Durham to Leamington Spa

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Hello could somebody help me please I need to organise a one off trip Durham to leamington spa out 28th July returning 01st August. Cheapest I can find is £55 pp return I need for 4 people. Also anyone recommend the cheapest way generally to go from seaham to Luton airport parkway or Sunderland to Luton airport parkway and return to seaham or Durham generally as it is a regularly made journey. Help would be really appreciated.
 
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island

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Does anyone involved have a railcard? Are you willing to be tied to specific trains or do you need flexibility? At what time of day might you be travelling?
 

Yew

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For at least part of your journey, you may be able to use EC's 1/3 discount for small groups, combined with split tickets could allow some good savings
 

Oscar

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What about the following?:

Saturday 28th July

06:31 Durham - 09:58 Leamington Spa (CrossCountry - no changes)

Tickets:

06:31 Durham - 07:21 York £7.00 CrossCountry Advance
07:24 York - 08:18 Sheffield £5.00 CrossCountry Advance
08:20 Sheffield - 08:51 Derby £5.00 CrossCountry Advance
08:53 Derby - 09:58 Leamington Spa £8.00 CrossCountry Advance

Total: £25.00

Wednesday 1st August

11:43 Leamington Spa - 13:41 Sheffield (CrossCountry)
13:53 Sheffield - 14:32 Doncaster (Northern)
15:09 Doncaster - 16:24 Durham (East Coast)

Tickets:

£11.50 CrossCountry Advance
11:43 Leamington Spa - 13:41 Sheffield
13:53 Sheffield - 14:05 Rotherham Central

£8.45 East Coast + Connections Advance (only available at this price at www.eastcoast.co.uk)
14:05 Rotherham Central - 14:32 Doncaster
15:09 Doncaster - 16:24 Durham

Total return: £19.45
Total cost: £44.45

This tickets are Advances which means that you can only travel on the trains you book, in this case as detailed above. If you travel on a different train to the one booked an Advance has no validity and you will be required to buy a new ticket. If this happens on board you are liable to pay the Anytime fare to your destination whereas if you buy a new ticket at the ticket office the full range of fares available at that time will be available to you. These prices were correct when I looked a few minutes ago but they can change at any time.

I think it would help if people looking for "ways to make it cheaper" understood the following:

The starting point - the most flexible and (usually) most expensive ticket is an Anytime Return.
Each step in reducing the price of the ticket adds extra conditions which restrict the ticket in some way - it is important to understand all the conditions of the ticket(s) they decide to use for a journey, the ones we all know well:
  • Off-peak - time restrictions*
  • Advance - booked train only
  • Railcard discount - must carry Railcard etc
  • Split ticket - must call at the split point*

*in general terms.
I presume that the £55 you quote is for Durham - Leamington Spa and Leamington Spa - Durham Advances. If so, what time were the trains? If you were looking at the 04:59 from Durham and 19:50 from Leamington Spa, you can certainly save around £10 by buying Durham - Doncaster, Doncaster - Leamington Spa, Leamington Spa - Doncaster and Doncaster - Durham Advances.

I think it will be very difficult to reduce this price any further.

As for the Luton Airport Parkway enquiry, I would look for Durham - London Terminals Advances (remember to factor in the cost of another ticket from London to Luton Airport Parkway) as well as Durham - Luton Airport Parkway Advances, as Durham - London starts at £12 whereas Durham - Luton Airport Parkway starts at £25.50. The lowest tiers of East Coast Advances to and from London are not available as East Coast and Connections tickets. I would also consider Durham - York / Newark / Grantham / Peterborough and York / Newark / Grantham / Peterborough - London / Luton Airport Parkway Advances. There may also occasionally be better value Advances available for travel via Leeds then for avoiding Leeds - enter Leeds into the via box. You could also consider East Coast + Connections or (possibly several) CrossCountry Advance(s) to/from Sheffield and East Midlands Trains Advances to / from East Midlands Parkway. If you post here with further details about a specific trip, we can do some research for you. Alternative you can just check all these possibilities yourself.
 
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Hey sonic, Thankyou those tickets for Leamington look good to me! thankyou for posting. Every £10 counts. The lUton thing is a 4 monthly trip so thankyou for giving me the ideas of how to reduce. Never thought of splitting at london to save the money. Have plenty of time to look at those my self so thankyou very much.
 

Oscar

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Unless you have an NUS card, it would be cheaper to avoid CrossCountry's website and book with East Coast or Red Spotted Hanky which do not charge a booking fee (Red Spotted Hanky also do not charge a postage fee).You also need to book as quickly as possible to get the best value Advances.

If you are booking for 4 people, remember the (approximately 34%) discount on East Coast / East Coast & Connections Advances for groups of 3-9 people when booked at www.eastcoast.co.uk . In this case, that will only save you a couple of pounds though.
 
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sonic2009

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If you can get to Sunderland for 0605 in the morning on the 28/7/12 and are happy to use Megabus.

0605 Sunderland, Park Lane Bus Interchange Stand W - Birmingham, The Priory Queensway 1130

£7 per person (longer journey time but cheaper), and also this is a specfic booked ticket, only valid on the above coach.

When you get off the coach you will need to make your way to Birmingham Moor Street train station from the coach drop-off point of which directions are here.

Birmingham Moor Street 1155 - Leamington Spa 1225

£8.60 Anytime Day Single per person, this ticket can be bought on the day. So if you miss the 1155 you may take the next available departure without paying any extra.

Return 1/8/12 :

1053 Leamington Spa to Birmingham Moor Street 1137

£8.60 Anytime Day single per person, once again this can be bought on the day.

Birmingham Priory Queensway 1225 - Sunderland , Park Lane Bus Interchange Stand W 1730

£5.00 per person, as before this is a specfic ticket booked to the above departure.

Longer journey times but cheaper price overall.

Total cost overall £29.20 per person

Prices are correct as of 20:23 02/06/2012
 
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