Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Please click on the relevant area for your enquiry:

Your BritRail Pass

Placing Your Order

        As You Travel          


Your BritRail Pass

What is a BritRail Pass?
A BritRail Pass is a rail ticket that allows you unlimited travel by train within your selected zones of Great Britain and for the duration you choose.
What are the benefits in purchasing a BritRail Pass?
Please see each Pass page for its benefits.
BritRail Passes can give you a 2FOR1 discounted entry into attractions (BritRail 2FOR1 gives you two for the price of one entry based upon the door price of the listed attraction).
Am I eligible for a BritRail Pass?
You can buy a BritRail Pass if you are not a UK resident.  Anyone who has lived in the United Kingdom for the last six months or more is not entitled to buy a BritRail Pass.
Am I eligible for a BritRail Pass if I am a UK Passport holder?
You may travel using a UK Passport provided you have not resided in Britain consistently for the last six months prior to travel.
As BritRail Passes cannot be used by residents of Britain, our train managers and gateline staff look for BritRail Passholders using a UK Passport. If you are a British national but have not resided in Britain for the last six months (i.e: ex-pat) you are entitled to travel on a BritRail Pass, but may need to show your foreign visa stamp as proof. We would also recommend that you take a utility bill (dated within the last 3 months) as proof of your residence abroad, but this is not compulsory.
What National Rail train companies can I use my BritRail Pass on?
There are over 20 Train Operating Companies (TOCs) making up the National Rail network of Great Britain. You can use your selected BritRail Pass on all National Rail trains within the boundary of your specific Pass zone. Please note the BritRail South West Pass is valid on South Western Railway and Great Western Railway services only. BritRail Passes are not valid on London Underground but you can travel cross London using the following National Rail lines: Elizabeth Line, Thameslink and London Overground. You can also use the three open access operators that run on the National Rail network within your specific Pass boundary - Grand Central Railway, Hull Trains and Lumo. (View a map of the TOCs here).
Can I purchase a BritRail Pass when I am in Britain?
No. Please remember to buy your BritRail Pass before leaving your country of residence, as BritRail Passes cannot be purchased when in Britain. You can purchase online via our BritRail specialists.
Consecutive or Flexi Pass?
Consecutive BritRail Passes give you travel for as many days as you choose continuously in a row. For example an 8 day consecutive pass that starts on 11th February will expire at the end of 18th February, making 8 straight days of travel.
Flexible BritRail Passes give you travel for as many days as you choose within one month (or within two months for a 15 Day Pass). For example an 8 day flexible pass that starts on 11th February will expire on 10th March and you have 8 individual days of travel (of your choice) to use between these dates. There are no refunds for unused days.
Traveller Categories
The BritRail traveller categories are as follows:
Children under the age of 5 and not occupying a seat may travel for free without a Pass.
Not every Pass has a Senior or Youth discount.
You will need to purchase the Pass category based upon the age you are when you travel, not based upon the age you are when you purchase your Pass.
If your Pass validity covers a period where you transfer from one category to another, you should purchase:
  • Turning from Child into Youth – a Youth Pass
  • Turning from Youth into Adult – a Adult Pass
  • Turning from Adult into Senior – a Adult Pass
Is there a discount for Children travelling on a BritRail Pass?
Do children travel free with a full paying adult?
Yes, every Adult or Senior travelling on a full paying BritRail Pass, BritRail England Pass or BritRail South West Pass, can take one child with them for free. The child will still need a BritRail Pass but the value will be zero, so make sure you declare them at time of your booking. Any further children will pay the normal child rate BritRail Pass.
Are there any further discounts available?
Yes, Youth and Senior travellers receive a discount on certain BritRail Passes.
There is also the BritRail Saver Pass for groups of 3 – 9 people who can travel together. If travelling together you can apply for a Saver Pass and get 20% off your Pass.
Which Durations are there?
BritRail Pass, BritRail England Pass, BritRail London Plus Pass and BritRail South West Pass have a variation of durations from 2, 3, 4, 8, 15 days Flexible to 3, 4, 8, 15, 22 days and 1 Month Consecutive
BritRail Spirit of Scotland Passes have a Flexible duration of 4 days within 8 days or 8 days within 15 days.
Which Passes include ferry travel?
Unfortunately no ferries are included in any BritRail Pass.
Since 2023 Caledonian MacBrayne no longer offer inclusive travel for BritRail Spirit of Scotland Passholders and separate tickets need to be purchased for ferry travel. 
Is a BritRail Pass valid on buses and coaches?
The BritRail Spirit of Scotland Pass allows you to travel on several bus and coach routes in Scotland inclusive in the price, please see the BritRail Spirit of Scotland page.
The only other buses or coaches that other BritRail Passes are valid on, are those provided by the railway in the case of a rail replacement service.

Is the Eurostar included in my BritRail Pass?
No. Eurostar services are not included in the BritRail Pass range. 
Is the London Underground included in my BritRail Pass?
No. The London Underground is not included in any BritRail Passes.
BritRail Passes are available on National Rail services only. 
However, you can cross London using a BritRail Pass on the following National Rail services:
Please note it is possible to connect Heathrow airport to London Kings Cross mainline station on your BritRail Pass without using the London Underground, simply take the Elizabeth Line from Heathrow to Farringdon and change there for the Thameslink line to Kings Cross and St Pancras International.

What is included in the BritRail Spirit of Scotland Pass?
The Spirit of Scotland Pass includes more than the regular BritRail Pass when travelling in Scotland. Please see the BritRail Spirit of Scotland Pass page for further details.

Placing Your Order

Where can I purchase my BritRail Pass?
If you want to purchase a BritRail Pass online, you can visit our BritRail specialist agents on our How To Book page. Many travel agents and tour operators around the world also sell BritRail on its own or as part of a package holiday, as well as the British national tourist board.
Why should I buy a BritRail Pass?
A BritRail Pass is for you if you plan to travel on several different journeys over several different days when in Britain, or if travelling on more than just a long distance return journey. BritRail is competitively priced compared with purchasing individual tickets for multiple journeys.
How far in advance can I buy my Pass?
BritRail Passes can be purchased eleven months in advance.
What is the difference between Standard and First Class travel?
Standard Class carriages in Britain give you a good quality comfortable seat and the chance to reserve your seat, especially for the long journeys. First Class carriages are often quieter, offer wider seats, more legroom and less seats per carriage than Standard Class. In some cases First Class services include snacks and drinks at seat and free WiFi. Not all trains in Britain provide First Class, this has been factored into the pricing of the First Class Pass.

Are railway staff discounts available when purchasing my BritRail Pass?

As You Travel

How do I validate my pass?
When you wish to start using your BritRail Paper Pass, simply take it to the ticket office of your first departure point and get the staff to validate it with their stamp. (If your first departure point does not have a ticket office, you can board the train but must validate it at your next change point or destination, whichever comes first.) If you have a BritRail M-Pass, this is validated already at the time you download your barcode and there is no need to go to the ticket office to validate it, simply start travelling on the chosen day for your barcode.
How do I make seat reservations?
Seat reservations can be made online through our BritRail Specialist
ACP Rail for a fee per reservation. This will enable you to be reserved on the trains you require in advance and give you peace of mind you will be travelling on that train and seated near each other (if multiple travellers.) This is important for high-speed InterCity trains which get very busy, particularly in the peak times, especially for routes to Scotland.
It is also possible to make seat reservations at any National Rail station free of charge. Many people do this as soon as they arrive in Britain to make sure they get the seats they want in advance of their travel date. All you need to do is show your BritRail Pass. You will not need to validate your BritRail Pass to make a reservation in advance of it starting, you simply need to show it as evidence that you hold a valid Pass. This does, however, carry the risk that you may not be able to get seats reserved or seats together by leaving it until you arrive.
Night Sleeper trains need a compulsory reservation. Caledonian Sleeper London to Scotland (and vice versa) can only be purchased through the Caledonian Sleeper call centre +44 (0) 141 555 0888 and the Night Riviera Sleeper London to South West (and vice versa) can only be purchased through the GWR call centre +44 (0) 345 7000 125.

How often can I travel?
If you qualify for a BritRail Pass (see Am I eligible for a BritRail Pass? In FAQ’s) then you can travel as much as you want within the days you purchase.
Can I travel during Peak Hours?
Yes, a BritRail Pass will allow you to travel at any time of day, including peak hour times, during your chosen Pass duration. The only exception to this rule is the BritRail Spirit of Scotland Pass, which cannot be used to travel before 09:15 on Mondays to Fridays, except between Glasgow-Oban/Fort William/Mallaig and Inverness-Kyle/Wick/Thurso, which is allowed.
BritRail Flexi Passes are valid for one month … but how long is a month?
A month on the National Rail network is a calendar month. For example a Pass that starts on 11th February will expire on 10th March. So you can use your flexible days in between your validity period.
BritRail Flexi Passes that are valid for 15 Days receive two months validity. In this case a 15 Day FlexiPass that starts on 11th February will expire on 10th April.

How much luggage can I take?
Customers may take up to three items of personal luggage free of charge, this includes two large items (such as suitcases or rucksacks) and one item of smaller hand luggage (such as a briefcase). Excess luggage and certain more bulky items (such as skis) may be carried, subject to available space, at an extra charge. On Gatwick Express services bulky items such as skis are conveyed free in the luggage van. There is plenty of space on board for other luggage. Click here for further details.
What services are available on the train?
See our Reservations & Trains page.

Can I take a wheelchair or mobility scooter on board?
All trains allow wheelchairs/scooters if they fold up.  However, there are government regulations in terms of size for wheelchairs/scooters that do not fold (700mm wide, 1200mm long).  Some older trains have a maximum width of 670mm.

Do all trains and stations offer disabled facilities?
Not all stations offer disabled facilities. Please visit the National Rail accessibility map to see which stations have which facilities: 

Can I take my bicycle with me?
Yes, there are limited spaces on board trains for bicycles. Some train operators encourage passengers travelling with bicycles to reserve a cycle space before you travel. This ensures you can take your bicycle on board your intended service. Some commuter trains do not allow the carriage of bicycles during peak hours (before 09:00 and after 16:30 weekdays). Please check with the train operator before you travel. 

Can I take my pet on the train?
Yes, please click here to visit National Rail for further details. 

What is the Travel Diary?
Filling out a BritRail Travel Diary allows you to keep a track of where you have travelled. It also gives us information on what routes BritRail Passholders are currently travelling the most. This information will help us to provide better products and destination specific offers to you in the future. Please fill out your travel diary online or if you have a paper Pass, please fill out your travel diary and post it back to us through any Royal Mail red post box.
If you have a question not covered here in the FAQs, please contact one of our retailers on the How To Book page, or the retailer you purchased through, who will be able to help answer your question.