 08:27 AM
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I've learned something new here. According to the National Rail website you can indeed buy a 7 day season ticket that's good to & from Maidenhead and also on the tube/bus/light rail system in London. You pay extra for use of the tube/bus system (see calculator on the page link below).

"For travel from a station outside the London Travelcard area...If you start your commute from a station outside the Travelcard area, your Travelcard season ticket offers unlimited travel between your starting station and the Zone 6 boundary of the Travelcard area (on the route shown on your Travelcard), plus unlimited travel on National Rail, London Underground, Docklands Light Railway, Tramlink (valid throughout the Tramlink network when Travelcard is valid in Zone 3, 4, 5 or 6 or any combination of these Zones) within your chosen Zones, for the period for which your ticket is valid. Your Travelcard will also be valid on most London bus services on the London Bus network."
http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_...n_tickets.html
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Old Feb 22nd, 2013, 08:27 AM
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It does get confusing and all I want is convenience and best value, not really the cheapest fare.>

Well then consider the Days Out of London railpass that also 100% covers a round trip ticket to and from any airport, like on Heathrow or Gatwick expresses and unlimited days of train travel throughout southern England - including to Bath, Salisbury, Stratford-on-Avon, Cambridge, Oxford and of course to Maidenhead - since you are maybe doing those longer day trips like to Bath the pass may be useful - not sold at British stations however so have to buy before leaving.

anyway check www.nationalrail.co.uk for sample fares - the pass lets you hop on any train anytime - full flexibility which is nice when day tripping and not really knowing when you want to return. Check out these fine sites for lots of great info on British trains - www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2013, 09:21 AM
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PalenQ, the railpass was an excellent suggestion but further research says it excludes bath or any reading line. Might consider this for the oxford and salisbury/stonehenge.

MmePerdu, that was exactly the source of my inquiry. I'm trying to confirm if the travelcard works for my commute to and around London and what is left to cover are the day trips.

I must say transportation in and around of London is quite expensive. I've been quite the reader of this forum in the past and successfully concluded my Scandinavian trip last year and considering prices there are not exactly cheap either.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2013, 09:30 AM
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If you click on the link I gave and again on the "calculator", enter Maidenhead and London Paddington, it gives 2 fares. One for just Maidenhead to Paddington (if I recall) and below that another fare which includes all London transport zones.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2013, 09:39 AM
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Or maybe I'm not understanding the question. "Travelcard" is within London zones. "Season Ticket" is between a city outside London zones (Maidenhead) and a London station (Paddington in this case). You can choose to buy it including all London transport zones for an extra charge.

To Oxford, Bath, etc. you'd need different tickets, going from either Maidenhead or London. I don't know about the railpass which may or may not be worth it. Individual tickets may be more cost effective for just a couple of day trips.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2013, 12:05 PM
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This answer might damage your brain. But bear with it

A peak return from Maidenhead to Paddington is £22: an offpeak £10.90. A 7 day season ticket to anywhere, anytime in Z 1-6 is £87.40.

These numbers can then be changed if:
- you're prepared to travel offpeak
- you end up going into town on only 3 days
- you qualify for a Senior, or buy a Network, Railcard (where at £87, you'd defray the cost of the card), and are prepared to accept the time of day restrictions these cards involve
- You buy the "other" kind of Travelcard that never gets discussed here

The answer for you is almost certainly to obtain the appropriate discount card for about £22, then use it to buy the "other" Travelcard into London each day, and tickets to the outlying areas. But you need to check this with the ticket seller BUT UNDER NO MEANS during peak hour travel.

English Common Law allows - and some judges interpret this as meaning "requires" - the slow tearing limb from limb of any visitor at a railway station inside the Network Railcard area asking a ticket seller any question more complicated than "can I have a single ticket to London leaving now, please?" before 0945 on weekdays

The "other" Travelcard is an off-peak (post +/- 0930) return ticket to Paddington PLUS unlimited use of TfL facilities other than boats and cable cards valid on that day. Bought with a Network or Senior Railcard (which offer a 33% reduction on most offpeak fares, and the two cards interpret "offpeak" differently), almost always the best value for casual travellers into town. But, east of Oxford, you must check its time restrictions (I THINK you can;t use one between 1600 and 1900 westbound from London to stations east of Oxford)

There's no real UK-based pass that covers the Oxford, Bath and Salisbury journeys. A Senior Railcard covers all of them: a Network Railcard covers trips from MAI to Oxford and Salisbury (for Stonehenge) - again, as long as you're happy with the time restrictions (much less tight than on journeys to London)

All these tickets are eligible for 2 for 1 deals. These deals are not limited to attractions in London, but they ARE patchy elsewhere.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2013, 01:48 PM
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Oopos the name of the Days Out of London railpass has been changed to London Plus Pass - comes in 2 - 4 and 7- unlimited travel day forms - the 7 day one clocks in at about $40/day in Standard Class or about 23 British pounds a day for completely flexible at any time on any train travel - no off-peak restrictions.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2013, 02:03 PM
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I think your overall answer is that Maidenhead is NOT in London - so you are taking trains not part of London's local tube system. So the price is much higher.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2013, 03:28 PM
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>

Not necessarily - so much of the rail in the UK is privatized that the operators actually charge prices that cover costs instead of just leeching tax dollars and running huge deficits while concurrently providing shoddy service (two operators: Amtrak, NY MTA). Of course, you're staying in MAIDENHEAD and OUTSIDE OF LONDON for free instead of saving 15 quid per day on transport but spending an additional 90+ per on lodging.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2013, 04:43 PM
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Your responses are most helpful. It really does get complicated as there is no single card to cover all types of transportation with no restrictions but it is the way it is. BigRuss is correct, savings on lodging outweighs the cost of transportation.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2013, 10:54 PM
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Excellent info by flanneruk and others here. I also learned something new about the combined season ticket.

One word of advice as you are pondering your options: think long and hard about the savings vs. restrictions on going the off-peak route. Perhaps the restrictions work well for you, but I'd want to maximize my limited time in London and not have to worry about peak / off-peak.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2013, 11:38 PM
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" I'd want to maximize my limited time in London "

The arguments about this depend a lot on where you start your journey. Time restrictions don't apply at weekends, BTW

In the core commuter belt, where travel times into London are trivial (there are trains from Maidenhead taking just 20 mins) but peak travel surcharges horrible (apart from the rack price differences I've quoted, peak time journeys aren't eligible for Network, Senior or other Railcard discounts), it's almost always worth a visitor's while (and comfort) travelling offpeak. Though many lower-priced tickets aren't valid on returns between ~ 1600-1900, it's rarely disruptive to get a return after ~1900 - and later trains go on late enough it's easy to stay in town for a play or concert, and get a train back ~2230.

Beyond an hour or so out of London, all these arguments start getting turned on their heads (though the ex-London journey time restrictions are generally less tough). Even so, from a station 75 mins out, I usually find an offpeak return is the best option for a day's fun in town: I only buy peak if a client wants an early meeting.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2013, 08:22 AM
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ttt
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Old Feb 24th, 2013, 07:35 AM
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There is a new type of pass starting March 1, 2013 called Britrail Southwest Pass which allows travel to London, Bath, Oxford, Windsor, Salisbury and other places priced at us$189 (3 days in 2 months, us$ 149 for 3 consecutive days) and available to UK residents as well. I think this is good value for the flexibility it offers, what do you think?
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Old Feb 24th, 2013, 08:03 AM
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It sounds expensive to me, as most rail passes are these days, compared with point to point tickets bought in advance. The places you mention are all relatively short rides. But if flexibility is the issue and not cost and you'd want to buy it for the 3 consecutive days I suppose it's not too bad. If it sounds like good value to you then that's what's important, not how it sounds to me.
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Old Feb 24th, 2013, 08:21 AM
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Oops its available to non UK residents only
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Old Feb 24th, 2013, 10:36 AM
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" I think this is good value for the flexibility it offers, what do you think?"

Booking now for travel on March 3 (and the OP is clear about day trips, it'll be £64.50 for day returns from Maidenhead to the three medium distance locations proposed. Walk-up offpeak fares would be £84.20

Only the poster can decide whether $149 (£98.25 in real money) is worth paying for what might be unnecessary flexibility.
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