What is a BritRail Pass?
A BritRail Pass is a ticket that allows you unlimited travel by train within the zones of Great Britain (excluding Northern Ireland) and gives you the option to choose the number of days of travel.
Who can use one?
BritRail Passes are only available to overseas tourists visiting Britain; this does not include international students who are studying in the UK for more than six months.
Do they offer value for money?
Yes, they offer fantastic value for money. Huge savings can be made with the BritRail Pass when compared to buying individual tickets for each journey. Travelling with the BritRail Pass can cost as little as £14.17 per day on a youth pass or £17.70 on an adult pass.
How far in advance can you book?
All BritRail Passes are available to purchase 11 months in advance. Take advantage of the BritRail England M-Pass and travel with your pass on your mobile phone.
Can I book a seat with a BritRail Pass?
To make a reservation with a BritRail Pass you need to take your BritRail Pass to the station that you are going to travel from and the travel centre will make the seat reservations for you (for a small fee).
There are some restrictions on BritRail Passes.
- BritRail Passes are not valid on the London Underground or buses
- The BritRail GB Pass is not valid on Eurostar services, though discounted tickets are available
- The BritRail Passes are not valid on any buses or ferries except for: BritRail Spirit of Scotland Pass; BritRail Scottish Highlands Pass
- A First Class BritRail Pass gives you access to all First Class facilities on the trains, however, it is not valid to be used in any First Class lounges at stations.
The BritRail Pass is priced extremely competitively and offers great value for money, especially if you intend to travel for an extended period of time. With a BritRail Pass you can take unlimited journeys around Britain on both peak and off-peak trains. You can travel wherever you like, whenever you like on each day that your pass is valid. Overnight sleeper trains are included – Caledonian Sleeper from London to Scotland (with full BritRail Pass only) and Night Riviera, from London to Penzance, Cornwall, but you are required to make a reservation for a sleeping berth in advance.
You’re able to get a free child pass when an adult or senior pass is purchased (applies to certain passes, please check when booking). Any additional child passes are available at 50% of adult price.
With a BritRail Pass each full paying adult or senior can take one child 5-15 free of charge.
Youth and senior discounts apply to most BritRail Passes, however, please check the conditions of each pass as some do not give youth or senior discounts.
Are there any further discounts available?
Yes, beyond youth and senior discounts, BritRail Passes have the following discounts:
- Saver Pass: groups of 3 – 9 people travelling get 20% off their pass
- Low season discount: during the low season months (winter) BritRail Passes are discounted
- ‘Free Day’ promotion: for a limited period, a free day is added to passes purchased between certain times.
This is not at the same time every year, so see www.britrail.com for further details.
There are different types of BritRail Pass to suit every option required. BritRail Passes can cover all areas of Britain or you can purchase a pass specific to a region.
Areas covered include country specific BritRail options for individual travel around England and Scotland, then regionally focused passes including a South West England Pass, a London Plus Pass (covering London and the South East), a Freedom of Scotland Pass, a Scottish Highlands Pass and a Central Scotland Pass.
Consecutive or Flexi Pass?
BritRail passes allow you to travel for as many days as you choose continuously in a row. For example, an eight day Consecutive Pass that starts on 11th February will expire at the end of 18th February, making eight straight days of travel. This pass will suit you if you’re taking several day trips from a central base, or you want to see a lot of different places in a short amount of time.
BritRail passes allow you to travel for as many days as you choose within one month. For example an eight-day Flexi Pass that starts on 11th February will expire on 10th March and you have eight individual days of travel (of your choice) to use between these dates. This pass will suit you if you want to stop in different places and relax for a few days before moving on or you want the freedom to change your travel plans last minute.
A BritRail Flexi Pass must be validated at a ticket office at a station and this pass will be stamped to start its validity. BritRail England M-Pass mobile passes do not need to be validated. Once downloaded, you can travel. Depending on which pass you have purchased, you have one or two months in which to use your selected flexi days. On each subsequent day of Flexi Pass travel you must fill in the date of travel on your pass before boarding a train. You can then board the train and, if asked, please show your pass to the ticket inspector. A BritRail Consecutive Pass is activated when the pass has been validated at a ticket office. One day is valid from 00:00 – 24:00. For night sleeper trains the following day’s date must be used (this is the same for both Flexi and
International sales licensees sell UK BritRail Passes and point to point tickets in many international markets
Rail Europe – North America, Asia, Australasia, South America
ACP Rail – Americas, Europe and Asia.
International Rail – North America, Europe, Australasia and Asia.
Trainline – Europe, North America and Australasia.
Britain’s fastest and most comfortable trains are those on the mainline routes. It is always advisable to reserve your seat in advance, especially if you want to travel at peak times, such as Friday evenings. Mainline trains have dining cars and air conditioning, and they are fast – for example travelling from London to Scotland’s capital city Edinburgh takes just 4 hours and 20 minutes direct, or from London Paddington to Wales’s capital city Cardiff takes just 2 hours direct.
If you are disabled and need assistance you can call National Rail Enquiries (link is external) (at least 24 hours ahead of your journey) to book Passenger Assistance.
A yellow line above a train window indicates a first-class compartment. Note that, even if the train is full, you cannot sit in the first-class area without paying the full fare.
Stations are usually well signposted to town centres and key sights, and buses usually stop outside. Trains on Sundays and public holidays can be slower and less frequent than normal.