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London to Edinburgh

Unless I'm mistaken it looks like flying is much cheaper than the train between London and Edinburgh - am I missing something? Also, can anyone tell me which airport is easier to transfer to from London - Heathrow or Gatwick?



Posted by
1 posts

Cory, Trains are expensive if you only price them for one way trips. Look into the hop on, hop off Brit Rail pass and they are much more economical. You can get an 8 day pass for about $370 (fewer days are cheaper) and get on an off as many trains as you would like. There are some small fees for reservations on some trains on top of that, but only a few dollars. Once you're in Edinburgh you can then take the train over to Glasgow, or up to Inverness, or Pitlochry or wherever else you would like. You can also use your pass for your return to London and for your trip to the airport. Hope this helps. Can be confusing.

Posted by
445 posts

The key to affordable fares on the trains in the UK is to book way in advance. I believe it is 90 days.
You can book and use your credit card to pay and pick up your ticket when you arrive.

For anyone over 60, you can buy a Senior Railcard for about 20 pounds which entitles you to 1/3 off all fares (except peak trains...early morning) even discounted ones. You have to do some math to see if this is worth it. Just look up all the fares for the places you wish to go and total. Then look up the fares indicating you have a Senior Pass (there is a dropdown menu) and total those. Add in the cost of the pass to the latter and you will see if it's worth it. Sounds terribly complicated but isn't. Just grab a legal pad and start writing down all the fares!!! And you don't even have to buy the Senior Railcard until you arrive in the UK(at any rr. station, but NOT at Heathrow). But you can buy the tickets on line indicating that you HAVE the card! No cheating here, they will ask to see your card!!!

To anser your other question, Heathrow is closer to London. To get to Gatwick, you take the Gatwick Express from Victoria Station.

And yes, sometmes flying is cheaper but you do hae to factor in the other elements....transportation to and from the airport, possibly paying for your checked bags, etc.

Posted by
5678 posts

Plus you can check out the scenery on the way. ; )

Posted by
115 posts

Well, I just purchased my tickets for National Express Rail in advance and paid 14 pounds each way :)

try to get in as soon as possible :) i needed my tickets for the 5th adn 8th September and they were starting to go up in price :)

Posted by
225 posts

And there are other trains to and from Gatwick that cost half of the Express (Southern Rail for one).

Posted by
8 posts

I discovered the problem with my fare search:

If you try to book trains more than around 90 days in advance the "advance" fare is not available, only much higher "Standard" fares. Wait until 90 days before your date and then book to get the cheaper fare.

I just get too excited about planning!


Posted by
3580 posts

A few years ago a British woman told me that the Brits usually fly to Scotland rather than taking the train from London. I would probably prefer the train if I have a pass or other inexpensive ticket. BTW, Britain is streamlining their rail ticket system so that there are just three levels of ticket prices. Be sure to check on those new rates rather than relying on tour book info. My experiences of flying within Europe is that there is time required to/from airports; and there are other expenses involved with flying such as bus/train tix to/from airports, so the deals aren't necessarily as attractive as they may seem.