London to Edinburgh - Car or Train?

Jul 21st, 1997, 01:55 PM
Raleigh Ragan
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London to Edinburgh - Car or Train?

After flying into London and spending a few days in London, my wife and I plan to drive around staying at B&Bs. We want to visit Edinburgh, but wonder if we should make it part of driving tour or take a train up and then rent a car. Any suggestions? Also, how long of a train ride is and how much? Thanks!
Jul 21st, 1997, 05:25 PM
Dave and Libbi
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I'll try not to monopolize your responses here , however, we did take the overnight from London up to Edinburgh. It wasn't the most comfortable nights rest I ever had. I'm 6'4" and my feet and head touched both ends of the compartment. But it was an experience. The train leaves around 11pm and gets in Edin, around 7 AM. The view of
Edin. as we came up from the train station early in the AM was quite beautiful. There is also a high speed train durinhg the day that gets you there much faster ( 2 hours )
Jul 24th, 1997, 07:51 AM
Adam Sansom
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British Rail's latest information (as of today) was that the Edinburgh train leaves from King's Cross Station in London and takes between 4 hrs 12 mins and 4 hrs 30 mins. The cost is 64.00 per adult for a return ticket for a standard class seat, except for outward travel on Fridays or Saturdays when it costs 73.50.
There is a sleeper train that runs from Euston station in London on Mon-Fri, leaving at 2355 and arriving at 0645 (Sundays it leaves 2330 and arrives 0655). The cost is the basic fare plus 27.00 per adult for ONE WAY.
For further information, the travel advice line in the UK is a low-call number: 0345 484950 however, I doubt you'll be able to call this from overseas. There is apparently another number specially for overseas callers (which may also offer some discounts) and this is: 0171 9229680 (but I haven't tried it myself so I don't know if it works).
Have a great trip and I hope you enjoy our country!
Jul 25th, 1997, 06:47 PM
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It's been a few years since I made the journey, but the train ride between London Edinburgh was one of the most memorable of my travel life! I assume driving could be just as wonderful and allow you to stop off at interesting sights, to boot, but whatever you do, don't travel by night! You'll miss the most lovely views of rolling hillsides, farmhouses, a sea peeking out over stretches of golden fields ... I travled coach, which was perfectly fine, sat back, and feasted my eyes on the Scottish countryside. Enjoy your trip!
Jul 25th, 1997, 07:46 PM
Rita Barber
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What you choose to do will have alot to do with how much time you have. The year before last, my family (a 2 year old, 7 year old, Husband) and I drove from London to Edinburgh, & I can't imagine doing it any other way. If there is something particular you want to see - then you're free to do it. For us, it was an incredible, rich experience. So much so, in fact, we are going to do it again late summer/early fall this year! HAPPY TRAILS!!

Jul 26th, 1997, 07:31 PM
Cheryl Hoyle
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We just returned from a vacation like you have planned. We thought why see the UK from a window in a car or train when we could fly to Edinburg in two hours and spend the time seeing the city we love. Its an eight hour trip by car. That travel time is fine if you have time to waste but we were there for only ten days. One day we will go back with 30 days to explore the country side but as it was we were glad to spend the $120 per person to fly. Have a good trip!
Aug 1st, 1997, 12:10 PM
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CAR, CAR, CAR. I love the train, but you will miss so much along the fabulous way between London and Edinburgh. Dovedale in the Peak District, York, Yorkshire Dales, Tweed Valley in the Scottish Borders. It's doable in a day, two days would be great, three days would be joyful. Distances are nothing like States, you'll love the drive, car rentals are quite reasonable. Have a blast, I did!
Aug 7th, 1997, 11:31 AM
Gina Shaw
Posts: n/a
I'd say the train. I understand the earlier poster's comments about what else you could see on a driving route that's not seen on the train route, but unfortunately, only the passenger will get to really see it...the driver's stuck watching the road.

Last September I took the train from London-Edinburgh, and vividly remember the moment I looked up from my journal (I admit taking my eyes away from the window a bit while passing through the most industrial parts of the north) and realized "Hey! There really is heather on those hills!"

Enjoy, whichever option you take -- either way, you're *so* lucky to be going to those beautiful places!
Aug 18th, 1997, 01:02 AM
Bel S. Castro
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I took the train in August last year from London to Edinburgh to catch the Fringe Festival. It was quite horrible. I got an APEX fare so spent only 50 some pounds. However, the ScotRail intercity trains are not all that new and the one we were on had no airconditioning! The windows were sealed so we couldn't open them and since the train was full, it didn't take long for the cars to get hot and humid. For four hours we travelled and it was agony for everyone. The staff did what they could, they passed out cans of soda to all the passengers, which few drank...we all pressed the cans to our foreheads, the back of our necks...attempting to cool off.

It was the longest and worst 4 hours of my entire vacation.

When we got to Waverly Station, while everybody cursed and grumbled, I went to the Station Manager's office and did my grumbling there. Turns out that not all the trains were in tip-top shape and that they were in the process of upgrading them and that HORRORS...he could not guarantee that it would not happen again. So, I filed an official complaint and demanded, and was given, an upgrade to 1st class for my return journey for my troubles.

Fortunately, my return trip to London was uneventful and quite comfortable.

When I got back home to the Philippines, waiting for me was a letter from ScotRail apologizing for the incident and offering me travel vouchers that I could use on my next trip to Scotland. Gracious of them...but of no use to me. I don't plan to be back in Scotland for a while.

So, back to the question. Car or train? Well, next time I'd probably go by car...that is, if somebody else drives %3D)
Aug 18th, 1997, 10:19 AM
Posts: n/a
Thanks for putting this question out. I had the exact same question. We are going to London in September and I really want to go to Scotland. My brother went and had the best time. Now I am more confused after reading everyones responses. I was thinking of going by car only because you can stop wherever you want. I think I would enjoy the freedom.
Thanks again for asking my question!!
Aug 20th, 1997, 07:47 AM
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One last word. Take the train in the morning from London and off board in York. Visit this wonderful city and then re-board to Scoltand. Remember, you can get off the train from time to time as they have lots of trains to scotland.
Aug 20th, 1997, 10:16 AM
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No doubt about it, drive, drive, drive. However, do NOT drive on the M1 motorway, use the quieter and slightly slower A1 - much better countryside and far more interesting places to stop and stretch etc. If possible, break halfway and stay overnight at Harrogate. Enjoy the drive from Berwick to Edinburgh - fabulous but best very early in the morning. Good luck - enjoy England and Scotland.
Aug 31st, 1997, 02:32 PM
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Our family visited the UK two years ago and we took a sleeper train from Edinburgh to London. We had bought train tickets to any four places in the UK and we added another 40 dollars to the pass which got us a sleeper train back to London. It was not very long, we boarded the train at midnight and returned around 7:30 in the morning. They gave us breakfast, and our rooms had sinks and very comfortable beds. It was great- I suggest you take the train!!
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