Travelling to a walk – bargains are there to be had

I did muse and mooch over the price of getting to and from a walk thats not on your doorstep last year. Trains came out the worst in terms of cost effectiveness but then a quick look over the weekend made me reconsider. It all came about when I was looking to see if I could get down to either Dartmoor or Exmoor by train instead of the car. Having gone down to one car, its not always possible to drive to a walk now, especially a weekend involving camping. So, looking at the internet I was surprised at how cheap I could get down to the West Country if I was prepared to go at certain off peak times.

Case in point, I wanted to see if I could get to Exmoor next month by train and if so how much would it cost. Its not as easy as you think and yet when I had finished the exercise I was quite pleased. A train from my home town in South Wales to Taunton, then a bus ride to Bishops Lydeard, then a jaunt on the West Somerset Railway to Minehead. Alight here and walk along the McMillan Way for 35 miles to Barnstaple (including camping along the way of course!). Catch the train from Barnstaple all the way back to South Wales (via Exeter). Cost? £30 all in

Bargain

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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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14 Responses to Travelling to a walk – bargains are there to be had

  1. llendorin says:

    That’s not bad at all! That’s how much it’s costing me to get the train from Edinburgh to Fort William, one way, next Thursday!

    • backpackbrewer says:

      It really all depends on the route, the time of day and the service provider.

      I looked at going from Newport to Manchester on the train and then a similar distance for going from Newport to London

      £60 more expensive for a return to London

      ridiculous

  2. hillplodder says:

    Interesting, that must be seriously off-peak given that it includes bus fares too. Another way I’ve found of reducing the cost is to look at breaking your journey down into segments as sometimes that can be cheaper for the same actual journey. Quite often I get several separate tickets for a journey from Essex to the Lakes when I could just get one all-in return. On a linear route when starting and finishing in different places, I’ve even been known to get a return to one of them and a single between them which is usually cheaper than a pair of singles from home to/from each. You have to be prepared to play around a bit to get the best (or rather least worst) fare.

    • backpackbrewer says:

      Yes, completely agree. Often splitting up the journey makes it cheaper. Its to do with the different rail operators and the zoning for pricing
      Just booked a rrail ticket to Manchester from Newport for next week – £17 return!
      The tickets for my Exmoor jaunt were silly. The journey down was something like £6 for a single from Newport to Taunton

  3. dexey says:

    and 30% of that with a Senior Rail card :0)

    • backpackbrewer says:

      If you have one 😦

      • dexey says:

        Ah well, it comes with the penalty of aches and pains, but I’ve just done West Mids to Kent and back for £35 including a 1st class upgrade on the way back.
        To Conwy and back a couple of weeks ago was only £16.
        It’s something for you to look forward to! :0)

  4. Richie says:

    You could get a family rail card for about £20 and that saves at least a third off your travel too. Ok, it does mean you need to have a child with you, but my 13 year old daughter is aching to do more walks and camps with me so the £20 should more than pay for itself. You can also have as many adults (not just family) travel at reduced price too.
    I’m a regular visitor to Haytor in Dartmoor and I usually drive as the wife has a company fuel card so we don’t pay for the fuel, but as I’ve just invested in a 100LTR Snugpak bergen the train is now an option. That way, I don’t end up as nominated driver when I’m there!
    Martin Lewis’s web site gives tips on cheaper rail fare too, but most of them have been covered above.

    • backpackbrewer says:

      thanks Richie,

      didnt realise the family railcard was still going and thats a good price. Possibly could get my daughter to come long with me….
      I just fancy doing the odd trip by train if its at all possible. Scotland isnt an option its just too expensive

      • Ian Barton says:

        Railcards are well worth having if you have children. Scotland by rail would be great if they got the price right. A couple of years ago I thought it would be good to take the family on the sleeper from Crewe to Fort Bill. Even with a railcard and juggling times and dates it was more than double the cost of driving.

        • backpackbrewer says:

          ouch and we really ought to be encouraging people to take the train. Thats the worrying thing, when the pricing is completely wrong

          • Ian Barton says:

            The whole pricing structure is completely insane. Anne had spent a lot of today buying a return ticket to London. For the same simple journey Crewe->Euston, prices vary vastly if you choose a return, two singles, or a series of singles to stations along the route, which is the opposite of what you would expect.

          • backpackbrewer says:

            been there, done that…

            utter nuts that you have to trawl through the interweb looking to split journeys to ensure you dont get ripped off by one rail network or another

            nightmare

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