London Train to Edinburgh
Latest Edinburgh - London Train Travel Information
Updated September 2011
You can travel by train from London's King Cross (KGX) direct to Edinburgh Waverley (EDB), the main rail station in Edinburgh using any of the frequent daytime trains (which run at least once an hour) or the convenient Caledonian Sleeper (overnight) service departing from London Euston (EUS) 6 nights a week. Have you considered taking the bus or flying? See our National Express / Megabus Scotland in-depth guide for coach travel to/from and within Scotland.
Flights and buses from London to Edinburgh may be cheaper:
- Coaches: Megabus for even cheaper tickets.
- Cheap flights: Edinburgh to London with prices from around £50 return.
Alternatively, buy your train ticket for trains from London to Edinburgh online and have it delivered to you the same or next day or have it ready for collection at the train station (be it in London or Edinburgh).
- The daytime trains from London get you into Edinburgh in 4 hours 30 mins on average though the quickest journey can be as short as 4 hours 10 mins. Ticket prices start at £18.50 single if booked 8-12 weeks in advance.
- The first daytime (weekday) train from London to Edinburgh is at 6:15 am and the last evening train (excluding overnight services) departs King's Cross at 6:20 pm.
- The first daytime (weekday) train from Edinburgh to London is at 5:50 am and the last evening train (excluding overnight services) departs Waverley at 7:00 pm.
- The journey on the Caledonian Sleeper overnight train connecting London to Edinburgh lasts 7 hours 30 mins approx. It's ideal for business trips, short breaks and day trips and you save on both transport and accommodation. Bargain Berth prices start at £19 single.
- Caledonian Sleeper to Edinburgh departs London Euston at 11:50 pm and arrives in Edinburgh at 7:20 am approx.
- Caledonian Sleeper to London departs Edinburgh Waverley at 11:40 pm and arrives in London at 7:10 am approx.
Instant fares for cheap flights from Edinburgh to London.
Book coach tickets from London to Edinburgh from £15. Guaranteed seats, overnight or daytime journeys.
Tickets for Trains to Edinburgh from London
Buying Cheap Train Tickets Online
The UK train ticket system is extremely complicated and finding the cheapest tickets can be frustrating and time consuming. Here are a series of invaluable tips on how to make considerable savings on train journeys between London and Edinburgh:
- If finding the cheapest train tickets is more important to you than an exact travel date and time, then the Best Fare Finder gives you an instant list of the cheapest tickets available by day, week and month. You can view the lowest fares available each day for up to three months in advance!
- Advance single tickets are usually the cheapest option for travelling from London to Edinburgh IF you book them far enough in advance (preferably 12 weeks in advance). Use the Cheap Ticket Alert Service to be notified by email the instant advance train tickets become available. The earlier you subscribe to the service, the more chance you have of being the first to snatch the cheapest tickets and make considerable savings.
- It may seem strange but two singles can be cheaper than a return ticket because often the top deals are available on one-way journeys. Simply search for return London - Edinburgh tickets for your desired travel dates and look for the 2 singles could be cheaper alerts in the 'price and availability' section. You can save up to £200 on a London - Edinburgh return trip!
- Cheap advance tickets can be bought as late as the night before you travel or even just before you leave for the station. So if, for example, you find out today that you have to travel to Edinburgh or London tomorrow, keep checking on last minute fares and offers. You'd be surprised how much you can save using this simple technique!
Save up to 75% on Accommodation in Edinburgh or London
Edinburgh Hotels near Waverley Train Station
Great Edinburgh hotels and accommodation near Waverley train station.
London Hotels near King's Cross Train Station
Great London hotels near King's Cross train station.
Advantages of train travel between London and Scotland
Travelling by train from London to Edinburgh has advantages that other means of transport like coaches and flights simply can't compete with:
- The train takes you from the heart of London to the heart of Edinburgh which is extremely convenient. Getting to and from the airports in London and Edinburgh costs money, takes time and can be too much hassle.
- It is more comfortable to spend the 4 and a half hour London to Edinburgh or Edinburgh to London journey on a train because you can stand up and walk around to stretch your legs which is not always possible on coaches or flights.
- Though actual journey time on flights between Edinburgh and London is much shorter than with train journeys, the TOTAL time including transfer to and from city airports AND the time you must allow for check-in means you're probably better off travelling by train if the price is right.
Transport to and from King's Cross train station in London
King's Cross train station in London is a busy transport hub easily reachable from most parts of London by bus, tube as well as private car and taxis. Short-term parking is available at King's Cross while long-term parking is available at nearby St Pancras train station.
The last evening train from Edinburgh (excluding overnight services) gets into London just over midnight. You may miss the last tube home but night buses will still be available and so will taxis. The Caledonian Sleeper from Edinburgh arrives at 6:45 am approx while the first train to Edinburgh from London leaves at 6:15 am. In both cases tube and buses will be available.
Transport to and from Edinburgh Waverley train station
Edinburgh Waverley train station is located on Princes Street, in the heart of Edinburgh. It is easily reachable by bus from most parts of Edinburgh as well as private car and taxis. Parking is available at Edinburgh Waverley though it is expensive.
The last evening train from London (excluding overnight services) gets into Edinburgh at around 12:15 am allowing you to catch the last evening bus or night bus home. The Caledonian Sleeper from London arrives at 7:20 am approx while the first train to London from Edinburgh leaves at 5:50 am. In both cases there will be Lothian Buses services running in Edinburgh.
London to Edinburgh Other Train Stations
If you are departing from a London train station other than King's Cross or London Euston or from an Edinburgh train station other than Waverley it's cheaper to plan the portion of the journey from these stations separately.
- There are many ways to get to King's Cross, London Euston or Edinburgh Waverley, be it via public transport, taxi, private car or train. You won't be able to choose the cheapest option if you bundle it with your London - Edinburgh train journey.
- It's possible that your journey to or from King's Cross, London Euston or Edinburgh Waverley will fall in peak-time. Planning and paying for this portion of the journey separately ensures you don't pay a peak-time price for the whole of your journey.
Scenic views from the London train
While the route from London to Edinburgh is not particularly scenic, there is a section around the Scottish Borders where it passes near the coast and it has some spectacular views. But the beauty of train travel from London to Edinburgh is that you also get a glimpse of great places on the way like Peterborough, York, Durham, Newcastle and Berwick.
When to look out the window - Approximate times after train departs London
- Peterborough Cathedral - 50 minutes
- York Minster - 2 hours
- Durham Cathedral and Castle - 2 hours and 45 minutes
- Newcastle and the Tyne Bridge - 3 hours
- Alnmouth, the town and bay - 3 hours and 30 mins
- Berwick upon Tweed - 4 hours
- Coastal scenery after Berwick - 4 hours and a bit, just after Berwick
When you book your train ticket for Edinburgh, remember to ask for a seat on the right side for the great coastal views. Sit on the left side when taking the train in the opposite direction, from Edinburgh to London.