Leeds is primarily known for its buzzing atmosphere and world-class sporting heritage. Now the city is fast turning into the cultural heart of the North too, with a jam-packed calendar of festivals and events to rival both Manchester and London. Tourists, students and professionals can mingle in the city's many thriving cocktail bars and bistros, or treat themselves to a trip to the ballet, opera or an art exhibition.

The London-Leeds route will now be serviced by LNER's new, high-spec Azuma trains - meaning you can get to Leeds in style. Check out our information page on Azuma trains to learn more.

How to find the cheapest train tickets to Leeds

For the cheapest train tickets to Leeds, we have some top tips for you to follow while making your booking. We’ll show you how to be super savvy and save money on your rail journeys, so that you have a few extra quid to spend while out and about in the city, rather than using it all on travel!

Our top tips for finding cheap train tickets to Leeds:

  • Get a Railcard: Save up to 1/3 for a whole year
  • Book tickets to Leeds in advance: LNER, Northern and CrossCountry usually release tickets 12 weeks in advance
  • Travel Off-Peak: Tickets are usually cheaper during quieter times on weekdays and weekends
  • Use GroupSave: If you're travelling in a group of 3-9 people you could save 34%

1. Get a Railcard

The first thing you’ll want to do is grab yourself a National Railcard. If you aren’t continually travelling by train (where a Season Ticket would be more useful), but you’re still going to use trains more than a few times a year, then we recommend picking up a Railcard. They can allow you to save up to 1/3 off the price of your train tickets*. Visit our Railcards page to see eligibility requirements and to buy yours online. Railcards cater to different age ranges and circumstances so, from the Senior Railcard to the Disabled Persons Railcard and the newly-introduced 26-30 Railcard (Millennial Railcard), you'll be sure to find your match.

2. Book tickets to Leeds in advance

If you can, make sure to purchase your train tickets in advance. In some instances, the price of a train ticket can rise as the date of departure edges nearer. So, it’ll be in your best interests to book an Advance train ticket as far ahead as possible if you’re after the cheapest train tickets to Leeds. These tickets typically go on sale 12 weeks in advance, but you can sign up for our handy Ticket Alerts and let us do most of the work for you. As soon as tickets go on sale for your route, we’ll email you with a quick reminder so you can grab your tickets. Remember to combine your Railcard with your Advance ticket for maximum savings!

Need more info? Visit our Advance train tickets page for an in-depth guide.

3. Travel during Off-Peak times

When you book your train tickets to Leeds, try to travel at Off-Peak times. You can find Off-Peak times in our Journey Planner – search for a journey and hit the drop-down on the ticket prices screen to see which tickets are Off-Peak. These tickets can be a great way to save, as they reward you for travelling at certain times of the day or week.

For extra info, head over to our Off-Peak train tickets page.

Before making a booking, make sure to check that the price of your Return ticket is, in fact, lower than that of two Single train tickets. Depending on the train companies, one method may be cheaper than the other at times.

4. Travelling as a group? Use GroupSave

If you’re travelling to Leeds in a group of three to nine people, then you may be able to get a discount of 34% on the cost of your tickets (if all bought at once) with GroupSave. It’s a type of free discount that you can apply in the Railcard dropdown when booking your tickets. Please bear in mind that GroupSave is not applicable for all journeys by the different train companies and will automatically be applied if valid for your trip and selected in the Railcard dropdown.

If you need a few more hints on getting the cheapest train tickets to Leeds, check out our cheap train tickets page.

*Conditions and peak travel time exclusions may apply on some Railcard types.

London to Leeds on the East Coast Main Line

Trains from London to Leeds depart from Kings Cross station and arrive into Leeds railway station – the city’s main station. It is the terminus for the Leeds branch of the East Coast Main Line, which forks off the main branch at Doncaster. The fastest services reach Leeds in just 2h 10m.

You’ll travel on an Azuma train. These are LNER’s high-speed, modern trains capable of speeds of 125 mph on the East Coast Main Line. Free WiFi comes as standard and all seats have access to power sockets. The trains on the London-Leeds route are 10-coach trains – meaning you’ll have plenty of space to kick back and enjoy the views from the train window.

If you want to travel in comfort from London, consider upgrading to First Class. You’ll enjoy reclining seats, extra space, morning papers brought to your table and a complimentary menu. LNER are currently offering fewer options on their menu as catering is phased back into the service.

How to find cheap tickets from London to Leeds

The cheapest tickets from London to Leeds are Advance Singles. These are usually found well in advance of the day of travel, but on quiet services, they are available up to the night before travel. The next cheapest tickets are Super Off-Peak singles. The Super Off-Peak window for this route usually falls between 11:00 and 15:00, so if you can spare the time to travel in the middle of the day, you can make big savings. These discounted tickets can be available the day before travel or even on the day, so you don’t always have to book weeks in advance to find the cheapest fares.

Railcards can also save you a third on trains to Leeds from London. You can buy Railcards directly through Trainline and store them in app – so you can do away with those easily-forgettable paper Railcards. Buy a Railcard in minutes online.

Azuma train in Lincoln Central
First Class in the Azuma

Leeds is an important hub on the British rail network – it has the busiest station in the north of England! Trains to Leeds come from different parts of England and Scotland, including London, Newcastle, Stevenage and Edinburgh. Check out the most popular routes to Leeds we've put together for you in our table below, or start your search for a different station in our Journey Planner at the top of the page.

Popular train journeys to Leeds

RouteFastest journeyTrain operator
London to Leeds2h 12mEast Midlands Railway, LNER
Newcastle to Leeds1h 21mCrossCountry, TransPennine Express, LNER
Edinburgh to Leeds2h 54mCrossCountry, TransPennine Express, LNER
Liverpool to Leeds1h 24mTransPennine Express
Manchester to Leeds44mTransPennine Express
Birmingham to Edinburgh1h 56mCrossCountry
Stevenage to Leeds1h 50mLNER


Visiting Leeds

Whether you’re a die-hard football fan or not, feeling the buzz in the air during a match at Leeds United F.C. Stadium is an unforgettable experience. Alternatively, for a slightly more subdued evening, head to the popular Grade II-listed Grand Theatre and Opera House, an elegant Victorian venue with a capacity of 1,550. The theatre is also home to the Howard Assembly Room, which regularly hosts avant-garde art performances.

Trinity Leeds offers over 120 shops, restaurants and cafés in a sprawling million-square-foot space right in the heart of the city. For one-off retail therapy, don’t miss the Grand Arcade, a Leeds landmark of independent shopping since Victorian times.
The multi-million pound Royal Armouries hosts the National Collection of Arms and Armour, with over 8,500 weapons and military objects across six themed galleries: War, Tournament, Oriental, Self-Defence, Hunting, and Peace. This free exhibition is especially popular with families.

For something a little different, Leeds also has a multitude of interactive attractions for groups of adults, such as the thrilling 'Locked In Games', the 'Northern Snooker Centre & Stateside American Bar' and 'Pole Position Indoor Karting'.

Planning a day trip from Leeds? Check out our dedicated guide to 8 of the best day trips from Leeds.

Frequently asked questions

What's the main train station in Leeds?

The main train station in Leeds is Leeds station, which is located on the edge of the city centre by the River Aire.

Which train companies run trains to Leeds?

There are a number of trains companies in the UK that operate trains to Leeds, including LNER, East Midlands Railway, CrossCountry and TransPennine Express.

How can I get cheap train tickets to Leeds?

It’s easy to grab yourself cheap train tickets to Leeds. We’d recommend using a Railcard, buying your ticket in advance or travelling during Off-Peak hours if you can. Read our cheap train tickets guide to find out more.

Are trains running to Leeds?

Trains run frequently almost every day to Leeds, although there may be fewer services during the weekends and bank holidays. Check our live train times for up-to-date information on trains to Leeds.

Can I use my Railcard to save up to 1/3 on my trip to Leeds?

Yes, there are several types of Railcards you can use to save up to 1/3 on your trip to Leeds, these include:

  • Two-Together Railcard (Great for couples and friends who always travel together)
  • 16-17 Saver (You can save up to 50% with this one)
  • 16-25 Railcard (Ideal for students)
  • 26-30 Railcard (Also known as the Millennial Railcard)
  • Senior Railcard (For those aged 60 and over)
  • Friends & Family Railcard (Great for families of up to 4 adults with up to 4 kids)
  • Disabled Railcard (If travelling with another adult they can save too)

Having a Railcard means you can use it whenever you want outside of Peak times for a whole year too. 

Average savings on fares booked prior to day of travel vs full price fares on day of travel in the UK. Subject to availability. Excludes coach.

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