Of course, you could fly to Scotland from London, but where’s the fun in that? Instead, why not swap the check-in queues and dreary off-white waiting rooms for a journey full of variation and spectacle?
If you need convincing, here’s what the train to Scotland can offer you:
- A speedy journey of just 4h 19m (London to Edinburgh)
- Breath-taking scenery you won’t see from the plane window
- Comfortable seating and excellent First Class facilities
- The chance to get up and walk around whenever you want
- Easier access to WiFi services
- You’ll be using a low-pollution method of transport
Cast your eyes down below for our favourite train trips from London to Scotland – we’ll show you exactly what to do once you reach each destination and give you all the info you need about the journey.
The most popular train journeys to Scotland
London to Edinburgh
Clocking in at one of the shortest train journeys from London (Kings Cross) to Scotland (4h 19m), London to Edinburgh gives you the chance to see some wonderful scenery as you cut a path up the east coast of England. Make sure to grab a seat on the right-hand side of your LNER train for some stunning views while passing through Durham and Newcastle before a leisurely roll along the seaside.
Once you reach the fantastic city of Edinburgh itself, you’ll have a plethora of attractions to visit. Top of the list is obviously Edinburgh Castle – since what trip to the Scottish capital would be complete without scaling the fortress to enjoy magnificent views of the city? It’s also a good way to get yourself back into the Game of Thrones mindset…With that being said, there’s more to Edinburgh than its fabled castle. Just nearby you can check out the Scotch Whisky Experience, where tours, food, shopping and tasting sessions are all on the menu. Once you’re hopped up on some of the best whisky in the world, you won’t have to walk far to catch a glimpse of the Scott Monument for a selfie opportunity. We’d then recommend a walk around the Victoria Street area for a spot of shopping and some food to round the day off. Sorted!
London to Glasgow
With a comparable journey time to London to Edinburgh (4h 29m), you’ll have a tough decision choosing between Scotland’s two largest cities for your starting location. The train from London to Glasgow takes a slightly different route (though still features some striking views as you cross the border into Scotland) and offers a pleasant and comfortable journey. The service is operated by Avanti West Coast, who offer excellent onboard facilities including a food shop and access to WiFi.
Once you get to Glasgow, it’s best to start by taking in some of its most famous culture at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, while other must-sees include Glasgow Cathedral and Necropolis (close to Glasgow High Street station), as well as Glasgow Science Centre. All the attractions are easily reachable from Glasgow Central station, so you can fit all of them into an action-packed weekend if you wish. Don’t forget to have a wander around and stumble into a Glaswegian pub for some more whisky while you’re at it! As if all that wasn’t enough, Glasgow is also home to Scotland’s two biggest football clubs, Celtic and Rangers – so make sure to grab a ticket for a game if you can.
London to Aberdeen
If you’re travelling from London to Aberdeen by train, it might be better to stop for a night or two in Edinburgh while on the way – since a non-stop journey from Kings Cross is going to take at least 6h 50m! Don’t let that put you off though, as Aberdeen is a must for those who want a real taste of Scotland (and we’re not just talking about the world-famous Angus beef).
If you’re a golf lover, then you’ll be in heaven as there are more than 50 courses within easy reach of the city. We’ve talked a lot about whisky today, but it’s worth taking a wee peek inside one of the many distilleries in the Aberdeenshire area. There’s close to 20 of them – some of which are open to the public! When you’re in the city looking for something a little different, why not visit Slains Castle for a spooky take on a converted gothic church bar? One cannot simply visit Aberdeen without seeing its Harbour though, so head on down and get yourself on board a tour boat if you can – there’s a chance of spotting some wild dolphins!
London to Loch Ness
We tried, but it’s near impossible to talk about Scotland without mentioning Nessie. Famed the world round for a large number of controversial ‘sightings’, the Loch Ness is one of Scotland’s biggest tourist attractions. There’s no train station at the Loch, however, so you’ll need to take a train from London to Inverness first. Or, as we mentioned when talking about Aberdeen, it may be best to break up your journey by stopping in Edinburgh or Glasgow – since the direct service to Inverness is rare and usually takes over 10 hours to reach its destination.
From Inverness, there are bus services to the Loch, but woah there! Don’t be leaving Inverness so quickly – the city has plenty to offer before you go tackling the monster of the depths. First up, head to Inverness Castle and climb the viewing tower for some majestic views of the city, then get yourself down to the Victorian Market for some shopping. You’ll find some unique shops and stalls that definitely won’t be on the high street. Once you’re done stepping back in time, head to the Loch to see if you catch a lucky sighting!
London to Scotland Sleeper train
Don’t forget, if you’d rather travel overnight and wake up in Scotland as if no time has passed at all, you can take the Caledonian Sleeper service from London Euston to any of the destinations mentioned on this page! Bear in mind that you’ll need to be in the correct carriage, as the trains usually split at either Edinburgh or Carlisle – you don’t want to wake up in the wrong destination!