Explore Great Britain by rail
The great thing about Great Britain is that its major cities are relatively close by each other, making it the perfect destination for a week-long holiday! With over 2,500 stations servicing under the BritRail Pass, travellers are given the freedom to see as much of Britain as they want, and at their own pace. Not only is train travel incredibly efficient in Britain, it also offers amazing sceneries that will leave any traveller in awe of the country’s beauty!
What is a BritRail Pass?
The BritRail Pass is a range of railway passes that allow passengers to travel throughout England, Scotland, and Wales. This pass is also applicable to use for any National Rail Network services within the bounds of the specific BritRail Pass purchased. For seamless travels, the BritRail Pass is also accepted on all airport transits, such as the Heathrow Express, Gatwick Express, and Stansted Express.
The BritRail Pass is also valid for use in sleeper or night trains such as Caledonian and Night Riviera. These sleeper trains are perfect for getting the most of your journey while saving big on accommodation funds!
Travellers coming into Great Britain will surely get the value for their money with the BritRail pass. So if you’re planning on seeing more of Britain apart from London and its neighboring cities, the BritRail Pass is definitely the most cost-efficient choice! Not only will you have the liberty to travel at your own pace, but you can also make the most out of your stay in Great Britain.
Types of BritRail Passes
Passengers traveling to Great Britain can freely plan their travels with the different types of BritRail Passes. Once travellers have mapped out their points of interest in the country, they can plot their entire trip using the BritRail Map, which will help in deciding which of the 7 BritRail Passes is most suitable for their journey.
7 Types of BritRail Passes
- Original BritRail Pass
- BritRail England Pass
- BritRail London Plus Pass
- BritRail Spirit of Scotland Pass
- BritRail Central Scotland Pass
- BritRail Scottish Highlands Pass
- BritRail South West Pass
Consecutive or Flexipass BritRail Pass
All BritRail passes are available in a variety of durations to fit any itinerary. Passengers who are traveling continuously for several days can avail of the Consecutive Pass, which allows 3 days to 1 month of consecutive travel.
For a more flexible option, passengers can opt to purchase the Flexipass, which allows 3 days to 15 travel days within one month. This is perfect for more spontaneous or relaxed trips!
How to use your BritRail Pass
Before your trip
Before departing your home country, make sure to map out your UK itinerary and purchase the most suitable BritRail pass for your trip. These passes are not available in Britain, so in order to spend less on your holiday, make sure to secure these passes beforehand!
It is also important to note that the BritRail Pass is only purchasable by non-UK residents. Anyone who has lived in the UK in the last six months is not eligible to purchase this pass.
Activate your BritRail Pass
Upon purchase, all BritRail Passes are open dated up to 11 months. When you’re ready to activate your BritRail Pass, all you need to do is to present the pass along with your passport at the railway station’s office from which you’re departing from. Once this is done, the first and last valid dates of your pass should be issued and signed. Flexipass passengers are required to enter the date of each travel day before boarding the train.
BritRail Pass holders are entitled to unlimited train travel within the hours of 00:00 to 24:00 of each day. If passengers are boarding a night train or sleeper train, the date issued on their pass cards should be the next day’s date.
BritRail Seat Reservations
Passengers do not need to reserve train seats prior their trip, however, it is advised to make reservations before boarding long haul train rides and during peak hours.
BritRail Pass passengers are entitled to First Class or Standard Class seats for the ultimate comfort while traveling! However, it is important to note that not all railway services throughout Great Britain offer First Class seats. In this event, pass holders can choose from available Standard Class seats.
Eligibility for Discounts under the BritRail Pass:
The BritRail Pass offers several discounts for youth (16 to 25 years old), seniors (60 years old and above), and children (5 to 15 years old). If you’re traveling in a group of 3 to 9 people, you’re eligible for a Saver Pass, which allows you 20% off each pass! Just make sure to bring valid IDs to present prior boarding.
Children aged 0 to 4 years old can board free for every adult that purchases a BritRail Pass. Parents just need to declare their children upon purchase of the pass.
Itinerary: Cities to visit with one week in Great Britain
Day 1 & 2 - London, England
Start off your Great Britain adventure in the charming streets of London, England! This popular city has become one of the most visited cities in the world, and for good reason! Mixed with rich culture, history, and modernity, this capital sure lives up to the hype it’s given by travellers all over the world.
Though the city is quite big, many of London’s attractions are situated within the same area, like the London Eye, Houses of Parliament, and the Buckingham Palace! Tourists can easily get through the city’s famous sites in one afternoon, with tea and biscuits in between!
Although it’s quite impossible to see all of London in two days, you can still hit up some of the city’s most impressive hotspots. So if it’s your first time in London, spare some time to visit some of these attractions:
Day 3 & 4 - Edinburgh, Scotland
Head up north to one of Britain’s most enchanting cities! Just four hours from London, you can find yourself in a seemingly new dimension once you step foot in the city of Edinburgh. Though tourists can arguably cover some of the city’s best in just under 24 hours, the city’s allure will leave you spellbound and craving for more.
Walking the streets of Edinburgh is a treat in itself. Lined with boutique shops, charming bookstores, and cafes built on century-old structures, tourists will surely be enamoured by this Scottish capital. Aside from its incredible historical features, the city of Edinburgh also has an exceptional nightlife scene - so make sure you drop by a pub to cap off your night! Though there is so much to see in so little time, Edinburgh is best explored by foot to truly experience the city life.
Thanks to the city’s manageable size, tourists can see a lot of city within two days. And whether you intend to or not, you will most likely find yourself walking into some of these attractions:
- Edinburgh Castle
- Arthur’s Seat
- Old Town Edinburgh
- New Town Edinburgh
- Prince Street
- Royal Botanic Gardens
Day 5 - York
Tourists from all over the world gravitate to the city of York for its medieval streets, gothic structures, and cobblestoned streets. The walled city is filled with Roman, Vikings, Norman and Tudor influences, which explains the unique features that leave travellers in a daze.
Apart from the towering York Minster Cathedral, tourists often spend their visit getting lost in the maze of streets, or The Shambles of York. Though it is now filled with cafes, boutiques, and pubs, the city’s original structures have been preserved, giving visitors an old-world city experience.
York, England is one of the country’s best day trip spots. Though you can certainly get around the city in a matter of hours, we’re sure that its old-world charm will be inviting you back for a second time.
See the best of the city and take your time at these beautiful tourist hotspots:
- York Minster Cathedral
- The Shambles
- Clifford’s Tower
Day 6 - Bath, England
When tourists arrive at Bath, they will be reminded of the cities great authors used to write about. The city’s timeless beauty is built on history - making it one of the sought after cities in all of Britain. The city is fairly accessible from London, which is why many tourists often drop by this quintessential English town for day trips.
This small, but quiet city west of London is anything but ordinary. Made up of the famous Roman Baths, beautiful Georgian architecture, charming tea houses and historical buildings, the city of Bath certainly deserves the title of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
One day is enough to see much of the city. For sure, your day will be filled with beautiful sights and adventure as you stroll through the city’s historic streets. If you only have a limited amount of time, we suggest hitting up these attractions:
- The Roman Baths
- Royal Crescent and Kings Cross
- The Abbey
- Victoria Park
- Pulteney Bridge
- Jane Austen Centre
Day 7 - Cardiff, Wales
This Welsh capital is a haven for any sports fan! Although this doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything else to do if you’re not into sports. Cardiff is home to a wide range of activities that would be enjoyable for any traveller! Apart from its incredible sports facilities, cultural travellers would be delighted to know that this city is packed with castles and an amazing art scene!
One more thing you cannot miss out on when in Cardiff is the food! Foodies from all over the country gather in this city to have some of the best culinary experiences. So, make sure to stuff your tummies with delicious food as you make your way around Cardiff! To make the most out of your trip to Cardiff, here are some of the sights we recommend visiting:
- Cardiff Castle
- Castle Street
- Cardiff Bay
- Caerphilly Castle
- Millennium Stadium