Transportation from London to Edinburgh Scotland

We are taking Rick Steve's tour of Scotland next summer. It is easier with our airline to fly in and out of London. In looking for ways to travel to Edinburgh trains seemed a good option. The website I looked at said I could not purchase the ticket online. I am wondering how easy/difficult it is to get a train ticket when we get to London. Any suggestions?

Posted by Laura
Virginia, USA
2899 posts

If you wait to buy your train ticket until you arrive in London, they will be very expensive. A ticket on the day of travel will likely be over 100 GBP where a ticket purchased in advance could be under 30 GBP. Hopefully one of the train experts (Nigel) will chime in on when to buy to get the best fare. If you want to stay in London for a few days, then taking the train is a fine option. However, if you don't plan to spend any time in London, it rarely makes sense to fly to London just to get a train. When you arrive in London, you will then have to go through immigration, take the tube to Kings Cross station, and then take a 5 hour train to Edinburgh. By the time you do that (including some buffer in case your plane is delayed), you'd be adding at least 8 hours to an already long travel day. If you want to take the train, then I'd suggest you tack on some time in London before and after your trip. If you only want to go to Scotland then flying there, even with an extra connection is generally easier.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17780 posts

Kathy, I've travelled that route and agree with Laura - if you're not planning to spend any time in London, use a budget flight to Edinburgh, since you'll be at the airport anyway. I'm assuming your airline will be flying into LHR? One option you could check is British Airways (LHR / EDI flights currently listed as low as £48). OTOH, if you're going to be a few days in London, the trip from King's Cross to Edinburgh Waverley is a very easy and pleasant trip, about 5 hours or so. You'll likely be travelling via East Coast Rail, and you can purchase discounted tickets in advance (I know, as I've done that). If you plan on using the train, you may find it helpful to have a look at THIS excellent website, as it provides lots of good information on how to buy tickets, etc. I've also considered the Scotland tour, but will decide after I attend the big tour event in Seattle in January. Happy travels!

Posted by Tim
Minneapolis, MN, USA
8646 posts

You can book tickets on the East Coast site up to about 12 weeks in advance. Book ASAP to get the lowest discount fare. You also can take the Caledonian Sleeper. You can book up to 12 weeks in advance. Book ASAP to get Bargain Berth fares.

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
1972 posts

Unless you're just wanting a train experience throughout the U.K., take a budget air carrier up to Scotland from London. Just remember to pack light. I've found the trains to be relatively expensive in the U.K.

Posted by Tim
Minneapolis, MN, USA
8646 posts

Direct East Coast high-speed trains make the run from London to Edinburgh in 4hr22min. When you factor in the time it takes to get to and from airports, check in, and go through security, that's faster than flying. Yes, last-minute tickets for long distance trains in the UK are expensive (£141.50 for London-Edinburgh daytime trains). However, if you book well in advance as I suggested in my previous post, you can get a fare as low as £17.00 for daytime trains and as low as £19.00 for a Bargain Berth on the Caledonian Sleeper.

Posted by Kathy
Tucson, Arizona, USA
2 posts

Thanks for all of the great ideas. This really helps a lot in my planning. Good travels to all. Kathy

Posted by Tania
Halton, Ontario, Canada
105 posts

Hello, have you looked at flying in and out of Glasgow instead of Edinburgh? Just curious, might be a different price and another option than in and out of London. Shorter distance by train, only 50 minutes average and tickets are purchased point of sale, rather than having to booking ahead.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8756 posts

Shorter distance by train, only 50 minutes average and tickets are purchased point of sale, rather than having to booking ahead. But Tania, in exchange for not buying the train tickets ahead don't you have to buy the plane tickets ahead?