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Train ? Coach and bus?

We are planning our September trip and will be using trains or buses. We are flying into Heathrow and out of Gatwick. Itinerary: Glastonbury, Salisbury, Brighton, Rye, Canterbury.
I’m wondering which will be easier to use trains or long distance buses ? Plan to buy either two together card for train or senior cards for bus. Also which train and bus apps are best. We are seasoned travelers but aged out of car rentals so are new to public transportation.

Posted by
1005 posts

I would say generally the train but it might be useful to use buses from and to the airports. To and from Glastonbury will have to be bus as there's no train station. I manage perfectly well without any train or bus apps.

Posted by
14269 posts

I did use apps for various trains I took last May. I download the app for the train company that is actually running the train.

Is this the order in which you'll visit the various towns? Heathrow to Glastonbury, Glastonbury to Salisbury, etc? Or will you have nights at a base hotel somewhere. Any time in London?

Posted by
6722 posts

Glastonbury, Salisbury, Brighton, Rye, Canterbury.- Of these Glastonbury is the only one not to be rail served.

On National Express bus you could go to Bath (or Bristol- Bristol has a better service from Heathrow) then Salisbury by train from Bath or Bristol, and Glastonbury by local city bus from Bath or Bristol (Bristol being the easier).

The city bus is £2 each, each way.

Salisbury only has one National Express bus each way, daily.

Canterbury and Brighton both have very good and frequent National Express services. Brighton has a 24/7 service to Gatwick.

Rye is the awkward one as there is no National Express service to there or either of the two closest towns- Ashford or Hastings.

So by bus I would order this as -

Journey 1-Heathrow to Bristol
Journey 2-train Bristol to Salisbury on Advance Fares
Journey 3- citybus Bristol to Glastonbury
Journey 4- National Express Bristol to Canterbury changing at London Victoria
Journey 5- Train Canterbury West to Ashford, change trains, train to Rye
Journey 6- Train Rye to Hastings, change trains, train to Brighton
Journey 7- National Express Brighton to Gatwick- every hour- 45 to 60 minute journey

On the train substitute train for bus on Journeys 1, 4 and 7.

Canterbury to Rye by train is £19 each (£12.50 with a railcard), Rye to Brighton £20.10/£13.25

Bristol to Canterbury by train is £39.50/£26.05 Advance Fare including the cross London Tube

Brighton to Gatwick by train is £11/£7.25

Heathrow to Bristol by train is £68/£44.85 flexible fare travelling after 10am on weekdays and all weekend, or £85.80/£56.60 at most other times.

The National Express option will be by far cheaper than either of the two rail options.

By train from Bristol to Canterbury you would have to change across London from Paddington to Kings Cross St Pancras on the tube.

There isn't a clear winner in my eyes- it is all about choices

For the train the LNER app is the best, for the bus there is only 1 choice- the National Express app.

Posted by
102 posts

We are not staying in London but 3-4 days in each town then on to the next. It is so much harder without a car. At 77 companies won’t rent to us .