Trains in the UK
Trains in the UK Manchester Reviews
Jan 10, 2008
Things you need to know about getting trains in the UK:
No - really. Book ahead. A single to London from Swindon can cost between £7.50 and £45, depending on restrictions and how organised you've been. And almost all tickets you book in advance give you a reserved seat. Which brings us to...
If you don't book ahead, pick your time
because there is no guarantee that you'll get a seat if you're not booked, especially at peak times, and the trains aren't that comfy to stand up on.
Check your restrictions
Some cheaper tickets are only valid on the specific train you booked - and they will fine you if you're caught. Most stations on the main lines now have automatic barriers, so sneaking off the train is only an option if you are one hell of a good actor when you get to the barriers at the other end. On the other hand, some tickets are valid for any train you like on that route - which means you can get the flash long distance train with the shop for the same price as the scruffy local train on some routes - it's worth checking!
Avoid London, unless that's where you're going
If you aren't in a rush, then skipping London means cheaper tickets. Travelling avoiding London also avoids the whole tube system-engineering shutting lines problem. So if you can route around it, do.
Check the sneaky routes and singles
believe it or not, sometimes it is cheaper to get singles than returns, and sometimes it is cheaper to get a ticket to a station midway up your journey and then another ticket for the rest of the journey. As long as the train definately stops on your interim station, it's valid. If it doesn't then it isn't.
A young person's railcard can pay for itself in a single long distance journey. Unfortunately, I am now too old. Sigh. There are other cards - for teachers, the army, and older people, that do the same trick, and you can sometimes get tickets for groups
Keep the ticket
If you're in London it gets you two for one entrance to some attractions - check for the logo on your way in.
If your route is affected by engineering, then the railways have to get you to your destination. But they do not have to get you there on a train - you could end up on a ricketty bus - and they do not have to run the buses to the same schedule as the trains. Check the website of the rail company or national rail enquiries.
Virgin food is actually quite nice. But very expensive.
Part of the Home town unicorns travel blog
Part of the list Leave London!
Part of the list Things I have done in Scotland
Part of the list London with Sarah Elaine
Part of the list Manchester and the North West
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