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ScotRail pass or no? Prebook everything?

London, Canada
3 posts
ScotRail pass or no? Prebook everything?

May 14-21 in Scotland... My 2 adult children and I are traveling from Salisbury on Thursday (May 12) to London , spend a day or so and go to Scotland from there. Planning to go north to Edinburgh (east line), take in Inverness, Oban Stirling Glasgow and land back at Gatwick on the Sunday to head back to Canada.The pass is just over 1200 Canadian and I was thinking that depending on when we travel we can do it cheaper. Is it that much more expensive to buy tickets as we go? Next question is: Is it true that having an American Express card is as good as having an oyster card for traveling around London? I have a Master Card and Amercan Express for the the trip and am thinking that is the best way to pay for everything. Suggestions? thank you for the opportunity to ask questions!

London, United...
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33,941 posts
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1. Re: ScotRail pass or no? Prebook everything?

Hi,

Amex is probably the least liked and accepted card in the UK. Few small retailers will accept it due to their high charges.

Buying train tickets is complex. Try buying those tickets you need NOW, and see how much dummy bookings cost. EG London to Inverness on your date of travel. Then compare with the cost of a pass.

Restrictive tickets which limit you to a specific train, are usually cheaper.

But you would do well to immerse yourself in www.seat61.com for a couple of hours ..........

There is no train between Inverness and Oban, so I presume you are getting a bus? From Oban, (or Fort William for the VERY scenic train ride across Rannoch Moor), the train goes to Glasgow, where you can change trains for Stirling.

Stirling, United...
Destination Expert
for Stirling
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2. Re: ScotRail pass or no? Prebook everything?

The ScotRail Spirit of Scotland passes are equivalent to CAD 250 or 335 per person for 4 or 8 days, when bought from a UK railway station. If that is the pass you are looking at and you are being charged CAD 1500 for 3 people then you are looking at a reseller website which charges more (BritRail?).

You can book an Advance ticket from London to Edinburgh or Inverness much more cheaply than a day of a pass. See

https:/…

Two people travelling together can also get 1/3 off most fares with a Two Together Railcard.

To use Amex or Mastercard instead of Oyster at the ticket barriers your card must be contactless, otherwise you'll have to buy and top up an Oystercard or paper ticket at a ticket machine.

Wales, United...
Destination Expert
for Bargain Travel, Cruises, Swansea, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Neath, Port Talbot
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3. Re: ScotRail pass or no? Prebook everything?

I'd be surprised if a pass proved to be cost effective when compared against the typical book ahead tickets, but you won;t know for sue until or unless you do a comparison for your journeys. Also, it;s worth considering whether you'd be prepared to be a bit more for the added flexibility of a pass rather than tying yourself into specific trains as you would do with an Advance ticket. A Two Together railcard might help.

I'm as confused as Original_Bobelinks as to where the 500 CAD price is coming from, unless the exchange rate is far worse than I'd thought!

MasterCard will be more useful in the UK than Amex, but bring both. If they are contactless they will work as an Oyster card, but the foreign transactions fees charged by your bank may work out dearer doing it that way.

You can take a coach (bus) from Inverness to Oban, or you can go the long way round by train via Glasgow.

Stirling, United...
Destination Expert
for Stirling
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4. Re: ScotRail pass or no? Prebook everything?

<< to where the 500 CAD price is coming from >>

CAD 1500 was a typing error for 1200. Price per person is CAD 250 or 335 from the ScotRail website and converted using Google.co.uk. For 3 people x CAD 335 it's just about CAD 1000 in total, which is still a lot less than the CAD 1200 total the OP stated.

Wales, United...
Destination Expert
for Bargain Travel, Cruises, Swansea, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Neath, Port Talbot
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5. Re: ScotRail pass or no? Prebook everything?

Sorry, I didn't spot that was a typo. I'd still like to know where the OP got the 400 CAD each price from. I agree with you that it seems too high.

London, Canada
3 posts
6. Re: ScotRail pass or no? Prebook everything?

Excellent suggestions. Thank you very very much. Barb.

London, Canada
3 posts
7. Re: ScotRail pass or no? Prebook everything?

I am thinking there it's not cost effective to do a pass, and I did wonder about the two together. If I book at certain times it is a lot cheaper and thanks for reminder to book ahead. I'll compare again, but I think that is correct. Much appreciated. B

8. Re: ScotRail pass or no? Prebook everything?

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