Gatwick Airport to Exeter, 14th July

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Bedpan

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I'm trying to help out some Canadian relatives who are going to a wedding in Exeter in July.

Their plane is due to land at Gatwick at 8.25am on Friday 14th July and having had a look at Nationalrail.com I saw that the cost of the super off-peak return via Reading was £86.40 (or £84.30 to Dawlish). As there are two of them, I was going to suggest that they bought a Two Together Railcard to reduce the fare by 34%.

I've had a look at Splitticketing.co. and bizarrely that quote is the best fare as being over £150!

The furthest date for buying advance tickets that I can see is 7th July, and what with it being a weekend (out Friday and back Sunday) there doesn't seem to be anything much cheaper travel on dates that are available. However, my sister-in-law is just message me to say that she has received an email from Trainline.com offering outward tickets at £14.20, so I don't know how she has managed that!

Before I tell her to go ahead and book them and then hope she can get something economical for the return leg in a couple of days, as anybody know if any leniency might be shown if her plane was delayed. I don't know what departure time she has been offered for £14,20 but I assume that it is the 10.03 to Reading, which seems to be one of the cheaper options generally, and which would work well if their plane is reasonably on time. Should I tell her though not to buy it as they will lose their money if they can't get to Gatwick Airport on time, and that it woiuld be unlikely that she would be able to buy tickets anywhere near as cheap for the return leg on Sunday lunchtime?

Any help from anybody in the know would be much appreciated!
 
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Richard_B

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I haven't looked specifically at those datesbut the cheapest fares on that route will be usually be something involving a SWT advance the slower way to Exeter St Davids, but coming from Gatwick the ability to change at Clapham would cut the GWR time advantage down
 

70014IronDuke

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I haven't looked specifically at those datesbut the cheapest fares on that route will be usually be something involving a SWT advance the slower way to Exeter St Davids, but coming from Gatwick the ability to change at Clapham would cut the GWR time advantage down

Would it actually be slower at all via Clapham Jct and the Salisbury line? From central London, yes, but coming from Gatwick, and with the Waterloo trains serving Exeter Central, then depending on where the OP's people have to go to, it could well be quicker using SWT services - though I admit i''m just guessing.

I do think getting the right service from the railway inferno that is Gatwick Airport might be a bit worrying for the first time visitor, however.
 

richw

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To throw a curveball into the ring, megabus on the 1200, 1500 and 1800 from Victoria to Exeter are showing as £3 per person singles. It would just leave them to get into Victoria from Gatwick which is reasonably easy.
 

yorkie

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... had a look at Nationalrail.com I saw that the cost of the super off-peak return via Reading was £86.40 (or £84.30 to Dawlish). As there are two of them, I was going to suggest that they bought a Two Together Railcard to reduce the fare by 34%.

I've had a look at Splitticketing.co. and bizarrely that quote is the best fare as being over £150! ...

Flexible fares may be well worth getting if they are concerned they may miss the train due to a delayed flight.

As for the comparison, it's difficult to know what the £150 relates to. Is that a direct comparison with 2 x £86.40 fares?

There is no need to guess journey times; www.fastjp.com will show journey times via a range of routes (you can specify via points if you wish, too) and it's about an hour slower via Salisbury.

Nationalrail.com just uses Trainline. If you don't want to split your tickets, you could use trainscanbecheaper.info if you want to be able to specify advanced options such as multiple via points, or choose where you change trains.
 

70014IronDuke

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. ....
There is no need to guess journey times; www.fastjp.com will show journey times via a range of routes (you can specify via points if you wish, too) and it's about an hour slower via Salisbury.
...

Using your own quoted website, www.fastjp.com [thanks for that, I didn't know about that one myself] - that is not necessarily true at all.

IF the OP's relatives would prefer to end their journey at Exeter Central rather than St Davids - then it is sometimes faster to go via Clapham Jct - eg the 09.53 ex GAT to Clapham Jct - one change - to Exeter Central at 13.37.

That is a total journey time of 3hr 44, versus 3 hr 52 via the 10.03 timing via the FGW/REading route.

If I were the OP,. I'd consider this first option, and book two bus tickets for the 18.00 bus as ex Victoria Coach station as back up. At GBP 6, it's a non-brainer insurance, [email protected] say.

Except, the couple would have to make the 700 yard journey from Victoria (railway) to Victoria (coach station) - not a problem for a 19-year old, but possible for 69 year olds and above?
 

yorkie

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True; via Salisbury is not convenient for Central but no station was specified, so I just looked at trains for St. David's.

If you are using the slower 1003 for comparison then of course that also worsens the journey time via Paddington.

But now they have the link, they can research based on their requirements.
 

paul1609

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I think that I would recommend the route via Clapham Junction and SWT in this instance as it has its own much cheaper Route "Clapham Junction Honiton" walk up tickets. An added bonus is that you can use a Network Railcard with doesn't require any photos. The journey times aren't going to be that much different. The class 159s are reasonable for this journey when compared to a GWR high density HST with the high backed seats.
 
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