Cheap train tickets to York
York is one of the most-visited cities in Great Britain. It welcomes around 8.2 million visitors a year, who all want to soak up the history that lies within the famous city walls. It has a rich railway history too, and many visitors choose to come by train. So, how do you get cheap train tickets to York? We’ve come up with some tips to help.
How do I get cheap train tickets to York from London?
A great proportion of people who want cheap train tickets to York will be coming from the capital. You certainly have plenty of trains to choose from (at least two every hour) but how do you get the prices down?
The first place to look is at Grand Central trains. Booking a week in advance, we can see that it’s definitely possible to get a better fare with them:
This happens because Grand Central is an ‘Open-Access’ operator. It doesn’t get any government support, so the only way it can run trains is through keeping passenger numbers high. Keeping prices a little lower than LNER is a good way to do this!
If you really want to travel with LNER, then you can get cheap train tickets to York by aiming for the trains that terminate there. On Monday to Saturday, they leave at 07:06, 09:06, 11:06, 13:06 and 15:06. As you can see, they take a little longer but are cheaper than other LNER trains:
Finally, Fridays can be a good time to travel. Business travel is greatly reduced on a Friday and there aren’t any peak restrictions on trains out of London Kings Cross, either. If you’re having a midweek trip, you might find that coming back on a Friday morning is a lot cheaper than you expected!
I want to come from Manchester on a budget!
If you want cheap train tickets to York from Manchester, then the answer is fairly simple. Travel with Northern. When you’re putting your journey details into the Railsmartr site, make sure that you choose Manchester Victoria as your start/finish point.
Keep an eye out for the two Northern logos and a snail symbol. It might be a little slower, but the price difference can be significant:
As well as this, Northern will tend to keep offering some sort of cheaper ‘Advance’ fare up until a few minutes before the train leaves. This makes them ideal for a spontaneous trip booked on the way to the station!
What are the options for getting cheap train tickets to York from Leeds?
Just like with Manchester, your best call is probably to travel with Northern if you’d like to save some money on a return trip at short notice. As it’s just a short distance away, you’ll probably not be booking months in advance.
If you’re returning on the same day, it’s £13 for a return on any Northern train after 09:29 weekdays (anytime weekends and Bank Holidays). For all companies, it’s £18.50. If you’re making a one-way trip (or returning on a different day), then it can vary a lot:
Northern is still the cheapest, but TransPennine Express aren’t too far behind. Just bear in mind that these are the prices for booking a week in advance and are for specific trains.
Just be careful where you see the snail symbols for a York to Leeds trip. These trains go via Harrogate and take much longer. Unless you’ve bought a day return and want to stop off there (a York to Leeds return is valid via Harrogate) then there’s no reason to book these trains.
Are there any cheaper options for coming from Newcastle?
When it comes to getting cheap train tickets to York from Newcastle, it can depend on what sort of trip you’re doing. The good news is that there are three operators on this route, and they’re all keen for your business!
If you want some flexibility, then TransPennine Express are the cheapest. It’s £33.40 for a day return (valid after 09:29) on their trains. A return (valid to return within a month) is £36.80 and it’s valid after 09:00.
If you’re returning on the same day, buying two ‘Advance’ singles won’t save you much over the prices above if you’re booking a week in advance:
Sadly, the general rule is that this is a busy route and prices can be high. If you’re planning a day trip on a weekend, you’ll want to book as far in Advance as you can for the best price. We’d also recommend travelling before 9am, as these trains tend to be cheaper.
There is one final option though, which might suit you if you’re not starting your journey from the centre of Newcastle.
A return from Sunderland to York on Grand Central is £24.20. This is an Anytime Return, so you can travel on any of their trains and come back within a month. It takes around 1h40m to travel on this route and there are around six trains per day each way.
What can I do in York?
Great question! We’ve produced a handy guide with lots of things that you can get up to on a day trip to York.
Just don’t forget to choose Railsmartr when you book your train tickets. We’ll show the slower (but cheaper!) trains that some websites won’t, and we don’t charge any fees if you need to change or refund your tickets.
All fares stated on this page are for ONE adult with no Railcard discount and were correct at 12:00 16/05/23 and are for travel on 23/05/23 unless otherwise stated. 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.