Best train booking websites in the UK

Cheaper than flying and often a lot more convenient – not to mention better for the environment – train travel is often the smart way to get from A to B. Especially when you can find a good deal online. 

Booking a trip online has never been easier, but that’s not to say there aren’t plenty of improvements to be made when it comes to choosing your tickets. Sidestep clunky websites and avoid annoying loading screens by making sure that the next time you book train tickets, you do it from one of the web’s best sites.

Official booking outlets for train tickets

You can buy train tickets from many different vendors online and if your top priority is making sure you have the widest range of options, you’re best going through the biggest and most reliable channels. While there are lots of great sites offering discounts and deals, you may have to be more flexible with your dates and times to be able to make use of them.

For straightforward, no nonsense booking, go to aggregation sites like National Rail and Scot Rail. East Coast is another great ticket provider, offering a simple and straightforward service. All three sites do also often offer cheap tickets and they are a great source of information when it comes to potential delays or station refurbishments.

Before booking your tickets, you might also want to invest in a Senior Railcard. Available to all travellers aged 60 and over, the Senior Railcard saves you one third on all of the full price tickets you buy. There’s a one-off £30 charge when you first get your Railcard, so it’s best to wait until you’re booking a big trip to take advantage of this offer. That said, if you make short trips frequently, your investment will pay for itself in no time.

Other websites for finding cheap train tickets

If you’d love to save some more cash on your next train journey, it’s well worth investigating some of the other train ticket sites out there. Do watch out for hidden costs and fees though, as some discount ticket sites will make a small amount of money back through postage costs or booking fees. RedSpottedHanky is a good example of a discount ticket site that doesn’t have any hidden fees. What’s more, it can help you collect extra Tesco Clubcard points when you travel.

Takethetrain is another discount site that doesn’t charge you any fees and it also happens to have a very simple and easy to use interface. It’s great for quickly highlighting the cheapest available price and has a slick, fuss-free homepage. Raileasy, on the other hand, does charge a small booking fee but it can be really good at finding unusual special deals and letting you know when, for example, it’d be cheaper buying a first class ticket than a standard.

Money Saving Expert has also put together a very handy article hub, offering details of many different ways you can cut the cost of train travel as well as a nice table comparing lots of the top ticket sellers.

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Mother of three grown-up daughters I am the ultimate multi-tasker and am passionate about my role as Silversurfers Website Editor and Social Media Manager. Always on the lookout for all things that will interest and entertain our community. Fueling fun for the young at heart!

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8th Jun 2015
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I thought there was a Silvercard discount on the senior railcard but can't now find it?
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16th Jun 2015
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Disappointed to find it only applies to a 1 year card and not the 3 year which I prefer
8th Jul 2014
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I think the trainline is an excellent website. Use it all the time

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