Looking for cheapest trainfare for a day trip Leeds to Reading March 4th

Found 3rd Feb 2009
There is an open day i'd like to attend running from 1-5pm, i dont want to mess around with hotels so i plan to just get a train down in the morning and get there for 12ish, then get a train back after 6ish. I do not have a railcard. Cheapest i've seen is £65 return, going via london.

if anyone has any suggestions for ways to make it cheaper, like cheap railcard deals, they would be appreciated.
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1. are you able to stay over in reading, if the price is right
2. have you tried Leeds - LKX - Reading, then Reading - LKX - Leeds
Well, you've got a good date (as it's pretty much a month in advance) so your best bet would be either to get a 2 cheap singles from Leeds to London via National Express East Coast (these vary in price but you should be able to get singles from around £9.50-£14.00 each. Then using Megatrain on South West trains for a return.

It sounds complicated, but I don't think there is a direct route from memory so you will need to go via London. I've made these sorts of trips before so I know how much of a pain in the backside it can be, but I'd rather pay minimum fare.

Your other option would be to get a coach (Megabus) from Leeds changing at London, and then getting another coach to Reading. I know when you hear "coach" you'll think of long journey times but I've made this trip many times as well and they're pretty quick. I think it's about 3 hours from London to Wakefield (Wooley Edge) and if you leave early enough, it shouldn't be a problem at all. Plus I had a look and tickets are about £3 each (as you're booking in advance). You could end up making the whole trip for circa £12.

Hope this helps.

1. are you able to stay over in reading, if the price is right2. have you … 1. are you able to stay over in reading, if the price is right2. have you tried Leeds - LKX - Reading, then Reading - LKX - Leeds

yes i suppose i could stay over if there was some kind of discount travelodge/etc offer...

i'll have a look into megabus, but the thought of it does make me uneasy, i just find trains far more comfortable!

national rail came back with 28.50 each way, changing twice outward and return journeys.

gets to reading iirc 13:05
gets to leeds at just after 11pm
So far best I get is:

Leeds to London St Pancras by East Midlands Trains 0634-1006 £26.00
London Paddington to Reading and return by First Great Western, frequent service, use any train, £15 offpeak return.
London Kings Cross to Leeds by National Express East Coast 2003-2233 £12.50

Total £53.50 plus travel in London.

I'll furrow further to see if any better options.
Not cheaper but don't stop reading (no pun intended) yet :

Leeds to Sheffield £8.70 single
Sheffield to Reading £31.50 single
Reading to Leeds £28.50 single

Total £68.70

Times: LDS 0705-0750 SHF 0820-1113 RDG 1845-2233 LDS

Bonuses: Northbound journey via London is one ticket so includes cross London U/G transfer
Southbound journey from Sheffield onwards is direct to Reading in 1st class on CrossCountry (yes really) so includes more room and complimentary refreshments (which are pretty decent) and non-alcoholic drinks.

Try going via birmingham ]www.crosscountrytrains.co.uk

We did that already and the through fare is around £150 return, 2 singles no cheaper, booking separate tickets to/from Birmingham works out at just over £90 for the round trip.

The outward journey in my last suggestion does travel through Birmingham but, most fortunately for the traveller, they are not required to get off.

A general tip, if travelling by rail and offered an itinerary involving a change at Birmingham New Street please decline it for your own wellbeing and choose somewhere, anywhere, else.
haha thanks for the advice so far! you paint a poor picture of birmingham, i've never been so i'll trust what you're saying.

im still unsure all together, another thought is that if i can find a budget hotel deal, i could go down on tuesday evening, missing rush hour (?), stay somewhere cheap, go to my open day in the day time, then catch a train in the evening again.

or i could go down early wednesday, attend the open day, stay in a budget hotel, then get the bus back the next day as this saving could potentially offset the cost of the hotel. I dont think i'd be able to handle two long bus journies in the same day, however.

thanks for the suggestions, i'll keep playing around. what are some discount hotel brands? travelodge, premier......
It's not the whole city of Brum, just the station. I've spent many a miserable few hours deep in its depths until I learnt the lesson and I think some Scots coming back from Argentina '78 are still trying to find their way out.
ok so far i've got

tuesday: megabus Leeds 1300 arrives london 1730 = £4
london 1930 arrives reading 2040 £3


wednesday: Train via london leaves 1845 arrives in leeds 1033 = £28

so thats £35, if travelodge had any of their £29 rooms at reading central it'd cost the same as what i'd already found but with the added benifit of getting to stay over/get a feel for if i want to be a poor post grad student there for 12 months...
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