UK Trains | Around Britain | London to Edinburgh | VisitBritain.com

UK trains & travelling by rail in Britain

The most scenic and relaxed way to travel

Britain's trains and rail network are modern and efficient. The network covers all the main cities as well as smaller regional towns. It is made up of a few large companies that run routes from London to stations all over Britain, and smaller companies running routes in regional areas.

To plan your journey across Britain by rail, use the VisitBritain journey planner.

You can find up-to-the-minute information about routes, fares and train times on National Rail. For detailed information about particular routes and services you could also try looking on the train operators' websites.

UK train tickets and passes

You can buy a train ticket for any departure point to any destination on the National Rail network at any UK train station, train travel point or online. Prices vary greatly depending on a number of factors including:

  • day and time of travel
  • distance
  • how far ahead you book
  • operator

UK train journeys may be cheaper if you book in advance or buy a non-refundable ticket. Journeys are usually cheaper if you travel outside peak hours: 05:00-10:00 and 15:00-20:00 Monday to Friday.

For information, exact fares and to book tickets online, go to the National Rail website.

Passes

If you're going to make lots of train journeys, there are a number of passes available to help you get the best value. Britrail passes are a great value way to travel by train and let you either plan ahead or decide day by day. These tickets can be used on all of the privatised train companies that operate mainline services in Britain including the Heathrow and Gatwick Express.

BritRail Passes are only available to overseas tourists. Because of this they’re not available to buy in Britain - you must buy them in advance of travelling. You can find out more and order them online with VisitBritain Shop.

Taking the train from London to Edinburgh

London and Edinburgh are perhaps Britain’s most popular city destinations and are England and Scotland’s capitals respectively. Travelling between the two by train has the advantage of taking you directly to and from the city centres, and giving you the chance to sight-see from the comfort of your carriage. However it can be cheaper to fly unless you book a train in advance.

There are two options when travelling between London and Edinburgh by train – regular daytime trains from London Kings Cross station to Edinburgh Waverley station and the overnight Caledonian Sleeper between London Euston station and Edinburgh Waverley station which operate six nights a week. The regular London to Edinburgh train takes just 4-5 hours and usually departs every hour.

For information, exact fares and to book tickets online, go to the National Rail website.
 

Fast trains to airports

Heathrow Express
The Heathrow Express train is the fastest way to get into central London from Heathrow Airport. Trains depart every 15 minutes and take just 15 minutes to reach London Paddington train and underground station. The same journey by taxi would take about 1 hour 15 minutes and cost 4 times as much.

Book Heathrow Express tickets at the VisitBritain Shop.

Gatwick Express
The Gatwick Express train is the fastest way to get into central London from Gatwick Airport. Trains depart every 15 minutes and take just 30 minutes to reach London Victoria train, bus and underground station. The same journey by taxi would take about 2 hours and cost 4 times as much.

Book Gatwick Express tickets at the VisitBritain Shop.

Stansted express
The Stansted Express train is the fastest way to get into central London from Stansted Airport. Trains depart every 15 minutes and the journey time is 46 minutes. The same journey by taxi would take at least 1.5 hours and cost at least 4 times as much.  You can save £5 by booking in advance. There is now a £5.00 premium for customers who purchase their tickets on board.

Book Stansted Express tickets at the VisitBritain Shop.

Luton Airport Train
The Luton train is a fast connection between Luton airport and St Pancras station in central London. It takes 30-45 minutes. You can save 30% on return fares when buying online compared to buying on the day.

Book Luton Airport Transfer tickets at the VisitBritain Shop.
 


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