please empty your brain below

Not a rover, but probably also interesting is the almost unpublicised dayreturn ticket London-Calais (via Dover and P&O ferry) for 33,90.

Fancy a trip to France -and writing about- DG?

The all-line rover is now significantly less useful than it was if you are based in London as it does not permit travel on certain routes before 1000: this was introduced because the rover was undercutting the single fares on those routes. What this demonstrates is what a rip-off those "anytime" fares are!

"The All Lines Rail Rover is NOT valid for boarding or alighting train services operated by CrossCountry, East Coast, East Midlands Trains, or Virgin Trains before 10:00 Mondays to Fridays at the following stations:

•Birmingham New Street
•London Euston
•London Kings Cross
•London St Pancras International
•Luton Airport Parkway
•Milton Keynes Central
•Watford Junction"

In most cases you can still head north from London before 1000 using other operators' trains, and join the fast trains further north.

The Southern 'Daysave' is like the Downlander but without the buses and is £12.

You probably would have been OK with your ticket anyway dg, Newhaven to London via Brighton is a permitted route.

The "North" "Day Ranger" link is broken (already! Do they want to keep the tickets quiet?)

Plus, if you're coming to the UK from overseas, the Rail Passes are significantly cheaper. For example, according to, a 15 day adult Britrail pass (standard class) is 485 dollars, or roughly 300 pounds.

... and similar to Martin's tip, I understand that the maximum you will ever pay for a single trip to Dublin (via train and ferry) is 33 pounds. Even if you start from Thurso, Norwich, Penzance etc. and there are no peak hours restrictions (ref.

The cheap Dublin ticket is called the Sail-Rail ticket and it's valid from any destination in GB to (I think) any station in the ROI or NI - it's about £45 to/from Belfast, for example. It can also be bought on the day (so long as there's room on the ferry and you can get to Euston for the 9am to Holyhead!)

I did it last year and it was brilliant value. There's a similar ticket called the Dutch Flyer, from Liverpool Street to Amsterdam.

If I'd got my act together, I'd have been using one of those Scottish rail rovers this week as well...

@Darryl - I used SailRail at the weekend to travel from London to Dublin and back for the rugby. Fantastic value at £71 - the saving on the air fare paid for my match ticket - and we won too!

@DG - If you haven't come across Barry Doe before, this is right up his street. He produces an annual analysis of all Rover tickets in his "Fare Dealer" column for Rail magazine and on his website at

A ticket from London to Newhaven is valid via Brighton, so you didn't need to buy a special ticket.

(You can verify this by using the "Via" option on your preferred train times website and seeing if it offers you the same fares)

Manchester has the Wayfarer ticket. This is rain, bus and tram for £10, and also extends into parts of Cheshire, Derbyshire and the Peak District.

A few ticket tricks from my many Southern journeys from London to Brighton. Things vary between train companies!

- Buy a ticket beyond where you want to go, it may be cheaper. E.g. Brighton - London Victoria is generally much cheaper than Brighton - Clapham.

- Similarly, buy a ticket that starts before you want to go. This isn't allowed with advanced tickets, but that's a hard rule to enforce, if you do have a ticket that allows you into the station. E.g. buy a ticket from Victoria to Brighton and get on the train at Clapham or East Croydon.

- Buy advanced tickets :)

- If you can't get an advanced ticket, check if you can get one for part of the router, or to nearby. E.g. London Victoria - Hove is often available as an advanced ticket when London Victoria to Brighton isn't.

- Use returns the wrong way - if you don't want to come back the same day, it can be cheaper to get a return the wrong way and only use half of it. E.g. if you're going from Victoria to Brighton, buy a return ticket from Brighton to Victoria and just use the return part. You're not allowed to do the reverse though (just use the outgoing part, though I've never heard of anyone checking).

- Buy your tickets online - southern railway often have a 10-40% discount off advanced and/or off-peak tickets. They'll also do free refunds for non-advanced tickets (which many places won't). You also can pick up your tickets from dedicated machines at stations rather than the normal ones which avoids queuing.

- Despite the (southern) website saying you have to specify which station you want to pick your tickets up from, you can use any station (on Southern/South West Trains anyway).

- Despite the website saying you have to wait for your ticket, they are available at the machine within a few seconds.

- At Victoria, use the Gatwick Express ticket machines - nobody else does! You can get tickets anywhere.

That's it! :)

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