If we are scheduled to land at 9:30 am @ Heathrow, how much time should we allow before catching a train to Edinburgh the same day? Thanks
Ah well, if your flight to LHR is booked, then on which airline are you flying? If it's BA or American (or US Airways), then you can book a flight to EDI with BA and get protection against a delayed inbound flight (OneWorld partners do that). But book the onward flight for at least four hours after your scheduled inbound, in case schedule changes happen.
If you're not flying inbound with BA/AA, then you have a problem as you'll have separate tickets. And if your train ticket to Edinburgh is a cheap Advance non refundable ticket, and you miss your specified train, then that ticket is lost and you'll have to buy a new ticket at the walk up fare (very expensive).
Yes, we are flying AA to LHR . Our small group wants to take the train to Edinburgh, not fly. So I am trying to determine how much time we should allow between landing on Friday 9:30 am and getting to the train. Taking a taxi to the train station is our plan. I realize flying would be faster - but the train ride itself is really important to most of our small group. We are renting a car when we leave Edinburgh, and won't be taking the train during the rest of our trip. Thank you for your help in figuring out how much time we'll need to plan for from landing at LHR and getting to the train station by taxi.
If your flight wil be on AA metal to Heathrow T3 then allow at least an hour for passport control and baggage collection. If your flight will be an AA codeshare operated by BA to LHR T5 then add another 15 to 20 minutes to the arrivals process as you will have to include the time needed to walk from one of the satellite terminal buildings to passport control.
A booked car service (or taxi from the rank which will cost more) may be no faster than the Underground from Heathrow to King's Cross and will cost considerably more. The Underground journey requires no changes en route, about half of it is at or above ground (so you will see more than the inside of Tube tunnels) and is step free start to finish. It will take an hour from the Underground station at T1,3 to King's Cross.
Given that there are no guarantees that your flight will depart from (guesses) DFW on time nor a guarantee that will arrive at Heathrow at its scheduled time, allow at least four hours between scheduled arrival and train departure.
Alternately, why not book a night at an inexpensive London hotel near KX and take the train the next morning? If fares in First are within your budget then you can book a departure at 0700 - 0800 and enjoy breakfast on board as you watch the countryside go past, a very nice way to travel overall, and with an early departure from London you will be in Edinburgh by 1230 rather than early evening.Edited: 29 March 2014, 21:20
Given the potential for late arrival and delays with baggage collection and/or passport control, I'd recommend buying an "Anytime" ticket, rather than an "Advance" ticket. Advance tickets are cheaper, but they are only valid on the train for which they are booked, and if you miss the train you forfeit the ticket and have to buy another. It'll be a long enough day with the time to get from Heathrow to King's Cross or Euston plus 4 1/2 to 5 hours on the train without adding the stress of potentially missing the train and having to buy another batch of tickets.
I like the train...so I'm not going to question the OP.
Sometimes I take the train to York which doesn't have a convenient airport, so it's the best option for me. That also leaves from Kings Cross, and 3 hours including immigration formalities and the tube journey is very OK for *me* (British passport holder, knows LHR and London transport well) You might want to add a bit on for peace of mind.
It is a very long day though, after a trans-atlantic flight, so bear that in mind. I usually fall asleep on the train as a result.
Weekdays the last direct train leaves London Kings Cross at 16 00 arriving in Edinburgh at 20 35. Looking for example on 17th April a ticket for that specific train would cost £86.50, whereas a ticket giving a choice of trains would cost £125.80. I would try to plan the journey so it is in daylight, the countryside north of York is beautiful, the view of Durham Cathedral and the Tyne Bridges coming into Newcastle are spectacular.
Generally train tickets (for a specific train) are cheaper the further ahead you book, also by booking on a specific train you can reserve seats so your party sits together.
try www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk to find out more about tickets.
Unless it's Saturday night, the last train is actually the Caledonian Sleeper. Whether anyone would want a day in London after a long flight is another matter ...
"I'd recommend buying an "Anytime" ticket, rather than an "Advance" ticket."
I wouldn't, even if I could afford it. The OP will almost certainly be travelling off-peak so an off-peak ticket is all that's needed. An Anytime return is £304, a Super Off-Peak return - valid on any train leaving London after 09:30 up to and including the 14:00 - is £131.
You're right darrenmcc, I forgot about off peak. I just think it's risky to book on a specific train in the circumstances.