National Express is a low budget and reliable alternative to the British rail system. National Express’ air-conditioned coaches provide reclining leather seats with seat back tray tables and are outfitted with power outlets, allowing passengers to charge their mobile devices. Toilets are available on most buses. Free Wi-Fi is also available on most coaches and despite the fact that there is no on-board catering, passengers still have the option to eat cold food and drinks while travelling.More
National Express Coaches is an intercity long-distance national coach company founded in and based out of Birmingham. It is the largest coach company in the United Kingdom, operating connections to all major cities. It is owned by the National Express Group and most of their services are subcontracted to local coach companies throughout England, Scotland and Wales. It has been one of the primary national coach companies in the UK since its founding and provides services to European destinations across the continent.
With buses initially departing primarily out of London Victoria Station, National Express Coaches now serve over 900 destinations throughout the United Kingdom including Bath, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Canterbury, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Newquay, Nottingham, Oxford, Plymouth, Sheffield and Southampton. The company also provides a frequent airport shuttle service to and from London’s major airports: Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Luton as well as Birmingham and Manchester. Their partner organisation, Eurolines, also operates coaches to several locations in Europe; including a frequent service to Amsterdam that departs 5 times a day, as well as city breaks to Paris and areas of northern Spain, accumulating to over 600 destinations across the continent, with additional connection coaches also available.
All standard National Express tickets come with free luggage which can either be stored within the bus, or in the luggage compartment. Seats are chosen at a first come, first serve basis, although allowances are made for those travelling with children.
Through booking in advance, it is possible to secure cheap tickets called funfares which are amenable but non-refundable. Single economy tickets are also available and, while more expensive, can be fully refunded up to 72 hours prior to travel.
National Express also encourages frequent travellers to purchase discount coach cards which can provide up to ⅓ discounts on single economy tickets among various other benefits. Discount cards available include those for seniors, young persons (between the age of 16 - 26), disabled coach cards and a variety of options for travelling families. Children under the age of 2 travel for free, assuming they can sit on an adult's lap.
The earlier travellers book their National Express tickets the cheaper they will be. There are occasionally National Express deals available for specific bus routes, these cheap deals are usually offered around holidays or sometimes random points in the year.
Tickets for National Express routes usually sell out far in advance, so it's best to plan your journey ahead of time to get the best deals.