Senior rail card

Can I buy a senior rail card from Rick Steves or at Heathrow? It looks to me like the cheapest option for us is to book our journeys ahead on line from the states. (London to York to Bath to London) But the cheapest option requires that we have a senior rail card. Do I go ahead and make the reservations and then try to buy the card once we arrive in England or??? Thanks for your help. Does anyone know the tradeoffs of this versus buying a flexible rail pass?

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8741 posts

Can I buy a senior rail card from Rick Steves No. or at Heathrow? No. From the FAQ pages at the Senior Railcard website: You can only buy online is you are able to give a UK-delivery address. We cannot send Railcards to non-UK addresses. Alternatively, you can buy a Railcard at a staffed rail station ticket office in England, Scotland, or Wales or a National Rail-licensed Travel Agent on arrival. You can also buy a Railcard at Gatwick Airport, Stansted Airport rail stations, Luton Airport Parkway and Manchester Airport – but NOT at London Heathrow Airport. Make the reservations and then get your Railcard in London before your first Railcard discounted journey. Just because you can't collect your Railcard at Heathrow, or use it from there, doesn't mean you can't collect it at Paddington if you are going into there by Heathrow Express/Connect; or the station (Kings Cross probably) you will use to go to York or your first destination. You can use it for Rail issued Travelcards while in London, but for travel within Zones 1-6 M-F the Senior Railcard is not valid before 9:30. Now for the crux: You need one for each Senior. They cost £28 pp for one year. You get 34% off the best fare you can find. You don't break even until you have spent £82.35 each. Advance tickets can be quite reasonable (with strict restrictions). Will you spend that much Kings Cross - York - Bath Spa - Paddington? You will have to do the math.