Bradford to London return this weekend

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phil35

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I've made some last minute plans to go and see a friend in London this weekend. I usually book any trips to London in advance so I've had come to terms with the higher prices. I wonder if there's anything you can do to get the price down even further?

First of all I have a railcard, and I'm travelling from Bradford. I'm wanting to get into London early afternoon (12-2pm). If it's a lot cheaper then I could arrive a little earlier or later. I'm then wanting to return on the Sunday, getting me back at 7pm at the latest (in time for the quarter final :D).

The cheapest I've found so far is:
Sat 23rd: 10:22 Grand Central Service to Kings Cross: £22.45
Sun 24th: Numerous EC to Leeds then change: £29.80 (with EC online 10% discount).
TOTAL: £52.25

Can you do any better? Annoyingly I have enough points to obtain a free standard EC return on their website. However, you need to book that 7 days in advance apparently. Shame, that would have been perfect!
 
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Oscar

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Have you looked at separate EC Advances between Bradford Yks Stns and Newark Stations and between Newark Stations and London Terminals?
 

phil35

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Thanks for the suggestion. It worked out cheaper to do that on the inward leg, but not the outward leg. I also tried doing the same at Peterborough, but that worked out more expensive. Now I have:

Sat 23rd: 10:22 Grand Central Service to Kings Cross: £22.45
Sun 24th: 14:58 London Kings Cross to Newark North Gate: £18.50
Sun 24th: 16:29 Newark North Gate to Bradford Interchange: £6.90
TOTAL: £47.85

So that saved £5 :) Any more suggestions?

EDIT: I've also looked at splitting Bradford - Doncaster and Doncaster - London, but that worked out more expensive too.
 
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dave87016

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Not sure how much the EC rewards points translate into Evouchers, which would mean you may save £5-£10 if you use redeem rewards points to evouchers or you would consider that a viable option
 

phil35

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That's a good point about the e-vouchers. However, I'd rather save the points and redeem a full standard class return. I've had a quick look through the T's & C's and I couldn't see anything about it, but while we're on the subject, a couple of questions:

1. Do the points that I have aquired ever expire? As in, if I don't redeem them in a years time, say, that I may lose the points all together?
2. If I were to redeem the standard class return for 500 points, this would allow me to use it to redeem a free standard class Leeds to London Kings Cross return yes?

If my points don't expire at all, and I can use it to get a free Leeds - London return, then I'd rather save the points and get a free trip to London out of it at a later date.

EDIT: One more question: It says a standard return on the website. However, I assume that it is two standard advances rather than, say, a Super Off Peak return with flexibility?
 
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calc7

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That's a good point about the e-vouchers. However, I'd rather save the points and redeem a full standard class return. I've had a quick look through the T's & C's and I couldn't see anything about it, but while we're on the subject, a couple of questions:

1. Do the points that I have aquired ever expire? As in, if I don't redeem them in a years time, say, that I may lose the points all together?
2. If I were to redeem the standard class return for 500 points, this would allow me to use it to redeem a free standard class Leeds to London Kings Cross return yes?

If my points don't expire at all, and I can use it to get a free Leeds - London return, then I'd rather save the points and get a free trip to London out of it at a later date.

EDIT: One more question: It says a standard return on the website. However, I assume that it is two standard advances rather than, say, a Super Off Peak return with flexibility?

1. Not as far as I know. They are probably within their rights to withdraw the scheme at any time, however.
2. Yes

The tickets are two Advance singles which must be booked concurrently as a return journey, with the same origin, destination, class and route. (Well you can fiddle the route a tiny bit to take into account the 1 East Coast train per day each way that does Leeds<->York, but other than that not really).
 

phil35

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Thanks for the reply. I shall keep the points then and use the return ticket the next time I need to go to London.

Back on topic, I'm unsure what other options there could be to get the price down. I looked at taking the Bradford Interchange - Manchester Victoria train (off peak return), and then a direct Virgin service to Euston, but those advances are really expensive. If anyone else has any suggestions that would be great, but I'm not sure how many other possibilities there actually are. I'm going to book tonight to make sure the price I already have doesn't increase even more!

Thanks again to all that have helped. :)
 

calc7

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The only other option I can think of is looking at East Midlands Trains via Chesterfield. They sell tickets from Leeds for both their direct (slower) services to London St Pancras from there, as well as EMT&Connections to connect with a service starting at Sheffield.
 
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