A Britrail Pass allows you to travel in England, Scotland, and Wales. You can also buy a special pass that includes trips to Ireland. There are a number of different types of passes at different prices, so you will need to check out what works with your travel plans.
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A classic pass (also available at cheaper prices for seniors and youth) allows for unlimited travel on consecutive days. Choose between 8, 15, 22 days,or 30 days. Included in this pass is a Heathrow airport to London connection, counting as a day of travel.
The classic pass can be purchased for first or second class travel. First class is generally less crowded than second and a bit more spacious. However, on some trains this doesnít hold true, and there are not always first class accommodations on some routes. Paying for first class, though more expensive, may be the way to go on long journeys.
Example: We travelled from Glasgow to London, and our first class ticket included unlimited free coffee, tea, lunch, and newspapers.
The Flexi pass lets you pick the days you want to travel within a certain calendar period: 15 days, 30 days, or 60 days; they do not need to be consecutive days. Senior and youth passes are available in this category also. It is necessary to write the date of the day you are travelling in your flexipass on the same day before you get on the train.
A Freedom of Scotland Travel pass includes rail and ferry travel in Scotland only.
Note: Neither the classic or flexi pass includes overnight trains where you want a sleeper. You need a reservation at an additional cost for more than just a seat.
Note: Few trains have any sort of restaurant or buffet car. Some have vendors who travel the aisles or a spot where you can purchase coffee and snacks. But donít depend on it. Best to take food along if you think you will need it on your journey. Always carry water.
A Days out of London pass lets you take day trips from London (Cambridge, Oxford, Brighton, etc) without having to purchase a separate ticket for each trip.
After arriving in the UK, validate your rail pass at a ticket window at the train station the first day you are going to use it. You must do this. The dates for the start and end of the pass are written on it, so make sure they are correct.
The Heathrow Express pass goes from Paddington station to the airport in only 15 minutes. Although they can be purchased at the airport and the station, itís great to have this in hand before your trip. Youíll be busy enough with luggage and finding your way around. Itís one less thing to worry with.
The London Visitor travelcard allows unlimited travel on the underground and bus. Prices vary according to the number of days and the travelzones you choose.