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Best way to travel from London to Edinburgh

My husband and I are flying into London mid May and have planned the first 4 days in London and then we want to go to Scotland. What is the best (reasonable priced) method of getting to Edinburgh?

Posted by
233 posts

"I’d go by train from Euston. "

I wouldn't, as you would have to use the appaling Avanti and change in Glasgow - the services are direct from KX and LNER and Lumo are far more reliable.

Posted by
8798 posts

@ Laughing Spam Filter….. deleted my train from Euston….

Posted by
370 posts

I wouldn’t necessarily remove London Euston as an option. We took the Caledonian Sleeper Night Train right before COVID. Arrived in Edinburgh at 730AM well rested. No changes required and slept like a baby. The price is pretty reasonable, especially compared to an extra night at a mid-range hotel in London.

Posted by
6355 posts

Although LNER and Lumo up the East Coast are the most direct and obvious and best, it was not correct to say that on Avanti on the West coast you have to change at Glasgow.
They do run direct to Edinburgh from Euston every two hours via Birmingham, so it is an option. Not the fastest option but it is one. I am quite clear in my own mind that the quality of Avanti's seats is far better than LNER but that is subjective,
Plenty of people in this country do use that route to EDI.
In March this year there is a widespread expectation that Avanti will be removed from the contract/franchise and the line put under government control (essentially nationalised), just like LNER is on the East Coast.
Whether the government has the bottle to act on their "final warning" remains to be seen. It won't change things overnight as Avanti's real problem is a lack of staff.
The hard product is good.

Posted by
15503 posts

While I agree Avanti has comfortable trains, they are not reliable. I have traveled the Edinburgh-London route, and vice versa, numerous times, including two months ago, I always travel LNER. Faster and more reliable.

Posted by
682 posts

OP -- how do you mean reasonable price?
Personally I'd say that the ideal method of travel would be LNER rail service from London Kings Cross to Edinburgh. https://www.lner.co.uk/

tickets are currently available through May 10th and most of the days from then until Saturday the 20th. And the cheapest Advanced Tickets are getting bought up. You may find the cheapest advanced tickets currently at £36, but most are running about £43 to £55.

Train journey is going to be direct with no changes at about 4 hours and 20-30 minutes. I tend to find that the 10:30am, 11:00am, and 11:30am service will often be the cheapest, and personally I like the 11am train just so I can have a lazy morning checking out of my London hotel and arrive about the time check-in opens up.

Finally LNER has their Perks Program. Sign up and use their app and you can get a £5 credit that can be used on your ticket purchase.

Posted by
76 posts

Interesting that no one is saying fly one of the cheap airlines. I flew Bristol to Newcastle last May instead of taking the train because it seemed cheaper. My the time I dealt with all the hassles and the airline delays, I figured out that trains are generally better.

Posted by
6355 posts

I'd been expecting someone to say Air as well, as on price alone, that is often best, but not including the other factors.

I was also interested to see Cal Sleeper mentioned. At least it is there in the mix. That's another train which polarises opinion. You either love it or hate it, rarely neutral. Think it good value or (like me) massively overpriced. But it's an option.
I used to use it all the time with the old trains and old management. Not now. I'll do the journey for 1/20th the price on the coach.
It's also another franchise which is on the edge due to poor performance and could go back to Scotrail within months.

Posted by
2267 posts

As pure transportation, the Caledonian sleeper might be more expensive and less practical. But as a travel experience, I think it's pretty great and worthy of consideration.

Posted by
15503 posts

I've never taken the Caledonian so I won't say anything about it. However, not everyone sleeps well on trains. Unless you know for sure that you will, a long sleepless night on a train could mean problems the next day.

Posted by
6 posts

Thank you for all your recommendations for our upcoming travel. We will be taking the train from London to Edinburgh. We plan to leave London on the 18th so train tickets for this date are not available at this time but I’ll keep checking. Love this Forum for input for those that travel more frequently than me.

Posted by
682 posts

OP -- Check again, tickets are available for May 18th on the LNER website. And I'm sitting here looking at the schedule with a one way ticket on the 10am service at £43.60, the 11am and 11:30am service priced at £45.70 and the 12pm service at £43.60.

Posted by
4516 posts

if you really want to pursue this, there are Youtube vlogs where people "race" using a train and a plane. Eco-wise, you really should opt for the train but there is an alternative.

Posted by
1160 posts

I took the Caledonia overnight last winter from Edinburgh to London. Kinda cool and quaint, but impractical—and I will likely not take it again. First, it is too short a train ride to have a meal and get some sleep. When the train stopped in the early morning hours, I thought I'd get up and have breakfast figuring it was a short stop en route. No, it was the end of the line in London very early in the morning. Secondly, it leaves so late at night that you better have plans in Edinburgh to kill the time. Of course, I had already checked out of my Edinburgh hotel, so I hung out a a couple of bars/restaurants near the train station (with all my luggage) biding my time until it was time to board the train. Going up to Edinburgh from London I took a day train and it was a wonderful trip.