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Bath to Edinburgh

Hello fellow travelers-

This August my family and I (2 teens/2adults) are flying into London and 10 days later flying out of Edinburgh. We planned on spending 4 days in London, two days in Bath and three in Edinburgh.

Traveling from Bath to Edinburgh in one day is a long trip regardless of how you travel (6hrs by train, longer by car or car/ plane out of London. I'm wondering if we should skip Bath altogether and head north to a town like York (which Rick Steves raves about) to avoid a full day of traveling (Bath to Edinburgh). Any ideas?

Thanks in advance for your help!

Posted by
301 posts

I think it would be a real shame to skip Bath, of course, that's a very subjective opinion. Have you looked into flights out of Bristol?

There is a sleeper train from London to Edinburgh (the Caledonian Sleeper), which would free up some time. I know that sleepers aren't for everyone, but they are time-efficient and your teenagers might find it an adventure (I know I did at that age).

Here is the link to ScotRail's page about sleepers.


Posted by
301 posts

I forgot to mention: you might head straight to Bath, "backtrack" to London, and then have only the shorter train ride to Edinburgh. RS recommends going to Bath first, and this past summer I tried that for the first time. It was super easy. Heathrow Express into Paddington and then a direct train to Bath.


Posted by
6113 posts

August is festival time in Edinburgh, so unless you already have your accommodation booked, which it sounds as though you haven't, I would reconsider visiting here. Prices are hiked up and much of the accommodation was booked last summer.

We can't advise if York or Bath is best for you, as you don't give any clues as to your interests. Posters will be split 50/50. York geographically is easier, but they are very different places. If you are travelling by train, book tickets 12 weeks out for the best prices.

Posted by
223 posts

That's a fair point by Jennifer. Edinburgh may be a shade mental around festival time, to say the least.

Since you're flying out of Edinburgh, why not have your 4 days in London, then 2/3 in York and then 2/3 in Newcastle? All are on the East Coast Mainline and easy to get to, and Newcastle is a good base for visiting Durham (historic cathedral town like York) and Northumberland (ancient castle, pretty towns and countryside and the like). Then on fly-home day you can get the train to Edinburgh and then the tram/taxi to the airport.

Posted by
2652 posts

there are direct Easyjet flights from Edinburgh to Bristol,takes about an hour, Bath is a very short distance from Bristol and I am pretty sure there are direct public transports from Bristol airport

Posted by
7175 posts

You have 10 nights all up?
After 2 nights in Bath, make an early start with the direct train to York.
Dep 06:09 BATH SPA (United Kingdom)
Arr 10:29 YORK (United Kingdom)
With just one night in York, you can still enjoy an afternoon and the following morning before heading on to Edinburgh.
Dep 15:55 YORK (United Kingdom)
Arr 18:23 EDINBURGH (United Kingdom)

Posted by
47 posts

Thanks so much for all of the responses! Flying Bristol to Edinburgh may be the perfect solution. One person asked if we have reservations in Scotland, and yes we do. Thank you-