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UK Low Cost Backpacker Buses

attitude Travel UK: a resource for independent travel in the United Kingdom Low cost buses
The UK guide to backpacker buses is a resource
for independent travellers looking for travel passes or
low cost backpacker transport around the United Kingdom

Which bus companies offer flexible UK travel passes?

The bus companies below provide travel passes which allow an unlimited number of journeys over a fixed number of days. Click on the name of each bus company for full details on which towns, cities and routes that company serves.

Brit Xplorer

The three Brit Xplorer travel passes are an excellent means of travelling around the UK and Ireland independently on a tight budget, but only available to non-UK passport holders. The £79 Hobo Pass gives you unlimited travelling for 7 days, the £139 Footloose Pass extends to 14 days and the £219 Rolling Stone Pass allows you 28 days of limitless exploration.   [ Route Map ]

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CityLink Explorer

The CityLink Explorer Pass has three options - 3 days unlimited travel in Scotland for £39, 5 days travel out of 10 for £62 or 8 days travel out of 16 for £85. The CityLink network covers all of Scotland with additional connections to Blackpool in the northwest of England and Belfast in Northern Ireland.   [ Route Map ]

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Which backpacker buses operate hop-on hop-off routes around the UK?

The bus companies below offer jump-on jump-off overland services for backpackers travelling around the UK. Several of the companies allow you to hop on and hop off at your convenience. Other companies organise itinerary-based tours with varying flexibility. Click on the name of each bus company for full details on which towns, cities and routes that company serves.

Backpacker Tours

The company boasts: "We challange you to travel Britain cheaper by public transport!" (sic). Given how expensive this company's trips are, we'd happily take up that challenge. The Backpacker Tour Company is well established and covers England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. The itineraries, however, are not hop-on, hop-off, so you may also find your independence limited. We suggest you hold on to your cash and find your own way around the country.   [ Route Map ]

  • More about BT Routes |
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Bus Wales

Flexible jump-on, jump-off tours in Wales with no-frills itineraries which allow you to pay for as many optional extras - meals, entrance fees, accommodation, public transport connections - or as few as you wish. Bus Wales' three day All Wales Tour comes to £75 excluding optional extras.   [ Route Map ]

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Celtic Connection

Small group backpacker tours in Scotland, Ireland and Wales with some flexibility but limited options as far as planning your own itinerary goes. (You can jump off in Dublin, but that's about it). At £22-25 per day excluding accommodation, this is better value than some other backpacker buses but obviously not as cheap or flexible as a Brit Xplorer Pass.   [ Route Map ]

  • More about CC Routes |
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The MacBackPackers bus operates a handful of fixed itinerary tours around Scotland as well as a jump-on jump-off bus to let you explore Scotland at your own pace. Most tours come to just over £20 per day. Accommodation is not included in the price of the tours although the hostels that run MacBackPackers generally charge about £11 per night.   [ Route Map ]

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Radical Travel

A useful Flexitour option gives this company's UK and Ireland tours the full flexibility of a hop on hop off travel pass - the way all backpacker buses should be, ideally. However, including accommodation you're still looking at a budget of at least £30 per day. Consider breaking your journey to bring down the average daily expense.   [ Route Map ]

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Road Trip

Numerous overland tours covering the entire British Isles, though only one itinerary has a (limited) hop on hop off option. Road Trip's guided tours average out at around £35-40 per day but include accommodation.   [ Route Map ]

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Shaggy Sheep

A jump on jump off Welsh bus company with a refreshing sense of humour. Trips are a little steep - about £40 per day including food and accommodation but, again, you can break the journey to cut down average daily cost. Just turn the sound down before you click through - you have been warned.   [ Route Map ]

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Wild in Scotland

A bus for independent travellers in Scotland with a fairly comprehensive coverage of the highlands and islands. Trips average out at £35-40 per day, including food and accommodation. No hop on hop off tours on offer.   [ Route Map ]

  • More about WIS Routes |
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