Trains to Edinburgh

How to get there, what to do and how to get home with Avanti West Coast.

Edinburgh city

Edinburgh belongs to a small group of capital cities that aren’t the largest cities in their countries – it’s less populated than Glasgow 60km to the West. In fact, in many ways, Edinburgh doesn’t feel like a capital at all – it has a scaled-down feel which offers up creativity and individuality in spades. But when you experience the pomp and ceremony of the Military Tattoo and the world-welcoming wackiness of the Fringe Festival, you’re in no doubt that this is a global capital with culture and history to spare.

Of course, the big events aren’t to everyone’s taste, and the city has a steady stream of tourists throughout the year. Some will be taking in the magnificent castle and museums. Others just want to spend time on the Royal Mile and check out the shops, cafes, restaurants and bistros throughout the city. Lovers of classic architecture will be more than happy, but Edinburgh is a modern city that wears its traditional side with pride while using every square metre for its intended purpose – it celebrates its past in a vibrant and present way.

So whether you’re going there for business or pleasure, or perhaps mixing the two, we’ve got all your travel plans sorted. Read on for all the information you need on getting to Edinburgh by train.

Popular Avanti West Coast trains to Edinburgh

Edinburgh Waverley marks the terminus and the northernmost point of the West Coast Mainline, with London 400 miles to the south. Many trains terminate here, and here are the key travel times for our most popular direct routes.

Fastest Journey Times

Travelling from...

Fastest time

London to Edinburgh

5 hours 35 minutes

Birmingham New Street to Edinburgh

4 hours

Carlisle to Edinburgh

1 hour 16 minutes

Preston to Edinburgh

2 hours 25 minutes

Lancaster to Edinburgh

2 hours 9 minutes

Coventry to Edinburgh

4 hours 36 minutes

Milton Keynes to Edinburgh

5 hours 5 minutes

Crewe to Edinburgh

3 hours 9 minutes

Wigan to Edinburgh

2 hours 40 minutes

Penrith to Edinburgh

1 hour 33 minutes

Things to do in Edinburgh

There aren’t many capital cities that can boast they have a mountain at the centre, but if you feel like burning off a few calories, a walk up to Arthur’s Seat in Holyrood Park is a great way to spend an afternoon. OK, “mountain” might be stretching it a little, but at 251 metres above sea level, it’s a fair height with commanding views of Edinburgh and beyond – and you can be back in the centre of the city for coffee and cake in an hour or two.

Arthurs Seat

A tourist essential is to explore the Old Town – Edinburgh’s medieval heart, with attractive cobbled streets leading to artisan shops and plenty of eateries. Have a look around the Grassmarket, Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood and Canongate, all of which you’ll find in the Old Town area. Incidentally, the New Town was built in the 18th and 19th centuries, so it’s not exactly futuristic itself. Wherever you wander, you’ll be delighted in this wonderful city.

Edinburgh Old Town

The National Museum of Scotland is located a few minutes’ walk from Edinburgh Waverley and is a must-visit if you want to get a cultured look at the history of the area, the nation and the world, thanks to regular travelling exhibitions from other museums. You can book a guided tour or just amble about for a few hours taking in the treasures. If you want more, take a walk to the National War Museum in the castle – another fascinating and often moving destination.

Edinburgh National War Museum

Other popular destinations

Lake District

Edinburgh Station Information

Everything you need to know about Edinburgh Station can be found here:

Edinburgh train station information

There’s information from accessibility to parking and ticketing to WiFi coverage. More details on our wider network can be found ​on this page​.