The distance between the English capital of London and the Scottish capital of Edinburgh is about 405 miles (652 km). It’s a long way between the two cities, and the most comfortable way to travel is by flying. There is also the option of renting a car, booking a private transfer, or taking a bus or train.
There’s a lot to see and do in the big cities of the British Isles. With this ten-day itinerary, you can get the most out of London and Edinburgh, and explore Dublin as well.
Duration: 1.5 hours
Regular flights leave daily from all London airports (Heathrow, Luton, Gatwick, and Stansted) to Edinburgh. Note that Stansted, Gatwick and Luton are located outside of London proper—the most central airport is Heathrow.
Flights are operated by many airlines, including Easyjet, Ryanair, Flybe and British Airways. On this route, most airlines charge similar prices (usually under £100). Keep in mind that some discount airlines charge extra for luggage, seating and food.
By Rental Car or Private Transfer
Duration: 8 hours, up to a multi-day road trip with stops
Private transfers can be booked to take you to Edinburgh, or you can rent a car from one of the many major car rental companies in London.
While the drive up is long, it will allow you to see a lot of the country. On the way, you can stop in historic towns like Oxford, Cambridge, Stratford-Upon-Avon or York. You also have the option of visiting some of Britain’s scenic national parks, like the Cotswolds, Peak District, Yorkshire Dales, or the Lake District.
Traffic on Britain’s highways can be quite heavy. If the popular M1 motorway is too crowded, try taking the A1 or M6 instead. Note that in parts of northern England, the motorways are often closed for road works at night.
Duration: 5 hours
The train system in the UK is privatized, meaning that several different companies operate trains from London to Edinburgh. Trains leave from King’s Cross and Euston Station, two adjacent stations in central London, near Regent’s Park. Because trains can be crowded, it is advisable to book tickets in advance.
Tickets for this route cost around £100-300. You typically will have the option of booking either standard or first-class tickets.
Duration: 10 hours
The UK’s main bus company is called National Express. You will often save money by booking your bus tickets well in advance.
Buses from London to Edinburgh leave from Victoria Coach Station. The bus typically does not make long stops, so bring food with you. If you choose to take a night bus, be cautious of your safety and belongings during the journey.