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Day Trips from London: Train advice - June 2017

Hello,
My 18 year old daughter and I are returning to London this summer for the 2nd time. We last visited in August 2015 for 10 days. This trip we've decided to do a few day trips on our own. Specifically, we are going to visit Bath (1 day), Cambridge (1 day) and the Harry Potter Studio Tour. Can anyone give advice on taking the trains to these destinations? Bath seems pretty simple. We did visit Bath briefly in 2015 on a tour and we simply did not have enough time. We are staying in Mayfair so we are very close to the Green Park tube stop. We just don't have any experience with the trains to these locations. Any tips/comments would be greatly appreciated. I'm trying to figure out exactly how far in advance to purchase the train tickets. I already purchased the HP tour and we decided to do the train ourselves so we can be on our own schedule this time. Thanks in advance for any help.

Posted by
4684 posts

Bath is worth buying tickets in advance for. You might be able to buy discount tickets in advance for Cambridge, but the normal fare is cheap enough for it to be worth going for the flexible option and buying on the day. For the Potter tour, you need to get to Watford Junction, which is only just outside London so should be bought on the day.

Bath is London Paddington station - get the Bakerloo Line from Oxford Circus or a bus. Cambridge is quickest from Kings Cross - get the Victoria Line from Oxford Circus or Green Park. For the train to Watford you need to go from Euston which is also on the Victoria Line.

Posted by
2560 posts

London Paddington to Bath buy Advance tickets when they go on sale.

To Cambridge you can leave from Kings Cross (no Advance tickets just buy on the day) or Liverpool Street (slightly slower but cheaper Advance tickets available).

London Euston to Watford Junction just buy tickets on the day.

Use http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/ to plan journeys and direct you to the train operator to buy tickets. You can use any train operator's site to buy tickets for all routes at the same prices.

Posted by
15 posts

Thanks so much for all of this information. I will definitely buy the Bath tickets in advance. I'm glad to hear that I don't have to worry about Cambridge or the HP tour. This really helps so much with our planning. It's so difficult to plan out the exact itinerary so far in advance. We also want to be more flexible this time. Last time, we really overbooked our schedule and it was exhausting.

Posted by
27417 posts

I wish all first-time travelers would read your last post!

I'm so sorry that the European rail companies have decided to go along with the budget-airline pricing model of sharp upticks in fares as the travel date approaches. I like to take weather into account, especially when I'm day-tripping from a major city with indoor sights available to a smaller places where I expect to be mostly outdoors. These days, that travel approach can be very, very expensive.

Posted by
15 posts

Honestly, I'm glad you mentioned the weather. I live in CA and you don't have to worry about rain from June to October usually. But I forgot, June is going to be very rainy. In 2015, we got lucky. It was early August and it only rained once. I'm pretty sure we will encounter more rain this time. I really forgot to factor that in.

Posted by
15 posts

We did have beautiful weather the last time we visited. I read this article when I was researching weather/best travel times and made the assumption that it might be rainy during June. I think it's also on a chart in one of my guidebooks. (edit: page 8 of RS Guidebook for London specifically says "Plan for rain whenever you go". I think this is what worried me along with the article below)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/14/uk-weather-june-could-be-wettest-ever-recorded-as-wimbledon-and/

I'm probably overthinking all the details. A little rain will add to the adventure.

Posted by
2785 posts

The train to Bath leaves from Paddington Station there is one at 8:30am arriving at 10:05am and a return ticket (round trip) will be £29.00pp if bought 10 weeks in advance. The train to Cambridge leaves from Liverpool Station that leaves at 8:03am arriving 9:08am a 1 hr 27 minutes return ticket would be £17.00pp if bought in advance. There are also trains that leaves from Kings Cross Station but the tickets are more for a return ticket would be £47.20pp.

Posted by
1072 posts

" I think this is what worried me along with the article below)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/14/uk-weather-june-could-be-wettest-ever-recorded-as-wimbledon-and/"

That was last June, this June will probably be completely different (our weather is unpredictable), could be better or could be worse. A few years ago the tabloids were predicting a "bar-b-que summer, after it was printed I remember that it rained nearly every day for ages.

Posted by
15 posts

I'm just hoping for more of the same beautiful weather we had when we visited last time. I'm so glad to hear the rain isn't an issue in June. It's one less thing to worry about,

Posted by
5383 posts

There is no particularly rainy month on average in Southern England - they are all within about half an inch of each other or so. What happens in any particular year is pot luck. Total rainfall is less than Rome ....