Trivia: Longest Double Decker bus routes in the UK

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mangyiscute

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I love taking a long-distance double-decker bus through the open countryside, and I've been on a couple of routes like the First Excel which can be around 3 hours, which are really enjoyable. I was just wondering if we could collate a list of bus routes where you can usually get a double-decker (something like the 685 would be fine since the stagecoach ones are double-deckers even though the arriva ones aren't).

I was thinking there could be two sections too - longest time and longest distance.

For the longest time, I think maybe the X18 from Newcastle to Berwick at around 4 hours and the longest distance I'm sure the First Excel I mentioned earlier is going to be up there.
 
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northern506

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The 555 Stagecoach Cumbria route from Keswick to Lancaster must be up there - think it takes around three hours end to end, with spectacular views from Windermere to Keswick.
 

GusB

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Elgin - Aberdeen on Service 35

It's 3h47m according to Google Maps, and a distance of 83 miles, ish. Usually operated by ADL Enviro 400s.
 

Brooke

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The various Yorkshire Coastliner legs - about three hours Leeds to Scarboro, and closer to four hours normally with a change to get to Whitby. Both have good scenery but Whitby best in my opinion.
 

TheGrandWazoo

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The various Yorkshire Coastliner legs - about three hours Leeds to Scarboro, and closer to four hours normally with a change to get to Whitby. Both have good scenery but Whitby best in my opinion.
Both the runs to Whitby and Bridlington are c.3.5 hrs from Leeds in normal times but journeys are a little different at the moment.
 

route101

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Taken the Berwick to Newcastle via coast, I think X18. I have also taken the 35 from Elgin to Aberdeen. Never get bored despite the length.
 

NorthOxonian

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The X93/X94 between Middlesbrough and Scarborough is another epic run - about two and a half hours with much of this over gorgeous moorland. There used to be services which went even further (Newcastle/Durham - Scarborough), but these haven't been around for a few years now.

The X4 is another long service - it starts from Peterborough (like the Excel) but heads west, taking in most of the main towns of Northamptonshire. It's not exactly scenic but definitely ticks the length box at just under three hours. It used to continue to Milton Keynes but no longer does so.

Generally there seem to be relatively few properly long routes down south, because the population density is higher and towns tend to be closer together. I checked a few candidates and most were two hours at best. Route 3 on the Isle of Wight is a fairly decent shout though - it's getting up towards two hours but gives a really good tour around the island - it's in a sort of boomerang shape which takes in nearly all of the towns.

I'm sure we've been over this before - but I can't find it now.
I suppose one difference is that this specifies double deckers - so coach routes like the X5 from Oxford to Cambridge, and long single decker routes like the D1 from Bath to Salisbury are out.
 

GusB

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I'm sure we've been over this before - but I can't find it now.
I also thought there was a similar thread. If anyone finds it, copy the link and report this post and I'll merge the two.
 

Jan Mayen

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I think Metrobus 291 Crawley to Tunbridge Wells has been a double decker, but I haven't been on it for some months. It more or less follows the old Three Bridges - East Grinstead - Tunbridge line.

Not as long as those mentioned above, but one of the longest that I'm aware of in the South East (not that I have a great knowledge of such routes!)
 

RELL6L

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There’s the Excel between Norwich and Peterborough which is about 3 hours-and was longer when it went through to Lowestoft.

The T3 in Wales is part double deck and also getting on for 3 hours.

I have seen a double decker on the T2 between Bangor and Aberystwyth but I don’t think it’s regular.

Going back when the X53 ran from Exeter to Poole -or was it Bournemouth- it was incredibly long. Also when the Coastliner 700 ran all the way from Brighton to Portsmouth that was long.
 

SeveerYeliab

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Stagecoach South East 102 takes about 2 and a half hours if you get the Dover - Rye. A great run, especially along the marshes and around Dungeness. It used to run through at Rye as a 100/101 and continue to Hastings, adding about another 90ish mins on. Allocated E400mmc, but it seems any decker can appear on it, longest I can think of in the south east, especially now the Hastings - Ashford - Canterbury through workings have gone from the 1/2.
 

RustySpoons

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The various Yorkshire Coastliner legs - about three hours Leeds to Scarboro, and closer to four hours normally with a change to get to Whitby. Both have good scenery but Whitby best in my opinion.

This was the first to spring to my mind too, but checked and was surprised there isn't a direct bus through to Whitby. Is this just due to the covid timetable?
 

NorthOxonian

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This was the first to spring to my mind too, but checked and was surprised there isn't a direct bus through to Whitby. Is this just due to the covid timetable?
Yes - a more normal timetable has a through service every two hours, with half of the services terminating at Thornton-le-Dale just east of Pickering. It can take well over three hours - the 0700 weekday departure from Leeds reaches Whitby at 1040!
 

TechDan2002

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A1/3/2 (soon to be Lands End Coaster) in Cornwall has to be a contender, a 3 hour 40 minutes circuit around the coast serving Penzance, St Ives, St Just and Lands End
 

Ridercross

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There’s the Excel between Norwich and Peterborough which is about 3 hours-and was longer when it went through to Lowestoft.

The T3 in Wales is part double deck and also getting on for 3 hours.

I have seen a double decker on the T2 between Bangor and Aberystwyth but I don’t think it’s regular.

Going back when the X53 ran from Exeter to Poole -or was it Bournemouth- it was incredibly long. Also when the Coastliner 700 ran all the way from Brighton to Portsmouth that was long.

It might not be as long as the X53, but the 9A between Exeter and Lyme Regis is still a tad over two hours and is a very scenic double deck route.
 

Hophead

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Likewise, TfL's X26 (West Croydon - Heathrow Central) might not be the longest by distance, but is scheduled for as much as 2 hours 20 minutes (and just 1 hour 17 at the quietest times). Having never travelled the route end-to-end, I am unable to offer an opinion as to its scenic value.
 

NorthOxonian

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Likewise, TfL's X26 (West Croydon - Heathrow Central) might not be the longest by distance, but is scheduled for as much as 2 hours 20 minutes (and just 1 hour 17 at the quietest times). Having never travelled the route end-to-end, I am unable to offer an opinion as to its scenic value.
If you like 1930s suburbia, it's heaven. If you don't, it's not.
 

30907

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Likewise, TfL's X26 (West Croydon - Heathrow Central) might not be the longest by distance, but is scheduled for as much as 2 hours 20 minutes (and just 1 hour 17 at the quietest times). Having never travelled the route end-to-end, I am unable to offer an opinion as to its scenic value.
Pretty much zilch, apart from the Thames at Kingston - I have a vague memory of a pleasant village centre at Carshalton, but it's almost 50 years since I was on the old 725/726 (which at least went via Hampton Court but was single deck - Gravesend to Windsor was a good length though).
 

Robertj21a

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There’s the Excel between Norwich and Peterborough which is about 3 hours-and was longer when it went through to Lowestoft.

The T3 in Wales is part double deck and also getting on for 3 hours.

I have seen a double decker on the T2 between Bangor and Aberystwyth but I don’t think it’s regular.

Going back when the X53 ran from Exeter to Poole -or was it Bournemouth- it was incredibly long. Also when the Coastliner 700 ran all the way from Brighton to Portsmouth that was long.

The original 31 (later 700) from Brighton to Southsea was a 4 hour trip, at 15 mins frequency - all double deckers.
 

route101

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Zakforbes4

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My regular route, half singles on the route now. Better if you get a decker low height e400. Its actually a good route to do if you want to see a good swath of Glasgow. You will see New Town, Green Belt, posh suburbia, leafy Southside, Southside and West End before Clydebank.
Yeah It's a nice route I done the full route before covid
 

Mike99

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Stagecoach South East 102 takes about 2 and a half hours if you get the Dover - Rye. A great run, especially along the marshes and around Dungeness. It used to run through at Rye as a 100/101 and continue to Hastings, adding about another 90ish mins on. Allocated E400mmc, but it seems any decker can appear on it, longest I can think of in the south east, especially now the Hastings - Ashford - Canterbury through workings have gone from the 1/2.
I was a driver at Siverhill depot Hastings, c late 1990's we had duties on the then 711 to Dover and Brighton. A duty we had was to Brighton back to Eastbourne and then Eastbourne, Brighton and back (back to Rye) on a Sunday. we also had a duty Hastings to Eastbourne, Eastbourne to Dover, then Dover to Hastings.

On what was then the 400 we had duties that included working to Canterbury back to Ashford, and then Canterbury and back to Ashford then lastly from Ashford to Canterbury and return to Hastings a full 11 hours including 2 breaks at Ashford. Also a duty that went from Silverhill to Ashford then, Ashford through to Eastbourne and back to Hastings.

Dover, Silverhill and Eastbourne worked the 711, Eastbourne, Silverhill and Ashford worked the 400
 

Statto

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Pretty much zilch, apart from the Thames at Kingston - I have a vague memory of a pleasant village centre at Carshalton, but it's almost 50 years since I was on the old 725/726 (which at least went via Hampton Court but was single deck - Gravesend to Windsor was a good length though).

I have done the X26 a couple of times end to end when i visited London before lockdown, & Carshalton is the scenic part of the route, but other than going around the perimeter of Heathrow not much to shout about.
 

RM-Taylor

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The X93/X94 between Middlesbrough and Scarborough is another epic run - about two and a half hours with much of this over gorgeous moorland. There used to be services which went even further (Newcastle/Durham - Scarborough), but these haven't been around for a few years now.

The X4 is another long service - it starts from Peterborough (like the Excel) but heads west, taking in most of the main towns of Northamptonshire. It's not exactly scenic but definitely ticks the length box at just under three hours. It used to continue to Milton Keynes but no longer does so.

Generally there seem to be relatively few properly long routes down south, because the population density is higher and towns tend to be closer together. I checked a few candidates and most were two hours at best. Route 3 on the Isle of Wight is a fairly decent shout though - it's getting up towards two hours but gives a really good tour around the island - it's in a sort of boomerang shape which takes in nearly all of the towns.


I suppose one difference is that this specifies double deckers - so coach routes like the X5 from Oxford to Cambridge, and long single decker routes like the D1 from Bath to Salisbury are out.
GNE are running Newcastle to Scarborough from 17 April although this will be a coach service
 

Wyrleybart

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Jurrasic Coaster routes?
I am planning to do the Vectis "Island Coaster" I think it is called when I go to Isle of Wight in September. The full journey in the morning is clockwise Ryde, Sandown, Shanklin, Ventnor etc to Yarmouth. The afternoon journey returns anti clockwise along the same route.


The Vectis buses I saw last year were always immaculate and mostly Enviro 400s, with a handful of Scanias. Not sure what they use for open top serrvices.

No idea of mileage but it looks fantastic from the upper deck
 
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