Hop on board with your BritRail Pass
London to Edinburgh is a popular route offering several departures a day from London’s King Cross station, rolling out at least every hour, and sometimes every 30 minutes. This East Coast service arrives in Edinburgh approximately 4 hours and 20 minutes later.
All the trains have both first class and standard class seating, along with dining options and Wi-Fi. In first class, passengers will enjoy roomier seats, free refreshments, newspapers and can purchase something from the At Seat dining menu; if you take the morning train, be sure to treat yourself to The Great British breakfast, served until 10am.
The 400 mile journey is covered with speeds up to 125m/hr, and stops along the way in quaint towns and beautiful cities. Here is a quick summary of some stops along the way:
- Peterborough is a picturesque center with loads of riverside parkland great for outdoor activities. Home to a beautiful Norman cathedral with a uniquely painted nave ceiling, Peterborough is also known for great shopping centers and the Peterborough Beer Festival.
- Grantham is a country market town with numerous pubs and restaurants to please visitors, as well as possibly the country’s oldest inn: the Angel & Royal, where seven Kings of England have stayed since 1200.
- Newark, located on the edge of Sherwood Forest, features a large Market Square, and is known for antique sales.
- Doncaster features St George’s Church, built by the same architect as St Pancras station, Doncaster Racecourse, where you can be sure to catch some exciting festivals, and loads of shopping opportunities.
- York’s most beautiful attraction is the Gothic cathedral York Minster, which you can actually see from the train. It also has nearby Roman Walls and the National Railway Museum, worth the tour – not only for train buffs. Set on the River Ouse, visitors will certainly enjoy the views and the many pubs and restaurants.
- Durham also has an impressive cathedral that can be seen if you look across look across the River Wear from the train station. This college town has a beautiful old town where you can walk the cobbled streets and also be sure to visit Durham’s Castle.
- Newcastle, across the River Tyne, houses the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and must-see tourist attractions including the award-winning Gateshead Millennium Bridge and the Angel of the North.
- Berwick-Upon-Tweed sits right on the boarder between England and Scotland and is a beautiful coastal town where you can walk almost the entire length of the walls, a circuit of about a mile. Leaving Berwick-Upon-Tweed, heading north, try and sit on the East (right hand) side in the train, as this way you get the best views of the passing North Sea, complete with coves and rocky formations.
End your journey at Edinburgh Waverly, fantastically set in the city center with the castle overlooking the train station, right on Princess Street, close to the gardens and activities.
With a BritRail Pass you can take the train from London to Edinburgh and vice versa, while enjoying the freedom to stop off en route. Our hot list, where we strongly recommend you get off the train and tour around, includes York, Durham and Newcastle. Even if you stop just for a few hours, or if you have the time, for a dew days!