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Train or fly from London to Inverness in early Sept?

We will be traveling to London for a week (been there but years ago) this coming Sept. We leave London on Sept 8 and plan to take the 8 hr direct train to Inverness, Scotland (4 days stay). We then will take the train to Edinburgh for 4 more days before we leave Scotland.
Train to Inverness leaves at noon from London. We plan to get first class tickets. I have heard the scenery is amazing through the highlands.

Maybe it would be better if we fly there (Gatwick Airport) due to the train strike? I would like see what would London experts would consider?

Posted by
1225 posts

I don't know this for sure but would hope that by September trains will be back to normal. I love traveling by train and would absolutely do that over flying.

Posted by
6113 posts

A London work colleague is from Inverness and usually flies home.

Posted by
6668 posts

From London to Inverness, the overnight train is also a good option, you leave London in the evening and wake up next day in Scotland and have breakfast on the train as you watch the views of the highlands. www.sleeper.scot

Posted by
1194 posts

Hi from Wisconsin,
Man, unless you can get to the airport quickly, get through security quickly, and have the door for the plane door slap your while closing, you take a lot of time and energy to get up in the air and to get from the airport to your accommodations. During the trip you see close to zero of the country you are touring.

I would take a train to Inverness the first two times I went up there. When I am traveling I want to see things, not wait in airport lines. A third trip would add the new view value to the equation of : to fly or to train.

wayne iNWI

Posted by
15702 posts

You should fly. Here's why.......The train that goes from London to Inverness goes via Edinburgh to get to Inverness. It's the same route you'll be taking a few days later when you go to Edinburgh from Inverness.

I have taken the train numerous time from London to Scotland. I have taken the train from Inverness to Edinburgh. And I have flown from London to Inverness. .

If it was me doing your itinerary, I'd fly to Inverness

Posted by
20 posts

Thank you all for your input. I'm still leaning towards taking the train but my husband wants to fly especially after seeing Frank II's feedback. I guess we will wait a bit longer and see who wins. I hope the strike and heat is over by Sept.

Posted by
29 posts

It’s been many years (20+) but I took the train from London to Inverness and on the reverse trip back to London, took the overnight sleeper. Loved both trips. The scenery from the train is beautiful and I love traveling by train. The overnight sleeper is a great way to go.

Posted by
470 posts

If you want a scenic rail trip i would suggest Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh

Posted by
6668 posts

I'm still leaning towards taking the train but my husband wants to fly
especially after seeing Frank II's feedback.

Then let me counter that point. Yes, it's the same route. But a train has two sides, travelling that route twice will let you see the views on both sides.

Posted by
2494 posts

If you go by train from London (King’s Cross) to Inverness via Edinburgh and back again, you are using the same route twice. Another way of doing it is London (Euston) to Glasgow with Avanti West Coast Trains - (stay overnight & see Glasgow). Then next day start a grand circular route of the highlands via Isle of Skye to Inverness (which is not particularly attractive). Then back down to Edinburgh for a night or 2 before going south on the East Coast Mainline to London (King’s Cross) - though I would also suggest an overnight in York on this route.
See this:>https://www.scotrail.co.uk/tickets/combined-tickets-travel-passes/scottish-grand-tour

Also consider using buses in highland Scotland. For example, you could travel by train (or bus) to Fort William (from Glasgow) and stay overnight. Then go by bus to Inverness - see timetable > https://www.citylink.co.uk/media/erlhafcz/fort-william-inverness.pdf

Megabus go from Inverness to Portree on Skye:> https://uk.megabus.com/route-guides/inverness-to-portree
Citylink also do this route:> https://www.citylink.co.uk/media/e4bbsh4f/inverness-skye.pdf
The train line from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh is also scenic as is the Fort William to Mallaig line - which can be done on an ordinary diesel train or > .https://westcoastrailways.co.uk/jacobite/steam-train-trip

Note that rail strikes are possible at the moment. Car is best if you want to stop at will & take photos in scenic areas.

Posted by
330 posts

I'm a train guy. Same scenery on the route? No worries. If i haven't been here ever or much, I love to see what I see...

We took the LNER high speed train from London to Edinburgh -- coach. If/when we do that again, I'll go first. The coach seats were SO uncomfortable... Kind of like sleeping on a fold out sofa -- but I'm a bigger guy.

That said, we sat on the right side, so had views of the water when it was there. The views of Durham from the train made me want to go there. The countryside was stunning.

We take the Caledonian sleeper on the way back -- for the experience, but we know we'll be sleeping the entire trip...

And to weigh in on flying because the train twice is the same view... At 30,000 feet, whether you're over Omaha or Glasgow, what's different? I travel to experience the different.