Tips on Getting the Best Advance Ticket Deal

A guide for getting the best Advance ticket for your journey

Advance tickets are typically the cheapest fares we have on offer. These are single tickets that can offer great savings on First Class and Standard Class fares for journeys between East Anglia and London - and beyond. Here’s a guide to help you get the best deal on your Advance ticket.

1. Book ahead to have the best chance of getting the tickets you want

These fares are usually available 8-12 weeks in advance. Attractive fares like these can get snapped up, so avoid disappointment by signing up to Advance ticket Alerts for your journey. Now you can be one of the first to know when Advance tickets are on sale.

2. Do Railcard and Child discounts apply to Advance tickets?

Yes, bag extra savings on your ticket as Railcard and Child discounts apply to all Advance fares. Find out more about railcards and child discounts.

Greater Anglia Hare looking at calendar

3. Be flexible with your travel times

You'll be more likely to get the best available prices. Travelling off-peak can you save money too. You can still buy any leftover advance tickets up to 10 minutes before departure but these may not offer the best value on the day – our best fare finder tool can help you find the cheapest ticket available for you.

4. When is the best time to travel towards London for the cheapest Advance tickets?

The very best prices will be available if you can travel towards London during the middle of the day/afternoon or in the evening. From London, fares between mid-morning and early afternoon, or in the mid to late evening, tend to be cheapest. On weekdays, Advance fares tend to be most expensive on trains arriving in London before 10:00 or leaving there between around 16:00 to 19:00.

5. Change the date on your ticket fee free

Change of plans? Keep flexible as all advance tickets we have let you book with confidence. Your ticket can be changed without incurring an admin fee up to 18:00 on the date before travel. You may have to pay for the difference of your new ticket and there’s no refunds on the difference if the new ticket is cheaper. This benefit ends on 30th September 2022.

6. Save money by choosing advance over anytime tickets

It will nearly always be cheaper to book an Advance ticket than an Anytime ticket.

7. Advance tickets are sold for trains you select

Travel is only available on the selected train. You must travel on the service you selected otherwise your ticket will not be valid and you will have to pay the cost of an Anytime or Off-Peak travel ticket.

8. Can't find advance tickets whilst booking?

If you search for Advance tickets and only see a limited range of mostly full-price off-peak tickets, particularly at weekends or on Bank Holidays, this probably will be because there is engineering work on the main line from London to Norwich.

Even though we always ensure that a full range of Advance tickets is available on days when engineering work is taking place, Advance tickets may not be shown in your search results. This is because the booking system defaults to show the quickest journeys, which may be by other routes or other train companies' services where Greater Anglia Advance tickets are not valid. This occurs mainly with journeys between London and Norwich and beyond, in either direction.

  • To ensure that the full range of trains offering Advance tickets is shown, please click on "Advanced Search" at the bottom of the red "Buy Tickets" box on the home page. On the booking page, enter your journey details as usual in steps 1 and 2. In Step 3, in the box that says "Go Via or Avoid", select "Go Via" from the drop-down menu, and enter "Ipswich" in the box. "Ipswich Station" should appear - select this and then click "Check Fares and Availability". The full train service via the main line will then be shown with Advance tickets bookable subject to the usual availability.

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Check current Advance fares through our journey planner.