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New to train/rail travel. Question.

I know this is probably a silly question but I've never traveled on a train before and it will be our first time in Great Britain.

But just to clarify (after 'planning' our schedule via the timetable), there are no trains that go directly out of LHR to Edinburgh, correct? I'd have to take a train from LHR to one of the stations in London and then go to Scotland from there? Or is there a simpler way?

Again I've traveled numerous times in airports throughout the U.S. and not once have I ever taken a train :) so the train thing is completely new to me.

Thank you for understanding.

Posted by
10344 posts

That's basically correct, you need to connect through one of London's 8 main train stations to get to Scotland, probably King's Cross or Euston. Or you could fly to Scotland.

Posted by
4555 posts

You'll love train travel! Not quite the same as the "old days" with compartments....but still relaxing! You'll leave from Kings Cross station for Edinburgh. So you can either take the Heathrow Express from LHR to Paddington station, then switch to cab or tube to get to Kings Cross (fast but expensive and must transfer), The Heathrow Connect, (a similar but cheaper train service that is slower and ends up at the same place), the National Express bus to Victoria station, then 2 tube runs to Kings Cross/St. Pancras (can be held up by traffic...a long walk when you get off the tube to the train station) or the tube all the way from LHR direct to Kings Cross/St. Pancras station (longest travel time, and a long walk once off the tube...but the cheapest). When you're ready to book, you can find deeply discounted rail tickets at (they take American credit cards), but be aware of refund and change restrictions.

Posted by
3428 posts

The train ride to Edinburgh is very nice, but long. You might want to break it up by stopping in York for a night. If you can catch the 9:30 train out of King's cross or the 11:00 you can be in York by 1:30 or sooner. Spend the afternoon exploring the city, eat at my favorite restruant at the foot of the Shambles- Gurt and Henry's- stay at the Royal York Hotel- literally right in the train station. Then take the train to Edinburgh next morning- about 2 1/2 hours. This makes for 2 nice, not too long, train rides and you won't be as worn out as after a 5 + hour ride right after the flight.

Posted by
3580 posts

If I were flying from CA to LHR and traveling from there to Edinburgh, I would probably spend a night or two in London before traveling on to Edinburgh. You may have the stamina for this very long day, but I wouldn't. My suggestion is to take the Underground (Tube) Piccadilly line to the Kings Cross area and staying overnight in a hotel near there. Spend a night or two then take the train north. You can save money by buying your train tix in advance.

Train travel is not difficult; I prefer the train to the plane. Rick Steves has a DVD on Travel Skills. He shows how to use trains, along with other travel info. I recommend you get a copy of this DVD for a tutorial on train travel. I think he covers the topic in his Europe Through the Back Door books, also.

One bit of info that might make your trip easier; keep luggage to a minimum. You will have to handle and stow your own luggage on the train.

Posted by
113 posts

I love European trains - it's a favorite part of my Europe experience! But, you might want to check flight prices - they can be really cheap in some instances, tho you might well have to bus out to a smaller airport and arrive at a smaller airport outside Edinburgh.

Posted by
51 posts


So I guess I didn't mention we were flying on January 1st... and the rails don't run on Holiday...

So... we're flying to Edinburgh :( Blah... oh well, I REALLY wanted to get that rail ride in... bummed.

Posted by
51 posts

Hmmm... I punched in those numbers too... man that would be SOO lovely if we could take the train!

Thank you for clarifying that... I'll double check with that website to MAKE sure oz the Britrail said,' no trains are running that day' :(

Posted by
95 posts

If you are flying from the USA on the 1st Jan, then you will arrive in the UK on the 2nd. There is a train from Reading to Edinburgh which means you can get a bus from Heathrow to Reading instead of going into London. Check out a really good train website call

Rail travel is marvellous.