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What’s the best London to Cambridge train price?

If you’re travelling from London to Cambridge, then you have a choice of two different routes. This is great news for you, as it means that there’s some competition! Let’s take a look at how much they cost, how to book the best London to Cambridge train price on Railsmartr, and what the trains are like.

What’s the London to Cambridge train price?

You have three different brands of train to choose from on a Cambridge to London journey, but only two actual companies. You can travel with Govia Thameslink Railway (Great Northern and Thameslink) or Greater Anglia. Let’s see how long each company takes to make the trip, and what sort of fares they offer.

Govia Thameslink Railway

These trains run from either London King’s Cross or London St Pancras (trains from the latter also serve London Bridge, Blackfriars, City Thameslink and Farringdon), and they’re branded as Great Northern or Thameslink.

From King’s Cross, you’ll find two trains per hour that run non-stop to Cambridge. These trains take around 50 minutes. Either one or two trains per hour (depending on the time of day) serve Finsbury Park, Alexandra Palace, Potters Bar, Hatfield and then all stations to Cambridge. This journey takes around 80 to 85 minutes. Most of the services from King’s Cross are Great Northern trains.

Out of St Pancras, all of the trains are Thameslink trains. You’ll find two trains per hour which stop at Finsbury Park, Stevenage, all stations to Royston, and then Cambridge. They take around 70 minutes.

In a nutshell, you’ll find two non-stop trains, two semi-fast ones and up to two stopping ones. Let’s take a look at the fares:

  • Anytime Return £58.20
  • Off-Peak Return – £44.90
  • Anytime Day Return – £44.20
  • Off-Peak Day Return – £30.30
  • Super Off-Peak Day Return – £20.70.

The Off-Peak Return is valid after 09:30, before 17:30 and after 18:30 on weekdays on the Govia Thameslink Railway route. Meanwhile, the Off-Peak Day Return is valid after 09:30 on weekdays. You can only use the Super Off-Peak Day Return on weekends and Bank Holidays (at any time of day).

All of these tickets are also valid on Greater Anglia trains. You can use them on either route.

Greater Anglia

Greater Anglia operates two trains per hour from London Liverpool Street to Cambridge. The faster service takes 80 minutes, and the slower one takes 90. Some faster trains also run on weekdays that might be suitable for a day trip. These leave London at 08:03 and 08:33, and one fast train returns from Cambridge at 16:35. These faster trains take 60 to 70 minutes.

If you stick to Greater Anglia trains, then you’ll find a cheaper London to Cambridge train price. Here are the fares that are valid only on their services:

  • Anytime Day Return – £43.90
  • Off-Peak Return – £33.90
  • Off-Peak Day Return – £23.50
  • Super Off-Peak Day Return – £15.20
  • Duo Super Off-Peak Day Return – £22.50 (for two people).

The Off-Peak Return is valid to leave London Liverpool Street after 09:30, before 16:31 and after 18:35 on weekdays. Meanwhile, the Off-Peak Day Return is valid after 09:14 on weekdays. Both the Super Off-Peak Day Return and Duo are only valid on weekends and Bank Holidays.

It’s also possible to buy train-specific Advance tickets, which start at £8.00 one way. Let’s take a closer look at this below.

How do I book the best London to Cambridge train price?

You can always book the best London to Cambridge train price through Railsmartr. Just pop your journey details into the website and we’ll show you the cheapest fare.

Looking for cheap Advance tickets on Greater Anglia trains? They’ll show up with a ‘no refunds‘ message:

railsmartr website showing advance london to cambridge train price

We’d recommend booking a least a week in advance for the cheapest Advance tickets. Remember, if you’re making a return trip, then a flexible Day Return might be cheaper if you’re travelling at weekends or during Off-Peak times.

If you want a Duo return, then make sure that you select ‘Return’ tickets in the search results. When you click on the price, they’ll show up as Greater Anglia Duo Return:

railsmartr website showing greater anglia duo london to cambridge train price

The Duo ticket is fantastic value. You can have a day trip to Cambridge on a weekend or Bank Holiday for just £11.25 each!

What are the trains like?

Now that we’ve seen who offers the best London to Cambridge train price, let’s see what the trains themselves are like.

Govia Thameslink Railway

If you’re travelling with Great Northern or Thameslink, then you’ll find two different types of train. The Electrostar train runs on most of the non-stop trains between London and Cambridge:

class 387 train operated by great northern

They’ll usually have eight or 12 carriages. You’ll find reading lights, free WiFi and a power socket at every window seat.

The Desiro City train runs on most services that are branded as Thameslink:

thameslink class 700 train

They have eight or 12 carriages. Our top tip is to travel in the very rear of the train, which is marked as First Class. The rear compartment is always declassified, so you can sit in it with a Standard Class ticket. In this area, you’ll find a power socket under your seat, more room to stretch out and a bigger table.

Greater Anglia

Greater Anglia has only one type of train on the London to Cambridge route, which is the Aventra:

greater anglia class 720 train

These trains have five or 10 carriages. Every seat has a three-pin power socket and USB ports underneath, as well as access to free WiFi. The seats are in a 3+2 layout though, so aisle space can be tight. We’d recommend walking down the platform to find a seat if you have time rather than walking down the train.

Is there anything else I should know?

Here at Railsmartr, we know how difficult it can be to navigate the world of train tickets. Why not check out our pages on the best time to travel for cheap tickets and train seat types next?

Thinking of taking a trip soon? You can book the best London to Cambridge train price, and more, with Railsmartr. We’ll be sure to show you the slower and cheaper options, so you can get the best value fare for your journey.

Changed your mind? Need to travel on a different day? No problem at all. You can change or refund your ticket (if it’s refundable) without any extra fees.

All fares stated on this page are for ONE adult with no Railcard discount and were correct at 15:00 22/08/23. 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.