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York from London

by traveltime10 Online Now Nov 29, 2009 at 4:31 PM

Would like to spend a day or two in York in May, 2010.

What is the easiest way to get there from London? and to get back?

What is the best way to get around to see York once there?

Suggestion for a place to stay once there?

Thank you in advance- I'm really looking forward to the opportunity to visit York.

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16 Answers
  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Re: York from London

    by Dabs Online Now Nov 29, 2009 at 7:17 PM

    We took the train both times we went, it takes about 2 hours from London. I don't remember it being as expensive as I'm seeing it now, my notes say I paid £22 round trip in 2007 and the cheapest I can seem to find is more than double that!

    http://www.eastcoast.co.uk/

    You might also have a look at National Express and Megabus, they will be slower but cheaper.

    Once in York I walked everywhere, one thing I would highly recommend is the free walking tour of York that's given every day and the guided tour that is included in the price of admission to the York Minster

    york.touristguides.btinterne...

    http://70.86.220.251/visiting/what-to-see-and-do/free-guided-tours/

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: York from London

    by leics Online Now Nov 29, 2009 at 10:44 PM

    Fastest way is by train, cheapest by coach (long-distance bus).

    You will find all train times, details and fares on the official UK railway site here:

    www.nationalrail.co.uk

    Journey time is just under 2 hours, with no changes.

    Advance fares (if available...they are not available for all trains on all routes on all days) are cheaper (often much cheaper) and can be bought up to 6pm the night before travel. There is no limit on these, so you can just pop into the station and buy them when you are in London. Trains do not get full-up.

    Two one-way fares can be cheaper than a return fare, although you are then tied to specific departure times. Cheapest I saw when I looked for 3-5 Dec was 61GBP.

    www.nationalexprss.com is the main coach carrier.

    http://www.megabus.com/uk/ also run this route.

    It's best to book tickets ahead, because coaches do get full up.

    The best way to get around York is to walk. It's not a massive place and it would be daft to do anything else. But there are, of course, buses if you are staying far from the historical centre.

    There are lots of hotels/b&bs in York, but it would be a good idea to book well in advance....it can get extremely busy, especially when there are races, or when something is happening at the university. The official tourist information site lists all accommodation:

    http://www.visityork.org/accommodation/

    and has lots of other useful info. It's been too long since I stayed overnight for me to give a specific recommendation, sorry.

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: York from London

    by leics Online Now Nov 29, 2009 at 10:47 PM

    *
    www.nationalexpress.com

    Sorry for typo.

    Journey time 5+ hours, one-way fare 26.30GBP.

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  • hawkhead's Profile Photo

    Re: York from London

    by hawkhead Online Now Nov 30, 2009 at 1:42 AM

    Often special fares are advertised for specific destinations, and York is one of them. Recently I saw a London to York and back promotion for £10. However, if you look on the National Express website, you can see what the usual fares are - I will say that you can only book 120 days beforehand AND the promotional fares don't appear until then. We travel from Newark to London for £6.20 each way (this requires booking for a specific train and date, non transferable) but if you try and book before the 120 days, then the cheapest fare they show is something in the region of £32!! The National Express website is cheaper than the trainline website plus they give a 10% discount for online booking. The discount fares are not limitless, so it is advisable to book when you know the dates you are travelling. I will say that the number of discount fares is dictated by the number of seats on the train as you need to reserve a seat (no cost), so for a busy period the seats will sell out well in advance.

    The only way to get around York is by foot!

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  • hawkhead's Profile Photo

    Re: York from London

    by hawkhead Online Now Nov 30, 2009 at 1:45 AM

    Just to avoid confusion, the National Express website I referred to is for the train. NE do not have the franchise any more but the website is still the way to book!

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  • colin_bramso's Profile Photo

    Re: York from London

    by colin_bramso Online Now Nov 30, 2009 at 4:03 AM

    The easiest way would be train, although that can be anything from cheap to expensive. Prices vary depending on all sorts of things and it can be confusing trying to get the lowest fare. Last summer the people giving us a ride to York had to cancel the day before we were due to leave and the cheapest fare we could get was 'Super Off Peak' at £76 return!

    The best way to see the city and its attractions is on foot.

    Where to stay depends on budget - the Hilton is in a good location if that's within budget.

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  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Re: York from London

    by Dabs Online Now Nov 30, 2009 at 7:20 AM

    On here with a random date in January I was able to find £21 one way and £14.60 the other, I imagine that £14.60 x 2 is the lowest non promotional fare that you'll find but you'll likely have to book in advance. Make you check the "singles may be cheaper" section if it comes up, I got different screens when I tried it. Look at the rules for the fares, in the past when I've booked cheap tickets in advance I was obligated to take the specific train that I booked, you can't take an earlier or later train without penalty

    http://www.thetrainline.com/buytickets/?

    I also notice that they have Eurostar fares on this site as low as £59, maybe you can book from here instead of Eurostar for your London-Paris trip

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: York from London

    by leics Online Now Nov 30, 2009 at 9:56 AM

    I'm not sure thetrainline will sell you the UK-priced Eurostar ticket (59GBP is the basic cheapest UK return fare, btw, not a special price). Actually, I'm not 100% sure they sell tickets abroad at all......as far as I know they post them to you, within the UK.

    They may have changed their practice since the last time I investigated.

    Yes, when you buy cheap advance single tickets they do tie you to a particular train time, and you will have to pay more if you want to change the time or miss the train.

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  • hawkhead's Profile Photo

    Re: York from London

    by hawkhead Online Now Nov 30, 2009 at 10:18 AM

    nope, trainline doesn't sell tickets for other than UK trains - I was going on the facgt that they wanted to spend a day or two in York.

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: York from London

    by leics Online Now Nov 30, 2009 at 10:30 AM

    Do they still only post the tickets to you, or have they brought in e-tickets now?

    Mind you, it would be just as easy for the OP to nip into York station and buy the cheap advance tickets before 6pm.

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: York from London

    by leics Online Now Nov 30, 2009 at 10:31 AM

    Not for the Eurostar, obviously.

    Booking online is the only way to get cheap tickets for that, and they won't be as cheap as those available to UK residents. Sorry.

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  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Re: York from London

    by Dabs Online Now Nov 30, 2009 at 10:41 AM

    The trainline website flips you over to Eurostar, I can't go past the point of putting in my credit card since I don't want to buy a ticket but up to that point I was finding the £59 round trip fare without having to declare my nationality.

    For the York leg, I have booked the cheaper fares in advance for both York and Bath using a US based credit card and have picked up the tickets at the train station on the day of travel by going to a machine and putting in a confirmation number (or maybe it was scanning a credit card). It might not have been on the Trainline site, I really don't remember if it was that site, Nationalrail or the actual train site (First Great Western etc). You might have to give them a UK address at some point, I think I gave them my hotel post code at some point but they did not require the tickets to be posted.

    I don't think I would wait until you get to London, the tickets always seem to be much more expensive when you buy 2 or 3 days in advance.

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  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Re: York from London

    by Dabs Online Now Nov 30, 2009 at 10:46 AM

    PS I would love it if you would post back and let me know if you are able to book the £59 fare once you get within the period where tickets at that price point are up for sale :-)

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: York from London

    by leics Online Now Nov 30, 2009 at 10:50 AM

    There may be some cheaper well-in-advance fares offered as special deals by some rail companies on occasion.

    The ordinary cheap advance fares really are available up to 6pm the night before travel. They are not available on all trains on all routes on all days, but they are not limited in availability when they are available (if that makes sense?).

    The fast-ticket machines are available in major stations now. I think you may have put in a code rather than used your card..machines are not happy with non-chip cards. But the card would be used by the ticket office if the machine would not work for you, so it is essential to bring it with you.

    I am not surprised thetrainline took you to Eurostar. I think you might well have found that the UK price was not actually available once you began booking..but there is no way I can find that out, obviously. I am just going from the experience of other US posters on the forums.

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: York from London

    by leics Online Now Nov 30, 2009 at 10:51 AM

    And if the OP does manage to book the 59GBP fare, then I'd like to know as well.....many US posters have, it seems, not been able to manage it up to now.

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  • Britannia2's Profile Photo

    Re: York from London

    by Britannia2 Online Now Nov 30, 2009 at 12:08 PM

    If you look at the VT pages (including mine) on York most mention the open top bus tours. You could use this as a way of getting around and you can get off the bus and then back on again and continue the circular journey.
    The river trips are quite good too if you have the time. There are dozens of tips here on VT - you will love York.

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