The small price of a walk….part 3

Following on from the recent price rises for train travel and my posts on travel costs, I decided to do a little comparison exercise. Picking a long distance journey for a potential trip to Scotland, I looked at the main options for travel and costed them. As well as that I also looked at the relative time of travel for each option.

The journey is from my hometown in South Wales to Aviemore which I have looked at before as a potential trip. Its all subjective as to when you travel, how far in advance you book the tickets and also how much time you are going to invest in finding the absolute optimum route! To make it easier on myself I used the website to give me all the options. I could spend days just looking at various options but this website is a pretty good starting point. The travel time is 2 months hence from a Thursday to a Monday.


Well this was a minefield of choices so I went for the cheapest option

cost = £198.60

time of travel = 10 hours 50 mins

no of changes = 3

Time of departure = in this instance 10.25 in the morning


Again the cheapest and simplest option was chosen

cost = £134.40

time of travel = 14 hours 59 mins

no of changes = 3

Time of departure = in this instance 06.51 in the morning


cost of petrol = £120 approx (not including wear and tear!)

time of travel = 9 hours 2 minsno. of changes = none

Time of departure = flexible


cost of flight and associated connections/parking = £82.70

time of travel = 6 hours 30 mins

no. of changes = 2

Time of departure = 08.00

As suspected from my earlier post the cheapest, and as it turns out quickest, option is to fly (with associated transport to and from the airports). The most expensive, again as suspected, is the train (if I had chosen 1st class the train would have been a staggering £640!). The most flexible and a reasonable cost was of course the car.

So, although no great surprises, it just highlights the huge costs associated with train travel in the UK. This is a real shame as I really enjoy train travel (as opposed to bus and to a certain extent the plane). So when I eventually do manage to get up to Scotland (2012 would be nice), I would go by car or plane

The not so small price of a walk……


About Saddlebags and Backpacks - a brewer's outdoor adventures

I am a keen hiker, camper, cyclist and general all round gear addict..... I also manage to be a professional brewer in my non-spare time :->
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2 Responses to The small price of a walk….part 3

  1. Blogger Zed says:

    Wild camping is fairly inexpensive, fortunately.

    Whoops! Now you’ll probably work out the real cost of sleeping out on the hills and tell me I can’t afford it.

    In 1986, it was the return train fare to Aviemore which led to my learning to drive – to the very great delight of all who knew me as they no longer had to put up with a sweaty cyclist.

    Last summer, I spent two days, sitting at Kirkwall Airport, waiting for a flight – any flight – to Papa Westray and / or North Ronaldsay. Fog. I gave up and drove on to the ferry for Sanday. No problems and a great island. Planes may be cheap, but they aren’t to be relied on, it seems to me. I know they usually get through, but when you really need them…

    • backpackbrewer says:


      the more remote a destination within the UK, the more likely that the car is going to be the best option. For start points/destinations close to the airport, planes are pretty good. I am just so downhearted that trains are so expensive. If they were the same price as the car I would use the train all the time. So overall the best and balanced option is the car but I am sure others may disagree

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