Travel to Scotland by train

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  • Modern long-distance train sits in a station
    The Flying Scotsman runs on the east coast route in Scotland

Taking the train to Scotland is a popular choice for many travellers coming from around Britain. The frequency of services, fares and overall travelling time makes it a real alternative to flying.

Train services from London

Glasgow and Edinburgh are both served by frequent direct train services from London, and are easily reached from other main English towns and cities, though you may have to change trains en route.

Virgin Trains East Coast depart from London King's Cross and run up the east coast via Peterborough, York and Newcastle to Edinburgh, with some continuing on to Glasgow, Aberdeen or Inverness.

Virgin trains run up the west coast from London Euston via Crewe, Preston and Carlisle to Glasgow.

Overnight sleeper services from London Euston also operate to a number of Scottish cities via the west coast route.

Train services from other areas

There are a number of long-distance direct services to Scotland that begin from outside London.

Virgin runs services from Birmingham to Edinburgh or Glasgow while the CrossCountry service links Cardiff, Paignton, Penzance, Bournemouth and Brighton with Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen via Birmingham.

First TransPennine Express operate direct services to Edinburgh and Glasgow from Manchester Airport via Manchester, Preston, Lancaster, Oxenholme Lake District and Carlisle.

Journey times to Scotland

Journey times from London can be as little as 4½ hours to Edinburgh and 5 hours to Glasgow. From Manchester or York, travelling time is about 2 hours while from Bristol, it is approximately 7 hours.

Beyond Edinburgh or Glasgow, allow another 2½ hours to reach Aberdeen, or 3½ hours to Inverness.

Timetables and UK fare information

For all train times to Scotland and fares across the UK network, visit National Rail Enquiries.

Other rail travel requirements

For any other rail travel information including rail operators serving Scotland, visit Traveline Scotland.

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