Thanks to cooperation between the British government and the dozens of railway companies in the country, you can get significantly reduced tickets for a short time. For trips from April 25 to May 27, 2022, there is a 50% discount on various saver fares and off-peak tickets. The government is talking about the biggest “rail sale” of all time.
Bookings can only be made online until May 2, 2022. However, the availability of cheap tickets will certainly diminish over time, so don’t hesitate too long if you are interested.
An overview of all reduced connections can be found on the National Rail offers page. From there, you’ll be redirected to the respective railway company to book those tickets:
Here are a few examples of cheap tickets:
- London Gatwick Airport → London Victoria for £2.70 (~€3.19) at Southern Railway
- London Victoria → Southampton for £2.70 (~€3.19) at Southern Railway (slow connection)
- London Victoria → Southend-on-Sea for £3 (~€4) at Greater Anglia
- London → Oxford for £5 (~€6) at Great Western Railway
- London Euston – Birmingham for £8 (~€9) at Avanti West Coast
- Aberdeen → Edinburgh for £8.10 (~€9.57) at LNER
- London King’s Cross → Edinburgh for £22 (~€26) at LNER
A passport has been required for travel to Great Britain since October 2021, an ID card no longer being sufficient. A test or proof of vaccination are currently (as of April 19, 2022) not required.
The offers are valid until May 2, 2022 for trips from April 25 to May 27, 2022. As a rule, only advance fares that are already cheap are reduced. You have to take the exact train that you booked. At least, rebooking is usually possible if you pay the fare difference, in case your plans change.
Not all connections in the country are reduced, but many are. Often (but not always) there really is a full 50% discount. In the rather expensive railway country of Great Britain, the savings are therefore worth mentioning.
Unfortunately, not all companies are participating in the sale, e.g. we could not find any discounted tickets on the low-cost train Lumo (London – Edinburgh).
Booking the Tickets
The British railway network is a huge patchwork. While e.g. Deutsche Bahn is a central point of contact in Germany, in Great Britain every railway company has its own booking site.
It is best to first take a look at the railway map as a PDF. This is especially important to determine which of the many train stations in London you need to head for. You can then search for connections on the Great British Rail Sale website, e.g. London – Edinburgh:
The promotional prices will now be listed for you. By clicking on “Show Retailers” you will be taken to the overview of all ticket providers. There you can choose the railway company yourself:
You can now search for the desired connection on the LNER website, for example. Unfortunately, some train companies’ websites aren’t intuitive at all, and you’ll have to click forever to find the cheapest ticket of the day.
Alternatively, you can also search for connections at National Rail Enquiries. However, it is not possible to book directly there. National Rail can only forward you to the respective railway website.