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London to Inverness in 3 days

Hello there,

We are planning an excursion from London to Edinburgh. We are driving and have four nights to stay along the way. The thought was to spend two nights along the journey with the third night in Inverness. What would be the best route and places to stay?

Posted by
6113 posts

Inverness is 300+ miles out of the way if your goal is Edinburgh. Do you have 3 or 4 nights before Edinburgh?

The drive as far as York is rather dull - take the A1 or M1 from London. Stay in York for 2 nights and visit the Minster, walk the walls and see the excellent Rail Museum.

With your remaining 1/2 nights, I would stay in Durham if you want to see Beamish Museum, the city and Hadrian’s Wall or stay in Alnwick and spend time on the coast and visit some castles and see Holy Island on the way to Edinburgh if the tides permit access.

Posted by
2492 posts

Are you thinking that your main aim is to drive from London to Edinburgh but we thought we would ‘pop’ up to Inverness on the way? If so, this is bonkers. Inverness is well north of Edinburgh. I would suggest that you take the train from London to York - spend 1 night & have a look around. Then train from York to Edinburgh.

If you really want to drive, I suggest that Day 1 is spent going to York for an overnight. To Northumberland on Day 2 for maybe 2 nights and try and see in this area Hadrian’s Wall, Cragside, Bamburgh Castle and Lindisfarne - at least from the mainland.

Jennifer offers sound advice above - as ever.

Posted by
2063 posts

I'm in complete agreement with the above two posts.

I'm also a bit confused . You say you have 4 nights to do the journey but then talk about 2 nights along the journey and the third night in Inverness. What has happened to the 4th night? Do you mean four days ? Remember 2 nights may only give 1.5 days in a place which isn't long.

What is attracting you to Inverness? Loch Ness is not the most attractive of the many Scottish Lochs - there are better and Nessie is a tourist fuelled myth.

What are your plans after Edinburgh as that may well influence further plans and help given.

Assuming you have four days then York, Durham or Alnwick areas would make the most sense and it would be very easy to spend the full time in just one of these places.

York has the Minster (don't miss choral evensong), walls, castle, very good museums and some lovely countryside around it. Day trips to Castle Howard, North York Moors spring to mind, with the ruined Rievaulx Abbey, the ruined Pickering and Helmsley Castles and even a trip from Pickering to Whity on the North York Moors Steam Railway!

Durham has the cathedral and castle and walks along the river banks. Access to the Durham Dales (Teesdale or Weardale), Hadrians Wall and the wonderful Beamish Museum (which easily fills a day- or even 2!)

Alnwick - Castle and gardens, Bamburgh Cstle, the ruined Warkworth Castle, Cragside (described as the house where modern liviung began), boat trip to the Farne Islands, drive across the tidal causeway to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. BUT do check tide times for crossing as the sea comes in very quickly and vehicles regualrly have to be rescued from several feet of sea water.

Posted by
317 posts

Add another agreement to the pile. You arent going to just pop up to Inverness - it is quite a distance north of Edinburgh, as in between 3 and 3-and-a-half hours north. That is not on the way.

From reading your note, you have "four nights to stay along the way". Do yourself a favour - dont drive. Turn the car in and take the train to York and spend two nights there. Continuing north, take the train to Durham and spend the night there. Same song second verse, take the train north and stop a night in Alnwick. The next morning, take the train to Edinburgh. Anyone on the forums that has spent time on the A1 or M1 can tell you, particularly south of York what a pain they can be. Those from Yorkshire and the surrounds can tell you the junctions around the M18 and M62, if there is traffic or an accident or inclement weather, will be a nightmare.

Take the train. Relax. Have your beverage of choice. Watch the world go by and let someone else drive.

Posted by
4473 posts

I like Tom's plan. We stopped in both York and Durham on our trip from Edinburgh to London. We wanted to go to Alynwick for the day, but weren't sure we'd be able to find a place to store our luggage there.

Posted by
1317 posts

I’m with Stan. I don’t see the appeal of Inverness as a destination of and in itself. It’s a perfectly pleasant town but not, in my view, worth the large drive there and back from Edinburgh. Scenically, heading west towards the west coast of the Highlands is better too in my book.

Am I missing something about Inverness, other than Culloden and Outlander connections? Incidentally, I have been myself, just in case anybody wondered.


Posted by
33329 posts

also bemused by Inverness - not from Yorkshire (God's Country)

Posted by
3242 posts

I'm seeing the need to go back to paper maps, to see exactly how much distance is between places.
Inverness is nowhere near , or, on the way, to Edinburgh from London.

However, there are lots of lovely places to stop between London and Edinburgh.
York comes to mind.

Posted by
8873 posts

Take the advice offered….reroute.

Nice stop if driving from London to Edinburgh is the Lake District. Or consider training from London to Durham getting your car there and heading to Edinburgh.