I have included this - it is not necessarily a London tip but as many tourists will make London their first place they visit in the UK this ticket that covers the whole of the UK for unlimited rail travel may be of interest. It is never advertised!
It allows unlimited travel on all trains* including the Ffestiniog Railway in Wales but not Heathrow Express, Heathrow Connect, London Underground or large city metro systems. Nor does it include ferries or buses.(*Not some open access companies such as Hull Trains or Grand Central).
The First Class option permits the holder to partake of all complimentary offers such as breakfast on Virgin Trains. It can also be used to gain discounted access to some attractions.
2014 prices are - Adult 7 days £478, child / with railcard £315.50, 14 days £702 and £463.First Class Adult 7 days £724, child / with railcard £477.85.14 days £1106 and £729.
There are some restrictions from some London stations -please ask me if you want to know more.
This value ticket offers one return journey from Marylebone to Leamington Spa and unlimited travel between Leamington Spa and Stratford on Avon . A day ticket is £35 , child £17.50, senior citizen £26.00 (a railcard is required). 4 days travel is £55, children £27.50 and senior citizens £36.30.
2014 prices. Not vaild on any train on any train from Leamington due in to London before 10.00.
This day ticket is only available from Tourist Information Offices (NOT AVAILABLE FROM RAILWAY STATIONS OR THE WEBSITE) at Bedford, Brighton, Dunstable, Greenwich, Luton, Sandy, and St Albans. You may be staying in the London area near one of these towns and this is why this tip is included. Travel after 10.00 and not for travel on services departing Moorgate or St Pancras to any station between St Albans and Bedford between 16.30 and 19.01.
One days unlimited travel costs £19 and up to 4 accompanied children are £2 each. Travel on any FCC service. The website describes the area covered but basically Brighton - Bedford and Wimbledon branches.
Valid on all Southern services (BUT NOT GATWICK EXPRESS) from their stations including their London stations but after 10.00. Not valid on trains departing London stations, Clapham Junction or East Croydon 16.15 - 19.15.
All day version - 1 day £36.50. 7 days £90.00.
Off Peak 1 day - adult £14. Accompanied children £1 each . Group (up to 4 adults or children) £28.
You must purchase from the website (www.southernrailwaytickets.com/daysave) a minimum of 7 days before travel - you cannot buy this ticket at a station. Other options of the ticket are available - see the website. 2014 prices.
Other versions of the ticket are available for peak travel, weekly travel and flexi (5 nominated days in one month).
The South Coast Downlander unlimited travel ticket is extended to London in 2014. This gives unlimited travel for one day on Southern trains for just £17.50 with children at just £3. Valid from 10.00. Not valid from Victoria, London Bridge, Clapham Junction or East Croydon between 16.15 and 19.15.
This is an e-ticket and can only be bought from the Southern website.
If you wish to explore Kent from London the Kent Rover ticket offers 3 consecutive days unlimited travel in the county for £39.50 and up to 4 accompanied children at £5 each. The area covered is bounded by Swanley - Sevenoaks - Ashford International - Dover - Ramsgate - Swanley plus Tonbridge - Tunbridge Wells - Sittingbourne - Sheerness on Sea and Rochester - Gravesend. After 09.30.
The fastest service from London on this list is Sevenoaks (from Charing Cross) and this journey would be in addition to the cost of the Kent Rover. However still good value travel but with some limitations - read the linked website carefully before considering purchase of this ticket.
A good value way to explore the area west of London by train is a day ticket that offers unlimited rail travel from London Paddington to Reading, Tilehurst, Reading West, Winnerish Triangle, Greenford, Windsor and Eton Central, Marlow and Henley on Thames. After 09.30 (10.00 if Network Railcard used) and not allowed on mainline services to Reading (local trains only) between 16.00 and 19.15. A one day ticket costs £19.00, with a railcard £12.55 and child £9.50. 2014 prices.
Please note FGW have a minimum fare Monday to Friday - some of the prices quoted above may only be available on Bank Holiday Mondays and weekends. Ask at FGW stations.
To explore to the west of London by train the Thames Rover is a good value option. The area covered is Paddington - Moreton in the Marsh - Banbury - Bedwyn - Basingstoke plus Reading - Redhill and the Greenford, Windsor and Eton Central, Marlow and Henley on Thames branches are covered too. After 09.30 and also not allowed on Paddington and Reading on mainline express trains (only local trains) between 16.00 and 19.15. After 10.00 if a Network Railcard is used. Bicester Town is NOT included in 2014.
Any 3 consecutive days - costs £45, with a railcard £29.70 and children £22.50. For 7 days travel £79, £52.15 and £39.50.
Very good value. 2014 prices. Please note FGW have a minimum fare Monday to Friday - some of the prices quoted above may only be available on Bank Holiday Mondays and weekends. Ask at FGW stations.
I travelled to Great Missenden, to visit Roald Dahl's Museum, from London Marylebone. It's one of the smallest London mainline railway stations (I was surprised how small and relaxed it was for a London terminus station!) situated between Euston and Paddington stations.
It's also the youngest station which opened in 1899 and designed by Henry William Braddock. It originally was the terminus for the former Great Central Line to the North of England via Aylesbury until 1966. Today it's operated by Chiltern Railways with their Chiltern Main Line services to Aylesbury, High Wycombe, Leamington Spa, Warwick, Birmingham Moor Street and Birmingham Snow Street stations. There are also services to Stratford-upon-Avon.
Further information about services and rail fares can be found via Chiltern Railways
The station offers a wide range of the usual station's facilities plus shops, cafes and a pub.
Last trip on Eurostar to/from Paris June 2013
If you are planning on taking the Eurostar to Paris, there are tickets in different price brackets for each train, once the lower fare tickets are sold, a higher rate kicks in. In February 2014, the lowest current fare, without regard for any special promotions, is £69 round trip and you can book the tickets six months before travel (used to be 120 days).
It also appears that once the lowest price tickets are gone, they are gone as the tickets at that level are non refundable and only so many issued at each price point. In July 2011, we traveled in 2nd class, my niece who was 17 qualified for a youth ticket, the lowest fare there is £59 (February 2013 increased to £66). In 2nd class, you can visit the dining car but otherwise no food or beverages are served. The seats are comfortable enough, I don't think I looked at our seating assignment because I would have changed it, we were in a 4 seater facing another couple.
The 1st time I traveled I found a cheaper 1st class fare on www.raileurope.com than the 2nd class fare on Eurostar's website so I booked the 1st class tickets on raileurope.com, it's worth a look if you miss out on the cheapest level of fares. In 1st class the seats were a bit wider and they served a meal, for a 2 1/4 hour train ride, I thought it wasn't necessary to sit in 1st class.
If you choose flexible date you should be able to see what dates if any have the £69 fare left. One more hint, check both eurostar.com.uk and eurostar.com, the 1st time I booked the US site was much higher than the UK site. Clean out your cookies before checking otherwise it will direct you back to the one you started on. Of course, if your credit card charges you a foreign transaction fee, that may add to the cost of buying from the European version.
The Eurostar leaves from St. Pancras station in London and arrives at the Gare du Nord in Paris. You clear immigration before boarding the train so you don't have to do it once you've gotten off the train. You must check in 30 minutes before departure, there is security and immigration to go through and a waiting room on the other side with a couple of places to get a snack.
We used the Eurostar to get from London to Paris and then back to London, the train was on time both directions and the journey takes about 2 1/4 hours which is much quicker than flying considering the travel time to the airport and having to be at the airport well before your flight. And certainly better than the hellish overnight bus we took the last time we traveled between London and Paris!
We've traveled in both 1st class (Leisure Select) and 2nd class (Standard Class), the 1st class was booked because they were cheaper than 2nd class at the time (see tip above), a served meal and beverages is included with 1st class but I could have certainly lived for 2 hours without eating and the food wasn't that great. There is food available at a buffet in 2nd class at an extra cost. The seat are larger in Leisure Select than Standard, an extra 7 1/2 inches, and there's more legroom, about 4 inches. 2nd class is comfortable enough and you can bring your own drinks and snacks if necessary.
When you walk off the train in Paris, it's just like walking off a normal train, no additional security. In London, you clear immigration in Paris but must go through customs in London.
St Pancras International Railway Station opened in 1865 and the Midland Great Hotel (designed by Sir Gilbert Scott) was added in 1875. The station was the main railway hub for soldiers departing to the war and transporting children to the countryside during both the first and second world wars. The Midland Great Hotel closed in 1935 but now is converted to a five star hotel after going a refurbishment a few years ago.
You can read the history about the station via this link The station is renowned for its beautiful Victorian Gothic architecture and its infamous Dent clock which has been reconstructed at the apex of the Barlow arch inside the station.
The International Railway Station operates journeys to the Home Counties, the Midlands, North of England including Leeds and international services to France and Belgium. The operators are First Capital Connect, South Eastern High Speed Train, East Midland Trains and Eurostar.
I've used the station a few times for the Olympic Games in July 2012 where I caught the to Stratford International for the Olympic Park and also an East Midland train back to Leeds as I was unable to get a train home with East Coast trains from Kings Cross Railway Station.
It's a lovely station with a wide range of cafes, restaurants and shops. Please check out the station's
website for further information.
A railway station was built on this sight in 1837 (open by London and Birmingham Railway Company) with a number of additions and extension. The station was rebuilt from scratch between 1961 to 1969 to accommodate the West Coast Main Line's electrification.
Some features of the original station can still be seen today such as the two Portland stone entrance lodges, the war memorial (Euston Road) and the Euston Arch and the Statue of Robert of Stephenson.
The railway station serves trains to Birmingham, the Midlands, the North West of England (including Liverpool and Manchester), North Wales and the West Coast up to Glasgow.
Virgin Trains and London Midland are the main train operators departing from Euston Station. Scot Rail offers overnight services to Scotland which depart from this station.
I used London Euston Station twice in 2013 to travel to Birmingham and also in the past to visit friends in Milton Keynes.
London Euston Station has a number of cafes, restaurant, shops and services which are available to travellers.
I only needed a one way ticket from Brussels to London, I believe that I booked at the lowest rate available which was £40 for the one way, I think the lowest round trip is £69 so obviously some cost savings if you are going to return to buy a round trip ticket. The experience was very similar to traveling from Paris to London, you clear both Belgian and UK immigration in Brussels but still go through customs once you reach London. The Eurosar leaves from Bruxelles Midi (Brussels Zuid), not the Central Station, in Brussels and arrives at the St. Pancras in London.
You must check in 30 minutes before departure, there is security and immigration to go through and a waiting room on the other side with a couple of places to get a snack. Wifi is not free in the lounge if you are traveling in 2nd class. We traveled in 2nd class, you can visit the dining car but otherwise no food or beverages are served but you can bring your own, there is no restriction on liquids like there is on a plane. The seats are comfortable enough, the trip is only a little over 2 hours.
After two weeks wandering England the leaving off day has arrived. We should move from London to Paris, and this time we choose the Eurostar, departing from Saint Pancras Station to Paris Nord.
Only 2:42 hours trip, this is a marvelous way for a ride, but I should recognize I was a bit disappointed, please, try to understand me, the train is very comfortable, silent, and the service is really good, but I was expecting something like a kind of excitation because of the high speed. Believe me you will not feel nothing like this. Absolutely steady, quiet, even at full speed you will not experience any emoton, neither on the surface nor inside the Eurotunnel.
Anyway, never mind, I strongly recommend the Eurostar.
London is easy to get to by Train from all major citys in the UK and it does not take long, it's easy to visit just for the day from Manchester with a journey time of only 2 hours and 10 minute by Virgin Trains.
From York its only 1 hours 50 mins on the East Coast Main Line and Edinburgh: 4 hours 30 mins.
All the Trave information By train to London is available on the Visit London website!