I just bought my plane ticket from Toronto to England. I will be arriving Gatwick April 6th at 6 AM. From there i need to get to Devon. I believe i will need to go to either Plymouth or Exeter. My question is what is the best and cheapest way to do this? I have looked at the nationexpress and nationalrail, what's better and any other options? Now should I purchase my ticket online or can I do when I arrive in England? Then on the 10th of April I need to get to Central London. So should i buy somesort or round ticket. Please Help
Confused Traveller. Thanks!!
You will love Devon, keep plenty of room for a proper Devon Cream Tea!
Look at www.nationalrail.co.uk for general timetables and prices, but as a foreigner you may be eligible to get an Interrail ticket, www.interrail.com that will give you virtually unlimited use of the whole rail system, if you are travelling a fair bit, you will save money and time. You have to buy interrail tickets from your home. Other tickets you but at the station, but there are many different fares, eg. chearp day return, travelling outside the rush hour, they cost half of the standard tickets.
www.nationalexpress.com for long distance buses, they are cheaper than trains, but slower. They can be a great choice though, depending on your routes. I don't think they do the same type of rover tickets, but maybe they do.
For standard tickets, bus or train, you can buy at a ticket office before travel.
Remeber that we write our dates "backwards". Day Month Year.
To add to the previous helpful reply I can offer you a couple more suggestions... depending on just how tight your budget is, you can fly direct from Gatwick to Plymouth with Air Southwest (NOT the same as the US Southwest airline!)... www.airsouthwest.com... looking at 6th APril now, it's not cheap because it's Easter.. flights are either GBP91.00 in the morning or GBP51.00 in the afternoon. This is a very simple, quick and hassle free option though! Book ASAP if you want to take this option, the prices will rise.
If you go by train, I would suggest you travel via Guildford, NOT London - it's usually about the same journey time, but cheaper and doesn't involve dragging luggage on the underground, it's just one very simple change at Reading. Normally I would suggest you buy an advance ticket, but as this is Easter weekend, trains are pretty booked up and no cheap tickets are left. Therefore you're best off getting a SAVER RETURN which is £72. This will get you from Gatwick-Reading-Plymouth, and Plymouth-Reading. When you come back you will then need to buy a single from Reading-London (but you don't need to get off the train, it will be direct) which is £12.90. Neither of these tickets need to be bought in advance, although if you do you will get a free seat reservation, which I would especially recommend for the Friday as it's Good Friday.
NB: If you take the plane options going down, there are some cheap single train tickets coming back on 10th to London (£27.50), so you could do one way on each.
If you've got anymore questions or need anymore of this explained, do please ask!
PS: Coach is cheapest (around £50 return), but it's 7 hours or more with a change in London going down and personally I wouldn't recommend it unless you're on a very tight budget.
Enjoy your trip!