Rail Discounts in the United Kingdom

Rail Discounts in the UK and Europe

Hi There Aussie Backpackers in London  – I remember backpacking in London they were some of the best and worst days of my life.

As much as it’s a great thing and a great place to live London is fucking expensive.

I’ve found a couple rail discounts in the UK and Europe. One shouldn’t come as any surprise its Eurail. I spent 5 months training it around Europe so if you are planning your trip to Europe you need to arrange your Eurail pass in advance.

Eurail Website

The second is a discount that I’d never heard of before – National Rail Railcard.

So for selected groups (16-25yo) (over 60 yo) or students (over 25yo) are eligible for the card. I remember in the days I was in the UK rail was really expensive with this card it will cut the pain. The card costs £30.


The third is nice website that I’ve stumbled over by mistake. I don’t think its the only one of its kind but looks to be a rail aggregator. Looked through some fares and it looks pretty reasonable. The website is Train Genius and their website is saying you can get up to 80% of train fares for an advance booking. The key is that accepts National Rail railcard on the website.

Train Genius

So here’s the interesting bit and that bringing the 2 discounts together and I’ve run a few trial for you to check out the prices I was able to get.

First I tried London Kings Cross to York with a months notice on a Thursday – best price with the discount £12.15

Then I tried London Paddington to Penzance with 2 months notice  on a Thursday – best price with the discount £15.85 for a 5 hour journey – never get on a bus again!!

Next I tried earlier in the week London Marylebone to Stratford upon Avon- 3 weeks notice on a Tuesday best price £3.65.

So how about a weekend London Paddington to Bath on a Saturday with 2 weeks notice was £22.65.

And thought I’d try something next day London Paddington to Cheltenham next day cost £20.80.

There was a definite pattern though you would get the best fares mid-week leaving around midday and the good thing is you get checked out of you hostel or hotel at about 10am get on the tube make your way to your station for the train and arrive mid to late afternoon at your new destination. You’ll pay a small premium if you give a little notice but you will pay a lot more on the weekend or peak times in the morning and evening.

So I guess the learnings from this are, move around mid-week, book trains with a departure around midday get to a new destination midweek and enjoy and explore the area during the weekends and this will keep the costs of exploring the UK down a bit.

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