Which? uses cookies to improve our sites and by continuing you agree to our cookies policy

Cheap train tickets for the Christmas trip home

Book now for the cheapest Christmas train tickets

train tickets

The cheapest advance train tickets for the weekend before Christmas are now being released.  

There are 12 weeks to go until Christmas, which means now is a great time to reserve your seat if you’re taking the train home for the holidays.  

If you leave it late you’ll pay too much for your ticket and, on busy trains, you could be left without a reserved seat. 

With there being as much as £100 difference between a cheap advance single ticket and an off-peak single bought on the day of travel, it makes sense to book early.

Find out more: Best and worst train companies survey – which train companies are best for passengers

Cheap train tickets

If you buy your ticket before the day you travel,  you should be able to access cheap advance fares for longer routes. 

Advance tickets are for a specific train, so you’re limited in when you can travel. But in general, the earlier you book an advance ticket the better. 

Advance fares are available around 12 weeks before travel, but you can buy them right up to the day before.

Alternative routes, split-tickets and railcards

As well as booking early, look for money-saving alternative routes for your journey home. On the London to Birmingham route, if you don’t manage to buy a cheap advance ticket, an off-peak single valid only on London Midland is £27.50. A similar single ticket valid on London Midland and Virgin Trains is £49.50.

You may be able to save more money by seeing if you can split your ticket mid-way and buying two tickets, rather than one, for your journey. Make sure your train stops at the split-point for your tickets to be valid. 

Railcards such as the Two Together railcard can cut the cost of off-peak travel by a third.

Save on Christmas tickets

Check out our table of savings to find out how much you could save by booking train tickets early for Christmas travel.

Christmas ticket savings
Journey Advance ticket Walk-up ticket Saving
Aberdeen to Edinburgh £17.50 £29 £11.50
Birmingham to Newcastle £30.10 £100 £69.90
Bristol to Glasgow £50.40 £148 £97.60
Cardiff to Liverpool £19 £68.80 £49.80
Exeter to Nottingham £32.50 £107.50 £75
Glasgow to Inverness £11.30 £39.60 £28.30
London to Edinburgh £25.80 £125.80 £100
London to Norwich £9 £49.50 £40.50
London to Birmingham £7.50 £49.50 £42
Liverpool to Swansea £20 £75.50 £55.50
Manchester to London £27 £78.70 £51.70
Manchester to Plymouth £44.20 £149.80 £105.60
Sheffield to London £9 £71.50 £62.50
York to Birmingham £17.10 £59.70 £42.60

Table note: Advance tickets prices were available on 29th September for travel on 19th and 20th December. Walk-up ticket prices given are the cheapest available tickets for travel on 19th or 20th December and are made up of off-peak and anytime singles with the cheapest ticket shown.

Train baggage allowance

Did you know there’s a baggage allowance on trains? If you’re taking your Christmas presents home with you, make sure they fit into the three bags your allowed to take into the carriage. And one of these bags must be kept on your lap. 

If you have more bags to take home with you, check in advance with your train company.

More on this…

  • Best and worst train companies – see our customer survey
  • Best and worst long distance train companies – rated by customers
  • Ticket machine nightmares video – learn what’s wrong with ticket machines
Back to top