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Basingstoke to Edinburgh and return - July 2021

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26 Jan 2016
Any advice on the following would be welcomed. Thanks.

I have a hotel booking which, if necessary, I can cancel at short notice so would prefer to book rail tickets as late as possible but recognise that there may be restrictions on reservations and costs may be reduced by booking earlier.

My preferred journeys (now within 12 weeks) are as follows:

Outward: (via Banbury) Tuesday 20th July Basingstoke (BSK) 1049 – Birmingham New Street (BHM) 1248. Then BHM 1303 – Edinburgh Waverley (EDB) 1808 (via York). However, this only allows a connection time of 15 mins and whilst this is greater than the minimum connection time of 12 mins we would not be able to run from one platform to another (if required) so I wonder whether it is better to decide at the outset that we will get the 1403 (also via York) arriving EDB 1906 and make seat reservations accordingly. [I know there is a 1315 departure to arrive EDB 1738 but this goes via Preston and as we are returning via Preston we would prefer via York outward.]

Return: (via Banbury) Saturday 24th July EDB 1252 – Wolverhampton (WVH) 1634 (via Preston). Then WVH 1642 – BSK 1909. This time the connection time is only 8 mins and although this is greater than the minimum of 7 mins the same considerations as above apply so would it better to spend 2 hours on the station and book reservations on WVH 1842 to arrive BSK 2110? [There is a 1742 but this involves an additional change and only arrives BSK 6 minutes earlier than the 1842.]

We both have Senior Railcards.
How late can I book if I want to be certain of being on these trains with seat reservations even if I am prepared to pay £230.30 (the standard off peak return with Senior Railcard discount – although I also see a standard off peak return at £382.10)?
How early would I need to book to reduce the price via Advances or Trainsplit?
Is there any chance of first class (for any of the 4 segments) at a sensible price?
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RailUK Forums


Established Member
29 Dec 2016
If you can I’d consider going via London. LNER have £62.00 1st class Advances (after railcard discount) from kings cross to Edinburgh. Combined with other tickets this will still be cheaper than the £230 or so you quoted.

Also note that most of the operators are nowhere near 12 weeks booking of advance tickets at the moment, haven’t been for well over a year, and won’t be for at least another year. LNER is, however, at least on its core routes on weekdays, booking more than 12 weeks ahead.
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