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London to Edinburgh by Train

Avoid the plane with our handy guide for travelling from London to Edinburgh by train

London to Edinburgh by train is an extremely popular, comfortable and fuss-free way of travelling between the capitals of England and Scotland. While a flight takes one hour, after you take into consideration travelling to the airport, waiting at the airport, the flight itself and then the journey from the airport into the city, it’s a no brainer to make the journey by rail.

The total distance from London to Edinburgh is 332 miles and around 41 trains a day run this route. The fastest journey from London to Edinburgh by train is 4 hours 16 minutes and the slowest is 5 hours 43 minutes, but there’s also a sleeper train to catch. Known as the Caledonian Sleeper, this train departs late at night and arrive early morning, meaning you’ll get a proper night’s sleep and arrive feeling refreshed. Operators Avanti West Coast (formerly Virgin Trains) and London North Eastern Railway (LNER) run this route, along with the private Caledonian Sleeper for overnight journeys. 

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London to Edinburgh by train guide

Avanti or LNER train

Both Avanti West Coast and London North Eastern Railway run direct trains from London Kings Cross to Edinburgh Waverly, right in the heart of the city. Trains run from 05:30 to 19:30 and fares can be had from as little as £27, when booked in advance. First class travel is available on both operators and there are first class lounges at Kings Cross and Edinburgh Waverly. 

Passengers travelling first class will get comfier seats with tables, fast and free Wi-Fi, access to power sockets and complimentary food and drink, ranging anywhere from snacks to a two-course meal, depending on service.

London to edinburgh train
Avanti West Coast (formerly Virgin Trains) runs a high-speed route

2. Caledonian Sleeper

The most luxurious and comfortable way of getting to Edinburgh by train is by taking the Caledonian Sleeper – our favourite way to travel between England and Scotland. The Caledonian sleeper departs from London Euston just before midnight (guests are allowed to board earlier) and arrives in Edinburgh at around 07:30. 

On the train passengers can choose between three categories of compartment, a Classic Room, Club Room or Caledonian Double. Classic Rooms sleep for and come with an in-room wash basin, while Club Rooms and Caledonian Doubles come with an en-suite shower room and toilet. The train mostly consists of sleeper and seating carriages, but there is also a cosy Club Car for passengers to mingle and unwind. The Club Car has comfortable booths and a seated bar, with a galley pumping out hot meals and sandwiches for guests. Tickets can be booked up to 12 months in advance. 

How to book

To book trains between London and Edinburgh head to Trainline.com