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Cheap train tickets to Manchester

It’s all happening in Manchester. Whether you’re after a family day out, a shopping spree or want to see the latest up-and-coming bands, there’s always something going on. But how do you get cheap trains to Manchester? Here are some of our hints and tips for a great-value trip.

I want cheap train tickets to Manchester from York and Leeds

If you’re coming over the Pennines, then your cheap trains to Manchester are firmly in the hands of Northern. You’ll need to change at Leeds if you’re coming from York, but the savings are probably going to be worth it! Let’s take a look at an example, booked a week in advance:

It’s important to make sure that you select your origin or destination as Manchester Victoria for this. As you can see though, the price difference is quite significant, even if it takes a little longer. Just keep an eye out for the snail symbol and the Northern logo, and then you can bag yourself some truly cheap trains to Manchester.

Northern will often offer ‘Advance‘ tickets right up until their trains leave. This makes it easy to bag yourself a bargain on the go, too.

What’s the best London to Manchester train price?

We all want to bag a bargain when we’re travelling to and from the capital. There is one way to grab a saving on the London to Manchester train price, which is to travel with West Midlands Trains and Transport for Wales:

Just keep an eye out for the snail symbols, as this is a fairly slow option compared to the direct train. You’ll need to change at Crewe. It’s also worth noting that the £38.20 fare is a Super Off-Peak Single, which means that you can use it on other trains (but only those operated by West Midlands Trains and Transport for Wales), and it can’t sell out.

This is an ideal route if you’re travelling at the last-minute, in particular, as this London to Manchester train price can’t go up before the time of departure. We’ve written more about it in our guide to ‘hidden’ cheap fares.

What about Sheffield and Liverpool?

Just like with Leeds, Northern trains are the ones to go with if you’re after cheap trains to Manchester. However, East Midlands Railway can also offer a good deal. Let’s take a look at booking a trip from Sheffield a week in advance:

Northern definitely win this one. They’re a bit slower, but they’re the cheapest. It’s worth mentioning that all Northern trains from Sheffield to Manchester start at Sheffield, so you might have a better chance of getting a seat.

If you’re coming from Liverpool, a day return is £13.20 if you travel after 09:29 (and at any time on weekends and Bank Holidays). Alternatively, you might find the cheapest trains to Manchester if you search for Manchester Oxford Road:

These cheaper trains take the longest, but they do give you a great saving.

Are there any cheap train tickets to Manchester from Edinburgh?

Finally, let’s see where the savings are if you’re travelling from the Scottish Capital. In this case, it’s Avanti West Coast & Northern that can give the cheapest fares. Let’s look at an example a week in advance:

The fare offered by TransPennine Express isn’t too different, but it’s only for a specific train. Meanwhile, the Avanti & Northern fare is an Off-Peak Single, so it’s valid on any of their trains after 9am (any time on weekends and Bank Holidays).

If you’re making a return, then an Off-Peak Return is £70.70. This makes it an ideal fare if you want to travel at the last minute.

We definitely don’t recommend travelling via York. This gives you the most expensive fare on average (and often, the slowest journey).

Is there anything else I should know?

The final thing we’d recommend is using the Railsmartr website to book your cheap trains to Manchester. We’re completely independent, so we’re happy to ‘tell you like it is’ when it comes to rail fares. Not only that, but we’ll show you the slower, but cheaper options that some websites won’t.

Don’t forget that we don’t charge any fees, either. That includes if you change your mind and want to travel on a different day. If your ticket is refundable, we’ll refund it fee-free, too!

All fares stated on this page are for ONE adult with no Railcard discount and were correct at 11:00 24/05/23. They’re subject to change at any time and Railsmartr are not responsible for any loss or disappointment incurred as a result of the information provided.

Author Richard

Hi, I'm Richard and I've been working for Railsmartr since 2022. I make sure that everything we communicate with customers is top-notch and write exciting and informative content for the website. When I'm not at work, you'll still find me on the rails - though often in the far corners of Europe!