One Day London Train Trips to Edinburgh, Scotland

Take a Sightseeing Day Tour from London to Edinburgh by High Speed Train

Updated September 2011

There are many fabulous day trips and tours from London but few are as fascinating as this one day train trip to Edinburgh for those who have never visited Scotland's Capital City before.

Edinburgh Castle and Ross Fountain Edinburgh Castle panorama from Scott Monument Princes Street, Edinburgh

Day Trip from London to Edinburgh by train from £139 (return rail tickets, Hop-on Hop-off City Tour, entry to Edinburgh Castle). Also see our London to Scotland with Megabus and National Express in-depth coach guide.

Edinburgh is too beautiful to be seen in only 8 hours but if you are short on time yet high on enthusiasm, this unescorted day trip will give you a taste of Edinburgh's best attractions. And believe me, you will want to return for a longer break in Scotland's Capital City.

Short One Day Edinburgh Tour from London - Highlights

  • Rail day trip by high speed train from the heart of London to the heart of Edinburgh.
  • Approx 8 hours of sightseeing and shopping in Edinburgh.
  • Includes entry to Edinburgh Castle, the most popular attraction in the city.
  • Includes Hop on Hop off City Bus Tour of Edinburgh to give you a flavour of the city's best attractions.
  • Free city map and information guide.
  • About 9-10 hours train journey time in total, including scenic coastal views.
  • Price from £139 per person (children tickets cost £129) and include all taxes and charges.
  • You receive instant confirmation voucher upon reservation.

Book the Edinburgh Rail Day Trip from London

In terms of comfort and convenience you cannot beat the ready-packaged Edinburgh Rail Day Trip from London which takes you from Central London (King's Cross train station) to the heart of Edinburgh (Waverley rail station) and includes a return fast train ticket to London, admission to Edinburgh Castle and an open top city bus tour. Get into Edinburgh at 11.30am approx and start exploring:

  • Visit Edinburgh Castle, Scotland's number one attraction, including the Scottish Crown Jewels and the Royal Palace and enjoy the breathtaking views of the City from the castle battlements.
  • See all of the major attractions in Edinburgh from the popular Hop-on Hop-off open-top bus.
  • Wander the historic streets of the Old Town, the Royal Mile and Princes Street with their excellent shops, restaurants, cafes.

You may think, what is there to see in Edinburgh in a short day trip? The answer is plenty as most of Edinburgh's attractions are located in the City Centre, near the main train station. You have the freedom to plan your own visit in Edinburgh, whether it's sightseeing, shopping or just having a leisurely day.

Reviews from customers who took this packaged rail trip from London

One of the highlights of our trip. Forget Rome and even Paris, though Paris is beautiful, Edinburgh has to be the most beautiful city we saw in our short trip. Edinburgh Castle was amazing, the sights were great, and we even got to see the palace of Mary Queen of Scots. Of all the day tours we took, this was the best organized. While other day tours take you by bus and waste your time, this sets you on a fast train to Edinburgh, gives you a double decker bus to see the sights, and gives free entry to the most important sites. This tour was worth every dollar we paid and then some.
Excellent rail tour package. Be warned that most of the time is spent in the train going and getting back. If you are prepared for that you will definitely enjoy your day trip.
Considering the distance between London and Edinburgh, this tour is probably the better solution you can hope for. You must allow for 9-10 hours in the train, but you still have 5-6 hours to spend in Edinburgh. We visited Edinburgh Castle, took a coach tour of the city, and had additional free time to visit the main streets in the city centre, Princess Street and the Royal Mile, and do some shopping. Edinburgh would deserve an overnight stay, but in any case this tour permits a good overview of the capital city of Scotland.
The trip itself was wonderful. The train is quality all the way even in 2nd class. Time in Edinburgh was just enough to get a good feel of city, explore, and enjoy the castle. Would recommend this to anyone with limited amount of time in London who wants to also experience Scotland.

Find train times and cheap tickets for trains to Edinburgh.

What you need to know

  • This is not a steam train trip nor a luxury train trip. You will travel in comfort using the regular East Coast rail services. Orient Express are the only company offering day trips by luxury train from London to Edinburgh in Scotland.
  • The distance between Edinburgh and London by train is 390 miles. One of the most common questions is 'How long does it take to get from London to Edinburgh' and the answer is approx 4.5 hours for rail journeys between King's Cross and Waverley Station.
  • This tour departs King's Cross daily, Monday to Thursday. This train day trip from London to Scotland is not available on weekends (Saturday or Sunday).

Book the Train Day Trip from London to Edinburgh

Plan Your Own Cheap Day Trip out of London to Edinburgh, Scotland

The packaged day tour from London is the most convenient and hassle-free way to spend half a day in Edinburgh, but it's not cheap. If you are on a tight budget then planning your own trip can help you make some significant savings -- Edinburgh getaways from London can be quite cheap.

The package rail trip is the best way to get out of London and into Edinburgh for a short day of sightseeing as it requires a single booking. To organise this day trip to Edinburgh yourself, however, you need to make three bookings:

  • Book a return same-day train ticket from London. Take the first train to Edinburgh which departs London King's Cross at 6.15am and the last one back departing Edinburgh Waverley at 7.00pm. This gives you roughly 7 hours in Edinburgh. Choose between 1st class train travel or standard class tickets. The cheapest return tickets to Edinburgh cost £30.
  • For the longest possible day trip by train from London take the overnight sleeper train from London Euston which arrives at 7.00am approx and gives you around 10 hours in Edinburgh. You can choose to travel first class on the Caledonian Sleeper. It won't be a luxury train trip but it will be very comfortable considering how many hours you'll be spending on the train.
  • Buy a ticket for the popular Edinburgh City Hop-on, Hop-off tour (open top bus tour). The tour departs Waverley Bridge (as you come out from the train station) every 15-20 minutes (depending on season) and lasts approx 1 hour.
  • Buy a fast track ticket to visit Edinburgh Castle, Scotland's number one attraction (buy it online to avoid queues). A complete tour of Edinburgh Castle can last anywhere between 1-3 hours, depending on how leisurely you like your tour to be.

Use any extra time you have to wander around the Old Town, shop on Princes Street or enjoy the amazing city views from Calton Hill, within short walking distance from the train station.

NOTE: Planning your own travel itinerary is the only way to get to Edinburgh for short weekend trips from London to Scotland by train that don't involve an overnight stay.

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