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givman152 Aug 11th, 2020 01:51 AM

London to Scotland by rail..
Hi, I'm tentatively looking into a UK trip possibly for Spring of 2022. I would like feedback from anyone who has traveled from London to Scotland before, by rail.
What i would like to do is fly to London and stay for a few days with museum visits and 1 or 2 day trips. I'd like to visit Stonehenge. Then I would take the train and stop someplace between London and Scotland - I was thinking of Cornwall. But i would be open to other towns that are on the train route. I definitely am hoping to visit a castle or historic estate. Please let me know of any suggestions for a place to stop for 2-3 days.

Then travel to Scotland, but I'm not sure which city or town yet. Are Edinburgh and Glasgow the only cities from which i could fly home to USA? I will check the British Airways website next. Planning to stay in Scotland for about 4-5 days approx. I'd be grateful for any travel tips and insight about planning such a trip. Thanks

Moderator3 Aug 11th, 2020 05:34 AM

Moved to Europe and tagged for the UK

thursdaysd Aug 11th, 2020 05:39 AM

Cornwall is definitely not on the way to Scotland! Strongly suggest spending time on this site:

Going south I stopped in Durham between Edinburgh and London, but I had already been to York. If you haven't I would prioritize York above Durham. Going from London to Dundee via Edinburgh I took the night train and didn't stop, but I can't recommend that particular night train. The new rolling stock may have helped but it was the ride that was so bad.

janisj Aug 11th, 2020 07:57 AM

"Then I would take the train and stop someplace between London and Scotland - I was thinking of Cornwall."

Must be some weird map you have there ;)

London to Cornwall is a very long train trip . . . and Cornwall to Scotland is a VERY long train trip. The most sensible stop overs between London and Scotland would be 1) York, 2) Durham, or a little less convenient - 3) the Lake District.

EDI and GLA are the only airports one can fly directly to the States (assuming some sort of normal schedules return by the time of your trip) - but with connections in London, or Amsterdam, or Paris, or Dublin, etc - you can also get back to the US from Inverness and Aberdeen.

BA is not your only option -- several other airlines are good for the UK. Which airline(s) make sense partly depends on where you live in the States . . .

janisj Aug 11th, 2020 08:07 AM

"I definitely am hoping to visit a castle or historic estate."

Hundreds of options all over England and Scotland. You probably need a guide book or two to get some ideas. One option you might want to consider is a couple of days in Edinburgh and then a 1 to 4 day trip small group tour with Rabbies.

historytraveler Aug 11th, 2020 08:28 AM

So good to finally have a travel question. As already pointed out, Cornwall is in the opposite direction from Scotland. Of course, you could train to Cornwall then head to Glasgow or Edinburgh but it will be time consuming and, IMO, really needs to be done by car.

I suggest train to Edinburgh. It’s only about a 4 hour trip but if you want to stop along the way then York would be my first choice. It’s a wonderful medieval city with lots of history especially in regard to the Viking influence. I love Durham too. It’s smaller but Durham Cathedral is probably my favorite.

Like janisj, I highly recommend Rabbies. I’ve done a number of trips with them. The guides are excellent. Have a look at their website. They are up and running tours after a Covid hiatus. BTW, Rabbies offers a 5/6 day trip through Cornwall returning to London. If you have the time I can recommend this tour having done it several years ago.

bilboburgler Aug 12th, 2020 08:09 AM

As others say York is the obvious stop over. It has its own Castle ruin, a bunchof great museums, the walls, the Cathedral. If you can stay a bit longer you could do a tour of Castle Howard, pretty spectacular.

givman152 Aug 12th, 2020 11:02 AM

Thanks for all the replies. You guys were right - I didn't check a map very closely at first. I am reading a book about 2 travelers who did the 'Land's End to John O' Groats' challenged. I thought that Cornwall sounded like an appealing place to visit. But I am def open to other towns.

I realize that there are many castles throughout Great Britain, as well as historic estates. I was trying to find some that might be near a rail stop on this journey. I will keep researching.

I'm still not a 100% sure about this trip. I would love to explore Great Britain. But I've also considered visiting Ireland for a few years now. So, I will keep researching for now, and see where things lead. Thank you

janisj Aug 12th, 2020 11:20 AM

"I thought that Cornwall sounded like an appealing place to visit. But I am def open to other towns"

Just to be clear -- Cornwall is an entire county with many towns.

"I realize that there are many castles throughout Great Britain, as well as historic estates. I was trying to find some that might be near a rail stop on this journey."

There are lots of Castles near train stations. The Tower of London and Edinburgh Castle are just two of the biggest/best so no need to plan a special stop just to fit in castles. There there are Windsor Castle and Hampton Court Palace in greater London or just out of town. In Scotland there are castles around almost every corner - one of the most convenient for rail access would be Stirling. Stately homes tend to be out in the countryside so often not near a train station but many are w/i an easy bus or taxi ride of cities/towns. And there are several actually in London/greater London

thursdaysd Aug 12th, 2020 11:30 AM

Cornwall is indeed well worth seeing, but you need a minimum of several days and it's easier with a car. Unless you do the Rabbies tour or hire a car and driver for outings (look for trip reports on this site by people who have done that). For a first visit you are better off sticking to London-York-Edinburgh with day trips.

The rail network in Ireland is considerably less comprehensive than in Great Britain, although you can supplement it with buses.

For stately homes (and a lot more) go here:

janisj Aug 12th, 2020 11:44 AM

Definitely - If you mainly want to use trains, the UK would be easier than Ireland.

jacketwatch Aug 25th, 2020 03:21 AM

We took the train from London to Edinburgh too. I would also suggest doing that.

While you are in London consider going to Bath to see the ancient Roman spa. Its around 90 minutes or so and well worth seeing.

Southam Sep 23rd, 2020 07:59 AM

There's lots more to Scotland than Edinburgh. Instead of an intermediate train stop, go straight on through to Edinburgh. Try to get a seat on the right hand side of the train for views of the coast going into Scotland. A minimum of a few days in Edinburgh, then move across to Glasgow, historically significant in the industrial revolution. If you are crossing the Atlantic, fly home from Scotland using a multi-city search function for the itinerary. Of course the route can be travelled in reverse, into Scotland and home from London.

lrice Sep 24th, 2020 09:15 PM

We did something similar last summer. We were in London for about a week then took the train straight to Edinburgh. Beautiful easy journey. We thought about stopping in York but opted for day trips while in London and a day trip to St Andrews while in Edinburgh. Here is my London trip report and my one to Edinburgh Hope they are helpful!

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