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Round trip train from London to Edinburgh and back to Heathrow Airport in June

My daughter and two teenage grandchildren and I are visiting London and Edinburgh in early June. After 4 days in London we want to go by scenic train to Edingburgh for two days and then to return by train to Heathrow Airport for return to Houston. What is most scenic train route? Should we buy tickets before leaving USA? What is nearest train station to Heathrow? Teenagers are age 13 and 15. I am over 65 years old. Family plan? What is the best plan for accomplishing this? Want to go by train, not fly. Thank you so very much for any and all suggestions.

Posted by
30 posts

Kings Cross is the station you need. There are plenty of daily trains to Edinburgh with a journey time of about 5 hours. Scenic? Possibly when the line nears the sea at about Alnwick and Berwick (so get a seat on the right hand side) but that will be well over 3 hours into the journey!

There is another route that goes up the Western side of England and up to Glasgow, then Edinburgh but it is longer and not in my view any more scenic, certainly not to justify the extra time.

Posted by
23411 posts

We made that run earlier this year from Edinburgh to London. It is mostly through the country side and is reasonably scenic rolling farm land. You don't have a lot of choices about train stations. Kings Cross is in the NE part of London and Heathrow is to the SW so you will need to get across London to Heathrow. You can do it via the Tube but well over an hour and probably one change.

By all means buy the tickets as soon as possible to take advantage of any discounts available. The British train system has been heavily privatized so train travel in GB is some of the most expensive trains in Europe. So buy the tickets tomorrow. Depending on your flight schedule you might what to consider spending you last night near Victoria Station for reasonably easy access to Heathrow the next day.

Posted by
8889 posts

For train times and prices London to Edinburgh, go to the train operator's site: https://www.virgintrainseastcoast.com/

King's Cross to Heathrow is no change on the tube, direct via the Piccadilly Line.
This is slow (about 50 minutes), but you do not have to change, an advantage. Grab a seat fast and don't budge. The other option is tube to Paddington and then the Heathrow Express, a bit faster, more expensive and it involves changing from the tube to Heathrow Express.

"What is nearest train station to Heathrow" - Heathrow of course! Heathrow has 3 stations, for the different terminals. Make sure you get off at the correct one.

If you can spare a night, I would recommend a stop off in York, which is on the rail route half way between London and Edinburgh

Posted by
3 posts

I am so very thankful for these travel tips. I am still confused about train from Edinburgh to Heathrow Airport. Is there a direct train from Edinburgh (Waverly Station) to "Heathrow station"??? We are flying British Airways from Heathrow to Houston. Many thanks from a "confused grandmother".

Posted by
23411 posts

No. There are no intercity direct trains to Heathrow from Edinburgh. You go to King Cross station (London) and from there the tube to Heathrow. What time is your flight from Heathrow?

Posted by
33106 posts

Trains from Heathrow will change in the next few years as the Elizabeth Line comes on line, but in the meantime Heathrow is at the end of a stub line from Paddington Station.

Paddington Station serves the southwest part of the country, which is the other direction from Scotland. Trains from London serve southern Scotland from Euston Station, but most of the fastest services go from Kings Cross Station.

The London main line stations are not connected by trains, but they are linked by the Underground, known as the Tube. You can also go between them by bus and taxi.

In terms of scenery, at 125 mph the countryside flies past fairly fast, so you don't have a lot of time to focus on things...

Posted by
2543 posts

You might want to take the train from Edinburgh to Kings Cross and then make your won way to LHR, but the simplest and quickest is to fly.

Posted by
3 posts

British Airways flight from Heathrow to Houston is 9:55 a.m. from terminal 5. Want to overnight at a nearby hotel that runs a shuttle to Heathrow . Any suggestions?

Posted by
5678 posts

The last time I was in London I stayed at hotel 3 blocks from Paddington. I was able to walk to Paddington and take the Heathrow Express directly to the airport. This is very fast an efficient. It's not the cheapest, but it is easy and speedy. There is traffic to worry about. Here's the link to info. It takes 15 minutes and the departure times are listed here as well. You could catch the 7:25 and be there in plenty of time.

Posted by
23 posts

Leave from Kings Cross station and return back to Kings Cross then take a taxi to Paddington station. The easiest way to do this is buy BritRail Passes (not the England rail Pass) you need to purchase before you leave the US. These can be obtained through Rick Steves or RailEurope.com. https://www2.raileurope.com/rail-tickets-passes/britrail-pass/index.html $562 for 3 travel days in one month. You can use the rail pass to ride the Heathrow Express to/from Paddington station. Upon arriving at Heathrow from houston, authorize your passes at Heathrow and board the Heathrow Express to central London. Then on day you leave for Scotland is another travel day and then when you return back to London is the 3rd taxi to Paddingtn and use your pass for the Heathrow express.

With all that said, check RailEurope or nationalrail.co.uk for individual tickets as they might be cheaper. I hope your coming back from Scotland the day before your flight home since its an early flight. If you had an afternoon flight you would have no problem doing it the same day. Have fun and good luck.

Posted by
23411 posts

The easiest way to do this is buy BritRail Passes ...... $562 for 3
travel days in one ......

Absolutely not. That is $187/day. That is over the top expensive. I don't know what you would gain from using that pass other than an empty pocket.

I had logged on to say that I received an email today from the East Coast railroad on their current sale between London and Edinburgh for 30 pounds - that is about $40. Last year in May we paid 49 pounds so that is a good deal. Don't know if your travel plans would fit the sale but check it out now.

Posted by
4060 posts

Would you consider a multi-city air ticket, flying into London and home to the US from one the Scottish airports? This might save considerable time and maybe even money by eliminating the rail trip or an independent flight back to London. Many on-line agencies perform these multi-destination packages which are not the same as booking single tickets. Very likely your itinerary will make a connection in the UK or other European gateway for the trans-Atlantic flight but it still can be more efficient than backtracking overland London.

Posted by
23411 posts

In my responses I assumed you had your airline tickets since you mentioned specific dates and times. But Southam had an excellent suggestion and a big money saver. Last May we flew into Edinburgh and home from London.