Reasons for Travelling to Great Britain By Train


There are many persuasive reasons for travelling to Great Britain by train. It is far easier than travelling by car, particularly when you are not used to some strange traffic signs or driving on the left. Also, train travel is cheaper than car travel in terms of fuel and insurance.


You don’t have to show up hours in advance, as you would with air travel. And you can pretty much take as much luggage as you can carry, and keep it where you can see it.


Great Britain is a very compact place, so you can usually get wherever you want to go in a day, and there’s Britrail service to almost every place in Britain. In fact, there are over 2,500 rail stations.


When you travel by train, you can just relax, enjoy the scenery, and not have to do anything. You can also have a worry-free pint in the pub before your trip.


The vast majority of British trains are comfortable, with all the amenities travelers expect. On busy routes, there are often departures every few hours. Large cities, such as London, may have several huge train stations. Smaller towns will have one centrally located one that provides easy access to most sights. Often, the bus or subway station is connected to the rail station or a short stroll away. And there’s almost always a taxi out front.


Unlike countries with a single national railway, Britain has twenty private rail companies. But all are coordinated by National Rail. They oversee fares, ticketing, and schedules. If you need specific information about British trains, you’ll find it on their site.


As a rule, two classes of service are available: standard and first class. For most journeys, standard is perfectly acceptable with airline-style seats and a table in between. For longer trips, First Class does offer a little more room and more comfortable seats. Sometimes, refreshments are included in the fare too.


Unless you are traveling at peak travel times or want a sleeper car, you probably won’t need to make reservations. Because distances are so short, avoid overnight trips and make the journey when you can enjoy the scenery.


Food is usually available on board at a restaurant or buffet car. On shorter trips, a food trolley usually passes through each car. Luggage is stowed between the seats or at the front or rear of the car. Porters are few and far between, so make sure you can manage it yourself.


Like airfares, rail fares range from cheap to expensive, depending on when you’re traveling and how early you purchase your tickets. There are several online brokers you can purchase tickets from and they usually charge the same price as the carrier.


Off-peak trips – in the middle of the day or the middle of the week – are generally less expensive than peak travel. And advance purchase, nonrefundable tickets are the cheapest. Be sure to check the terms and conditions, because although the tickets are nonrefundable, in some cases, if you cancel, you’ll be issued a credit for future travel. If not, invest in travel insurance.


If you’re planning more than one of two trips, a BritRail pass can save you money. So compare your options before you buy tickets


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