With so many travel options available, getting from London to Scotland has never been more convenient. The quickest way to travel is by plane - though you will have to factor in time spent at the airport into your overall journey time. Many people choose to travel by train, which can see you arrive in Edinburgh in a little over four hours. A coach is perhaps the least expensive option, but it will take the longest.

If you really want to take the scenic route, you could travel by car. As most of the route will be on fast motorway, you can do this drive in as little as seven hours if the traffic is good. If you plan to stop at points of interest along the way, or even just stop for a bite to eat, then you should factor this in to your journey time.

FAQs

How long does it take to get from London to Scotland?

Direct flights from London to Edinburgh take between 60 and 90 minutes. You can also fly to Glasgow in roughly the same time. Flights to Aberdeen and Inverness will take just over 90 minutes, allowing you quicker access to the Scottish Highlands. It is important to note the time it will take you to get to the airport, check in bags, as well as travel time into the city centre once you land. Taking these things into account, your journey time may be around three to four hours.

Catching a train will take you between four and six hours to get from London Kings Cross to Edinburgh Waverley. The fastest services travel up the east coast. From Edinburgh you can travel further north with ease. You can also catch an overnight sleeper train from London to Scotland which takes around eight hours.

If you decide to take a coach or drive yourself, your journey time is likely to be between seven and eleven hours.

What is the quickest way from London to Scotland?

Taking a direct flight from London to Scotland will often be the quickest way to travel. Budget airlines put on regular flights from a variety of London airports, including London Gatwick, London Stansted and London Luton.

Do I need a passport to travel to Scotland?

If you are travelling within the UK you will not need a passport if you are driving, catching a train or taking a coach to Scotland. If you are flying from London to Scotland, then you will need to carry photographic identification; this may not need to be a passport, but you should check with your airline as they may require one.

Which is the cheapest way to get to Scotland from London?

As you might expect, this will depend on how far in advance you book your transport. The earlier you book, the cheaper it will be to travel from London to Scotland. Generally, booking a flight with a budget airline or booking a seat on a coach will be your cheapest options.

Trains to Scotland from London

Catching a train from London to Scotland is the preferred way of travel for many. It cuts out going through the airport and allows you to sightsee along the way in comfort. Some travellers may want to take the sleeper train which departs from London Euston. Always book your tickets as far in advance as possible to ensure the cheapest fares.

Trains to Edinburgh

If you are travelling from London to Edinburgh by train you will be able to catch a train at London Euston or London Kings Cross. Your journey time will be between four and six hours. Trains will arrive at Edinburgh Waverley, though many services may stop briefly at Edinburgh Haymarket. Both of these stations are central with Waverley on the east side of the city centre and Haymarket on the west side - it would take around 25 minutes to walk between them. Check out the LNER website to find trains to Edinburgh.

Trains to Glasgow

Regular trains to Glasgow run from London Kings Cross and London Euston, arriving at Glasgow Central - Scotland's busiest station. Journey time will clock in between four and six hours. Browse trains to Glasgow.

Trains to Inverness

There is a direct train from London Euston to Inverness and several other options from Kings Cross if you don't mind making a change during your journey. Your train will arrive at Inverness Station in the heart of Inverness. Your journey time is likely to be between 10 and 13 hours. Take a look at trains to Inverness.

Trains to Aberdeen

You can catch a direct train from London Kings Cross to Aberdeen or take the sleeper train from London Euston. Your train will arrive at Aberdeen Rail Station which gives you easy access to the city centre. Trains will take between 7 and 10 hours. Take a look at trains to Aberdeen.

Trains to Dundee

In a little over five hours you can travel from London Kings Cross to Dundee where attractions like the V&A Museum are waiting to be explored. You will arrive at Dundee Railway Station which is around five minutes from the city centre. Browse trains to Dundee.

Scotland's well-connected rail network means that you can get to many other destinations such as Perth, Stirling and Fort William quickly and easily. 

Flights to Scotland

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Flying to Scotland from London is quick and convenient. If you live in London it is easy to fly up after work on a Friday and spend the weekend in Scotland. Similarly, if you are travelling in London and want to visit Scotland, flying is a cheap and speedy option. Cheap flights are easy to book using a comparison site, and the further you book in advance, the better a deal you'll get.

Flights to Edinburgh

Direct flights from London to Edinburgh take between 60 and 90 minutes. You can fly to and from a variety of London airports including London Stansted and London Gatwick. You will arrive at Edinburgh Airport, and from there it is just a short tram, bus or taxi ride into the city centre.

Flights to Glasgow

Flights to Glasgow from London take between 60 and 90 minutes. You can fly to and from different London airports including London City Airport, London Southend Airport and London Stansted. Your flight will arrive at Glasgow Airport which is approximately 8 miles from the city centre.  

Flights to Inverness

Inverness Airport offers a range of daily flights to and from London Heathrow, London Gatwick and London Luton airports. Flights will take just over 90 minutes and you'll be in the heart of the Highlands and islands.

Flights to Aberdeen

A direct flight to Aberdeen from London will take you just over 90 minutes. You can fly to and from several London airports including London Luton Airport and London Heathrow. Arriving at Aberdeen International Airport on the outskirts of Aberdeen you will be just a 30 minute bus journey from the city centre.

Flights to Dundee

Direct flights from London to Dundee take just over 90 minutes. You can fly to and from London Stansted and will arrive at Dundee Airport, just five minutes' drive from Dundee city centre. 

Other destinations

Scotland has several other smaller airports spread across the country, most of which you will have to get a connecting flight to if you are travelling from London. You can explore flights and cheap deals by looking at a comparison site.

Driving to Scotland from London

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Thinking about driving from London to Scotland? It is around a 400-mile drive between the two capital cities, London and Edinburgh, which could take as little as seven hours. However, this is without taking into account any stops you make or heavy traffic such as on bank holidays. Most journeys from London to Edinburgh are likely to take between 7 and 10 hours in the car. Check out our practical information about driving in Scotland.

Quickest route

If you are looking for the quickest way to get to Scotland from London then you are best advised to take the M1 and A1 route. If you manage to avoid busy traffic and don't take any stops, this route should take you around seven hours to get to Edinburgh.

  • Take the M1 from London.
  • Continue along the M1 and A1 all the way up to Scotland.

Scenic route

If you plan to see the sights on your way to Scotland then you could take the M6 up the west coast of the UK and into Scotland. On this route you will be able to see some of the UK's most famous cities, including Manchester and Liverpool as well as the Lake District National Park. Once in Scotland consider taking the Borders Historic Route to Edinburgh, following the A7, or the Galloway Tourist Route.

  • Take the M1 from London.
  • As you approach Birmingham, switch onto the M6 until you reach the Scottish border
  • Once in Scotland take the A74(M) or A702 until you reach Edinburgh.
  • As you travel into Scotland look out for scenic driving routes marked with brown signs that include plenty of great attractions to stop off at.

If you want to plan a more detailed route from London to Scotland check out this handy route planner. Remember also to check the Traffic Scotland website before driving in Scotland, where you will find real time and future information on roadworks, traffic incidents and more.

Travelling to Scotland by Bus

There are frequent bus services from London to Scotland, often with much cheaper ticket prices than the train. However, journey times are likely to be much longer than the train which is something to think about.

How often are buses?

There are buses travelling to Edinburgh from London throughout the day, including overnight services. You can check the latest bus routes and timetables on the Traveline website.

Which bus services?

Bus services to Scotland are operated by National Express and Megabus including routes to Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Inverness and Perth.

How long do buses take?

  • London to Edinburgh - 9 hours
  • London to Glasgow - 8.5 hours
  • London to Aberdeen - 12.5 hours
  • London to Inverness - 15 hours
  • London to Dundee - 11.5 hours

Coach tours

You might also consider a coach tour of Scotland, beginning in London. Check out these Scotland tours & Trips from London.