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Getting around in England

I've been to England twice before, but rented a car both times. This time, we're planning on public transportation. Is it best to go by rail, or are there buses that follow the roads and can be used to get from place to place? (Not special tour buses.) The roads seem more scenic than the rail lines, especially from a big bus high above the hedgerows! Thanks

Posted by
2081 posts

K, this is my personal pref. i like the train system. Not much into the scenic on the way there, im more focused on the place im going to and not whats in between. i know i should be but i will leave that for a later time. im sure i will need to take a bus one of these days, but i try to use the trains as much as i can now. I took the train to Leeds a few weeks ago and it was short hop. i know there are busses that go there too, but they take 2X or more time. They are less expensive though. i guess it will depend on WHERE you want to go too. happy trails.

Posted by
3428 posts

We LOVE using the rail system. It's well designed (mostly) and easy to use. And we love the scenery. The trip from London to Bath or Cardiff is very good- you can even see the chalk horse. And the trip from London to York or Edinburgh is also great. I think you'd miss more using the coaches ('English' for bus)- as they'd mostly travel the main highways ('A' roads).

Posted by
1540 posts

I am one who has also always used public transport (buses and trains and metro) I have not had any problems and always got to where I needed to be. The only challenges were some of the bus routes in the Cotswolds....but I was still successful.
I enjoyed all the scenery out the windows of the bus or train and didn't have to worry about driving.

Posted by
521 posts

The key points have already been made, but here's a comparison by way of example. In a few minutes I'll be leaving to catch the train to work in London. It'll take about 2 hours and I'll go through some lovely parts of Hampshire and Surrey. If I took the coach then at this time of the morning (07.00 departure) it would take 3 hours 35 minutes and for most of that the bus would be on the M27 and M3 motorways, or in queuing traffic in west London. I'll get a day return at the station and it will cost about £90. On the bus I could get there and back for half that amount, maybe less if I'd booked in advance. However, the bus can sell out and trains (except the Eurostar) cannot, although not selling out is not the same as being sure of getting a seat. Of course you can mix and match. Compare your journeys by train and coach on and

Posted by
3580 posts

For short distances or where there is no train, I will take a bus or coach. In the Cotswolds buses handle visits to a few of the towns. Usually I prefer the comfort of trains. If purchased in advance or with a railcard, train tickets even in England can be very reasonable.

Posted by
180 posts

I use busses, the tube and trains in London. When taking a day trip outside of London I always take the train. It is an efficient way to travel. England is blessed with beautiful countryside and 20 min (or less) out of London and you are rolling right through it.

Posted by
970 posts

Buses go to more destinations than trains. They are usually cheaper, and slower (thanks to traffic, etc.) Doing without a car requires planning and information collection because you are dependent on the train and bus schedules. It's absolutely workable, though. Advice: Never depend on catching the last train or bus back in the evening to where you are staying. Stuff happens: You might miss that last ride and be stuck for the night. Plan on catching the next-to-last ride home.