Book in advance for the best deals on train tickets

If you’re travelling across the country by train, you might be wondering where to go for the best deals on train tickets. From Edinburgh to Dundee and London to Cambridge, there are some great offers out there when it comes to tickets for a holiday or weekend break – or even a day trip! So why not take a few minutes to read our handy guide to train tickets to see how you can find the best offers available.

Where to look


If you’re hunting for the best possible deals, websites such as thetrainline can help. They have a ‘best fare finder’ which covers the UK’s most popular routes. Looking for a train from London to Edinburgh? Just pop in your dates and the best fare finder will come up with the lowest available prices. This is a great tool to use if you’re flexible with your dates, as you can view the cheapest available tickets over a period of months or weeks, so it’s a useful tool if you’re trying to co-ordinate holiday plans in advance or book accommodation etc. Another great place to look for value for money train tickets is the mytrainticket website, or you could head for the various train operators websites to compare prices directly. Of course, you’ll need to know which line you’re travelling on – London to Edinburgh is on the East Coast Mainline, for example.


Book in advance


When shopping for train tickets, it helps to book in advance. You can register with many of the train line websites, so they’ll send you an email when new fares are released, and you’ll usually find the best deals by booking 4-8 weeks in advance of travel. On some routes, you may be able to snap up last minute deals, but you might not always be able to reserve a seat, vital for those longer journeys!


Value for money


Some routes offer better value for money than others, and many of the train providers run special offers on train tickets throughout the year, so make sure you keep an eye on their websites. The most popular routes (normally those linking major cities) are often heavily discounted around holiday periods to allow people to take advantage of day trips and weekend breaks, so do watch out for special offers.

When you book your train tickets online, you’ll normally be able to select where you want to sit, which coach you want to be in (for example, the quiet coach) and whether you have any other preferences, such as a seat with a table. If you leave your booking until the last minute, you may have less choice or be unable to book a seat at all, which means propping yourself up on bags between the carriages or hunting for an unreserved seat.