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#2086 - 16/02/08 05:30 PM train schedules from Manchester to St. Bees
westcoasthiker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 25/10/07
Posts: 47
Loc: Vancouver, BC Canada
Hello to everyone. I have been reading the posts for quite some time and now that we are getting closer to our trip I would like to know if the price that I come up with on the internet for train travel is the cheapest. Right now I have come up with 85pounds for the one way fare. Seems expensive to me. I also gather that because we live overseas (Canada) that I will have to telephone to buy the tickets. Thanks for any input.
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#2087 - 16/02/08 05:41 PM Re: train schedules from Manchester to St. Bees
Lounge Lizard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/05/06
Posts: 2013
Loc: Stafford
Quote:
Originally posted by westcoasthiker:
Hello to everyone. I have been reading the posts for quite some time and now that we are getting closer to our trip I would like to know if the price that I come up with on the internet for train travel is the cheapest. Right now I have come up with 85pounds for the one way fare. Seems expensive to me. I also gather that because we live overseas (Canada) that I will have to telephone to buy the tickets. Thanks for any input.


I've looked it up on www.nationalrail.co.uk and the Open Single fare from Manchester Airport to St Bees is given as 42.70 ( Saver return 52.40 ) which isn't bad for a relaxing journey with lovely views.

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#2088 - 16/02/08 06:33 PM Re: train schedules from Manchester to St. Bees
westcoasthiker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 25/10/07
Posts: 47
Loc: Vancouver, BC Canada
Thanks for the speedy reply. I've checked out the website and found the same price. Now I have to figure out how to buy from overseas, possibly a travel agent over here can purchase the tickets for us otherwise I'll call the train company directly. We're looking forward to the walk, starting May 17 and ending May 31.
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#2089 - 16/02/08 09:17 PM Re: train schedules from Manchester to St. Bees
Gregg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 18/01/05
Posts: 369
Loc: Cotati, CA, USA
Hi wch
You have to know how to work the system to get the best prices. These tickets seem to be released about 6 or 8 weeks ahead of trip time, so I checked for April 11. Also, its possible to get better prices by buying two tickets to your destination. Manchester to Carlisle is 15 pounds from the nationalrail site, and only 10.5 pounds from www.thetrainline.com. Why? Who knows? I always use this site and paid 9.5 in 2006 for the same ticket. Carlisle to St. Bees is 9.2 on either site. You actually don't need advance tickets for this link, all one price any time but no Sunday travel.

You buy the tickets on the website and pick them up at the train station from the Fast Ticket machine. Very easy!
Of course, you also take the train from the airport to Picadilly Station in Manchester, but that's only about 3 pounds purchased at the station.
Let us know how you do.

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#2090 - 16/02/08 11:25 PM Re: train schedules from Manchester to St. Bees
westcoasthiker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 25/10/07
Posts: 47
Loc: Vancouver, BC Canada
Thanks for the advice. I checked out the link and tried to do a booking but once I get to the enter your postal code then country I come to a hault as my postal code isn't recognized. Judging by your message it sounds like we could just arrive at the train station and buy tickets then but presumably for a much higher price. We do have relatives in England so we may end up getting them to purchase the tickets for us then mailing them here just to get a lower rate. Luckily we have enough time before our departure. Considering we haven't even booked the airfare nor any accomodations I'd better get that done first.
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#2091 - 17/02/08 05:33 AM Re: train schedules from Manchester to St. Bees
Lounge Lizard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/05/06
Posts: 2013
Loc: Stafford
Quote:
Originally posted by westcoasthiker:
Thanks for the speedy reply. I've checked out the website and found the same price. Now I have to figure out how to buy from overseas, possibly a travel agent over here can purchase the tickets for us otherwise I'll call the train company directly. We're looking forward to the walk, starting May 17 and ending May 31.


The 42.70 quoted is for an 'Open' single so you can buy that ticket on the day of travel. Trying to buy any chaeper tickets from across the pond might be difficult, would restrict you to particular trains, the tickets being invalid if your flight was delayed and needed a later one and it probably wouldn't make much of a reduction in the overall cost of your holiday.



[This message has been edited by Lounge Lizard (edited 17 February 2008).]

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#2092 - 17/02/08 06:14 AM Re: train schedules from Manchester to St. Bees
Gregg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 18/01/05
Posts: 369
Loc: Cotati, CA, USA
Use your credit card to purchase online and choose to pick up the tickets at the Fast Ticket machine in the train station instead of having them mailed, then they don't ask you to specify a postal code or country. Of course, as LL said, you need to coordinate plane and train times or you are screwed. I've done this a half dozen times, no problem, always at very low fares.

You would buy the tickets at the station when all tickets on the train are the same price regardless of when you buy them such as from the airport into Manchester and from Carlisle to St. Bees. From Manchester to Carlisle, use the online service with Fast Ticket.

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#2093 - 17/02/08 07:22 AM Re: train schedules from Manchester to St. Bees
peter1945 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/04/07
Posts: 107
Loc: Mid North Coast, NSW, Australi...
Hi WCH
Had the same problem last year when we tried to book from Australia. Have deleted the emails now, but I think you can Google tickets from Manchester Airport to St Bees , and you should come up with your country's website for advance ticketing. Just contact them (British Rail or something like that) - can't find the info I left on this site last year - then pay in your money and get an open voucher for the time of your travel. And the guard will check the voucher on the train. It cost us $100 AUD each for one way. Not cheap!
Hope this helps,
Cheers,
Peter.

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#2094 - 17/02/08 03:16 PM Re: train schedules from Manchester to St. Bees
J&B Offline
Member

Registered: 03/07/03
Posts: 23
Loc: Kingston, Ontario, CANADA
Quote:
Originally posted by westcoasthiker:
Thanks for the advice. I checked out the link and tried to do a booking but once I get to the enter your postal code then country I come to a hault as my postal code isn't recognized. Judging by your message it sounds like we could just arrive at the train station and buy tickets then but presumably for a much higher price. We do have relatives in England so we may end up getting them to purchase the tickets for us then mailing them here just to get a lower rate. Luckily we have enough time before our departure. Considering we haven't even booked the airfare nor any accomodations I'd better get that done first.


We tried the same site as you for one of our walks and ran into the same situation when it came time to enter the postal code. If you have relatives in the UK just use their address and post code, it's being charged to your credit card anyway so it makes no differance, we did that using our friends post code and had no problem. When we got to the train station you just need to use your credit card for verification and out pops your tickets.....no problems!!

Enjoy your walk, we plan to do the Coast to Coast summer 2009 [img]http://www.coast2coast.co.uk/ubb/smile.gif[/img]

J&B
Kingston, Ontario
CANADA

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#2095 - 17/02/08 05:05 PM Re: train schedules from Manchester to St. Bees
westcoasthiker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 25/10/07
Posts: 47
Loc: Vancouver, BC Canada
Thanks to everyone who replied. To Peter1945 I do recall reading your posts on this site quite awhile ago so I remember the problems you encountered. I had hoped by this time things might be different but alas they are not. We may end up just buying the tickets on the arrival day that way if we want an earlier train we have that option. Now I'd better get down to the business of arranging accomodations.
On that note does anyone have any particular favourites?
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#2096 - 02/03/08 06:21 AM Re: train schedules from Manchester to St. Bees
Gulf Islanders Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/05
Posts: 66
Loc: Gabriola Island,BC,Canada
Hi Westcoasthiker.

We walked the C2C two years ago and walked 2 other LDW's last year. We are also from the west coast of Canada and have had no problems buying tickets on the web in Canada and picking them up from the Fast Ticket machines at rail stations (just insert your credit card and punch in the code given when you originally paid for your trip - and out come your tickets). Not only do you generally get a better fare but you by-pass the long line-ups at the ticket office at Manchester Airport.

We bought our tickets on the Virgin Rail website - they sell tickets for all train companies. I imagine you can buy tickets on any of the other train company web sites as well. I have used a couple of different Canadian credit cards and have never had problems buying or picking up tickets.

As for ticket prices, you will quickly learn that there is no rhyme or reason to how prices are set and when you can get a discount. I agree with other responses that 8-12 weeks before your trip, some discounts are available. But on some trips, discounts seem to come and go. You just have to check the web every day until you get a discount fare. As a rule, you can do most trips for BP 10 to 20.

If you have the time, you can also play around with buying separate tickets for different segments of your trip. Since you may have to take trains run by 2 or more companies, discounts may only be available on portions of your trip.

As silly as it sounds, when we finished the C2C, we took the train from Scarborough to Manchester. There were no discounts available on one way tickets but the day return was half the price of the standard fare. Go figure!!

The National Rail web site is excellent. Keep checking for low fares. When you find what you like, book the tickets with a non-British credit card on one of the train company websites (eg. Virgin, National Express, GNER, etc.)

We are headed back to England for a couple of more walks in June and will soon be checking train web sites again soon.

Hope this helps

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#2097 - 02/03/08 04:13 PM Re: train schedules from Manchester to St. Bees
westcoasthiker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 25/10/07
Posts: 47
Loc: Vancouver, BC Canada
Hi
We actually did purchase tickets over the web using the site set up on http://www.seat61.com/. Whether we got the best fares is debatable but they certainly were lower then a lot I found. Yesterday we bought another C2C trail book put out by Cicerone which actually has strip maps in it from the OS series. This book combined with the Stedman guide should get us from end to end hopefully without too many wrong turnings. We're looking forward to the walk with hopefully excellent weather. Have fun on your walks in June. Which ones are you planning on doing? We figure that once we are done with the C2C it will get us hooked and we will begin planning another one. It certainly beats carrying a tent and all the other gear needed for our usual backpacking trips!
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#2098 - 03/03/08 08:07 PM Re: train schedules from Manchester to St. Bees
Gulf Islanders Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/05
Posts: 66
Loc: Gabriola Island,BC,Canada
Westcoasthiker:
We found Stedman invaluable (there are almost no C2C signs) but because we "cheated" by using a GPS we never got lost. Completing the C2C really gave us the appetite for more LDW walks. We completed St. Cuthbert's (which we found more gruelling than the C2C because of the weather)and the Dales Way last year. We did not get the same sense of satisfaction that you get from crossing the country but we loved the solitude, charm of the British countryside and the kindness of locals. This year we are walking the Cleveland Way and for a change of pace, parts of the Leeds Liverpool canal.

Good luck, we are sure you will enjoy it (weather permitting!!)

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#2099 - 03/03/08 08:13 PM Re: train schedules from Manchester to St. Bees
westcoasthiker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 25/10/07
Posts: 47
Loc: Vancouver, BC Canada
Interesting to hear that you used a GPS, we are thinking of purchasing one for this walk but haven't done this yet. I presume you bought a Garmin?
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#2100 - 04/03/08 05:22 AM Re: train schedules from Manchester to St. Bees
Gulf Islanders Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/05
Posts: 66
Loc: Gabriola Island,BC,Canada
Yes, we have been using a Garmin Etrek Vista - great for walks - waterproof, runs on two AA batteries - easy to recharge and buy/carry spares. As an added benefit, it also has an altimeter so you can accumulate your ascents. We had prepared for 15-20 mile/day walks but what we had not counted on was the ascents. At the end of the C2C, we had found we had climbed almost 30,000 feet during the walk.

We found that having the GPS kept us motivated, especially during the odd monotonous stretch - we could figure out the distance to go and the rough ETA.

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#2101 - 04/03/08 06:50 AM Re: train schedules from Manchester to St. Bees
westcoasthiker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 25/10/07
Posts: 47
Loc: Vancouver, BC Canada
You've convinced us to research out a GPS. Sounds like a fun thing to have. I found a site that has the GPS waypoints listed for the walk so we may not get lost after all! Thanks for the input. I'll let you know how we make out. Who knows we may meet up some time as you are only a ferry ride away.
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#2102 - 04/03/08 03:24 PM Re: train schedules from Manchester to St. Bees
Lounge Lizard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/05/06
Posts: 2013
Loc: Stafford
Mankind has managed well enough without GPS for tens of thousands of years. All you should need on a long distance walk is a reliable map and decent sense of direction.

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#2103 - 05/03/08 03:52 AM Re: train schedules from Manchester to St. Bees
Gulf Islanders Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/05
Posts: 66
Loc: Gabriola Island,BC,Canada
Mankind has also existed without computers for thousands of years but look at all the interesting people we have met not to mention discovering the joys of walking in England!!

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#2104 - 05/03/08 05:47 AM Re: train schedules from Manchester to St. Bees
Lounge Lizard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/05/06
Posts: 2013
Loc: Stafford
No, I used to regularly go on some good walks before I had a computer !

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#2105 - 05/03/08 07:23 AM Re: train schedules from Manchester to St. Bees
Sam Peps Offline
Full Member

Registered: 20/02/05
Posts: 163
Ha! Gulf Islander shot the Lizard to pieces there.

With GPS it's added value LL, not less value. Think it through.
_________________________
Hebrews 4: 12

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#2106 - 05/03/08 03:15 PM Re: train schedules from Manchester to St. Bees
westcoasthiker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 25/10/07
Posts: 47
Loc: Vancouver, BC Canada
Quite the discussion now. Weighing the cost of a GPS versus the costs plus weight of all the maps needed for this walk, the GPS wins. We do have good maps and enjoy using them but using a GPS will enable us to do geotagging which links our digital pictures to specific locations.
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#2107 - 05/03/08 04:01 PM Re: train schedules from Manchester to St. Bees
Oldun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1750
Loc: Renens, Vaud, Switzerland
We have had all this Pro and Con discussion about GPS's many times on this web site over the years.

I have 3 GPS units and love to play with them. However, don't always believe what a GPS tells you as it only works in a straight line...providing that you have enough satelite coverage and you keep checking the calibration. Otherwise they can lead you in the wrong direction or over the edge of a cliff.

Combining a cheap GPS with a Silva compass and an old fashioned OS map is clearly the way to have a trouble free journey, as you will not miss the little turn-offs.

Again, HOWEVER, when walking the C2C...why do you need a map, GPS, waypoints, or compass ? It's only necessary to follow the depressions in the ground, the group in front of you, and/or, the discarded McDonalds wrappers.

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#2108 - 05/03/08 04:25 PM Re: train schedules from Manchester to St. Bees
Lounge Lizard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/05/06
Posts: 2013
Loc: Stafford
Quote:
Originally posted by Sam Peps:
Ha! Gulf Islander shot the Lizard to pieces there.

With GPS it's added value LL, not less value. Think it through.


Part of the attraction of going on a good walk can be getting away from all modern gadgetry like mobile phones and GPS while nenewing ones mapreading skills. But if you want to take all the home comforts with you and have your bags carried for you that's your prerogative.

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#2109 - 05/03/08 05:05 PM Re: train schedules from Manchester to St. Bees
westcoasthiker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 25/10/07
Posts: 47
Loc: Vancouver, BC Canada
Just a note again.... we will be using maps,a compass and a GPS and most definitely carrying our own packs! I'm sure we will have a great time and will meet many interesting people along the way. Thanks for all the comments.
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#2110 - 05/03/08 06:49 PM Re: train schedules from Manchester to St. Bees
Oldun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1750
Loc: Renens, Vaud, Switzerland
Have fun my friend. The coast to coast is a mind changing experience. I will do it again before I fall off the perch.

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