We've spent a few months only dreaming of exploring Scotland, but it's now time to turn these dreams into plans, and book your break to Scotland. With more information now available on what will open and at what stage, it should now be easier to plan your trip to Scotland for this year or next. You can find more information on visiting Scotland during the Covid-19 recovery phases.
Anyone traveling to Scotland from England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Ireland, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and certain overseas countries, does not need to quarantine on arrival in Scotland or the rest of the UK. There are a number of countries where you will have to quaratine on arrival, including France, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, the US and Canada.
Everyone who enters the UK will need to:
- Provide your journey and contact details when you travel to the UK.
If you are planning a trip to Scotland in the next few months, stay up-to-date with the latest on travel advice in relation to COVID-19 from your own government, which should outline any travel restrictions in place for affected countries. Please make sure you check with your travel and accommodation providers for confirmed opening dates and book before travelling. You can get the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Scotland at the Scottish Government website.
When it comes to getting to Scotland from the rest of mainland Britain it's really very easy indeed. With the great range of rail, air and road options, you could be in Scotland in time for dinner, or even lunch!
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.
- LNER (formerly 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.
- Avanti West Coast 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.
Services from other areas
There are a number of long-distance direct services to Scotland that begin from outside London:
- Avanti West Coast runs services from Birmingham to Edinburgh or Glasgow.
- CrossCountry services link 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.
Timetables and UK fare information
- For all train times to Scotland and fares across the UK network, visit National Rail Enquiries.
- For any other rail travel information including rail operators serving Scotland, visit Traveline Scotland.
Flying to Scotland from elsewhere in the UK is the generally the fastest travel option. This is particularly true if your ultimate destination is beyond the major cities or on any of the islands.
In addition to regular carriers such as British Airways and BMI, Scotland is well served by the budget airlines operating from airports around London and from other area hubs on routes to Scotland's major city and regional airports.
To find flights and fares to Scotland's major airports, search on comparison sites such as:
The two main driving routes to Scotland from the south are via the east of England on the A1, or via the west using the M6, A74 (M) and M74.
The A1, which passes by Peterborough, Doncaster, Newcastle and Berwick-upon-Tweed, gives you the option of branching off onto the A68, which takes the hilly but scenic route over the border at Carter Bar and adds an hour or so to the journey time.
The M6 route, which goes around Birmingham, between Manchester and Liverpool and on to Carlisle, offers at least dual-carriageway driving the whole way.
As you travel into Scotland look out for scenic driving routes that include plenty of great attractions to stop off at.
If travelling via the M6 consider taking the Borders Historic Route to Edinburgh, following the A7, or the Galloway Tourist Route, which begins on the A75 and travels to Dumfries before carrying on to Ayr.
From the A74 you can also join the South West Coastal 300, which travels in a beautiful circular route around the Dumfries & Galloway and Ayrshire coastline, or travel on towards Glasgow via the Clyde Valley Tourist Route.
Find more driving routes in Scotland.
Plan ahead - think about your route planning and get live traffic updates.
- Information and advice on driving on Scottish roads
- Park and ride locations
- Find a petrol station
- Find an LPG station
You can easily get to Scotland by road from the rest of Britain. Coach services duplicate many train routes, often with much cheaper ticket prices.The frequency of service is often similar to that of the train, although longer distance journey times are usually much longer by coach.
- Coach services to Scotland are operated by National Express, which runs routes to Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness.
- Megabus and Megabus Gold cover some routes including Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Perth. On some overnight services, passengers have their own berth as well as a standard seat for greater comfort during their journey.
- Full details of coach routes and timetables of services running to Scotland can be found on the Traveline website.