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How do I get the best Glasgow to London train fare?

Looking for the cheapest fare the next time you catch a Glasgow to London train? Not a problem. Let’s take a look at the best times to travel, all of the different routes you can take, and whether it’s possible to get a cheap upgrade the next time you take the train from Glasgow to London.

What are my Glasgow to London train options?

If you’re taking a train from Glasgow to London, then you’ll usually have two options:

  • Direct trains from Glasgow Central to London Euston are operated by Avanti West Coast. They tend to run every hour, and there are a few extra trains that take a slower route via Birmingham
  • Alternatively, you can take a ScotRail train from Glasgow Queen Street to Edinburgh, and then change onto an LNER service for London King’s Cross. Once per day (except Saturdays northbound and Sundays southbound), there is also a direct train from Glasgow Central to London King’s Cross. This is usually a slower option, but there are more services to choose from when you go via Edinburgh.

It’s also possible to take the Caledonian Sleeper train overnight on Sunday to Friday nights.

What are Glasgow to London train ticket prices like?

First of all, let’s take a look at how much it is if we want to take the faster and more traditional route from Glasgow Central down to London Euston. This is usually the most convenient way to go, as in most cases, you won’t need to change trains. We’ll check the fares for a trip one month in advance:

railsmartr websiite showing glasgow to london train fares via the west coast

As you can see, there are a couple of different journey times for Glasgow to London trains. The fastest one (that takes 4h36m) runs on the most direct route. The one that takes 5h42m goes via Birmingham, while the trip that involves a change of train requires you to change at Crewe for a more direct train on the last part of the journey.

It’s cheapest here to change at Crewe, a little more to take the direct (slow) train and more expensive to take the fastest one. This won’t always be the case, but Avanti West Coast will often make the slower trains cheaper to encourage more people to use them (and to avoid the much busier direct train).

What about travelling via the East Coast?

Your other option for cheap train tickets from Glasgow to London is to head down to London King’s Cross instead. This usually means leaving from Glasgow Queen Street and changing in Edinburgh. Let’s look at the exact same time of day as we did before, a month in advance:

railsmartr websiite showing glasgow to london train fares via the east coast

So, in this case, it’s more expensive and a pretty slow option. It’s still worth checking out though, as this won’t always be the case.

Can I travel overnight?

On a Sunday to Friday night, you can take the Caledonian Sleeper train from Glasgow Central to London Euston. Here’s what we found when booking a month in advance:

railsmartr website showing caledonian sleeper fare

This is for a seat on the train. It’s also possible to have a bed for the night, but you’d need to book directly on their website for anything more luxurious! In terms of cost, it’s quite reasonable considering that you’ll be in the capital bright and early.

Let’s take a look now at some of the things that you can do to find the cheapest train to London from Glasgow.

What should I do if I want a cheap train to London from Glasgow?

There are a few things that you can do to get a better fare! If you’re travelling on a weekday, then you might find that a Friday morning is cheapest. This is because there are no peak restrictions to either London Euston or London King’s Cross, so the Off-Peak or Super Off-Peak fare effectively ‘caps’ the amount that the rail operators can charge.

Next, if you want to travel from Glasgow Central, you might remember that we showed you how a trip involving the ‘slow’ trains that go via Birmingham to reach London can be cheaper. In fact, these can be the cheapest Glasgow to London trains most of the time. So, when do they run? You’ll find the slower trains from Glasgow to London (and back) at these times:

  • From Glasgow: 05:48, 08:00, 11:56, 15:57 (Monday to Saturday) or 09:46, 11:55, 13:55, 15:55, 18:34 (Sunday)
  • From London: 09:16, 13:16, 15:16, 17:40*(Monday to Saturday) or 08:50, 10:49, 13:15, 15:39 (Sunday).

*The 17:40 train only runs on weekdays.

Finally, consider travelling on a Glasgow to London train at less busy times. This usually means travelling south in the evening:

railsmartr websiite showing glasgow to london train fares via the west coast in the evening

As you can see, it’s possible to get a £35 one way fare pretty consistently on the later trains out of Glasgow Central.

I want to upgrade to First Class, what are my options?

Fancy a bit of luxury on your Glasgow to London train trip? Your most economical option will be upgrading to Standard Premium on Avanti West Coast. It’s exactly the same as a First Class carriage, but you won’t get any free food and drink. Just click on the price when we show you the list of trains you can take, and you’ll find the Standard Premium price if it’s available:

railsmartr website showing a selection of different fare types from glasgow to london

Already bought your ticket? No problem. You can take a free seat in Standard Premium and upgrade on the train. The conductor will just sell you the upgrade when they come around to check tickets. For a trip between Glasgow and London, the upgrade fee is £30.00.

Thinking about upgrading? We’ve gone out and compared Standard Premium vs First Class so you can decide which is the best value option for you.

Is there anything else I should know?

The final thing we’d recommend is using the Railsmartr website to book your train trip from Glasgow to London. We’re completely independent, so we’re happy to ‘tell you like it is’ when it comes to rail fares. Not only that, but we’ll show you the slower, but cheaper options that some websites won’t.

Don’t forget that we don’t charge any fees, either. That includes if you change your mind and want to travel on a different day. If your ticket is refundable, we’ll refund it fee-free, too!

All fares stated on this page are for ONE adult with no Railcard discount and were correct at 13:00 on 28/07/2023. All times were also correct as at this time. All information is issued in good faith. It is subject to change at any time and Railsmartr are not responsible for any loss or disappointment incurred as a result of the information provided.