Edinburgh makes for a fabulous trip from London. The Scottish capital is well-loved for its history-filled monuments and an impeccably preserved Old Town, making it one of the most visited tourist destinations in the UK.
Fortunately, there are several easy ways of getting from London to Edinburgh. Travelers can take the train, which will reward them with gorgeous vistas of the English countryside, or simply fly into Edinburgh.
Those seeking to discover picturesque British towns can hit the road and drive a scenic route until they reach Edinburgh.
There are a lot of factors to take into consideration when deciding how to travel from London to Edinburgh, including price, journey time, and more.
To help you enjoy a memorable trip, we’ve covered the best ways of going from London to Edinburgh — including all the transportation options available. Have a look!
Where Is Edinburgh Located
Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is located in southeastern Scotland, near the Firth of Forth, close to the North Sea.
How To Get From London to Edinburgh
London to Edinburgh By Airplane
When traveling from London to Edinburgh, the plane is the fastest mode of travel — flights from London to Edinburgh usually take between 60 and 90 minutes.
There are three major airlines serving the London-Edinburgh route: British Airways, Easyjet, and Ryanair. With British Airways, you can fly from London Heathrow, London City Airport, or London Gatwick. The direct flights from Easyjet, depart from Gatwick, Luton, or Stansted, and with Ryanair, you will fly from Stansted.
Flights from London arrive at Edinburgh Airport, which is located about 10 miles outside of the city. At the airport, it’s possible to take a tram to the city center. They depart every 7 minutes, between 7 am and 7 pm, and every 15 minutes outwith these hours, with an end-to-end journey of just 30 minutes.
Travel Time: 60 to 90 minutes
Distance Covered: 288 miles
Main Airlines: British Airways, Easyjet, Ryan air
Average Costs: Plane tickets
Average Costs: There are one-way flight tickets from London to Edinburgh from $30
London to Edinburgh By Train
Known for being fast, comfortable, and clean, the UK trains are one of the most convenient ways of traveling from London to Edinburgh. Not to mention that, compared to other modes of transport, the train is more sustainable (a single journey from London to Edinburgh by train emits three times less CO₂ than by car and six times less than by plane).
The UK has a comprehensive high-speed train system that runs across the country, and there are numerous direct services running between London and Edinburgh on a daily basis.
Direct high-speed trains run by either LNER, Avanti West Coast, or Lumo depart from Kings Cross station, in central London, and arrive at the Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station (Edinburgh Central Station) in about 4.5 hours, reaching the maximum speed of 125 mph.
The Edinburgh Waverley station is located between the Old Town and modern Edinburgh, adjacent to Princes Street, Edinburgh Castle, and the Princes Street Gardens. So, as soon as you exit the station, you’ll find yourself perfectly positioned in the heart of the capital.
Alternatively, you can choose to travel by Avanti West Coast trains, departing from London Euston. But note that these trains take a bit longer to reach the stunning capital of Scotland – their travel time is 5.5 hours.
Want to take your trip to the next level? Then take the Caledonian Sleeper night train to Edinburgh. Running six nights a week, the Caledonian Sleeper’s Lowlander route takes you from London Euston station to Edinburgh Waverley station. Maximize your journey even more by upgrading to First Class, where you’ll be treated to complimentary breakfast, an en-suite with shower and toilet, access to the station lounge, and more.
Another major benefit of taking the train travel from London to Edinburgh is that the ride provides passengers with the most show-stopping views of the English countryside! Make sure you get a window seat to soak in fabulous vistas of the rolling hills, idyllic villages, and towering peaks.
About 3 hours out of London Kings Cross the train slows and crosses the River Tyne in order to make its next stop at Newcastle Central Station, giving a good view on the right of the famous Tyne bridges.
7 miles north of York, it’s possible to see the famous London to Edinburgh Half Way sign. At Durham, the train crosses a viaduct and offers breathtaking views of Durham city, castle, and cathedral on the right-hand side.
When approaching Berwick upon the River Tweed, the train races across the Royal Border Bridge, an impressive 2,160 feet long viaduct opened by Queen Victoria in 1850.
Travel Time: 4h10
Distance Covered: 400 miles
Train Operators: LNER, Avanti West Coast or Lumo
Where To Buy Train Tickets: There are several website operators where you can book London to Edinburgh trains online. You can go directly to the train service website (LNER, Avanti, Lumo).
It’s also possible to buy your train ticket in person at the ticket machines at the train stations but it’s recommended to book an advance ticket.
Average Costs: Cheap train tickets usually start at $30 one way.
London to Edinburgh By Car
Alternatively, you can also cover the London-Edinburgh route by car. The distance on the drive from London to Edinburgh is approximately 402 miles and would take around 7.5 hours along the M1 and A1 highways if you don’t stop anywhere in between. However, if you plan on making stops along the way you should expect the journey to take at least 2 nights.
Driving is a great option for travelers that have more time up their sleeve, and want to slowly explore quaint British towns along the way. Must-visit destinations along the route include Oxford, Cambridge, Stamford, Manchester, and Liverpool.
Travel Time: Seven hours to 2 nights
Distance Covered: 402 miles
Average Costs: Depends on fuel prices
London to Edinburgh By Coach
The cheapest way to get from London to Edinburgh is by bus (or “coach”). On average, the bus travel from London to Edinburgh takes approximately 10 hours and 5 minutes, but it may vary depending on traffic conditions along the route.
There are also the fastest services (operated by Megabus) that reach Edinburgh in 9 hours and 10 minutes.
Whatever bus company you choose, you’ll catch the bus in London from Victoria Station and depart at the centrally located Edinburgh Bus Station. From here, it’s only a short walk to all of Edinburgh’s major attractions.
You can typically choose from four daily buses, two that leave in the morning and two more that leave at night. The overnight bus is served by both National Express and Megabus, and arrives in Edinburgh in the morning, making it the ideal option if you don’t miss out on a full day of your trip.
On-board amenities include power sockets, WiFi, air conditioning, luggage storage, and toilets.
Travel Time: Nine hours
Distance Covered: 332 miles
Average Costs: There are bus tickets starting at $10
Is there a high-speed train from London to Edinburgh?
Yes, there are high-speed trains from London to Edinburgh. The direct high-speed trains run by LNER depart from Kings Cross station in London and take you to the Central station in Edinburgh in about 4.5 hours
Is there a direct train from London to Edinburgh?
Yes, there are 66 direct trains from London to Edinburgh (Waverley) each day.
What train companies operate between London and Edinburgh?
The main train company operating between London and Edinburgh is the London North Eastern Railway. The other major operators of trains between London and Edinburgh are Avanti West Coast (formerly Virgin Trains) and Lumo.
Is it better to fly or take the train from London to Edinburgh?
Generally speaking, unless you happen to be located close to an airport at both ends, for journeys between London and Edinburgh the train is the most convenient option.
How much does it cost to take a train from London to Edinburgh?
Train tickets from London to Edinburgh vary depending on the ticket type, your date/time of travel, the train operator, and more. There are train tickets starting at $13 one way.
Is the train ride from London to Edinburgh nice?
Yes, the train journey from London to Edinburgh is breathtaking. Along the way, passengers are able to take in stunning views of the English countryside.
How much are the train tickets from London to Edinburgh?
Train tickets from London to Edinburgh vary depending on the ticket type, your date/time of travel, the train operator, and more. There are train tickets starting at $30 one way.
Where is the Edinburgh Waverley station located?
Waverley is located between Edinburgh’s historic New Town and Old Town.
How far is Edinburgh Airport from the city center?
The Edinburgh Airport is located approximately 8 miles away from the city center.
Are there direct flights from London to Edinburgh?
Yes. There are direct flights from London to Edinburgh operated by airlines such as EasyJet, British Airways, Ryanair, and more.
How many flights are there between London and Edinburgh?
There are 890 (nonstop) flights between London and Edinburgh per week, averaging 127 per day.
Which airlines provide the cheapest flights from London to Edinburgh?
The best deals for a one-way ticket found London to Edinburgh are from the budget airline Ryanair.
What is the cheapest way of getting from London to Edinburgh?
Taking the bus is the cheapest way to travel from London to Edinburgh, making it a prime option for those who want to save money.
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