Train times and tickets

Look up UK train times
Get train times for any journey on Britain’s national rail network.
A couple on the train
Get train times from Europe
Plan a trip from mainland Europe to the UK.
Train on a platform in the Netherlands

Buying tickets


Map showing a train journey from London to North Wales

Longer UK journeys

For longer UK journeys (over 50 miles / 80 km as a rough guide), save money by booking tickets before you travel. Cheap tickets are available up to 12 weeks in advance, sometimes even earlier, and may sell out closer to the date of travel.

How to buy

Look up prices on the National Rail Enquiries website. The orange ‘Buy now’ button will take you to the rail operator’s website to complete your purchase. You can do this from outside the UK - rail operators accept overseas credit cards. Consider buying a railcard to get a third off some journeys.

Collecting your tickets

You can collect from any station that has a ticket machine (check facilities for your station on the National Rail Enquiries website). Take the debit or credit card with you that you used to purchase your ticket. The machine will ask you for this as identification. Another option is to have tickets posted to you for an additional fee. Print-at-home or e-tickets may also be available.

Get more tips

Map showing a short journey from London

Short UK journeys

For short UK journeys (under 50 miles / 80 km as a rough guide), it is fine to buy your tickets on the day of travel. There is usually no cost saving if you book in advance.

If your departing station has a ticket office or ticket machine, then you must buy your ticket before you board the train. If you are departing from a smaller station that does not have these facilities, buy your ticket on the train from the guard. Look up the facilities at your station on the National Rail Enquiries website.

Map showing example train routes to the UK from Europe

Journeys from Europe to the UK

Visiting the UK by train is a great way to avoid the hassle of airports, and is much more environmentally friendly than flying. Look up train times and buy tickets:

  • Loco2 - book from any station in France, Germany, Spain or Italy to any station in the UK.
  • Trainline.eu - book from any station in other EU countries to London only.
  • Eurostar - book from Eurostar destinations to London (available up to six months in advance).

 
Could you save money with a railcard or Britrail pass?
Depending on the number and length of journeys that you will be taking, you may be able to save money with a railcard, Rover ticket or Britrail pass.

Common ticket types in the UK

The simplest way to get the best fare is to enter your journey details at National Rail Enquiries. This will automatically show you the cheapest available tickets.

Off-Peak Day Return

Valid after the morning commuter peak. If you hope to depart around 09 00, look up your journey on National Rail Enquiries to see which departures qualify as Off-Peak. You must return the same day.

Off-Peak Return

Valid after the morning commuter peak. If you hope to depart around 09 00, look up your journey on National Rail Enquiries to see which departures qualify as Off-Peak. Return on an Off-Peak train within one calendar month.

Super Off-Peak Day Return

Only available at the quietest times of day, and are only available on some routes. Look up your journey on National Rail Enquiries to check availability.

Anytime Day Return

No time restriction on your outward journey, meaning you can travel in the morning peak if desired. These tickets are usually more expensive. You must return the same day.

Find out more about all of these types of tickets (and more) on the National Rail Enquiries tickets page.


All travel advice on Scenic Rail Britain is provided in good faith. Fares and rules are subject to change. Scenic Rail Britain cannot take responsibility for any errors. Always research your journey carefully to get the best possible fare.

More advice on planning your trip

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