Travel from Cardiff to Edinburgh by Coach

How to get to Edinburgh from Cardiff with National Express buses

Updated September 2011

You can get from Cardiff to Edinburgh (or Edinburgh to Cardiff) by taking the National Express coaches. The journey is 11 hours and 45 mins long for the direct buses. Travelling by National Express is a cheaper way to get from Cardiff to Edinburgh with economy apex return tickets (their very cheap tickets) starting at £57.00. Also check the Cardiff - Edinburgh flights page for quicker travel.

Tickets and timetables for Cardiff - Edinburgh coaches.

There are up to 3 coaches a day between Cardiff Bus Station (Wood St) and Edinburgh Bus Station (St. Andrew's Square). There is only one direct Cardiff - Edinburgh bus a day (each way) while the other coaches are all indirect National Express services via Birmingham or Bristol. National Express is the only coach company operating services between Cardiff and Edinburgh.

Direct buses between Cardiff and Edinburgh (11 hour and 50 minute journey)

Weekdays Weekend
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Cardiff to Edinburgh (NX536)
(departs at 07:45, arrives at 19:30)
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Book bus ticket
Weekdays Weekend
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Edinburgh to Cardiff (NX536)
(departs at 09:15, arrives at 21:05)
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Book bus ticket

NOTE: the schedule of buses may change without notice. Please double check with the National Express for the latest travel times for getting to Cardiff or Edinburgh.

There are no daytime, late evening or overnight direct coaches between Cardiff and Edinburgh other than the National Express services listed above. See below the section on non-direct buses.

Instant fares for cheap flights from Edinburgh to Cardiff.

All Edinburgh - Cardiff buses (National Express) with service times

Direct buses

Daytime coaches

  • There is only one direct daytime bus from Edinburgh to Cardiff (bus service NX536) which departs St Andrews Bus Station at 09:15 and arrives at Cardiff Bus Station at approx 21:05.
  • There is only one direct daytime bus from Cardiff to Edinburgh (bus service NX536) which departs Cardiff Bus Station at 07:45 and arrives at St Andrews Bus Station at approx 19:30.

Overnight coaches

There are no direct night buses btween Edinburgh and Cardiff.

Indirect buses

Daytime coaches

  • There is only one indirect daytime coach from Edinburgh to Cardiff (1 change in Birmingham or Bristol). It's an early morning indirect bus departing St Andrews Bus Station at 07:00.
  • There is only one indirect daytime coach from Cardiff to Edinburgh (1 change in Birmingham or Bristol). It's a mid morning indirect bus departing Cardiff Bus Station at 10:30.

Overnight coaches

  • The indirect overnight bus from Edinburgh to Cardiff (1 change in Bristol) departs St Andrews Bus Station at 21:30 and arrives in Cardiff at approx 11:20 the following day.
  • The indirect overnight coach from Cardiff to Edinburgh (1 change in Bristol) leaves Cardiff Bus Station at 17:15 and arrives in Edinburgh at approx 07:30 the following day.

How long does it take to get from Cardiff to Edinburgh by bus

The direct buses take 11 hours and 50 minutes but the the non-direct Cardiff to Edinburgh bus services to St Andrews Bus Station or Cardiff Bus Station include waiting times in Bristol or Birmingham of 45-85 mins. Given the choice, always go for the direct coach services. Having said that, the indirect daytime bus via Birmingham takes less (even with waiting times) than the direct Edinburgh - Cardiff coach (it's up to 1 hour quicker).

How much does the bus ticket from Cardiff to Edinburgh cost

The Cardiff - Edinburgh route is not a National Express funfare route where very cheap bus fares are available. However, going by bus to Edinburgh or Cardiff can be cheaper than travelling by train, especially when you're travelling on relatively short notice (within a matter of weeks).

Make sure to book in advance for travel on busy periods like Bank Holidays, Half-Term, Christmas Holidays and New Year's.

National Express bus fares between Cardiff and Edinburgh

The cheapest National Express tickets for the Cardiff coach are Economy tickets but you need to book these in advance.

Single fares

  • Economy single ticket: £61.20
  • Standard single ticket: £61.20

Return fares

  • Economy Apex return ticket: £57.00
  • Economy return ticket: £67.50
  • Standard advance return ticket: £71.70
  • Standard return ticket: £80.20

Book Cardiff - Edinburgh direct coach tickets

NOTE: Ticket prices may change without notice. Please double check with the National Express for up to date coach fares.

Where does the bus between Cardiff and Edinburgh stop

Stops for direct buses

This direct Cardiff to Edinburgh bus goes via Newport, Birmingham (coach station), Carlisle and GLasgow. You can buy tickets for travel from any of these stops in Scotland or England to Cardiff or Edinburgh.

Full itinerary: Cardiff, Newport, Monmouth, Worcester, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Carlisle, Glasgow, Edinburgh.

Stops for buses changing in Birmingham

Cardiff, Newport, Birmingham (change at bus station), Penrith, Carlisle, Glasgow, Edinburgh.

Stops for buses changing in Bristol

Cardiff, Newport, Bristol (change at bus station), Hanley (Stoke-On-Trent), Manchester (coach station and Manchester airport), Salford, Preston, Lancaster, Carlisle, Glasgow, Edinburgh.

National Express coach services - Web links

Bus Tickets, Timetables and Journey Planner
Use the form to get timetables and tickets for coach trips from Cardiff to Edinburgh or Edinburgh to Cardiff and anywhere else in the UK. Alternatively, you can buy your ticket from St Andrews bus station or Cardiff coach station. Remember that the cheapest Edinburgh - Cardiff bus tickets are available ONLY online.

Address of Cardiff Bus Station

National Express Coach Station in Cardiff
Wood Street
Cardiff
South Wales
Postcode: CF10 1PR
Tel: +44 (8456) 061660

Address of Edinburgh Bus Station

National Express Coach Station in Edinburgh
St Andrew's Square
Edinburgh
Scotland
Tel: +44 (131) 5556363
Tel: +44 (131) 2253858

No exact postcode has been found for St Andrew's Bus Station in Edinburgh

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