UK transportation question


Apr 28th, 2013, 04:05 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2013
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UK transportation question

I'm going to the UK for the first time and I'm super excited! I'll be staying with my boyfriend in Leeds for most of my trip. I haven't decided where I want to go on day trips while he's working during the week, but I'd like the flexibility to hop on a train in Leeds, wander around in another city, and go back to Leeds in the evenings. I've been reading some travel books, and some of them recommend getting a rail pass. I will likely need a 4-day consecutive or flexible pass. Do any of you know anything about the BritRail pass? Do you have any other suggestions? Thanks, everybody!
hilaryous13 is offline  
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Apr 28th, 2013, 05:02 PM
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For almost everyone buying point to point tickets is less expensive than a pass.

Check fares here and keep in mind if you buy online in advance you can save a great deal:
MmePerdu is online now  
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Apr 28th, 2013, 07:21 PM
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We used a BritRail Pass in 2008 and were willing to pay the extra (don't know specifics but was a little more) for the total flexibility. I'm fairly certain that a ticket bought the day of the travel would be more than what the Pass is costing you. Not positive as I haven't done the maths, but if you want flexibility, a Pass is great. The cheapest way is going to be to plan ahead, but...
texasbookworm is online now  
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Apr 28th, 2013, 10:55 PM
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Within West Yorkshire there are a range of passes that are extremely cheap

As for train travel, generally if you buy before around 6:00pm the day before you travel tickets are substantially cheaper than on the day.

Note there are several towns and cities (eg Harrogate and York) that are within 30 minutes of Leeds and even bought on the day are going to be far cheaper than any pre-bought pass. Only if you intend long haul travel will it be any cheaper - but not as cheap as pre-booking several weeks in advance
alanRow is offline  
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Apr 28th, 2013, 11:13 PM
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Pure prejudice on my part, but I strongly suspect that in general it is much more in the financial interests of a company than its customers to buy a pass marketed to foreign tourists. They get the use of the money for longer, and it's more likely than not that you'd not make enough use of the pass to get the full value of it.
PatrickLondon is offline  
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Apr 28th, 2013, 11:34 PM
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You need to have a rough idea of what you want to do before accepting any advice about this.

Typically, "all you can eat" passes make financial sense only if you're contemplating intense use of trains, including lengthy journeys. Most people based in Leeds are likely to do most of their daytrips to places within 2 hrs' journey each way, like York, Durham and Liverpool.

Some such places are so cheap (a walkup return to York after 0930 is about £12) buying a pass for (I'm guessing) a couple of hundred pounds is financially absurd. Others get that cheap with just a smidgeon of prior thinking: walk up to the ticket office at 0855 and a day return to Liverpool will be £30: sit at your computer the previous night before 2000, book a ticket for the 1008 departure and the return ticket will be £13.

If your plans are entirely within the 2 hr radius, any pass will impose extreme inflexibility on you: you'll have invested so much cash, you'll feel obliged to go travelling far more than you actually feel like at the time, and still save nothing over the price of walkup, or booked the night before, fares.

Leeds has direct trains to lots of Britain (for a quick snapshot go to, and painless same-platform connections to practically everywhere in the country.

If you do want to spend eight hours or more going to and coming back from, say Edinburgh or Oxford in the same day you can certainly do so and a prebought pass will probably save you money over even tickets booked the night before.

But you might well be committing far more cash than you want to in the belief you'll have more of an appetite for serial train-taking than you turn out to have.
flanneruk is offline  
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Apr 28th, 2013, 11:39 PM
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"Within West Yorkshire there are a range of passes that are extremely cheap"

But they're all one-day passes, and all have some restrictions as to geography and/or train operator. So you're still going to have to decide on a Tuesday you want to go travelling, work out which county say, Skipton or York, are in (you'll be amazed how many different counties are within an hour's train ride of Leeds) and queue up to buy the ticket.
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