UK train question

Aug 27th, 2012, 01:07 PM
  #21  
 
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Janis is a Yank but has spent upteem time in Britain - thus she can put herself into the shoes of a foreign traveler which locals often it seems do not and thus advise esoteric things that are nice but not always what the casual never been there before traveler wants.>>

Pal - i agree with you. sometimes us "locals" can't see the wood for the trees.

as for your maths, they seem OK to me.
annhig is online now  
Aug 28th, 2012, 08:33 AM
  #22  
 
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Standard train travel is more than adequate IMHO. It's not like you'll be on the train for all that long anyway (less than 3 hours from Euston to Oxenholme).>

Again this could be good for locals but if you put yourself into the shoes of a baggage - typically too much baggage ridden foreign tourist then the benefits of first class are more than for just the average Brit who may be carrying at most heavy shopping as they are not hauling around stuff for a few week trip.

and storing luggage easily is infinitely easier in first class, where there is also never a rush hour when all seats may be full as it could be in 2nd class (it may not be either - not saying always chock full but I have had more than a few hellish trips on 2nd-class only trains that were incredibly over full.

And in light of the costs of a first-class BritEngland Pass, which allows you to hop on any train anytime) being apparently cheaper for the OP's plans that discounted and restricted second-class tickets that must be booked in stone weeks in advance to get well it is a no-brainer (again using flanner's fares for the Lake District trip as an example of this).
PalenQ is online now  
Aug 29th, 2012, 08:31 AM
  #23  
 
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OP has 3 days of train travel it seems - London to Lake District
and back to Chelttenham Spa - train back to London.

A 3-day BritEngland Flexipass - three unlimited travel days over a 2-month period - not need to use consecutively would cost $199 for each person or about $400 total - this would be about 250 pounds or about 125 pounds each, in standard class and gives the ability to just hop on any train anytime - this comes out to about 40 pounds per each day - three train rides - for fully flexible travel.

flanneruk already said that about 97 pounds if ordered 12 weeks out (non-changeable I think not sure) would be the cheapest way to the Lake District - use the pass on that day and then you only need the other two tickets to cost about 25 pounds all told for the break even point -12.5 pounds for each of the other two train rides - a pittance really and again for this you get fully flexible hop on any train anytime freedom - no deciding 12 weeks in advance and locking yourself in, etc.

So even a few train trips the BritRail England pass can be a great deal - even cheaper than the discounted tickets in the case flanneruk illustrates of London to Windermere and also giving full flexibility to hop any train anytime.

That snake oil can be pretty useful sometimes!
PalenQ is online now  
Aug 29th, 2012, 08:48 AM
  #24  
 
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I think the OP has gone.

I hope she has a nice trip.
annhig is online now  
Aug 29th, 2012, 02:20 PM
  #25  
 
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OP - give us a report after y'all come back - yuh hear!
PalenQ is online now  
Aug 29th, 2012, 02:43 PM
  #26  
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I am still here, reading and learning.
I learned:
Not to go to Grassmere and choose a larger town. I think it will be Windermer.
to go first class because of luggage problem.
the meaning of acerbic-I had to look it up!
I am thinking of reversing the order, I like that idea. We probably will be very tired by the time we get to LHR because of the connection and layover.

I can assure you all that we will enjoy our trip no matter what as long as we won't miss our flight back.
And hopefully it won't happen.
Thank you again.
adeleh is offline  
Aug 30th, 2012, 06:39 AM
  #27  
 
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adelah - nice to see you back here. IMO Windermere would be a good choice because of the rail connection and because it's bigger - plenty going on even if the weather is inclement.

you could contact the TI and ask if they can tell you of events in the area at the time you'll be there. I've never been to the Lakes at that time of year but I bet it's lovely.

PS - it's WindermereE.
annhig is online now  
Aug 30th, 2012, 06:40 AM
  #28  
 
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oops - pressed once too often! Windermere of course.
annhig is online now  
Aug 30th, 2012, 08:01 AM
  #29  
 
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I have stayed in Windermere a few times because that was where the trains come in - the railhead for the Lake District and found in a very delightful place - like annhig says - and if you get a place at Bowness (I believe that is what they call the lakeside part of Windermere) you can have lovely views over the lake and hills on the other side.

There are a bevy of B&Bs and guesthouses and hotels right around the Windermere train station and there is a large supermarket right there too to stock up on.

For train travelers Windermere makes a lot of sense.

Buses go everywhere from it including those open-top double-deckers (in season) circulate all thru the Lake District from Windermere. Never need a car in the Lake District - so many transport options from mini-buses to proper buses and footpaths...
PalenQ is online now  
Aug 30th, 2012, 01:29 PM
  #30  
 
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adeleh - do report back afterwards - y'll hear?!
PalenQ is online now  
Aug 30th, 2012, 10:17 PM
  #31  
 
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The only weather to visit there is August to October, or March to April. January and February will be very cold and you might not be able to enjoy as much as you will in the above mentioned weathers.
raddy46 is offline  
Aug 31st, 2012, 02:09 AM
  #32  
 
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As a fairly new British expat I am also now a new convert to the Britrail passes which are marvellous value and also give you the flexibility to catch any train. The only point on which I'd differ from PalQ is that on a recent trip, every train I got was perfectly pleasant in 2nd class - not crowded and plenty of room for luggage - so I'm not currently inclined to pay the extra for 1st class. And if a horribly crowded train does turn up (as I've sometimes experienced in the past, particularly on Sundays), you can always wait for the next one.

Sorry flanner, but I'd have to say that this is a case of subsidising tourists by giving them special deals on trains - it is very unfair
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Aug 31st, 2012, 06:23 AM
  #33  
 
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flanneruk calls it selling snake oil - those British Railpasses - something way way overpriced and a rip-off - that anytime I mention BritRail I am in his words a shill for something - welcome aboard the snake oil shilling ship.

In reality folks like flanneruk simply are talking out of their rears, not even knowing the prices and how cheap per day a fully flexible BritRail pass can be - and the Family Passes where kids uner 16 get a free pass or the Party Pass where the 3rd thru 9th person on the same pass gets 50% off - or the Take Along a Brit (name?) pass where a UK resident can get a free pass just to tag along.

Yup throw the baby out with the bathwater.
PalenQ is online now  
Aug 31st, 2012, 10:12 AM
  #34  
 
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. The only point on which I'd differ from PalQ is that on a recent trip, every train I got was perfectly pleasant in 2nd class - not crowded and plenty of room for luggage ->

well I did not go to the UK last year so many the situation I have seen for many years in standard class has changed - maybe they are putting more trains on the tracks to meet what has been one of Europe's largest surges in passenger use of the rails.

Will be going again soon so will take notice. I'll still have a first class pass because even though 2nd class may be pleasant I have been spoilt by first class - rarely many folk there and seats so so much bigger and yes that complimentary tea or coffee and biscuit - on Virgin trains you indeed often get what amounts to full meals en route - non stop.
PalenQ is online now  
Aug 31st, 2012, 11:55 AM
  #35  
 
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PalenQ - i agree about the first class. if you can get it for a good price the standard is so much higher and no fighting for seats or clambering over luggage, plus the free tea/coffee etc.

on our line in the mornings I can get a 1st class single for a 90 minute journey from my local station to Plymouth for £7.
annhig is online now  
Sep 3rd, 2012, 09:05 AM
  #36  
 
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7 pounds - the free coffee must be worth a few quid itself? 7 pounds for 90-min journey - wow in first class - why would not everyone go first class (serious question)?
PalenQ is online now  
Sep 3rd, 2012, 09:28 AM
  #37  
 
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Of course, in that part of the country, 90 minutes might not be a very long distance - and you do end up in Plymouth
PatrickLondon is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2012, 01:30 PM
  #38  
 
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why would not everyone go first class (serious question)?>>

no idea, Pal, but I'm glad they don't, the end part of the journey when you get to Plymouth sound and the Tamar bridge is one of the prettiest in the country, but then it rather goes downhill when you get to Plymouth!

[the line on the other side of Plymouth round Dawlish is spectacular too but I do that less often as it takes far longer to get to Exeter on the train than it does by car].

i make sure that I get my free coffee, snack and newspaper as well!
annhig is online now  
Sep 3rd, 2012, 02:06 PM
  #39  
 
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We ponied up for first class from London to Edinburgh. We also reserved a "quiet" car. It was a lovely experience and in six months I am not going to remember the cost. No wait, I don't remember it now, after three months! LOL!
eastenderusvi is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2012, 02:19 PM
  #40  
 
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Travelling First Class on First Great Western can be reasonably priced, provided you pick your trains carefully and have a railcard. The first cheap train back home from London for us is usually at 20.00, but there is a special first class waiting room at Paddington with armchairs and free refreshments, so catching a later train is little hardship.

First class is a lot more spacious, and the seats are more comfortable.
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