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Manchester to London by train

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.

First train

04:05

Last train

21:15

Departure station

Manchester

Arrival station

London

Journey time

From 2h 6m

Distance

163 miles (262 km)

Frequency

57 trains per day

Changes

Direct trains available

Price

From $24.36

Train operators

Avanti West Coast

How to travel from Manchester to London in just over 2 hours

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.

FAQs for Manchester to London

Want to know more about your journey from Manchester to London? We've compiled some of the most frequently asked questions by our customers to help you plan your journey.

How long does the train from Manchester to London take?

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.

What's the fastest journey time between Manchester and London by train?

The fastest journey time by train from Manchester to London is 2 hours and 6 minutes.

How much does the train from Manchester to London cost?

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.

Is there a direct train from Manchester to London?

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.

What time does the first train from Manchester to London leave?

The first train from Manchester to London leaves at 04:05. Times and services may vary during weekends and holidays.

What time does the last train from Manchester to London leave?

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.

What's the distance between Manchester and London by train?

Trains travelling from Manchester to London cover a distance of around 163 miles (262 km) during the journey.

Looking for more information?

If you’re looking for the return train journey, check out trains from London to Manchester.

Cheap train tickets from Manchester to London

Train tickets from Manchester to London start at $24.36 one way for a Standard Class ticket if you book in advance. As most UK train companies increase their prices as the departure date approaches, we’ll help you find the cheapest tickets.

Book in advance

Look out for Advance tickets – they usually come out up to 12 weeks before the departure date and can be cheaper than buying on the day. If you’re here a tad early, sign up for our Advance ticket alert today to get notified when your tickets are released.

Consider a Season Ticket

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.

Use your Railcard

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.

Split your tickets

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.

Advance adult single fare. Excludes booking fee. Prices seen by Trainline customers in the last 30 days. Availability limited.

What are my ticket options for this journey?

If you're like us, you've probably seen the sheer number of ticket types available in the UK and wondered "Why are there so many?!" To help, we've put together a handy guide to the main UK ticket types, simply tap the one you’re interested in to find out more.

Avanti West Coast trains from Manchester to London

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.

More information about Avanti West Coast

Avanti West Coast train classes from Manchester to London

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.

Standard Class

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.

  • Free WiFi
  • Access to Avanti’s onboard entertainment system
  • Power outlets at certain table and window seats
  • At-Seat Order

Standard Premium Class

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.

  • Free WiFi
  • Access to Avanti’s onboard entertainment system
  • Power outlets at every window seat
  • At-Seat Order
  • Wider, more comfortable seating
  • Extra legroom
  • Guaranteed at-seat table

First Class

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.

  • Free WiFi
  • Access to Avanti’s onboard entertainment system
  • Power outlets at every window seat
  • At-Seat Order
  • Wider, more comfortable seating
  • Extra legroom
  • Guaranteed at-seat table
  • Complimentary food and drink
  • First Class Lounge access (up to 2 hours before train departure)

Food and drink on board Avanti West Coast trains from Manchester to London

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:

  • Breakfast is served until 11:00 am and includes soft drinks like tea or coffee, and usually a bacon roll or a veggie option
  • During the rest of the day (10:00 am - 10:00 pm), light dishes or a hot meal will be on offer
  • Healthy options are available
  • Meals are made with unique, quality products made by local suppliers along the route.

Onboard services from Manchester to London

Learn more about the services offered on board Avanti West Coast trains from Manchester to London.

Traveling from the airport to Manchester city center

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.

  • Trains: You can get a direct train from the train station at the airport to Manchester Piccadilly (which is where trains to London depart from). Trains take around 20 minutes and run approximately every 10 minutes.
  • Metrolink trams: It’s possible to get a Metrolink tram from Manchester Airport train station into the city center, including to Manchester Piccadilly train station.
  • Buses: Buses 18, 43, 103, 130, 199, 288 and 368 leave Manchester Airport and go to destinations in and around Manchester.

For more information, check out our guide on trains to and from Manchester Airport.

How to get to Manchester Piccadilly station

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:

  • Metrolink trams: 4 of Manchester’s tram lines stop at Manchester Piccadilly station
  • Free bus: there are two free bus routes operated by Go North West which stop at Manchester Piccadilly, departing from various places around the city
  • Bus: other bus companies run paid services throughout Manchester which stop at Manchester Piccadilly station

Arriving at London Euston from Manchester

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:

  • London Overground (orange): services run between Watford Junction and London Euston station
  • London Underground services: the Northern (black) and Victoria (light blue) lines stop at Euston. The Hammersmith and City (pink), Circle (yellow) and Metropolitan (magenta) lines stop at Euston Square, a short walk from Euston train station
  • Transport for London (TfL) buses: Bus lines 18, 30, 59, 68, 73, 91, 168, 205, 253, 390 and night bus lines N5, N20, N73, N91, N205 and N253 stop at London Euston.

Using public transport in London

Read on for more information about navigating the public transport system in London.

Taking the tube 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.

Taking the bus in London

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.

Traveling to the airport from central London

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:

  • Heathrow Airport
  • Gatwick Airport
  • Stansted Airport
  • London City Airport
  • Luton Airport
  • London Southend Airport

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.

Explore Europe by train with a Eurail pass

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.

Tips and tricks from our Trainline team blog

We love helping our customers find inspiration for their next train journey. We also believe about taking those journeys and sharing our experiences with you, so you can sit back, relax and get the most out of your trip.

Manchester to London, a First-Class experience by train

Review by Richard Keenan-Heard

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.

 

About Richard

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.

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