Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
durangokid

Help with train information Dover to Edinburgh

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Hi.  We will be doing a TA from NYC to Dover in June of 2020.  After that we will be going to Edinburgh and staying for a week.  I am trying to understand the rail system.  I see we can get the train at Dover Priory Station and end at Waverly in Edinburgh with changing trains and stations in London (St Pancras switching to Kings Cross Station).   I see first class seats include meals and beverages and there is food (buffet?) available on the train.  Does anyone know how much the food/drink is and if it is worth the difference in seating to pay for First Class?  I know I cannot buy tickets until about 3 months out so that will be the last thing I arrange for this trip.  This is the "trip of a lifetime" to celebrate our 50th anniversary so trying to get all my ducks in a row as early as I can.  Thanks in advance for any help!

 

(Edited to put more information in topic title)

Edited by durangokid

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

;The High Speed train from Dover to St Pancras then walk across the square to Kings Cross (literally about 2 minutes). If you can, treat yourself to first class (book as far in advance as permitted to get the best deal) as you'll be on a long journey and have more space, free meals & tea/coffee, free wifi and, if you have time, access to the first class lounge at Kings Cross. It's normally cheaper to have first class on a weekend, but if you're not travelling then, be sure to book 'off peak'. I used to use this train at least twice a month (when it was Virgin) for business and enjoyed the first class. There is a buffet car as well but it's only to buy take aways, not to sit down, so you eat at your seats. So, for a 'trip of a lifetime', I'd go first class!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

For shorter journeys like the Dover to St Pancras leg, First class may not be worth the extra unless there are bargain fares on offer.

 

Southeastern https://www.southeasternrailway.co.uk/dover operate the Dover/London service and a quick look at their website shows a huge difference between a pre-booked fixed time ticket and an anytime first class (£10 - £60). Book a time soon after 10am and you should have no trouble catching the train.

 

LNER  https://www.lner.co.uk/the-east-coast-experience/ operate the service to Edinburgh and they do offer bargains in first class at weekends; with over four hours on the train, first class is well worth the extra I think.. It's well worth exploring their website and signing up for travel alerts etc. I see that they " now release our lowest fares up to 24 weeks in advance on selected routes." so you need to keep checking. Again, a fixed time ticket is cheaper and if you allow an hour or so between trains (you do have a nice lounge for 1st class) you will have no pressure.

 

You can book through third parties like the trainline etc, but I would recommend that you book direct with the operators.

Edited by Bob++

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Thank you for the quick replies!  More information to check on.    Although the TA is 16 days we are packing light so not a lot of luggage to tote between stations.  (Carnival Platinum so free laundry and also self-service machines.)   🙂

Edited by durangokid

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BTW, there is no first class on the High Speed train from Dover to St Pancras and you can't book seats. And definitely not worth booking first class on the 'slow' train from Dover (which doesn't go to St Pancras anyway).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its often cheaper to book the two sections separately.  You don't actually have to book the Dover / London portion in advance but if you play on the train line website you will usually find it cheaper to pay a walk up price for the section into London and then the pre book price for the next stage.

 

If you really want to make an experience of it (and of course if that sort of thing floats your boat!) Book the sleeper to Edinburgh.  I occasionally travel to Scotland for work and I would very much prefer the  sleeper (first class -  don;t end up sitting up in an airline type seat!!)  It does take longer -usually 6 -8 hours from the 4 and a bit the high speed takes.  But I love the experience.  And you get to spend the day in London too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, GastroGnome said:

If you really want to make an experience of it (and of course if that sort of thing floats your boat!) Book the sleeper to Edinburgh.  I occasionally travel to Scotland for work and I would very much prefer the  sleeper (first class -  don;t end up sitting up in an airline type seat!!)  It does take longer -usually 6 -8 hours from the 4 and a bit the high speed takes.  But I love the experience.  And you get to spend the day in London too.

 

That is something to consider although we have already booked an apartment in Edinburgh through VRBO so really would like to get there sooner than later.  🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, GastroGnome said:

Its often cheaper to book the two sections separately.  You don't actually have to book the Dover / London portion in advance but if you play on the train line website you will usually find it cheaper to pay a walk up price for the section into London and then the pre book price for the next stage.

 

Are there any disadvantages to doing this? For example, what are the rules if the Dover-London train is late so that you miss the London-Edinburgh train? If you've bought a cheap Advance fare for London-Edinburgh, doesn't this mean that you lose your ticket and you have to buy a new ticket at a walk-up fare for the next available train?

 

Some may think it worth taking that risk, but it's better to choose to take a risk from a well-informed position. Cheapest isn't always best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Technically the national delay repay scheme allows you to claim if the late running of one franchise causes you to miss the service on another.  Certainly if you live in the UK it works fine  - other than that you have missed your train obviously.  But I have no idea how that works if you don't have a UK bank account.  Booking in advance has no impact.  If the train doesn't run then it doesn't run - whether you have booked on it or not. 

 

There is no limit to the number of people on a train - especially not a commuter service like Southampton to London.  You can't book seats (other than in first class and not always then) and you may well find yourself standing all the way to London. That is the case whether you have booked in advance or not.

 

If you book ultra cheap specified service only longer distance trains you do take a risk.  But if you are traveling off peak most tickets will be acceptable on the next service.  This is not the case for peak times. You can still get on a peak time train with an off peak ticket - but you will have to pay a surcharge.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the OP leaves a reasonable time for the transfer at St Pancras - Kings Cross, they should not be in any difficulty. I would want at least an hour, even though it's only a short walk. If they are 1st Class, they will have a nice lounge to wait in anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 4/9/2019 at 10:15 AM, Bob++ said:

 

 

LNER  https://www.lner.co.uk/the-east-coast-experience/ operate the service to Edinburgh and they do offer bargains in first class at weekends; with over four hours on the train, first class is well worth the extra I think.. It's well worth exploring their website and signing up for travel alerts etc. I see that they " now release our lowest fares up to 24 weeks in advance on selected routes." so you need to keep checking. Again, a fixed time ticket is cheaper and if you allow an hour or so between trains (you do have a nice lounge for 1st class) you will have no pressure.

 

 

Unfortunately they say that on their website but since ownership of the company has changed, the reality is that tickets on the Edinburgh-London line only seem to be available 12 weeks max in advance. I track tickets on this line constantly as I do the journey regularly and am currently hoping to book tickets for a journey in 18 weeks. They're only available till the end of June as I type this.

 

On 4/9/2019 at 8:32 PM, GastroGnome said:

If you really want to make an experience of it (and of course if that sort of thing floats your boat!) Book the sleeper to Edinburgh.  I occasionally travel to Scotland for work and I would very much prefer the  sleeper (first class -  don;t end up sitting up in an airline type seat!!)  It does take longer -usually 6 -8 hours from the 4 and a bit the high speed takes.  But I love the experience.  And you get to spend the day in London too.

 

I'm speechless! Would I rather travel during the day in a comfortable first class seat with lots of leg room being served by friendly staff; enjoy the stunning scenery fromYork onwards; spend the evening eating or dining in one of the most beautiful cities in the world followed by a long sleep in a comfortable bed; OR be cooped up in a tiny sleeping compartment. No brainer!!!!

 

Getting from St Pancras to KX only takes 5 minutes and I would 100% recommend you book this in 2 legs. It is in nearly all cases cheaper. I always allow a one hour 'cushion' in case the train is late. First class is definitely worth extra (within reason)  because the carriages are less crowded and quieter and you are served at your seat with a meal,  and coffees etc throughout the journey.  You're not just paying extra for the food.  And if you want any help planning your visit to Edinburgh durangokid, I'd be happy to help

Edited by tartanexile81

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If travelling from Edinburgh to London, is there one side of the train that would have better views?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The consensus is that the left side (facing forward) is better because it faces the coast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Bob++ said:

The consensus is that the left side (facing forward) is better because it faces the coast.

Since I wasn't sure of the route, I wasn't sure which coast it goes up. 😏

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, gnome12 said:

Since I wasn't sure of the route, I wasn't sure which coast it goes up. 😏

This is the East Coast line, so since Edinburgh to London is heading South, the coast is on the left.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Bob++ said:

This is the East Coast line, so since Edinburgh to London is heading South, the coast is on the left.

Again, thanks! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So London to Edinburgh the coast will be on the right!

 

i would always advise getting the tickets from one of the rail operators, in this case LNER as they will have the cheapest advance fares and most importantly no booking fees which you find on thetrainline etc. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Highpeaklad said:

So London to Edinburgh the coast will be on the right!

 

i would always advise getting the tickets from one of the rail operators, in this case LNER as they will have the cheapest advance fares and most importantly no booking fees which you find on thetrainline etc. 

loco2.com also has no booking fees. I've compared prices, and they are identical. I find it easier to deal with then the railway operator.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't spent a lot of time researching, but a quick sample booking for the end of June shows LNER to be a lot cheaper. I am guessing that loco2.com doesn't get the same bargain fares that you can get direct. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Bob++ said:

I haven't spent a lot of time researching, but a quick sample booking for the end of June shows LNER to be a lot cheaper. I am guessing that loco2.com doesn't get the same bargain fares that you can get direct. 

I just did a comparison of July 26, and I am seeing exactly the same bargain fares.

I will check both when the cheap fares become available for my date (which is still a bit up in the air). That should be within the next few days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Bob++ said:

I haven't spent a lot of time researching, but a quick sample booking for the end of June shows LNER to be a lot cheaper. I am guessing that loco2.com doesn't get the same bargain fares that you can get direct. 

 

Bob, loco2 should be pulling exactly the same ATOC fares data (including Advance and small group savers) as an individual TOC. As gnome12 says, they are the only third-party seller with no booking fees. 

 

Very interested to to see the search where you found a difference in fares as that would be quite a serious issue for them. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Cotswold Eagle said:

 

Bob, loco2 should be pulling exactly the same ATOC fares data (including Advance and small group savers) as an individual TOC. As gnome12 says, they are the only third-party seller with no booking fees. 

 

Very interested to to see the search where you found a difference in fares as that would be quite a serious issue for them. 

I'm waiting for Advance fares for July 30. Currently, July 26 is as far as they go. Just a few more days, and then I will probably "splurge" on first class, which is still less than an economy semi-flexible fare.

Edited by gnome12

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/6/2019 at 1:08 PM, gnome12 said:

I'm waiting for Advance fares for July 30. Currently, July 26 is as far as they go. Just a few more days, and then I will probably "splurge" on first class, which is still less than an economy semi-flexible fare.

Do they release dates in bunches? There is still nothing past July 26, and I'm looking for July 30.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, gnome12 said:

Do they release dates in bunches? There is still nothing past July 26, and I'm looking for July 30.

 

In the National Rail planner, there are caveats that the timetable for that week is not yet finalised because of possible engineering work, so they may be holding off opening reservations (which is when Advance fares go on sale). Keep checking! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com
      • Holiday Exchange - Jingle and Mingle 2019
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...