Evaluating UK Travel Options with GoEuro

We’ve been thinking of re-visiting Plymouth in Devon, in south west England, for some time. What’s put us off is the journey there.

plymouth hoe

Plymouth Hoe by Visentico/Sento

We prefer to take our car for trips within the UK. It costs a lot to own a car, so it makes sense to use it as much as possible, especially as we have an economincal diesel super-mini. However, it’s a pretty long drive down from Berwick upon Tweed to Plymouth and the roads in Devon get pretty congested.

Previously, I’d had a quick look at the option of travelling to Plymouth by train. There is a direct Cross Country train, but the return fare is often near enough £200, which seems excessive.

I decided to check out other options for the journey from Berwick upon Tweed to Plymouth in September on the GoEuro site, which searches through all available rail, bus and air routes.

goeuro

It’s cheaper to take the train via London, first travelling there by East Coast and then by First Great Western to Plymouth. But that increases the journey time from 8 hours to around 14 hours. I did think that with a flexible return ticket you could have at least one stopover in London. We could further reduce the train fare if we bought a Two Together railcard, which gives one third off most off-peak fares for two named passengers travelling together. Although this discount card costs £30,  we could save more than the cost on that one long trip.

I hadn’t considered flying, but GoEuro came up with flights from Newcastle upon Tyne to Bristol with easyJet. Surprisingly, even factoring in rail travel from Berwick upon Tweed to Newcastle and from Bristol to Plymouth, the cost was lower than undertaking the whole journey by train. The estimated journey length was around 14 hours, the same as travelling the whole way by train via London.

easyjet plane

I wasn’t very keen on that option. I thought that there was a higher chance of things going wrong with the increased number of connections, e.g. if the train to Newcastle was late and we missed the flight to Bristol, or if our arrival into Bristol was delayed and we missed the train to Plymouth.

The cheapest option was taking the coach via London, which again took around 14 hours. I thought that it was quite possible that there could be delays on the motorway, plus I didn’t really fancy spending so many hours on a coach. At least on a train you can walk around more.

In conclusion, I thought that trying to find the lowest fare for the direct Cross Country train would be my preferred option for travelling between Berwick upon Tweed and Plymouth.