Guide to Cheap Public Transportation in Britain, Buses, Trains, The Tube, and Boris Bikes


Britain being a modern country offers the cash strapped traveler many ways to get around without needing to rent a car. My husband and I have been on many trips and have seen the country relying on public transportation. For the most part public transport is inexpensive and efficient. There are a ton of ways to get around the country and go see what you came to see.

Across Britain busses and trains operate, either taking your from city to city or to destinations within a city. While traveling by bust may not seem like the most glamorous way to get around it is actually a great way to get to where you are going. Not only are seats relatively cheap on the bus but you get to see a lot of the country on your way to where you are going. You also get to mix with locals. National Express, a major bus line offers seats for as little as £3. You can find out more about National Express Coaches on their website.

If the bus isn’t for you, try the train. Britain is covered from coast to coast with rail lines. Tickets can be purchased well ahead of time, keeping the cost down. This is a great way to see the UK too. I speak from personal experience on this tip, the train can be a lot of fun. Just try not to travel at peak times to avoid overcrowding. It is a nice way to get to where you are going. You can travel in coach or first class accommodations, all thought first class will cost more. I have always ridden in a coach and had a very comfortable ride. If you want to do some research about train travel around Britain you can visit their website.

If you are planning to see the London area, try The Tube. It is cheap and efficient.  The Tube covers much of the London Metropolitan area. Get a good Tube map and plan your route. If you get a bit turned around you can politely ask someone for help. Just remember each station platform goes in the opposite direction of the other side, so one side of the platform will be going North and the other one will be going South. Everything is well labeled in the Tube to avoid any confusion. To get a Tube map and plan your route you can visit the Tube website.

If the weather is nice in London you could rent a “Boris Bike” named after the mayor of London. The real name for the bikes are Barclays Cycle Hire. You can either pick up a bike at a kiosk or reserve one. You simply return the bike to any bike stand and that’s it. This is a simple, fun and inexpensive way to see London. If you would like to learn more about renting a “Boris Bike,” you can by visiting their website.

There are always inexpensive ways to get around the UK. If you do a little research and plan your trip well, you can save quite a bit of money on transportation costs. We have traveled using each of these methods and had a great time in the process. I suggest giving it a try and giving your wallet a break.

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