It takes an average of 2h 50m to travel from Manchester to London by train, over a distance of around 163 miles (262 km). There are normally 57 trains per day traveling from Manchester to London and tickets for this journey start from $24.36 when you book in advance.
From 2h 6m
163 miles (262 km)
57 trains per day
Direct trains available
Planning a trip to the capital and need more information about the journey from Manchester to London by train? Start your journey with us!
On average, the train from Manchester to London takes around 2 hours and 31 minutes to travel the 163 miles between these two major cities. Although, if you’re in a hurry, the fastest services can take you from Manchester to London by train in just 2 hours and 3 minutes. On this popular route, you can expect to find around 59 direct trains running each day, so you won’t need to make any changes along the way.
When traveling on this route, you’ll jump on an Avanti West Coast train at Manchester Piccadilly station. Once you’ve found your seat, you can begin to take advantage of the onboard amenities, including free WiFi, charging sockets and a catering service. Fancy treating yourself? Upgrade to either Standard Premium Class or First Class – where you’ll receive complimentary food and drink and wider more comfortable seating with extra legroom. In just over 2 hours, you will arrive in the centre of the capital at London Euston station.
After exiting the station, you can start exploring London’s iconic landmarks. There are so many things to see and do, you won’t be bored for a second! Unsure where to start? For some inspiration, read our comprehensive guide to the 14 best things to do in London, including a visit to Trafalgar Square and Hyde Park. Tired just thinking about all that sightseeing? Check out our rundown of London's best luxury hotels.
Want to save money on your train tickets? Book an Off-Peak train, as tickets tend to be cheaper outside of morning/evening rush hours between Monday and Friday. Also, keep an eye out for Advance tickets – they are usually released 12 weeks before the departure date and tend to be cheaper than booking tickets on the day of travel.
Keen to go? There’s no need to wait, start a search for cheap train tickets from Manchester to London with us today. Just head to our Journey Planner at the top of the page and we’ll highlight the cheapest train tickets. For more information, continue reading for FAQs, timetables with first and last train times and tips on booking cheap train tickets.
The average journey time by train between Manchester and London is 2 hours and 50 minutes, with around 57 trains per day. The journey time may be longer on weekends and holidays, so use our Journey Planner on this page to search for a specific travel date.
The fastest journey time by train from Manchester to London is 2 hours and 6 minutes.
Train tickets from Manchester to London can start from as little as $24.36 when you book in advance and are usually more expensive when purchased on the day. Prices can also vary depending the time of day, route and class you book.
Yes, it is possible to travel from Manchester to London without having to change trains. There are 57 direct trains from Manchester to London each day. Though there may be fewer direct services available depending on your exact departure date.
The first train from Manchester to London leaves at 04:05. Times and services may vary during weekends and holidays.
The last train from Manchester to London leaves at 21:15. Trains that depart in the early morning hours or very late evening may be sleeper services, time and services may also vary during weekends and holidays.
Trains travelling from Manchester to London cover a distance of around 163 miles (262 km) during the journey.
If you’re looking for the return train journey, check out trains from London to Manchester.
If you catch this train more than 3 times per week, you could save money with a Season Ticket. With annual, monthly and weekly options available, find out if a season ticket for Manchester to London is right for you.
National Railcards offer a 1/3 off eligible train tickets in the UK and can be a great investment if you travel a few times or more in a year. Find out how you can save with a National Railcard here.
Download our app to find split tickets — courtesy of SplitSave, our handy feature which 'splits' your train tickets where possible to find you a better deal. Learn more about the clever tech behind split tickets, and how to spot SplitSave discounts in our app.
For more money-saving tips on UK and European train travel, read our cheap train tickets guide.
Avanti West Coast is one of the major rail operators in the UK. Having taken over the running of the West Coast Main Line in 2019, it now provides services from London Euston and several of the UK’s larger stations including Birmingham New Street, Manchester Piccadilly and Liverpool Lime Street.
Many journeys are on high-speed services where you don’t need to change trains, so Avanti West Coast is a great alternative to flying if you’re looking to explore up and down the country.
There are three classes on Avanti West Coast services between Manchester and London. As well as Standard and First Class, there’s also Standard Premium Class, which includes some of the perks of First Class at a cheaper price, for a little touch of luxury on your journey.
In Avanti West Coast’s Standard Class, you’ll benefit from free WiFi and the ability to order your food and drink to your seat.
In Avanti Standard Premium Class, exclusive to Avanti West Coast, you’ll get all the amenities of Standard Class plus some extras from First Class, including wider, comfier seats.
Avanti West Coast’s First Class offers a little luxury when traveling by train: you’ll get free food and drink, as well as First Class Lounge access at Manchester Piccadilly before you catch your train.
Avanti West Coast offers a service that allows you to order food and drink during your journey and have it delivered to your seat.
The service is available on all Avanti trains – just log onto the free onboard WiFi and you'll be able to order and pay for your items on a dedicated page. Your food and drink will then be brought to your seat by the staff on board.
If you want to stretch your legs, there's also a click-and-collect option on Pendolino trains. You'll receive a notification when your order is ready, then you can visit the onboard shop to collect your food and drink.
In First Class, Avanti West Coast serves free food and drinks throughout your journey. The menu can change depending on the type of train you're traveling on and the time/day of your journey. Here's an idea of what you can expect during your journey:
Learn more about the services offered on board Avanti West Coast trains from Manchester to London.
If you’re traveling from the US to the UK, you may land at Manchester Airport. Read on for more information on how to get from Manchester Airport to Manchester city center.
For more information, check out our guide on trains to and from Manchester Airport.
When traveling to London from Manchester, your train will depart from Manchester Piccadilly train station. To get to Manchester Piccadilly from the city center, you can use:
When traveling from Manchester to London, your train will arrive at London Euston station. To get into the city center from London Euston, you can travel in a few ways:
Read on for more information about navigating the public transport system in London.
London Underground, commonly known as the Tube, is one of the quickest ways to travel around the city. Once you get off at London Euston station, simply follow the signs to the London Underground station, where you’ll be able to choose from a variety of Tube lines that can take you to different parts of the city.
Usually, tube services run from 05:00 am until midnight, with Night Tube services available on some lines on Friday and Saturday evenings.
London buses are one of the cheapest ways to travel around the city, with plenty of sightseeing opportunities along the way. You can pay with an Oyster Card, Travelcard or a contactless payment card for Tube and bus journeys.
If London’s the last stop on your trip to Europe, you might be flying home out of one of London’s airports. Want to know how to get from central London to the airport? Keep reading for more details.
London has six major airports:
Each airport is well-connected to central London (zone 1) thanks to the city’s extensive rail and bus network. Trains are typically the quickest way to get to any airport from the city center. Read more about UK airport transfers in our guide.
Looking for something to do on your trip to London? We’ve got a selection of guides which will help you decide what to get up to:
After visiting London, why not continue exploring Europe by train? With a Eurail Pass, you can travel across 33 European countries as much as you want on participating European train networks for a set amount of travel days.
You can use a Eurail Pass if you’re not a European citizen or resident. If you're a European citizen or a non-European who is an official legal resident of a European country, you can use an Interrail Pass instead.
After a few days in Manchester for work, it was time for the return south and home via London Euston. I always look forward to the train journey, one time I even saw Jimmy Carr onboard!
For business, I always try and book as far in advance as possible to save on the First-Class fare. Not only saving a little bit of money on the fare but also having something to look forward to on the way back.
Manchester Piccadilly is a big, light, airy railway station with plenty of eateries and shops if you need to grab anything before boarding the Avanti West Coast train. I made my way down the platform to the First-Class carriage, settling into the comfy seat and popping my phone on charge.
As always there are some great people on board looking after you and today was no exception. The refreshments included with the fare make it an even better journey and before you realise, the Pendolino train begins to snake its way out of the city.
Throughout the whole journey to London, I found myself staring out of the window as the countryside flew by swapping from green fields and rivers to towns and city scenes. One of the things I love about the Pendolino trains is the windows, they are huge!
I still find it remarkable that in just over 2 hours I can get from Manchester city centre to London Euston and 2/3 of the way home.
Richard is one of our trusted, hand-picked travel writers. The information for this article was recorded first-hand, based on his own genuine experience of the journey.