I will be traveling solo in Great Britian this coming August/ September. I have planned my first 6 days visiting the sites in London (w/ 2 daytrips to Arundrel and Portsmouth Dockyards) and then traveling on to northen UK via rail. I have tentively schedule my base to be Newcastle Upon Tyne. I will be taking daytrips from there to Alnwick Castle, Durham city, Bamburgh Castle and Dunstanburgh and Warkworth Castles and where ever else I can see in my limited time (5 days in the North). My question is, should i purchase a 1st class pass or Standard class? Is there much difference between the rail cars in comfort or service? I have the funds for the 1st class pass but if not need to spend the extra would like to put them towards other expenses on my adventure.
First class gets you a bigger seat, less crowding, and occasionally a free snack on long-distance trains. Some of the routes you use may not have first class seats available at all if you're using very local trains. Personally I wouldn't bother.
Hi Mike - I'd recommend going with standard class, and not getting a pass. I think you would be much better off just buying single point-to-point tickets. Durham is only 15 minutes away from Newcastle. And actually your other destinations are not accessible by train. You'll need to use the bus to get to Alnwick, Dunstanburgh and Bamburgh. Actually when I went to Alnwick last year, I took the train to Alnmouth and then a short bus ride to Alnwick. All of these are quite doable from Newcastle. Check out this website for more information - http://www.northumberland.gov.uk/default.aspx?page=4194