Buying a BritRail Pass to travel across Britain by train is a fantastic way to see the different British cities and towns on one connected rail service.
Trains in the UK take you through some incredible scenery. Whether it be in Scotland to visit the Highlands, soaring up the north-east coast, or taking in the stunning views of the Cornwall countryside, there are plenty of things to see using a BritRail Pass.
A BritRail Pass is a single train pass that allows you to travel across the UK as much as you want for a set amount of travel days.
Enjoy everything Great Britain has to offer. Whether you want to visit London and see Buckingham Palace or go on a trip to Edinburgh and take in the stunning views from Edinburgh Castle, the BritRail Pass will make your train travel in the UK as easy and smooth as possible.
You can use a BritRail Pass if you’re not a UK citizen and have not lived in the UK for the last six months or more.
Based on the period of time you're travelling, you can choose between two types of BritRail Pass, the Consecutive Pass and the Flexi Pass. Keep reading for more details.
A Consecutive Pass is valid for a set number of days in a row. For example, if you start using a 4-day Pass on a Monday, it'll be valid until Thursday.
The BritRail Consecutive Pass is the right option for you if:
With a Flexi Pass, your travel days don't need to be consecutive – you can travel for a set number of days over a period of 1 calendar month. For example, if you start using a 4-day pass on the 23rd August, you then have 3 remaining days to use your pass until the 22nd September.
The BritRail Flexi Pass is right for you if:
BritRail Passes can start at £96 for a 2-day Consecutive Pass, and can go up to £568 for a monthly Consecutive Pass. There are seven different passes available to suit the period of time you plan to travel around the UK by train.
Using the table provided below, you can budget for how long you want to travel by train across the UK, and get the most out of your BritRail Pass.
*Prices are correct as of August 2020 and are subject to change without notice. All post-sale care and communications will be with the third party booking company.
BritRail Passes can only be bought online up to 6 months in advance. You can choose to get either the paper pass – which will be sent to you via registered mail – or the M-Pass – which is a mobile ticket you can download to your phone.
If you get the paper pass, you must have it activated before you can start using it. To do this, simply take your BritRail Pass and ID (preferably a passport) to the ticket office at the train station you wish to make your first journey from. The ticket staff will then activate your pass for you. Make sure you fill in the date of any journey on your ticket before boarding a train if you don't want to get in trouble with the ticket inspector.
If you decide to get the M-Pass, you'll receive a link to download your M-Pass to your phone. This link will direct you to the activation page, where you'll need to fill in your details before you’re able to download the pass.
You can download your mobile train pass nearer to your departure date in case your first date of travel changes. Once downloaded, simply present your M-Pass to any ticket barrier with a barcode reader, or to any member of staff who asks to see it at ticket gates, or on board the train.
Please note that the Pass must be validated within 11 months from the date of purchase.
You can use your BritRail Pass on both First and Standard Class. When buying your pass online, not only can you select the type of pass (Consecutive or Flexi) and its validity period (2 days, 3 days etc.), but also if you're going to travel in First or Standard Class.
As First Class is not available on all UK train services, you may initially buy a Standard Class BritRail Pass and later upgrade it to First Class. You'll need to pay the difference in excess between the Standard and First Class Fare for the leg of the journey that you've not taken yet. You may pay it at the ticket office before boarding the train or to the ticket inspector on the train.
While spontaneous trips on any travel day are fun and a great way to explore Britain, reserving a seat is ideal if you're travelling between major cities, or during peak hours. If you want to book a seat, then you can book it online up to a year in advance, and it'll come at a nominal fee to secure the seat.
Using your BritRail Pass depends on the type of pass you have and where you are, but the process of using it is the same. It really couldn’t be easier to board trains using your rail pass either, as it works just like a normal ticket would. Once you’ve boarded your train, you may need to present it again on the train should a ticket inspector conduct a check.
Your BritRail Pass is valid on the Heathrow Express, Stansted Express and Gatwick Express trains which connect the airports to central London. However, it's not valid on the London Underground, Overground and buses, so you'll need to buy a Travelcard or Oyster Card if you want to travel around the city.
You can't use your BritRail Pass on special excursions, on ships or other Channel ferries, on trains in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Finally, your BritRail Pass is not valid on Eurostar services connecting London to Paris or Brussels. You'll need to buy a separate ticket or a Eurail Pass if you're planning to visit different European countries.
Please always check the travel restrictions that come with each pass, as you'll likely have to pay the difference should you travel outside of your zone or board the wrong train. Don’t be offended if you're asked to show your ID with your pass. This is just to ensure the BritRail Pass is only used by non-UK residents.
Depending on when or with whom you decide to travel with, there are a number of discounts you can be eligible to make your rail pass cheaper. While the low season saver is a popular choice for those who want to visit the UK over Christmas, there are some others that are particularly useful if you're travelling in groups.
Groups of 3-9 people can save up to 20% on regular prices when travelling together.
Those who are 60 years and older receive a 15% discount.
Travellers aged 16-25 are eligible for a 20% reduction on their pass fare.
Travelling with a child under 5? Well, they travel free on any British Rail train. If you have a child aged 5-15, they can also travel free when they're accompanied by a BritRail pass holder. For any additional children after that, you receive a 50% discount on their ticket.
If you travel between 1st January and 28th February, or between 1st November and 31st December, you can get up to 20% off the regular Pass price.
It’s not just on trains that you can get great discounts. The BritRail Pass also gives you access to the 2 for 1 offers that are typically found with most discounted railcards in the UK too. Thanks to these offers, you get the chance to visit some of the main attractions across the UK, not just in London. So if you have a free day during your trip and want to explore some local sights and attractions, check out what’s nearby and you’ll be taking in new sights in no time!