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Finding the correct station / postcode for National Rail tickets (London to Edinburgh)

I am looking for information to help me book rail tickets from Bayswater area in London to Edinburgh Scotland. When I go to the National Rail sight, it asks for "Station/Post Code". Is there any particular information I need to know on certain train routes? Any help would be appreciated!

Type London and select London (All) if you don't know which London terminus you need. It will then tell you the services you can take.

In the case of Edinburgh, you'll see that trains leave from London Kings Cross (and a few from Euston.)

Then just get to Kings Cross using usual London public transport from Bayswater. Presumably if you're staying in London beforehand you'll already have a travelcard or Oyster which will cover a tube or bus journey to Kings Cross.

It is possible to book a through ticket from Bayswater - and some tourists make the mistake of trying to book from the nearest station to where they're staying - but the first part will be public transport and will already be covered by whatever ticket/pay method you're using for London's transport.

Posted by
8889 posts

It just means "enter station name or postcode". If you enter a postcode it will do you routing to the nearest bus stop.
Most of the time the station name is the same as the town name. As Jane says, just enter "London" and it will ofer "London (All)" as an option. Enter "Edinburgh" and it will offer "Edinburgh Waverley" as the main station.

any particular information I need to know on certain train routes

If you just enter start and end stations, it will find the quickest route.

Posted by
12 posts

Thank you both for the information! Is nationalrail.co.uk the best way to get tickets?
Here are two options:
(This first one has one change EDB to HYM but both are the same price. Any thoughts?)
11:30 London Kings Cross [KGX]
Platform 0
Haymarket [HYM]
Platform 4
16:30 5h 00m

12:00 London Kings Cross [KGX]
Platform 8
Haymarket [HYM]
Platform 4
16:37 4h 37m

Posted by
8889 posts

The main station in Edinburgh is Edinburgh Waverley. This is the one you want, not Haymarket.
You should not have to change. There are trains every half hour from London Kings Cross to Edinburgh Waverley, taking just over 4 hours.

Edinburgh Haymarket is a station slightly outside central Edinburgh. Some trains from London continue to Haymarket (and on to other destinations), some terminate at Edinburgh Waverley.

National Rail should be your first stop for times and tickets. It will automatically transfer you to the correct website for the company operating the trains - in this case Virgin East Coast.

Posted by
12 posts

Thanks again! This information really helped! I found a couple different prices for the same route and ended up using Virgin as they had a cheaper price.

Posted by
23587 posts

If you paid less, it is almost certainly an "Advance" ticket which has certain restrictions on changes (expensive, difficult and limited) and refunds - there aren't any. You need to be sure, much like an airline ticket, that you travel on exactly the time and date train on the ticket or you will be holding a worthless bookmark.

Posted by
631 posts

Nationalrail is an info only site run by the Train Operators trade association. The prices are correct (and actually available at the time they are offered) but if you click to buy it offers links to sites that sell. These will be the operators involved in the trip, possibly an extra one, and possibly 3rd party agents like trainline. The operators normally have no added fees but some struggle with the concept of foreign cards and few will mail to foreign addresses. The 3rd party agents may mail at extra cost but often have a booking fee as well. The actual fares will be the same whichever option you choose (ie, the best price for an "Advance" will be the same, the price of an "Off Peak" will be the same and so on). BUT some operators, and Virgin are one, sometimes have temporary special promotions that are only shown on their own website and can normally only be bought from it.

All direct daytime trains from Kings Cross to Edinburgh are operated by Virgin. They also operate some slower ones from Euston, which run via Birmingham and take much longer. And they run fast and direct from Euston to Glasgow with Edinburgh connections at either Preston or Carlisle which take a little longer than the Kings Cross trains. Nationalrail will normally show the fastest route, if you use London (All Stations) it will offer more choice

The postcode option is really only useful if you have a choice of stations around you, especially on different routes.

Posted by
329 posts

Excellent information. Thank you to the original poster and to all who responded. Very helpful.