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Train from Heathrow to Edinburgh

Hello everyone,

Our flight is scheduled to arrive in Heathrow about 6:30am…we will be taking the train to Edinburgh and wondered how much time we should allow between landing and departing on the train. We will have a checked bag and wanted to get your thoughts if either the 9:58 or the 10:22 would allow enough time.

Should we book ahead of time or wait until we get there? Our concern with pre booking is delays…can our tickets be exchanged for another departure time or will we be required to buy new tickets?

Thanks,
Cici

Posted by
6384 posts

I'm not sure what the 0958 and 1022 trains are, as the Kings Cross to Edinburgh trains leave on the hour and half hour.

But whichever of the 3 possible routes you take from Heathrow to Kings Cross you need to allow an hour from clearing the airport to arriving at Kings Cross, preferably 90 minutes.

If you miss your train then your tickets are void BUT see a post I did yesterday about a new official LNER scheme with seat frog to exchange your tickets for a later departure. That is so far untested on this forum, so we don't know how well or if it works.

I would advise against such a transfer on arrival day, and allow night 1 in London, partly due to jet lag and partly because of current airline difficulties leading to severe delays. If you are still in the air, you may not have data or Wi-fi to do Seat Frog.

Can't you get a through EDI air fare (direct or through connection at LHR), even if it is an open jaw EDI, and you are coming back from elsewhere? It may give more peace of mind.

Posted by
23412 posts

Your plan does not make a lot of sense unless there is a strong reason to take the train to Edinburgh. You are at an airport. Stay there and fly. The train station to Edinburgh is wayyyyyyy across London and slow getting there via the tube -- a good hour and half. If you haven't booked your tickets, flying in Edinburgh and come home from London if that is your basic plan. Probably cheaper and certainly more convenient. There are so many variables you cannot control that I would consider a train to Edinburgh around mid-afternoon. Anything earlier is a gamble.

Posted by
91 posts

Thank you for the advice. :)

We are only about three weeks out and thought when we initially planned the trip that the train would be nice.

After the comments here though we got to rethinking our initial plan and how tired we will be after traveling all night so we were able to get a 7am flight the next day via BA.

It looks like we will arrive in T3 but flight out the next day in T5….being Diamond with Hilton, we were thinking of the Hilton at T4 so we could use the underground or the shuttles, without worrying about bus times.

Thoughts?

Thank you,
Cici

Posted by
15520 posts

There is a Hilton Garden Inn at Terminal 2. You can easily walk, underground, from T3 to T2. To get from T3 to T4, you need to take the train.

I've stayed there and will be back in about four weeks.

Since your flight is very early..... the trains are not running to get you between terminals. In that case, there is a very nice Sofitel at T5. I've stayed there a few times. It's less than a five minute walk from the hotel to the check in area. It's all indoors or covered.

Posted by
33116 posts

I think that's working out well.

There are a number of various hotels scattered around the airport and the immediate vicinity. I stayed recently the very nice Crowne Plaza T4 which shares the same covered walkway from T4 with the Hilton, a Holiday Inn Express and a Premier Inn.

If you had more time in the morning I would have no hesitation in suggesting any of those, but honestly, with a 7am flight, with check in at 5 to 5:30 you will want to be in walking distance. There are buses, the Elizabeth Line, and the Piccadilly Line linking the terminals for free but they do take some time and you don't have time.

Sorry the hotel at T5 is Sofitel. Very nice - I stay at Sofitels from time to time - but it is an Accor brand not Hilton. Nevertheless I'd propose that that might be the best choice in your situation.

I expect you'll miss their very good breakfast. I haven't been able to find when they start breakfast but probably not 5am.

I think you'll have a good trip.

Posted by
91 posts

Hello,

Always appreciate the advice!

We are booked at the Sofitel and believe we will be better rested and less stressed thanks to your recommendations.

Have a great day!
Cici

Posted by
640 posts

It's probably too late for advice, but we arrived on a 6:45am flight last June and caught a flight (covered reservation with BA) to Edinburgh at 9:10am with no problem. We then flew on to Stornoway on LoganAir, after a longish layover in EDI. LHR's security is fairly chaotic and looks horrible, but it is "run by the British", so it marches right along!

Posted by
1188 posts

You've had great advice so far and I agree that flying and staying in the Sofitel at T5 overnight is a good plan. The food in the hotel is very expensive but there is an M&S Simply Food at T5 (arrivals area) - just a short covered walk from the Sofitel. There you can pick up the makings of a very nice 'in room picnic'. They even have handy single servings of ready mixed Gin & Tonic and small bottles of wine. There are wooden cutlery available for free - should be obvious, but ask if you can't see them.

Posted by
91 posts

Hello,

I wanted to provide an update to this…we arrived in LHR about 6:30 and was through customs by 7am so we decided to see if we could get an earlier flight…luckily, they had room for us on the 9:30 flight and we were in Edinburgh an entire day early! Our room at the Sofitel was able to be cancelled (great cancellation policy—by 2pm day of arrival) and our arrival hotel was able to add a room to our stay.

Our flight back to London was equally uneventful and much quicker than the train…..the FastTrack added to our ticket by BA allowed us to skip the 400+ line and get through security in about 8 minutes.

Thank you all…we felt much more in charge of our trip with the advice of the wonderful people on this forum! 😊

Posted by
33116 posts

what an absolutely great result!! WoW. Well done!!