Virgin Trains East Coast Deals
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Virgin Trains East Coast sale, eg, £16 London-Leeds return
50% off mostly off-peak travel 6 Jan-2 Mar
Until 11.59pm on Wed 22 Nov, Virgin Trains East Coast is having a 50% off sale on selected trains across its network – stations between London King's Cross and Edinburgh, see full map – including one-way standard advance tickets available between London King's Cross and Leeds for £8 (£21.80 first class), and between Edinburgh and York for £8.60 (£17.90 first class). For discounted tickets on the West Coast network, see Virgin Trains West Coast sale below.
How to get the discounted tickets
Sale seats are valid for travel from Sat 6 Jan to Fri 2 Mar, excluding 10-18 Feb (half-term) and 24-25 Feb. To get the discounted seats, you’ll need to book by Wednesday via this Virgin Trains East Coast link – sale seats will be labelled 'Discounted'.
The cheap fares are randomly spread on trains across its East Coast network throughout the sale period, so it can be hit and miss as to whether the seat you want is discounted and it will involve a bit of trial and error to find the cheaper fares.
Virgin Trains says the sale tickets will mostly be on off-peak Mon-Sat trains, with limited availability during weekday peak times and on Sundays. Availability will also be very limited during planned engineering work.
There are 250,000 discounted standard and 50,000 discounted first class advance single tickets available (the sale launched at 10am on Mon 20 Nov). In the past, this has been very popular – so you'll need to 'make tracks' and be flexible on times and dates to get the cheapest tickets.
For return trips, you'll have to book two singles, so check both are at the discounted rate before booking.
Top example fares
We found these example fares on Mon 20 Nov, but advance tickets tend to rise in price closer to the date of travel so prices may go up:
- £16 standard return (£43.60 first class) London King's Cross to Leeds, departing Fri 2 Feb at 10.03am, returning Mon 5 Feb at 1.15pm.
- £25 standard return (£58.60 first class) London King's Cross to Edinburgh, departing Tue 23 Jan at 10.30am, returning Thu 25 Jan at 2pm.
- £26.50 standard return (£35.80 first class) Edinburgh to York, departing Wed 17 Jan at 10am, returning Sun 21 Jan at 10am.
It's worth noting that these tickets are only valid for the specific train and seat reserved online, and are non-refundable. Unfortunately, no further discounts are available with a railcard.
Are child tickets included?
Discounted child tickets 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 Leeds for £48 return (£8 each way for each adult, £4 each way for each child).
Is this sale any good?
This isn't the cheapest we've seen East Coast seats – in November 2016, it offered London to Leeds return for £10, among other cheap fares – but this deal is still pretty strong and 50% off 300,000 seats could put you on the right track for some serious savings.
Virgin Trains East Coast 50% off family tickets
Use code for selected journeys up to 10 Sep, eg, London-York
If you're planning a trip with the family, Virgin Trains East Coast* is offering 50% off selected family tickets when you enter the code FM50 online by 11.59pm on Sat 2 Sep.
It's valid on standard and first class advance fares to/from 14 stations on the East Coast network including London, Newcastle, Leeds and York for travel until Sun 10 Sep (excluding 25-28 August – the bank holiday weekend).
How to get the discounted tickets
To get the 50% off family tickets:
- Go via this Virgin Trains Family Promo* link.
- Register or log in and then enter the promo code FM50 when prompted – you can then continue with your booking.
- The code can only be used once for up to eight passengers and at least one must be a child (age 5-15).
The family tickets with 50% off show 'Discounted' underneath the price (see image below). For return trips, you'll have to book two singles, so check both are at the discounted rate.
Which services are included?
The 50% discount is valid for selected journeys (in both directions) between these 14 stations:
- London King's Cross
- Newark North Gate
- Wakefield Westgate
The discounted tickets are randomly spread on trains across these East Coast journeys, so it can be hit and miss as to whether the train you want is discounted and it will involve some trial and error to find the cheaper fares – not all journeys will have the 50% off tickets on all dates.
Virgin Trains says the discounted family tickets will mostly be on off-peak trains, with very limited availability during weekday peak times. You'll need to be flexible on times and dates to get the cheapest tickets.
The code won't work with any other offers or discounts including railcards and it's worth noting that these tickets are only valid for the specific train and seat reserved online, and are non-refundable.
When we checked on Thu 17 Aug, we found these example single fares for a family ticket for two adults and two children:
- £24.50 (£56 first class) Doncaster to Newcastle, Tue 5 Sep departing 2.10pm.
- £32.40 (£80.90 first class) London Kings Cross to Leeds, Wed 23 Aug departing 12.35pm.
- £49.80 (£101.60 first class) Newcastle to Peterborough, Thu 31 Aug departing 12.25pm.
- £53 (£92.70 first class) London Kings Cross to York, Fri 1 Sep departing 11.08am.
What about West Coast services?
Virgin Trains offers a family ticket on its West Coast service for all journeys to/from London Euston, but you won't be able to use the 50% off code above, that's only for East Coast services. If you book a return ticket for the West Coast, your journey back can be taken any time within one month – see Virgin Trains*.
Not looking for a family ticket? Until Mon 28 Aug, Virgin Trains East Coast is offering 50% off on 500,000 selected standard and first class advance fares across the East Coast network for travel from 11 Sep to 20 Dec (some exclusions), eg, London to Leeds £16 return.