Manchester to Ashford (Surrey)

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martin2345uk

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Hi guys
This is my first attempt to ask for fare advice on here... I've always been useless finding cheap fares from Manchester to the London area and usually end up paying quite a lot so just seeing if there are cheaper options out there..!

Ok so this is the journey details:

From Manchester to preferably Ashford Surrey (but if cheaper/easier, then to either Staines or Feltham)

Leaving either Friday evening 25th May or Saturday morning 26th May (but then would need to arrive before 1pm!)

Returning anytime on Sunday 27th May.

Now the tricky bit:

If it's cheaper to travel Manchester to Chelmsford, going that same Friday evening and returning that same Sunday anytime, then I would do that instead. It all depends on price.

Well there we go, I apologise that it's a bit confusing! I used to do the Manchester to Chelmsford journey a fair bit and always ending up paying £60-70...

Any help very gratefully received! :)
 
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SickyNicky

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Hi.

Are you just looking for the cheapest possible price, or do you want to go the fastest way?

For example, the price comes down a lot if you don't mind using the slow London Midland trains, and it comes down a bit if you'll use the excellent Chiltern Mainline services, all of which are slower than using Virgin.

The same applies for the Chelmsford trains. Are you prepared to take a longer and slower route across country rather than through London?
 

martin2345uk

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Sorry guys forgot those details!!
No railcards of any type, and if slower trains are a fair bit cheaper then would happily give them a go! I'll try anything once! :)
 

SickyNicky

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It's possible to save £15 by splitting and using London Midland. That's not much of a saving for a very slow journey. I don't think I would bother - I would just buy the full price ticket.

The problem is the final leg from London to Ashford (or Feltham or Staines). That's expensive because you can't buy a period return, so you end with two singles.

Have you investigated advance tickets? They start from £16 each way on that route.

Edit: For the Chelmsford ticket the same applies. The route via Peterborough and Ely is more expensive than the £81.90 off peak ticket via London. Again, I suggest you look for advance tickets, which are good value on the route via London.
 
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SickyNicky

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Thanks... Where would you see advance singles? On virgin's website..?
Yes - although I prefer ones that are powered by WebTIS such as eastcoast.co.uk or londonmidland.co.uk

Just put in your origin and destination, the date and approx time you want to travel and look at the prices it offers. Try some different dates to get an idea of the spread of prices. As a rule, the further in advance you book the more likely you are to get the best fares. The maximum you can book ahead is around 12 weeks.
 
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