Trains to Edinburgh
Take a trip to the Scottish capital. Find travel info and train tickets to Edinburgh.
Popular train routes to Edinburgh
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Travelling to Edinburgh by train
Experience the rich history and breath-taking scenery of Scotland's capital city. With iconic tourist attractions like Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse as well as a wealth of inner city parks, it’s no surprise that Edinburgh is the second-most visited city in the UK. Edinburgh Waverley station is conveniently located near the famous Royal Mile and Princes Street Gardens, so is the perfect spot to start exploring the city from.
Camera Obscura and World of Illusions
Founded in 1835, this popular attraction houses six floors of brilliant interactive illusions, and is one of the oldest visitor attractions in the UK. The star of the show is the Camera Obscura from which the venue takes its name. It could well claim to be the world’s first CCTV camera, and was the first moving image ever seen by the Victorians. You’ll discover the inner workings of the Camera Obscura, as well as a host of other mind-boggling illusions. Plus, you can enjoy one of the best views in the city from the rooftop terrace, taking in the castle and other famous Edinburgh landmarks along the Royal Mile.
This 11th-century castle and barracks towers over the capital from its spot on top of an extinct volcano. And if you think it looks impressive from the outside, just wait until you get inside. From the opulent banqueting hall to the dark and gloomy prison, you’ll be transported back centuries through Scotland’s fascinating and turbulent history. The castle is home to the Crown Jewels of Scotland as well as the National War Museum of Scotland, with guided tours by castle stewards to fill you in on the many intrigues, betrayals and disputes that took place both inside and outside of its walls. Audio guides are available in eight languages if you’d like to take things at your own pace.
Edinburgh Fringe Festival
The famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival is widely held to be the world’s largest arts festival, with thousands of performers flocking to the city to perform shows across a variety of venues. Discover musicals, theatre, spoken word, art installations, dance, children’s shows and, of course, plenty of comedy – with big names and up-and-comers often using the festival as a testing ground for new material. The festival takes place over three weeks every August, but as it’s one of the city’s busiest times for visitors, be sure to plan your journey in advance.
A beautiful Grade I Listed building situated on Greenside Place, the Edinburgh Playhouse building was originally modelled on the Roxy Cinema in New York. Opened in 1929, it’s the largest playhouse in Scotland, and remains a popular venue for musicals, ballet, comedy and live music. It’s rumoured that the Playhouse even has its own ghost, Albert, who stalks the 6th floor of the building in a grey coat. Located a mere 10 minutes from Waverley train station, it’s well positioned for pre-show dinner and drinks, so take a look at the line-up and start planning your next night out at the theatre.
First opened in 1913, Edinburgh Zoo is owned and operated by The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), which was founded a few years earlier in 1909. Spread across 82 acres of sprawling parkland, the zoo is home to over 1000 rare and endangered animals, including the UK's only koalas and giant pandas. If you're eager to know more about the animals, you'll find a variety of engaging talks from the zookeepers. You can also enjoy free safari rides and some hands-on encounters with the zoo's best-behaved residents, not to mention a range of cafes and restaurants, several play areas and a well-stocked gift shop.
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) offers visitors a peaceful sanctuary across 72 acres of stunning scenery, just a mile from the heart of the city centre. The garden is full of opportunities to learn, from guided seasonal walks to fascinating expert talks; there’s even an award-winning art gallery at Inverleith House. You can also experience the tranquillity of the Chinese Hillside, wander the famous Rock Garden or take a walk through the Woodland Garden to see the magnificent redwood trees.
St Giles Cathedral
This distinctive gothic cathedral is one of the most striking features of the Edinburgh skyline, and has been a vital part of religious life in the city for centuries. Known to locals as the High Kirk of Edinburgh, this Category A listed building dates from the late 14th century, but the site is believed to have been a religious centre for over 900 years. Situated close to Edinburgh Castle along the Royal Mile, the cathedral welcomes some 400,000 visitors every year, with guides on-hand to answer questions on anything from history to architecture. Admission is free, but you’ll be invited to make a £3 donation to contribute to the conservation of this Edinburgh landmark.
The Fruitmarket Gallery
Depending on where you exit, the Fruitmarket Gallery might be one of the first things you see as you leave Edinburgh Waverely train station. After opening as a fruit and vegetable market in 1938, the building was transformed into an art space in 1974 and now showcases a diverse range of emerging and established Scottish, British and international contemporary art, as well as a comprehensive programme of talks, workshops, screenings and more.
The gallery is currently closed for refurbishment. Be sure to check their website for updates.
Palace of Holyroodhouse
The stunning Palace of Holyroodhouse stands at the end of the Royal Mile. Discover the role the Palace played in the lives of historical figures like Mary, Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie, and see how it continues to be used by the Royal Family today for various official engagements in Scotland. With beautiful gardens, galleries and a vast collection of treasures to see, it’s an essential part of any visit to the Scottish capital.
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How long does it take to get to Edinburgh?
Travelling from London to Edinburgh by train will take you around five hours and 45 minutes, with trains leaving from London Euston approximately every two hours. Book your tickets in advance to reserve a seat for the journey and get the best price. Trains to Edinburgh from Glasgow also depart regularly, and take just over an hour and a half. Perfect for a day of sightseeing.
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