by Dave Collier
life in Sedbergh, UK

Travelling from Sedbergh to Slovenia by Train and Air
Analysis of options by rail from Oxenholme and air from Manchester, analysis done on 10 November 2014. Rail fares are those current in December 2014. It is not usually possible to book more than two months in advance on the train – the exception being Eurostar where you can book up to six months in advance.
Note: the options can make for complex reading. At the foot of the page is my recommendation, the option that I would, maybe will, take.
Train
It’s possible to arrive the day after you set off.
There are three route options and next-day arrival is possible with all of them. Possible, but involving rather long days travelling. It may be more sensible to think in terms of two overnights rather than one, and take it a bit more relaxed.
All the options involve a Eurostar from St Pancras.
First though, we need to get to London. Oxenholme to London
Oxenholme to London
Without a Railcard:
The 06:21 from Oxenholme to London costs £169.50 one way, or you might get an Advance (non-exchangeable) ticket for £143.00 single if you book early enough. Therefore avoid the 06:21 (UNLESS you have a railcard, see below)
All later trains cost £47.25 one way if you buy a return (£94.50 return).
A single ticket costs just £1 more than a return, so £93.50 if you buy a single.
With a Railcard:
(A Senior Railcard costs £30 for a year, or £70 for a three-year one. You need to be over 60.)
It is worth buying a Railcard even if you only ever do this one journey ever in your life again.
If you have a Senior Railcard (or possibly any railcard) the costs are:
£31.20 single if you buy a return (£62.40 return), this INCLUDES on the 06:21
or £61.70 single
There are some advance tickets available at lower cost both with and without railcard, but these depend on whether you are buying a single or return – to no clear pattern. It may be possible to pay a little less on the outward journey. I would not recommend an advance fare for the return journey as advance tickets are for a specific train, and you could end up paying a lot more if you are delayed on your way to Euston, for the saving of a few quid.
Assuming you have a Railcard, the Oxenholme to London leg of the journey will cost:
Total Oxenholme to London £62.40 return (whether or not you come back by rail).
Next London St Pancras to Paris or Brussels.
London St Pancras to Paris or Brussels
The lowest-cost fare is £34.50 each way.
If you go to Paris and return from Brussels, or if you only buy a single, the lowest cost is £39 each way.
Costs fluctuate depending on demand on that train. The maximum single price in standard class is £141.
I am going to take a slightly-pessimistic guess at £50 single (somewhat pessimistic for I have often got the £34.50 fares both ways.)
From Paris or Brussels
Three options:
1. Overnight sleeper Paris to Munich, or
2. from Paris via Stuttgart, or
3. from Brussels via Cologne.
Option 1 Overnight Sleeper.
NOTE – UPDATE: I understand that the Paris-Munich Sleeper from December 2014 no longer runs.
The sleeper leaves from Paris Est station at 20:05, so you could get say:
Oxenholme 09:13 arr Euston 12:13
(the next direct train from Oxenholme (ie with no change) is at 10:42, arr 14:33, which might be pushing it a bit for the connections in London and Paris.)
then one of:
St Pancras 13:31 arr Gare du Nord 16:47
St Pancras 14:31 arr Gare du Nord 17:47
St Pancras 15:31 arr Gare du Nord 18:47
It’s a ten-minute walk from Gare du Nord to Gare de l’Est (The way the signs send you involves a long flight of steps. Much better to stick with the road, then it’s very easy. Don’t know why the burgers of Paris imagine that people with a suitcase will enjoy a flight of steps. )
Sleeper from Paris to Munich
depart Paris Est 20:05 arrive Munich 07:10
This is quite expensive, ranging from (one-way fares)
£120 in a six-berth couchette to
£150 in a double sleeper to
£243 in a single sleeper with shower
Probably not worth pursuing this option. Expensive and you don’t see anything on the way.
Though if you do take this option, then:
Depart Munich 0810 arr Ljubljana 14:31
this involves a 10-minute connection in Villach, which doesn’t give much leeway.
€39 advance €85.40 walk-on
Or
Depart Munich 12:18 arr Ljubljana 18:31 direct no change.
€39 advance €85.40 walk-on
If you miss the connection in Villach on the earlier train, then you have to wait for this one, there aren’t any others.
Note: advance tickets in Germany are not so onerous as advance tickets in the UK as you can get a refund on them if you don’t use them.
Option 2 Overnight in Stuttgart
Oxenholme to London
depart 06:21 arr 09:07, or
depart 07:24 arr 10:13, or
depart 08:23 arr 11:14
Eurostar
St Pancras 10:25 Gare du Nord 13:50, or
St Pancras 12:25 Gare du Nord 15:50
Paris Est 15:25 Stuttgart 19:04 (€49 advance €123 walk-on), or
Paris Est 17:25 Stuttgart 21:05 (€49 advance €123 walk on)
Ibis Hotel near Stuttgart Station £72 plus breakfast.
next morning:
Stuttgart depart 09:58 arr Ljubljana 18.31 direct €49 advance €127.40 walk-on
Option 3 Overnight in Cologne
Oxenholme to London
depart 06:21 arr 09:07, or
depart 07:24 arr 10:13, or
depart 08:23 arr 11:14
St Pancras depart 12:58 arr Brussels 16:08, or
St Pancras depart 15:04 arr Brussels 18:05 (though I think this is too tight a connection in Brussels)
Brussels depart 17:28 arr Cologne 19:15 €65 (a Belgian Thalys train), or
Brussels depart 18:25 arr Cologne 20:15 €34 advance €53 walk-on (a German ICE train)
Ibis Hotel right in Cologne Station and facing the cathedral £87
(if you book early enough and can get in – this hotel gets full, there are others nearby but this one is immensely convenient)
Cologne depart 06:11 arr Stuttgart 09:24 direct €71 advance €109 walk-on
Stuttgart depart 09:58 arr Ljubljana 18.31 direct €49 advance €127.40 walk-on
Summary of lowest costs by rail (one-way) using a € to £ rate of 0.82
Note: On some websites, e.g The Man in Seat 61 you will see that it is possible to travel from London to any station in Germany for €59. These are London Spezial fares from Deutsche Bahn. Unless you start from London in the morning (which in terms of cost adds on the cost of a hotel in London) you would have to get the 15:04 Eurostar, changing in Brussels and Cologne and arrive in Munich at 06:02 next morning. Only for the hardy destitute, I would suggest, so I am setting that option aside.
Forget option 1 as the summary answer there is “Expensive” (and I think not running any more)
Option 2 via Paris-Stuttgart
Oxenholme-London £31.20
London-Paris £50.00
Paris-Stuttgart £40.18
Overnight Stuttgart £72.00
Stuttgart-Ljubljana £40.18
Total £233.56
Option 3 via Brussels-Cologne
Oxenholme-London £31.20
London-Brussels £50.00
Brussels-Cologne £27.88
Overnight Cologne £87.00
Cologne-Stuttgart £58.22
Stuttgart-Ljubljana £40.18
Total £294.48
If you come back by air then add on a further £31.20, as you buy a return ticket from Oxenholme to London whether you return that way or not.
I recommend an additional night’s stay. There are various options to make the journey more civilised, e.g.
Overnight Strasbourg then Ulm or Munich or Salzburg. Route same as option 2 (see RECOMMENDATION below).
Direct trains from Paris Est to Strasbourg at
depart 15:25 arr 17:42 (this train goes on to Stuttgart, see above)
depart 16:55 arr 19:14
depart 17:25 arr 19:42 (this train goes on to Stuttgart, see above)
or
Overnight Brussels and then overnight Ulm or Munich or Salzburg. Route same as option 3.
Both these options break the journey without detour. The Strasbourg option will probably cost less than the Brussels route, except if you have, as I have, a Deutsche Bahn railcard, which is easy to come by – but possibly that is getting a little too complicated!
Return by Train.
I’ll give the one-night stay option, which can be modified. Return fare will be pretty-much double the single.
via Stuttgart and Paris:
Ljubljana 09:22 arr Stuttgart 18:00 direct
Stuttgart depart 08:55 arr Paris Est 12:35
Paris Gare du Nord depart 15:10 arr St Pancras 16:39 (there is a 13:10 from Paris but too tight for comfort – get some lunch in Paris)
Euston 17:30 arr Oxenholme 20:08 ( there’s also an 18:30 and a 19:30 from Euston in case of delay on the Eurostar)
via Cologne and Brussels
Ljubljana 09:22 arr Stuttgart 18:00 direct
Stuttgart 07:51 arr Cologne 10:05
time to take a look at the cathedral (opposite the station), plenty of coffee options in and around Cologne station.
Cologne 11:43 arr Brussels 13:35
Brussels 14:46 arr St Pancras 16:05
Euston 16:57 arr Oxenholme 19:43
(or if it’s a Saturday 16:30 arr 19:08 – usually get from the Eurostar at St Pancras to Euston comfortably in 25 minutes)
Although the above return journeys show Ljubljana 09:22, it may be more convenient to take the train from Celje at 09:18 and change at Graz (25-minute connection).
By Air
Manchester to Ljubljana
Adria Airways does not begin its direct flights to Manchester until 30 May, and then Saturdays only, but you can change in a number of cities on a through ticket.
e.g:
Saturday 23 May
Manchester terminal 1 06:35 arr Brussels 09:00 depart Brussels 10:10 arr Ljubljana 11:50
Saturday 30 May
Ljubljana 13:15 arr Manchester terminal 3 14:45 direct
€421.39 economy return (£345.22)
Horrible early start from Manchester though. Need to add on a week’s parking or coach to Manchester or a hotel. A week’s parking is cheapest by far at £45.99 in the long stay or, amazingly, £29.99 in Jetparks if you walk from terminal 3 to terminal 1 on the way back.
Alternatively, at higher cost, there are lots of options from Manchester to Ljubljana with a single change, for example, on 23 May 2015:
depart Manchester 12:35 arr Frankfurt 15:15, depart Frankfurt 16:30 arr Ljubljana 17:45
Cost, a mere €698.58 (£572.84)
If you take just the return leg (e.g. travel out by train and back by air) the economy air fare Ljubljana-Manchester on 30 May 2015 can be got for €138.22 (£113.34)
RECOMMENDATION
What I would do
First day, London, Paris, Strasbourg. (see above)
Second day, depart Strasbourg 09:47 arr Stuttgart 11:04. Depart Stuttgart 11:58, arr Salzburg 16:00
Third day, depart Salzburg 08:15 arr Graz 12:14. S-Bahn 12:38 from Graz Hauptbahnhof to Spielfeld Strass arr 13:30. Depart Spielfeld Strass 14:04 arrive Celje 15:30
connection time should be enough in Graz, but if missed then there are still two more options for getting to Celje that day, arriving in Celje at 18:32 and 19:27
The are Ibis Budget, Ibis and Mercure hotels across from the station in Strasbourg. There are Mercure hotels in central Salzburg that are very good value on advance booking at time of looking (£45 per night).
Return Journey
depart Celje 09:18 arr Munich 17:41 (25-minute connection in Graz Hauptbahnhof)
Next day depart Munich 09:28 arr Strasbourg 14:11 (56-minute connection in Stuttgart)
Next day depart Strasbourg 10:15 to give easy connections for the 16:57 from Euston (or 16:30 Saturday).
Dave Collier 10 November 2014

 

 

 

 
send me a message , drop me a line , stating point of view , indicate precisely what you mean to say , yours sincerely . . . Dave