We are traveling from London to Edinburgh in mid-May and would like to stop in Cambridge along the way. Is it possible to leave London in the morning, make a leisurely stop in Cambridge, and then travel to Edinburgh all in one day? If so, how would you recommend traveling: bus, train? My husband already booked non-refundable hotel reservations in London and Edinburgh, so we can't lodge in Cambridge overnight. The only other option I see is traveling to Cambridge on a day trip from London, and then traveling from London to Edinburgh the next day by train or plane. I am trying to reduce the amount of time we are traveling to and from cities, and am wondering if we can make the trip in one (very long, exhausting) day. Thank you for your help.
Yes, it is possible. Whether I would consider the stop in Cambridge as "leisurely" is another matter. I think you would be so short of time you would be rushed.
This would need to be by train, buses take twice as long, and you would have no time in Cambridge.
The route is London Kings Cross to Cambridge, takes ~50 minutes (or from Liverpool Street, a few minutes longer from that station)
Cambridge to Edinburgh you do not have to go back to London, change trains in Peterborough instead. Takes 5 hours. Last train nof the day departs 18:01, arrive Edinburgh 23:18.
Look up times on: http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/
Make Cambridge a day Trip from London if leisurely is what you truly wish.
Well you could do it, but I don't think there'd be anything leisurely about it. It takes between an hour and 90 minutes from London to Cambridge by train, and in the region of 5 hours from Cambridge to Edinburgh. That wouldn't leave much time for sightseeing. Driving would be even longer. Do it as a day-trip from London.
It would be easier to stop at York rather than Cambridge because York is on the direct main line between London (Kings Cross) and Edinburgh. You would need to split the ticket at the place you intend to stop en-route. The fares can be much cheaper by pre-booking in advance specific trains - ideally around 11 weeks ahead when the cheap advance fares get loaded. www.nationalrail.co.uk
If you are willing to leave London very early and arrive in Edinburgh very late you could do it. But you will still feel rushed.