When it comes to getting to Scotland from the rest of mainland Britain it's 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!

By train

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.

  • LNER 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.
  • 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

 Edinburgh Waverley Station

ScotRail train departing from Edinburgh's Waverley Station

By plane

Flying to Scotland from elsewhere in the UK is 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, Flybe and Loganair, 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:


Mennock Pass, Dumfries and Galloway, South West Coastal 300

By car

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.

Travel information

Plan ahead - think about your route planning and get live traffic updates.

By coach

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 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.
  • FlixBus provide travel to Scotland from destinations such as Manchester, London and Leeds. Daily services run from London to Edinburgh and Glasgow including a domestic network between Glasgow, Perth, Stirling and Aberdeen.
  • Full details of coach routes and timetables of services running to Scotland can be found on the Traveline website.