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Travelling by train in England

Copenhagen, Denmark
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Travelling by train in England

Hello everybody, we're a family from Copenhagen/Denmark and we are planning a summer holiday in England. We want to travel by train, we are 2 adults and 4 children age 15,14,14 and 6, we need to travel from Heathrow to Rugby on july 14 and back to London on july 25 (on both days after 9 am). I looked at www.trainlines.com and found tickets for £50.

My questions now: do I have to book the tickets immediately? Will they get more expensive when i wait? Anything we have to be aware of (we have never travelled by train in GB, and from here it seems somehow more complicated...)

Thank you !

Best Regards, Sven

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1. Re: Travelling by train in England

Hi, I believe the cheapest tickets get released about 12 weeks prior to departure, the closer you get to departure the higher the price.

I have checked the prices, then very next day I have have gone to book them, they are double price.

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2. Re: Travelling by train in England

The trainline is not a good place to buy tickets - it makes a surcharge on bookings over and above the ticket price - not a large one but still generally avoidable by booking on the train operator's own site - in this case London Midland or Virgin

Secondly - you cannot buy tickets from Heathrow to Rugby online unless you have a UK address to send them to. There is nowhere at Heathrow to pick them up.

So what you should do is get yourselves, probably by tube, to Euston, where London Midland and Virgin trains leave from. You will be able to pick up prebooked tickets from a machine there. If it's a Virgin train e-tickets may be available.

And I'd say yes book them now if the price is low and the tickets are described as 'advance'. Off peak or anytime tickets will generally be the same price on the day so it's not essential to book.

Main problem (with advance tickets) is how long to allow to get from Heathrow to Euston. The two unknowns are whether your plane will be on time and how long from plane to underground

Edited: 12:13 pm, May 19, 2014
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3. Re: Travelling by train in England

<<do I have to book the tickets immediately?>>


<< Will they get more expensive when i wait? >>


<<Anything we have to be aware of>>

Yes, the very cheapest tickets are for a specific timed train. Miss that train and the tickets aren't worth the paper they are printed on. Slightly more expensive tickets will be good for a wider range of trains (usually off-peak, eg outside of commuter hours). However it shouldn't be difficult to get a specific train,or put you off, I'm just noting something you need to be aware of.

Bushey, England
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4. Re: Travelling by train in England

A good overview of train travel in the UK:


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5. Re: Travelling by train in England

Don't use the trainline as it charges fees that the train companies own websites do not charge. Also, you will need to buy from London not Heathrow as you won't be able to collect your tickets at the airport. Just buy an Underground ticket separately on arrival and get yourselves to Euston station where the trains to Rugby depart from.

If you don't want to be tied to a specific train, and have to buy new tickets if you miss it, then look for Off Peak or Super Off Peak return tickets on the Virgin or London Midland sites. Personally I prefer the latter.

Surrey UK
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6. Re: Travelling by train in England

The best web site for train times and tickets is nationalrail.co.uk. This is run by the Association of train operating companies. It shows all the services, irrespective of operator, and all the available fares. It doesn't charge a booking fee. The cheapest fare for an advance ticket bought 4 weeks prior to travel looks as though it's £6 one way. But that ties you to a specific train and you'll have to pay again (a lot more) if you miss it.

Just as a thought, going into Central London by tube and then taking the train doesn't represent the most direct way from Heathrow to Rugby. You may find it worthwhile to google Rugby-based taxi companies that offer airport pick-up and ask for quotes for the sort of large vehicle you would need.

Kent, UK
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7. Re: Travelling by train in England

>>It doesn't charge a booking fee.<<

That's because it doesn't sell any tickets.

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8. Re: Travelling by train in England

I'm confused by the above information. I just checked the price for London/Paddington to Bath round trip on both the First Great Western site and The Trainline site. The exact same train cost about 180 GBP for 4 adults on the First Great Western site, and about 144 GBP on The Trainline site. Can anyone explain the difference, particularly given the greater cost alluded to in the above posts regarding The Trainline. FYI, the date and times I'm looking at are for June 12, leaving Paddington at 8:30 am and returning from Bath at 3:43 pm.

Thanks in advance.

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9. Re: Travelling by train in England


I make it £144.40 on First Great Western and £144.40 (+ £1.50 booking fee) on the Trainline.

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10. Re: Travelling by train in England

I'm getting £144.50 for those times/date for 4 adults on FGW (and no booking fee) so you can't be looking at the right fares if you're getting £180.