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Fly out of Glasgow or Edinburgh to London?

Thank you Rick Steves' Europe for having this forum. It helps to be able to learn from all of you and decrease the stress of guessing on what is best. My question this time is, would it be better to fly out of Glasgow or Edinburg to get to London? Thanks for your help.

Posted by
2114 posts

It really depends which of the two cities is a better fit for your Scotland itinerary. If you're planning to end up in Edinburgh, it probably doesn't make sense to shuttle over to Glasgow to catch a flight to London. That said, there's frequent bus service between the two airports. https://www.rome2rio.com/map/Glasgow-Airport-GLA/Edinburgh-Airport-EDI

There's also frequent airline service from both Scottish cities, so I would just look them up and compare schedules and fares and which London-area airport a given flight lands at. For example, I use Kayak.com to search for flights. If you filter by "Include Nearby Airports" I believe it will include both Glasgow and Edinburgh on the departure end, and both Gatwick and Heathrow on the arrival end.

Posted by
12358 posts

Are you going to London just to catch a transatlantic flight back home, or are you going to London for sightseeing? If the latter, I wouldn't fly at all; I'd take the train. You can get to London from Edinburgh in as little as 4 hr. 20 min. and from Glasgow in as little as 4 hr. 30 min. Given the hassles of flying--extra time at the departure airport, traveling between city and airport, etc.--flying will not be faster.

Posted by
7405 posts

I agree that unless you are catching a flight, the train may make more sense. Unlike in the U.S., trains in the UK are efficient and plentiful.

Plus you didn't mention which London airport you wanted to fly into.

Posted by
658 posts

Hi, 4theloveofhummingbirds,

To add to what epitd already suggested, you need to figure out which London airport will be the most convenient for you when you arrive. Both EDI and GLA have very frequent flights to both LHR and LGW. Easyjet even flies in to LTN (London Luton).

If you're taking the train down from Aberdeen, it is very slightly longer from Aberdeen to Glasgow as it is from Aberdeen to Edinburgh. You just have to figure out which will be more convenient - Queen Street Station to GLA, or Edinburgh Waverley to EDI.

Good luck!

Mike (Auchterless)

p.s.: Are you flying on to Paris, or taking the Eurostar?

Posted by
1607 posts

For trains > www.nationalrail.co.uk
Edinburgh > KGX or Glasgow > EUS

The cheapest advance fares for specific trains appear on the system around 11 weeks ahead. pay on the day can be expensive).
If using the trains, I would pre-book with www.virgintrains.co.uk if going from Glasgow and www.lner.co.uk of going from Edinburgh.

If going from Edinburgh - and you have time - I would break the journey with an overnight in the interesting city of York. (You would need to buy separate tickets for each leg).https://www.visityork.org

Posted by
29 posts

I agree with others who suggest the train rather than flying. If you're traveling to central London, the train is definitely a better option. I never fly between cities or countries in Europe, I always take the train. I depart and arrive from the center of the city where I want to be. I hate the hassles of getting to and from an airport, plus the early check-ins required and going through security.

OTOH, if you're going to London to catch a flight, then flying makes sense. I would fly the day before the flight in case of cancellations or other problems. Stay in an airport hotel before catching your ongoing flight. Be sure you know your onward airport (there are at least 5 in London - Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton, and City), fly there and stay near it.

Posted by
25 posts

Must agree with others about the train. It is easy to do and the train is easy to find. No transfers needed. I went into Kings Cross and I think there were maybe three stops on the route I chose. If you book far enough ahead, your fare is likely to be very cheap. I believe I paid a $25 train fare last year Edinburgh to London. The most I have paid is $75 and I bought the ticket the day before my journey. There is some nice scenery on the journey and I find the train to be comfortable. I did, however, lose a boot off of my backpack last June on that train. So if you see a lone black boot in a overhead bin or under the seat, say hi for me.

If trains are just not your thing, I would search Skyskanner for which flights are cheapest (Glasgow or Edi) and plan your trip around that. If there is no difference, I always am a proponent of more time in Edinburgh so that would be my vote.