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Great Western Railway

Great Western Railway deals

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Great Western Railway logoGWR train sale, eg, London-Bath £16 returnDiscounted advance fares for mostly off-peak Jan-Mar travel

200,000 avail

All aboard... Great Western Railway is having a sale on selected trains across its network in England and Wales (see full map), including one-way tickets available between London and Swindon for £5, between Bath and London for £8, and between Reading and Cardiff for £12 until 11.59pm on Fri 19 Jan.

How to get the discounted tickets

Sale seats are for travel until Wed 28 Mar and you'll need to book a minimum of 17 days in advance of travel. To get the discounted seats, you’ll need to book by 19 Jan online at Great Western Railway, via its app, or a GWR ticket office.

The cheap fares are randomly spread on trains across its network throughout the sale period, so it can be hit and miss as to whether the train you want is discounted and it may involve a bit of trial and error to find the cheaper fares – but there will be more availability the further in advance you book. GWR says the sale tickets will mostly be on off-peak trains, with limited availability during weekday peak times, so you'll need to be flexible on times and dates to get the cheapest tickets.

There are 160,000 discounted standard and 40,000 first-class advance single tickets available. Once you've selected your travel dates, discounted fares will have a red banner and 'January Sale' above them (see image).GWR January seat saleFor return trips, you'll need to book two singles to get the cheapest fare, so check both are at the discounted rate before booking. Return fares are offered but these will be a lot more expensive than buying two 'January Sale' singles.

Sale ticket examples

Strong discounts we found (when buying two standard advance single sale tickets) on Fri 5 Jan include:

  • £10 standard return London Paddington to Oxford, depart 10.15am on Fri 16 Feb, rtn 2.30pm on Sat 17 Feb – next cheapest advance return, £15.90 (norm off-peak return, £29).
  • £10 standard return London Paddington to Swindon, depart 9.36am on Fri 2 Mar, rtn 3.45pm on Mon 5 Mar – next cheapest advance return, £28 (norm off-peak return, £63.20).
  • £16 standard return London Paddington to Bath Spa, depart 9am on Fri 16 Mar, rtn 7.18pm on Sun 19 Mar – next cheapest advance return, £32.50 (norm off-peak return, £79.80).
  • £24 standard return Exeter St Davids to Reading, depart 12.17pm on Fri 16 Mar, rtn 7.30pm on Tue 20 Mar – next cheapest advance return, £62 (norm off-peak return, £73.90)
  • £24 standard return Reading to Cardiff Central, depart 9.42am on Mon 12 Feb, rtn 3.56pm on Mon 19 Feb – next cheapest advance return, £58 (norm off-peak return, £89.20).
  • £24 standard return London Paddington to Penzance, depart 10.03am on Wed 7 Mar, rtn 12.57pm on Tue 13 Mar – next cheapest advance return, £48 (norm off-peak return, £151.30).

Discounted first class fares are also available, eg, London Paddington to Penzance in Cornwall or vice versa for £60 return (next cheapest first class advance return, £102. Norm off-peak return, £274.30), but of course that’s not as MoneySaving.

It's worth noting that these tickets are only valid for the specific train selected when booking, and are non-refundable. Unfortunately, no further discounts are available with a railcard or any other offer.

Are child tickets included?

Discounted child tickets (5-15 years old) are available in this sale for half the price of the adult sale ticket, so a family of four – two adults and two children – could visit London from Oxford for £30 return (£5 each way for each adult, £2.50 each way for each child).

How good is this sale?

Although GWR is only offering half the number of discounted sale tickets compared with its January sale last year, many of its discounted fares are cheaper than a year ago, so if you get on board with this sale, you could make a big saving over regular ticket prices.

More info

Maximum of nine people per booking. You won't be able to start, break and resume, or end your journey at any intermediate station except to change to or from connecting trains as shown on your ticket.

There are no sale fares available to/from Cheltenham Spa between 13-16 Mar, and to/from South Wales between 3-4 Feb, 10-11 Mar and 17-18 Mar.

The GWR network stretches from London Paddington in the east to Cornwall and the south west, Bristol and South Wales, Gloucester, Oxfordshire and the South Cotswolds as well as parts of Surrey and West Sussex.

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Expired Deals

Great Western Railway logoGWR train sale, eg, Bath-London £20 returnDiscounted advance fares for mostly off-peak Jan-Mar travel

Expired

Until 11.59pm on Wed 25 JanGreat Western Railway is having a sale on selected trains across its network in England and Wales (see full map), including one-way tickets available between London and Oxford for £5, between Bath and London for £10, and between Reading and Cardiff for £15.

How to get the discounted tickets

Sale seats are valid for travel from Mon 23 Jan until Fri 24 Mar. To get the discounted seats, you’ll need to book by 25 Jan (and a minimum of 17 days in advance of travel) online at Great Western Railway, via its app or a GWR ticket office.

The cheap fares are randomly spread on trains across its network throughout the sale period, so it can be hit and miss as to whether the train you want is discounted and it may involve a bit of trial and error to find the cheaper fares – but there will be more availability the further in advance you book. GWR says the sale tickets will mostly be on off-peak trains, with limited availability during weekday peak times.

There are 300,000 discounted standard and 100,000 first-class advance single tickets available. You may need to be flexible on times and dates to get the cheapest tickets. Once you've selected your travel dates, discounted fares will have a red banner and 'January Sale' above them (see image).For return trips, you'll need to book two singles to get the cheapest fare, so check both are at the discounted rate before booking – return fares are offered but these will be a lot more expensive than buying two 'January Sale' singles.

Top fares we found

Strong discounts we found (when buying two standard advance single sale tickets) on Mon 16 Jan include:

  • £10 standard return London Paddington to Oxford, depart 9.50am on Sat 18 Feb, rtn 6.01pm on Mon 20 Feb – next cheapest advance return, £15 (norm off-peak return, £28).
  • £20 standard return London Paddington to Swindon, depart 10.27am on Sat 4 Mar, rtn 6.52pm on Sun 5 Mar – next cheapest advance return, £36 (norm off-peak return, £46.30).
  • £20 standard return London Paddington to Bath Spa, depart 8am on Sat 18 Mar, rtn 7.18pm on Sun 19 Mar – next cheapest advance return, £29 (norm off-peak return, £57.50).
  • £30 standard return Reading to Cardiff Central, depart 9.11am on Mon 13 Feb, rtn 6.25pm on Wed 15 Feb – next cheapest advance return, £61.50 (norm off-peak return, £82).
  • £30 standard return Exeter St Davids to Reading, depart 11.38am on Sat 18 Mar, rtn 7.32pm on Sun 19 Mar – next cheapest advance return, £38 (norm off-peak return, £71.40)

Discounted first class fares are also available, eg, London Paddington to Cornwall or vice versa from £78 return (next cheapest advance return, £112. Norm off-peak return, £274.30), but of course that’s not as MoneySaving.

It's worth noting that these tickets are only valid for the specific train selected when booking, and are non-refundable. Unfortunately, no further discounts are available with a railcard or any other offer.

Are child tickets included?

Discounted child tickets (5-15 years old) are available in this sale for half the price of the adult sale ticket, so a family of four – two adults and two children – could visit London from Oxford for £30 return (£5 each way for each adult, £2.50 each way for each child).

More info

Maximum of nine people per booking.

You won't be able to start, break and resume, or end your journey at any intermediate station except to change to or from connecting trains as shown on your ticket.

Great Western Railway logoGWR 50% off train tickets for young personsDiscount on advance fares with a 16-25 Railcard. Book online

Expired

If you have a 16-25 Railcard you can get 50% off advance single fares on Great Western Railway (formerly First Great Western) trains when booking online until 11.59pm on Sat 31 Dec – though you can book travel up to 31 Jan 2017.

A 16-25 Railcard gets 34% off most fares if you're under 26 (or over 26 and in full-time education), so this is an extra 16% boost to the usual discount.

Advance single fares are available on selected trains – these are marked with a red asterisk and 'online discount' (*online discount) at the train selection stage. These fares can be booked up to 6pm the day before travel, and are non-refundable.

You can only get this offer online via the link above, not at the station.

On Thu 27 Oct, we found these cheap fares using the offer:

  • Oxford to London Paddington, 10.01am on Sat 17 Dec – £2.95 (£5 without discount)
  • Exeter Central to Penzance, 11.52am on Fri 2 Dec – £4.20 (£8.50 without discount)
  • London Paddington to Bath Spa, 11.00am on Thu 8 Dec – £7.15 (£14.50 without discount)
  • London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads, 7.58am on Sun 6 Nov – £9.90 (£20 without discount)

What if you don't have a 16-25 Railcard?

The 16-25 Railcard normally costs £30 for one year or £70 for three years, but occasionally it has codes to get it cheaper. If you have enough Tesco Clubcard points, you can exchange them to get 50% off a 16-25 Railcard, and NUS cardholders can get 12% off an annual card. See our Railcard deals page.

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And although Section 75 doesn't apply to debit cards, there is something else to fall back on if you've paid using a debit card, or used a credit card for a purchase under £100. Known as Chargeback, this is part of banks' and card companies' internal rules and not a legal requirement. Read full details of Section 75 or Chargeback, plus how to claim, in our guides.

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