London to Edinburgh: BA vs. Train

Old Mar 9, 2024, 2:14 pm
  #16  
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Edinburgh is my home city having lived there for over 50 years until recently there and so I know it pretty well. If you need any tips, what to see etc etc then feel free to PM me whenever it suits.

Personally id take the flight, sit on the A side and youll get some nice views over the city or a glimpse of the 3 famous bridges coming in.
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Old Mar 9, 2024, 2:21 pm
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It is a route with which I am intimately familiar. I wouldnt hesitate to take the plane on the basis of speed and convenience, particularly because your final destination is easily reachable from EDI via the tram.

This is personal view but I dont find first class train seats all that comfortable for 4 hours and for various reasons I hate the sleeper; its a gimmick based on a romantic view of a bygone era and the idea that you arrive refreshed and ready for the day instead of or better than after a 1hr plane ride is laughable IMO. The Eastern rail route has some nice coastal views but it will probably be raining or misty or you will be sat on the left side. How often do you get on board a train and discover cancellation of previous trains/overbooked/seat reservation not available. The sort of stuff that generally doesnt happen on a plane. Nobody cares about the quiet carriage anymore and the chances of you having to listen to hours of other peoples inane conversations or watching TikTok on their phone without headphones are much higher than a short plane flight.

Oops, did I make myself a bit too clear?
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Old Mar 9, 2024, 2:26 pm
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I would normally fly, but there are advantages using the train, not least the scenery north of Newcastle. However the west coast line, from Euston to Edinburgh is a lot more striking, so if it's the view that would be a better, if slower, option.
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Old Mar 9, 2024, 2:28 pm
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Originally Posted by crazy8534
It is a route with which I am intimately familiar.
Oops, did I make myself a bit too clear?
Nope, perfectly clear
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Old Mar 9, 2024, 2:32 pm
  #20  
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Originally Posted by crazy8534
INobody cares about the quiet carriage anymore
This is true. And has almost got *me* thrown off
But not sure what you have against the sleeper where that can't happen.
Sorry it's a bit off topic, but I am interested in your thoughts because I spend as much on trains as I do on planes,
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Old Mar 9, 2024, 2:37 pm
  #21  
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave
I would normally fly, but there are advantages using the train, not least the scenery north of Newcastle. However the west coast line, from Euston to Edinburgh is a lot more striking, so if it's the view that would be a better, if slower, option.
True and you've no doubt done that journey goodness how many times. However the trains to Edinburgh are literally rammed including folks standing everywhere especially in August for the Festival etc and its not so easy to store your luggage as well in my experiences. I'd rather sacrifice the train view for a less than 1 hour flight.

The other thing I'd consider is it is far easier getting on the tram at EDI all the way to Leith than trying to get on in the city centre near Waverley on a Friday in August so I'd factor that into my decision.
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Old Mar 9, 2024, 2:41 pm
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Originally Posted by crazy8534
Nobody cares about the quiet carriage anymore and the chances of you having to listen to hours of other peoples inane conversations or watching TikTok on their phone without headphones are much higher than a short plane flight.
Loop earplugs (other manufacturers are available).
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Old Mar 9, 2024, 2:52 pm
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Originally Posted by PETER01
True and you've no doubt done that journey goodness how many times.
And this is the great thing about FT. You clearly have luggage more often than not. CWS would rather take a shell to the chest than check a bag.
But we mortals vary across the range of options so it's really usefull to see them all discussed.
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Old Mar 9, 2024, 2:52 pm
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Undoubtedly you will get some great advice as well as differing viewpoints depending on individuals preferences - and perhaps biases.

I now undertake this route frequently and one thing to bear in mind this summer is baggage. Edinburgh Airport had some significant baggage problems last summer and whilst we all hope it does not recur this summer it is probably wise to consider this factor in your decision.

If you are planning to take baggage, then by taking the train (LNER) you have a much greater assurance that your bags will be with you on arrival.

If hand-luggage, it obviously matters not.
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Old Mar 9, 2024, 3:14 pm
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Why not take the train one-way and fly the other way. That is what we are doing in May, daytime train to EDI on Lumo for 40 GBP and then the 9 p.m. flight back for 70 GBP. Will be a nice view during the day, but then the ability to spend the entire day in EDI and fly back on the last flight.
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Old Mar 9, 2024, 5:41 pm
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Im so torn! Theres probably no wrong answer (barring a labor action), but still
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Old Mar 9, 2024, 6:38 pm
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Like many on this forum I have done this route so often. If you are a tourist and especially with luggage I would recommend the train. It's a nice journey and I get a little bit emotional once you get to Berwick and then up the coast but now that I no longer live in London it's rarely an option. LCY is a great airport while EDI is an abomination that not even Dante could have imagined - every aspect of it is seemingly designed to annoy and it copes very poorly with crowds. The BA lounge in EDI is an exception to this rule and is a gem but otherwise expect to be vexed in ways you didn't even think were possible. The sleeper is a nice experience although I gave up using this southbound because they all meet up at Carstairs and there is quite some banging of the carriages, just as I would fall asleep. Enjoy the festival - there is too much for one trip so plan on making another
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Old Mar 9, 2024, 6:53 pm
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For those offering Edinburgh advice, Ill take whatever youve got. Im staying at the Holiday Inn Express Leith Waterfront a basic hotel, Im sure, but I got a great price and believe it to be well located and am attending the festival Aug 2-7. Ive been to Fringe in Brighton and NYC, but never in Edinburgh. Im interested in anything offbeat (the more offbeat the better), avant garde and outside the mainstream.
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Old Mar 9, 2024, 8:52 pm
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Originally Posted by Blumie
For those offering Edinburgh advice, Ill take whatever youve got. Im staying at the Holiday Inn Express Leith Waterfront a basic hotel, Im sure, but I got a great price and believe it to be well located and am attending the festival Aug 2-7. Ive been to Fringe in Brighton and NYC, but never in Edinburgh. Im interested in anything offbeat (the more offbeat the better), avant garde and outside the mainstream.
The Royal Yacht Britannia would be worth a visit if you are down there, you can get the tram back up to the centre of Edinburgh and visit the Scott monument and Edinburgh castle. Holyrood Palace worth a visit if you are of a Royalist bent (I definitely am!), dynamic earth is a science museum beside it more for children but they have some excellent shows in their 360 degree auditorium. Most of the Fringe stuff is in the old town (the Royal Mile and south towards the University and Newington). The other Fringe festivals you have been to wont come remotely close! I have been privileged to see many, many now famous acts and shows long before they hit the mainstream and my advice is to go with the flow and see things you would never have normally agreed to. The Royal Mile (from Holyrood to the Castle) is the centre of this and there are lots of young people advertising their shows as well as street performers. I am lucky in that for many years I have been a member of a club that is used by the main performers society as their location during the Festival and have sat and enjoyed a whisky with countless famous actors!

Other things include the Royal College of Surgeons museum (utterly brilliant, Im a bit biased , you need a strong stomach), doing one of the ghost tours of Greyfriars Kirk or the underground city, the Edinburgh Dungeon tour (these are usually rubbish but Edinburgh has so much completely true gruesome history that it is actually pretty good!). Id book a table at the Witchery (restaurant beside the castle, ask for the secret garden, it will book up months in advance in August and will be packed with the Glitterati, including perhaps me ), top floor at Harvey Nichols for the views and Dishoom or the Ivy on St Andrews square. Also I almost forgot the National Museum of Scotland which is excellent and free. My main criticism of that place is that when I was a student it was so quiet you could go to the top floor and hide and even study (!) but since they updated it a few years ago it is massively popular.

The Scottish Whisky experience is great, the Johnnie Walker experience is a bit more commercial but gets good reviews.

I have had it in mind for some time to arrange a FT Do in Edinburgh and was going to arrange a trip out to the National Museum of Flight in East Lothian where they have a BA Concorde. The best one in fact. Life (and international travel!) keeps getting in the way.

Also, you need to watch One Day on Netflix and climb Arthurs Seat one morning. I do love this place and truthfully there is nowhere better to live in the world! My wife dropped our kids at school and went to see the Queen lying in state at St Giles on the morning that they moved her to London, she had a 0 minute wait. Actually on that subject if you are a Harry Potter fan the real Tom Riddles grave is in Greyfriars Kirk yard and the Elephant and Bagel cafe where JK Rowling wrote some parts of the series is re-opened after a nasty fire and has a view of one of the schools that inspired HogwartS (HeriotS). The other one is Fettes in the New Town, former haunt of former PM Tony Blair.

Last edited by crazy8534; Mar 9, 2024 at 9:11 pm
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Old Mar 9, 2024, 10:47 pm
  #30  
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My order of preference would be

1. flight ex LCY if the schedule works
2. First class daytime train
3. flight ex LHR
4. sleeper
5. standard on the daytime train

The sleeper is fun but if you actually want to be functional the following day, its a poor option. LHR is just hassle and with all the ground fuss its no faster than the train.

LCY is an awesome little airport. But then having 4 productive hours on the train is awesome too. Just dont rely on the WiFi
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