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Am I spending too much/purchasing the right Britrail pass?

Hey Forum,

Just want to make sure I'm not spending more than I need to.

My only stop outside of England is Edinburgh for 4 days and am wondering if the Britrail 8-day, 2-month pass is really my best option for $525. I have one spare travel day in there and have to imagine the trip from from Liverpool to Edinburgh would be pretty expensive. Or would I go point to point from Edinburgh to Newcastle which would be less? I feel like my budget if quickly disintegrating.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

Here is my itinerary:

Liverpool -> Edinburgh
Edinburgh -> Newcastle
Newcastle -> York
York -> Manchester
Manchester -> Sheffield
Sheffield -> Burton-on-Trent
Burton-on-Trent -> London

Posted by
211 posts

Do you have specific dates for the trips you plan to make? If so, it might be cheaper to buy point to point tickets. Go to www.nationalrail.co.uk and find out the cheapest fares and then compare that total to the $525 option. Also maybe buy point to point tickets for Liverpool-Edinburgh and Edinbrugh-Newcastle and then buy a Britrail England pass for the rest of your trips.

Posted by
16832 posts

The difference between buying 8 days for all of Britain versus 8 days for just England is $100. Fares from Carlisle to Edinburgh range from 8 to 50 pounds in 2nd class, but you're more likely to pay about 20-27 pounds. Fares from Edinburgh to Berwick-upon Tweed range from 10-20 pounds on short notice. I think it's worth the convenience to have the pass cover all your destinations. Unfortunately, there is not a 6-day version. Britain is an area where train service is frequent and the pass allows you to jump on any daytime train without a requirement to book ahead. (Seat assigments are free to get at stations up to a day in advance, if you expect a crwoded train.) Advance discounts are another way to save money, but will lock you into travel dates and times for each leg.

Posted by
21 posts

Laura,

You make some very good points. Plus, I have an extra travel day at my disposal in case I need it for some reason.

Posted by
8700 posts

If you can commit to specific departure dates and times, booking in advance can get you discount fares. There is an allotted number of discount fare tickets at various price levels and they sell out fast. When the cheapest tickets are gone the price rises to the next level until all that is left are full fare tickets. Discount fare tickets are released about 12 weeks in advance. The East Coast site gives timetables and fares for all UK trains, not just its own. You can also book all your rides on the East Coast site. Here's what I found:

Liverpool->Edinburgh: as low as £13
Edinburgh->Newcastle: as low as £9
Newcastle->York: as low as £7
York->Manchester: as low as £7
Manchester->Sheffield: as low as £5
Sheffield->Burton-on-Trent: as low as £12
Burton-on-Trent->London: as low as £23

Posted by
21 posts

Tim,

Thanks for your thoughts. I'm definitely starting to change my thinking when it comes to buying a pass verses purchasing tickets point to point. The more I get in to it the more I realize I can save some money going point to point. Which for me will work, because I'm a schedule orientated kind of person. I already have my calender marked to remind me when to start looking!