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London to Lakes: Driving versus Train: Cost comparison neeed

Hong Kong, China
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London to Lakes: Driving versus Train: Cost comparison neeed

We are a family of four. We are visiting the Lake District from June 21 to 24 (3 nights, 4 days). We have the choice of driving from London or taking the train. Could someone help me work out the cost of each option - including car hire, fuel, parking, train tickets, etc?

Thank you!

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1. Re: London to Lakes: Driving versus Train: Cost comparison neeed

Sorry, no, we can't. Car hire prices are hugely variable. You need to get quotes for your dates / locations - there is not a standard price.

Ignoring the cost comparison, the drive from London to the Lake District is long and tedious. Train likely to be much quicker and less stress. Whether you need a car in the Lakes would depend on where you'll stay and what you intend to visit.

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2. Re: London to Lakes: Driving versus Train: Cost comparison neeed

Train ticket prices here

www.nationalrail.co.uk

Train ticket prices vary from day to day, time of day and whether you have a concession price.

It is ridiculous and defies logic. Long journeys can cost less than shorter ones but I can give you a rough brief comparison.

Firstly my instinct tat with a family of four a car will be more convenient and allow you to see more of the Lake District.

Cost of rail travel from London to Winderemere on June 21 for two adults and two children and return on 24th

Would be £280 ( at the moment it can change)

The outward journey from London to Windermere is first class which is good value.

…nationalrail.co.uk/service/…dep

It is 270 miles from London to Windermere and cost of fuel could be about £50 each way so that's £ 100 plus car rental of , FOR EXAMPLE ONLY Not a recommendation about £120

www.avis.co.uk/Fleet.aspx…

So car hire costs £220 against train fares of £280

But you would have the car to get around the Lake District for three days so add say another sixty pounds for additional fuel and parking and hey presto the cost is exactly the same!

The drive up the M1 and M6 can be tedious and a bit stop/ start. It could take longer than the train, even much longer if traffic is bad.

You may want to bypass Birmingham by using the Toll road which adds £7.50 each way .

So on a cost basis there is not much difference its how you feel about driving and having the convenience of a car

UK
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3. Re: London to Lakes: Driving versus Train: Cost comparison neeed

The train journey is about four hours depending on the time of travel, you could add at least two hours driving time even double that if traffic is bad

This gives details of train times and fares for family.

…nationalrail.co.uk/service/…dep

Without complicating matters you can get a reduction on rail fares by purchasing a family railcard details are on the nationalrail website

A Family & Friends Railcard costs £30 and it'll save you 1/3 on adult fares and 60% on kids’ fares throughout Great Britain for a whole year.

The discount applies to all Standard, Anytime, off-Peak and Advance fares and whats more, up to four adults and four children can travel on one card, and they don't even need to be related. Take a look at all the ticket types you can make savings on with a Family & Friends Railcard.

So that would make it pay for itself on your first journey

Edited: 04 June 2014, 08:05
Bingley, United...
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4. Re: London to Lakes: Driving versus Train: Cost comparison neeed

Split the difference - take the train to Manchester, hire a car there and drive to the Lakes.

You avoid the worst of the traffic, you can get better train fares for London - Manchester IF BOOKED SEVERAL WEEKS IN ADVANCE and you need a car to get round the Lakes easily anyway.

If you are coming in from China and going straight to the Lakes rather than spending time in London first, look at adding a flight to Manchester to your existing ticket - but please don't drive on arrival as it's dangerous to you and other road users

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5. Re: London to Lakes: Driving versus Train: Cost comparison neeed

HI Alan great advice to split the difference , an alternative would be to take the train to Lancaster and hire a car there .

Flying into Manchester is often overlooked by visitors from USA and Asia , I agree Manchester is well located for onward travel as it sits right on the Motorway network and you can be on your way without too much hassle/ traffic.

Our OP doesn't have the opportunity to book weeks ahead as they are travelling in a couple of weeks time.

But considering the fares of £280 less family and friends discount I got a pleasant surprise myself.

Hong Kong, China
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6. Re: London to Lakes: Driving versus Train: Cost comparison neeed

Thank you very much for all the ideas. Great community, great sharing, great support here!

A couple of follow-ups, if you don't mind:

1. Our family is me, my wife and two children (18 and 14 years old). We will be staying in London for a week before the Lake District trip. We were planning to get the 7-day National Rail Travelcard in order to enjoy the 2for1 deals. If we buy the family and friends railcard, can we use that instead for the 2for1 offers? In that case, I suppose we would still need to buy the metro tickets separately, right?

2. From the National Rail website, it looks like we can get return tickets for everyone for about 210 pounds from Euston to Windermere. A return ticket to Manchester, on the other hand, costs about 110 pounds. London to Lancaster return is 150 pounds. Hence the "split the journey" looks like a good idea to me, but should I take Manchester or Lancaster by train?

3. Another DUMB question: I hope I would be able to hire a car easily at Manchester or Lancaster, and I hope the car would have a GPS. Is that correct?

Thanks again to everybody!

UK
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7. Re: London to Lakes: Driving versus Train: Cost comparison neeed

If we buy the family and friends railcard, can we use that instead for the 2for1 offers

======

You have misunderstood. A family and friends railcard merely enables you to get discounts on tickets. It is not a ticket in its own right. So everything regards 241 stays as it was before.

Cardiff, United...
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8. Re: London to Lakes: Driving versus Train: Cost comparison neeed

"Hence the "split the journey" looks like a good idea to me, but should I take Manchester or Lancaster by train?"

All other things being equal I would choose Lancaster rather than Manchester. There are branches of all the major car hire firms either in Lancaster or just across the river towards Miorecambe, it's an easy route to get to the Motorway and you miss out some very hectic and not pleasant sections of the M6 and get on it just when it starts to get pleasant.

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9. Re: London to Lakes: Driving versus Train: Cost comparison neeed

>>> Our family [...] two children (18 and 14 years old). <<<

Just to point out that the 18-year-old pays adult fares, not child fares.

In fact in the UK someone aged 18 is considered legally to be an adult in all respects.

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10. Re: London to Lakes: Driving versus Train: Cost comparison neeed

At the moment, the rough comparison works out like this:

London to Lakes and back by car

Car rental 100, fuel 100, parking driving etc 60 = total 260 pounds

Train to Lancaster plus car from there

Train 150, Friends and family card 30, car rental 100, fuel 10, parking driving etc 60 = total 350 pounds

Notes: Friends and family discount applied on trains, medium sized car, Lancaster to lakes distance is about one-tenth of London to lakes distance.

So, it is 90 pounds more for the split journey, but more comfortable! That's the choice.

Am I missing anything?