Cheap train+bike combo?

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Cheap train+bike combo?

Postby dave.donaghy » 22 Mar 2012, 12:58pm

I'm trying to find a sensibly cheap alternative to a return train journey from Bath to Northolt in west London, which involves Bath-Paddington, then underground back out west to Northolt.

I normally do a one-day round trip, but it's 3+ hours each way door-to-door, and normally around £70 or so all in.

While I love the idea of biking the lot in one day, it's around 200 miles round, so that's not an option. :)

What is an option, though, is something like biking to a train station west of west London, then getting a train the rest of the way; ideally, this would avoid the traffic of London, keep it cheap, and get 100+ miles in over the weekend. Happy to do it over 2 days at a weekend.

I considered Oxford, and that looks like a genuine possibility. (In fact, I'll be biking to Oxford as part of a Bath-Oxford-Symond's Yat three-day holiday in a couple of weeks.) But I'm keen to look at other options too.

Thanks in advice for any advice.

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Re: Cheap train+bike combo?

Postby JJF » 22 Mar 2012, 8:06pm

Is it possible that you can find a cheap train ticket on the following. It appears that there are some cheap options but I've never tried it. ... kets#split

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Re: Cheap train+bike combo?

Postby Russcoles » 23 Mar 2012, 3:54am

Why not do the middle section by bike? Reading to Chippenham is a great ride. Use NCN4 to Great Bedwyn, then take NCN 403 up through the Savernake Forrest (rather a lot of potholes but nice scenery) to Marlborough. Marlborough to Calne on the A4 is reasonably quiet, although the country lanes just south of the A4 are actually flatter and more pleasant from Marlborough to East Kennet. A detour to see Avebury is worthwhile and Silbury Hill is worth seeing. The A4 from Silbury hill to Calne is one of the best stretches of freewheeling I have come across. NCN403 from Calne to Chippenham is disused railway and rather pleasant. Do not attempt NCN403 between Calne and Avebury

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Re: Cheap train+bike combo?

Postby dave.donaghy » 28 Mar 2012, 1:55pm

Thanks - I'm gonna try Bath to Reading using the Chippenham-Reading route suggested, and then get a lift from there.

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Re: Cheap train+bike combo?

Postby skrx » 28 Mar 2012, 5:29pm

There are some surprisingly decent routes around Northolt.

The A40 has an actual cycle path (!) along it (sometimes shared with pedestrians, but essentially empty). There are very few junctions, so it's mostly uninterrupted. See

The canals are also nice, but again I've only cycled along them for leisure (Ealing to Slough, Ealing to Uxbridge).

(Public transport: don't forget the suburban trains. Trains from Reading/Slough to Paddington stop at the smaller stations. If you can take your bike on the train, it's easy to follow the canal (or main road) from Hayes & Harlington to Northolt. Alternatively, there are frequent buses.)