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England coach passes

Has anyone bought the Skimmer Pass by National Express coach company? I am finding it confusing reading. I want to travel from London to tavistock to port Isaac to Charlestown to Liskeard and back to London. Can I do all those on one pass? Web site says a seven day pass is only £69. Thank you for your help.

Posted by
16883 posts

I'm not familiar with this pass. I think you'll have to look up schedules for your desired routes to make sure that they all have bus service on a decent timing operated by National Express. I have a feeling that National Express doesn't serve some of those at all and If any service says "operated by" a partner company, then it could be one of the exclusions. http://www.nationalexpress.com/en/offers/skimmer/faqs.aspx

To help join different service companies together, try www.rome2rio.com, and then link to each company they propose. From Port Isaac to Charlestown, for instance, they show a route using a First-brand bus, then Plymouth Citybus, then Great Western train, then another First bus. None of those would be covered by the National Express company/pass.

Posted by
631 posts

Skimmer seems to be only available if bought online with a foreign (to UK) IP address.

There are a couple of alarm bells ringing in my head.

  1. National Express give the impression of having a large network but when you look at it in detail some of the services are very limited - so even if they do serve all your targets it may not work. These are the long distance services not the local buses that reach little villages. From your list only Liskeard and London seem to be on their network.

For the wider audience:

  1. You buy the pass. They take your money and give you a personal booking code - then you try to reserve seats. And if there are no seats available..........????

  2. National Express operate many of the services but a significant number are operated by franchises with branded vehicles (some by competing companies!!!) - these all seem to be covered by the pass. But some services in their timetables are local bus connections that plug important gaps, these seem to be the exclusions from the pass. Most british travellers would be hard pressed to work out which is which from the timetable, so how can a foreign visitor be expected to cope?