It’s a long weekend here, and I had thoughts about going to Portsmouth for a day trip on Monday. Portsmouth has a naval musuem including Admiral Nelson’s ship – HMS Victory. Nelson died at sea at the Battle of Trafalgar. His tomb can be found in St Paul’s Cathedral in London.
I had done quite a bit of work on the internet a few days ago to work out the best deal. But I found the National Rail website difficult and tedious to navigate. It took me several goes before I felt comfortable. Anyway, I stopped by the train station to make some inquiries about the best deal for rail tickets. (Really, I wanted to compare the prices online vs station.) It seemed quite comparable, and in fact the station offered a different discount that I wasn’t aware of.
The reason why buying rail tickets is so confusing, is that there are a heap of different train lines, lots of different discounts available, and lots of different discount cards available. For one-off trips, the best thing to do is simply book your ticket at the station. Avoid fares in peak hour. They will be expensive.
Because I think we’ll be traipsing the countryside a fair bit, I think I’ll get the Family and Friends Railcard. The interesting thing about this card is that a child has to travel in the group. Probably targeted to families and not to the hoards of “tweens” holiday-working about England. Adults get 30% off fares, and children 60% off. You can have up to 4 adults and 4 children named on a card. Costing 24 pounds, this card is valid for 12 months. We’ll need to do at least 2 regional trips and then we would have paid for our railcard. I think this is do-able.