The problem is, because of the distance, the journey takes 3-4 hours which means in order to get there in time I need to take one of the first few trains in the morning. Managed to have another look and the very first train will be £54 for an advance single or the next few ones after that are £91 for an advance single. Managed to find a single on the way back for £37, so if I get the cheapest 2 then it'll be £91 which saves a bit of money . You're right, the £52 I paid for in September was for an off-peak return, however that allowed me to take most trains, including the 5:43 and the following ones after that but if I were to do that now, then it'd cost me £107 for return or 54/91 for single (depends on the time) to take the same trains I took the first time I went.(Original post by jelly1000)
I've just had a look at the Bath to Loughborough journey. £52 is for an off peak return journey (typically for travel after 9:30, sometimes evening restrictions too), £107 is for an open return (no restrictions on when you can travel). So the prices haven't doubled, you are just looking at different tickets. Neither are advance tickets i.e. ones which tie you to a particular train, which are always cheaper. Having said that I can't see any advance tickets for this particular route even 2 weeks ahead, maybe because there are too many changes.
From Bath to Nottingham you can get advanced tickets for £41 at certain times, I put in Wed 15 February as an example and Cross Country has told me that leaving Bath at 7:08 and leaving Nottingham at 18:41 would = £41 fare. If the 7:08 train is too late then the way there is £50-52, even on an advanced ticket, however on the way back if you didn't mind waiting around a bit then 18:41 a return advanced ticket would be £25.40. So the total would be closer to £70.
Many thanks for having a look at the Nottingham route! I think my best option would be to get 2 advance singles for this route. I didn't realise that my applicant day started at 09:00 though, which changes things because no train I get will arrive in time, the earliest means I pay £50 for a single there, or if I wait for the cheapest single of £15, I arrive almost 3 hours late. I think in this case I will just get the a £15 single the day before, book a B&B and wait to get the £15 single in the evening because it works out cheaper.
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