Travel in the U.K.

Trains

You can travel almost anywhere in Great Britain from London using the National Rail Service. Areas surrounding London such as Brighton, Oxford and Cambridge can be reached in less than 2 hours. If you book tickets far enough in advance they are often cheaper. However, last-minute discounts also become available from time to time. 

The nearest mainline train stations to Fischer Hall and Conway Hall are Charing Cross, London Waterloo, and Waterloo East. Trains from these stations head to destinations in the southwest, and southeast, including Surrey, Dorset, Berkshire, Hampshire, and southwestern suburbs of London. You can travel north from King’s Cross Station, and to the west and further southwest (Devon and Cornwall) from Paddington Station.

You can book train tickets at train station ticket offices and machines, or online at National Rail and Trainline. Each train network has its own website, for example, South West TrainsFirst Great WesternEast Midlands Trains, and Cross Country etc. Although the individual train website fares do not tend to vary from the other online booking services, it is worth comparing them before buying your tickets.

It is also always worth looking at discount ticket websites like Mega Train and Red Spotted Hanky for cheaper tickets.

If you are planning a long journey, it is often cheaper to split the journey into smaller chunks and buy multiple tickets (as long as the train stops at all the necessary stations). For example, rather than buying a ticket from London King’s Cross to Leeds, you could buy tickets from London Kings Cross to Peterborough, Peterborough to Newark, Newark to Retford, Retford to Doncaster, and Doncaster to Leeds. You should be able to stay on the train as normal, and might save a lot on the total fare. Visit Split Your Ticket or Tickety Split (currently only for walk-on fares) to find out your split-ticket journey options.

For train travel in Ireland, Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail) is the official website.

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16-25 Railcard

A 16-25 Railcard allows you to save 1/3 on a wide range of tickets for travel in the U.K., including all standard and first-class advance fares. The railcard costs £30 and is valid for a year. All you need is a valid passport (all nationalities accepted), and a passport photo (in digital format if you wish to purchase online). To buy your railcard online go to the 16-25 Railcard website (it will take around 5 working days to arrive by post), otherwise you can go to any mainline train station, speak to a vendor, and receive it immediately.

Once you have a railcard, you can sync it to your Oyster Card, which gives you discount travel on Pay As You Go Tube fares. The railcard must be registered to your Oyster Card by a vendor at a mainline train station.

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Buses (Coaches)

Traveling by bus (coach) is usually significantly cheaper than going by train, but they are less comfortable and take longer. The biggest bus service is National Express (you can catch their buses at various locations in London), but Stage Coach and Green Line are worth a look too.

For extra discounted tickets, check out Mega Bus from London Victoria.

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