Most commonly asked at the end of a tour, or by family and friends before a trip.
The simple answer is that there are a few options to getting around the UK (Excluding Getting across to Northern Ireland):
- Train (Intercity) – Quickest & Economical.
- Coach (National express, MegaBus) – Often Cheapest but Slow.
- Car Hire – Most Expensive but most flexible.
Most people will end up using a combination of these when planning their travel. So lets look at each in more detail.
Nearly identical to booking flights online there is a booking section in the top left simply put in your starting point and ending point and it will give you options for trains. (EXAMPLE: thetrainline.com booking widget to the right)
Things to note:
- Number of Changes – The less changes normally means the shortest travel time.
- Travel Time (Total) – The more changes often means increased time
- End station – There is often many train stations in larger towns and cities make sure you check where you will end up.
Pros: Cost Effective (Time/Cost), Comfortable, quick, Great for North/South travel & Intercity
Cons: Limited network (not all small towns), busy/crowded on major routes, time tables can be limited, Hard to go east west direct, Need to Prebook for cheap tickets
If you are not in a rush but are on a budget this is the way to go. London to Glasgow for less than £20 is possible with discount coach travel like MegaBus.co.uk. Bring a book, tablet and be prepared to endure some long drives.
Pros: Cheap, goes to smaller towns, direct cross country travel, Overnight buses available for large journeys, covers parts of Europe (Mega Bus)
Cons: Slow, crowded (peak times), less comfortable, Frequent stop/start
By far the most expensive way to travel but gives you nearly unlimited flexibility to go where you please. Expect to hand over a fair amount of cash both for the car and then factor in £1.50 per litre (Thats $2.44 p/L Aus, and $9.32 USD per gallon).
Also invest in a GPS or buy an data sim card for your phone so you can use Google Navigation as the UK’s roads are a maze of small windy lanes!
Pros: Flexibility, Speed, own pace, private, own entertainment
Cons: Very Expensive, Need to be 25 or older, stressful, Getting lost, hidden Costs (parking/congestion charges)