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Winchester to Edinburgh - Student Transportation Options

Maple Plain...
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Winchester to Edinburgh - Student Transportation Options

Hello -

Our daughter is studying this spring at the University of Winchester and we are planning to visit her in March. We are hoping to include a weekend trip to Edinburgh with her in our itinerary and are trying to figure out what our best options are. We are considering flying into Edinburgh and meeting up with her and then taking train/bus back to Winchester (this option if a friend would accompany her) or flying into LHR and meeting her to train up and back. My questions are:

1) How safe is it (and practical) to take the coach from Winchester to Edinburgh? (Looks like an 11 hr overnight ride with transfer in London if I understand the coach route correctly) Also, appears to be least costly option?

2) How safe/and would it be a significant timesaving for her to coach into London and then to get to King's Crossing to catch a train with us?

We are not familiar, at all, with the feel of the train station/bus station and benefits of each.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Stirling, United...
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1. Re: Winchester to Edinburgh - Student Transportation Options

It would be perfectly safe for your daughter to get a train from Edinburgh to King's Cross. "Advance" fares, which are released 12 weeks before travel date, are quota limited, the cheapest ones sell out first, and are valid on booked train only. They start from £17 and if your daughter has a Young Person Railcard she may get a third off.

There are also sleeper (overnight) services which run to London Euston, which if booked in advance for a Bargain Berth (cabin shared with one person of the same gender) are much more comfortable than the overnight coach and are £19 - £49. These are limited availability and the cheapest ones sell out quickly.

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

scotrail.co.uk/content/caledonian-sleeper-ba…

nationalrail.co.uk/stations/sjp/KGX/plan.html

Basingstoke, United...
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2. Re: Winchester to Edinburgh - Student Transportation Options

Why not take the train route via Birmingham - just one easy change?

UK
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3. Re: Winchester to Edinburgh - Student Transportation Options

Coach sounds utterly horrendous in either direction, just book a train, as said above around 10 or so weeks in advance for best prices. Go via Birmingham to cut out Kings Cross (not "Crossing")

Regards safety, you are posting from a country where you can apparently buy automtic rifles at the supermarket with the weekly shop, so I wouldn't be too concerned about it here.

Hampshire, United...
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4. Re: Winchester to Edinburgh - Student Transportation Options

You could also consider flying between Southampton and Edinburgh, there are up to six direct flights per day, flight time 1.5 hours and prices from around £40. www.flybe.com

Southampton airport station is only 15 minutes by train from Winchester

Train will take 6.5 - 7.5 hours depending on the connections, your daughter could get a student rail card to reduce ticket costs.

For your flights you could consider an open jaw flying into Edinburgh and out of Heathrow or vice versa.

By the way, Any particular reason for a weekend in Edinburgh? - there are a lot of interesting places a lot closer to Winchester

Edited: 25 January 2013, 00:02
London, United...
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5. Re: Winchester to Edinburgh - Student Transportation Options

Trains are the most widely used form of transport to travel around in Britain, so you don't have to worry about the safety issue really unless your daughter is very small. But I guess if she is able to study alone in a foreign country, she will definitely be fine going to Edinburgh. Trains from Winchester to Edinburgh Waverley station usually change at Birmingham or Wolverhampton, and take about 6:30 hours. Check www.thetrainline.com for the prices.

Edited: 25 January 2013, 00:49
Stirling, United...
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6. Re: Winchester to Edinburgh - Student Transportation Options

Better use one of the train operating company websites linked from nationalrail.co.uk ; trainline surcharges and don't carry operator-only discounts (such as eastcoast's online-only 10% discount on their routes)

Maple Plain...
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7. Re: Winchester to Edinburgh - Student Transportation Options

Thank you all for sharing your information and thoughts. We are thrilled for our 10 day visit and figured Winchester would want to be rid of us after about 3 ;-), so we are trying to fit in some sights we have not yet seen - hence the visit to Edinburgh.

We were trying to plan our flight in and out to maximize our touring time and landing in Edinburgh and leaving out of Heathrow seemed to be a good option. I am finding the train schedules/sites to be confusing! We will certainly check out the route with only 1 change thru Birmingham.

We recently discovered that she could benefit from a Britrail pass as she has multiple weekend trips planned- so if she purchased a Britrail pass it appears taking the train through Birmingham might be the best bet. But I like to check all the options - so will certainly check the flight option. (The links are helpful, thanks for including them.)

We are looking forward to staying a few days in Winchester. I just received some great travel information from the Winchester Tourist Centre - it looks lovely!

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8. Re: Winchester to Edinburgh - Student Transportation Options

We recently discovered that she could benefit from a Britrail pass as she has multiple weekend trips planned- so if she purchased a Britrail pass it appears taking the train through Birmingham might be the best bet. But I like to check all the options - so will certainly check the flight option. (The links are helpful, thanks for including them.)

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Make sure, when comparing prices, if that's the key thing, to look at advance ticket purchases. The pass is unlikely to compare well with those. What it would provide is flexibility, since she won't be restricted to specific timed trains.

Flying from Southampton is definitely an option worth looking at, for best prices book well in advance but she needs to add the bus journey at each end onto the travel time, I doubt there will be much overall difference in time between train or plane when you measure from starting point to finishing point and not just look at the flight time in isolation.

Southampton
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9. Re: Winchester to Edinburgh - Student Transportation Options

The train journey from Winchester to Southampton Airport Parkway station takes less than 10 minutes and there are at least 3-4 trains an hour. Walking from Parkway station to the airport takes less than 1 minute. I don't know about airport buses. Flybe is good but only cheap if you have hand luggage only.

I do think you are doing a lot of traveling for a weekend. There are lots of nice places close to Winchester including Salisbury and Stonehenge, the new forest, the south downs, highclere castle (Downton Abbey), Portsmouth historical backyard, isle of wight, Jane Austen's house and many more. If only Edinburgh will do then of course go there. But if you are only going there because you think there is nothing round Winchester, reconsider.

Maple Plain...
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10. Re: Winchester to Edinburgh - Student Transportation Options

Thank you, again, for the suggestions of Winchester sites and train options. Having been to Bath, Stonehenge and Cheddar Gorge (which we enjoyed), we plan to visit places we haven't seen. (So much to see, such little time.) I We are re-thinking the trip to Edinburgh - it really does take some travel time to destination. Eliminating that train trip also changes the value benefit of the rail card - so know that your forum input is valuable!!

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