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Buy tickets from our partner, redspottedhanky.com, and benefit from an average 51% saving on advanced purchases, as well as no credit or debit card fees when you book your train tickets.
First, start by planning your journey. The easiest way to do this is by visiting redspottedhanky.com an impartial and independent ticket retailer for all train operating companies and train journeys in the UK. You won't be charged any credit or debit card fees when you buy your train ticket.
You can also find out more about your destination by picking it from the handy redspottedhanky.com destination guide.
Remember that the cheapest fares are usually available off-peak (weekdays after 9.30am and before 5pm, and all weekend) and booked in advance for travel on specific trains, with a seat reservation. The most expensive tickets are usually the most flexible, for travel at any time without a reservation.
Most mainline stations in the UK have a staffed ticket office or ticket machines. However, rural and suburban stations may not – or may only have a staffed ticket office during peak times – so it’s best to check before you travel. The ticket counter staff will be able to help you choose the best ticket for your journey, and advise on pricing and any discounts you may be eligible for if you’re travelling with children or have a Railcard.
It’s always best to buy a ticket before you travel. It’s not possible to buy a ticket onboard some services, and you may be charged a penalty fare if you travel without a ticket.
If you’re buying tickets in advance, and don’t need to travel on the day, you might find it easier and cheaper to buy tickets online. Most major rail operators’ websites will enable you to do this, and there are also several online ticket specialists – we’ve listed just a few in the ‘external links’ box below. Buying online enables you to compare and contrast timetables, ticket types, travelling restrictions and prices, enabling you to get the best deal.