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Why do train fares in Britain triple from June 22nd to June 23rd?

So, I've been waiting to buy our train tickets around England and I've been tracking the fares for months. I have seen continual and consistent fares between London and Bath at 9.5 pounds for advance purchase. Now that our travel dates are available for purchase, the cheapest fare is 28 pounds. The fares for June 22nd are 9.5 pounds, but then everything goes up the next day. Friday the 24th is even higher. Does anyone know what could account for this price increase? The only thing I am aware of going on that weekend near Bath is the Glastonbury music festival. Could that be causing the price increase? Thanks!

Posted by
1921 posts

Nigel - Thank you. We are doing 4 trips within England, all one way. London to Bath to York to London, and then a later day trip to Cambridge from London. I had long priced this list out with point-to-point fares, and it was cheaper that way. Now our London to Bath is 28 pounds and our Bath to York is 56! I am now thinking the FlexiPass 3 day (with 1 additional day free through April 28) would be a better bet for us, especially because my 15-year-old is then free. But it brings up two questions: 1) Will we have trouble just showing up for a train to Bath on the 23rd? We are coming in from Paris and will catch whatever early afternoon train we can after we get ourselves from King's Cross to Paddington (?? - might have station wrong). 2) When we take the train from Bath to York, I think at least one leg is actually via bus. Will our Flexipass work for the bus portion of the trip? Thanks!

Posted by
25519 posts

The train cheap tickets are capacity controlled. Glastonbury will do it. The trains will have passengers, usually with backpacks, tents, sleeping bags and kitchen sinks hanging from the light fixtures and piled up like cordwood. By the way, you still haven't hit the top. Standard "Anytime" fares London to Bath are £79.50 singles.

Posted by
1921 posts

Nigel - Also, one clarification: in the past I have been able to route from Bath to York, using a bus from Bath to somewhere I can't recall the name of, and then catching a train from there to York. Now, when I try to map the route, the only option I can find is Bath back to London, and then London to York, which is obviously fine from a Flexipass point-of-view, but seems to be a more circuitous route. Thanks again!

Posted by
25519 posts

Valerie Use National Rail Enquiries . Click on advanced search and say avoid London. Can I interest you in a 13 minute train ride from Bath Spa to Bristol Temple Meads, 20 minutes to change trains then a 4 hour Cross Country train to York (train destination - Edinburgh)? The Cross Country train calls at Bristol Parkway Cheltenham Spa - look out the right hand window and see if you can see Cleve Hill Birmingham New Street - the heart of the Midlands Burton-on-Trent - the home of Bass beer, now where Coors is brewed Derby - for the Peak District Chesterfield - with its crooked spire Sheffield - that's where Sheffield Stainless Steel comes from and the best stainless silverware comes from Wakefield Westgate
Leeds on the way to York, total travel time 4:32 and this repeats every hour. If you want this route try fares both from Bath and Bristol Temple Meads, and then just get a cheap single from Bath to Bristol if needed. Sometimes the sum of the parts is cheaper than a through fare.

Posted by
17 posts

Britain has an excellent nationwide bus service called National Express which is much cheaper than travelling by train and sometimes quicker. You should be able to get a bus from London to Bath without too many problems and with no changes. If you are going straight from Heathrow there is a bus terminal right at the airport. You can book tickets online (recommended) Google National Express.