We found taking the train in the UK was so much easier than driving and in some cases faster than driving with much less stress. Train travel is an affordable way to get around and if you can plan in advance you’ll save even more.
If you are going to travel by train often you should look into rail passes. We got a “two together card” and it saved us a bundle. As long as we were traveling together we received an additional discount.
When traveling by train you will want to make your reservations early, about six weeks before you plan to travel. Normally this will get you the best prices with the advanced purchase option. On one trip alone it saved us over $100 because we were able to book the early bird rates.
The website that we primarily used was Train Line, click here.
To learn about rail cards take a look here
You can book one way or with “return.” Return means round trip. In many cases we found that booking the return (round trip) was less than buying two tickets – one each way.
Most trains do offer food and drinks, some even roll a cart of food and drinks by your seats like on an airplane. We often brought our own food to save when we could.
For the Young (or Young at Heart) Long Day Trip
One thought is you can actually go to Edinburgh from London round trip in one day.
It takes 5 hours to get there, so 5 hours to get back. If you left at 7am, you will get to Edinburgh at noon, (have lunch on the train to give you more time in Edinburgh) explore for 5 hours, and get back on the train to return leaving at 5pm. You will be back in London at 10pm. So if you are energetic, and love seeing new things, it is possible.
Train stations are generally in the heart of town, so when you get there you don’t need to take a taxi to where you want to go, or it is a much shorter ride than from an airport.
Some cities like Manchester, Edinburgh and of course London have more than one station, so be sure you check to see if it is the station you prefer.
We love to travel by train when we are in the UK, hope you will enjoy it too!