We use cookies to track usage and preferences. You can view our cookies policy here.

Birmingham to Edinburgh

from £21.00
Looking to visit the historic city of Edinburgh on a budget? Have a glance at our tips.

Available train operators on this journey

  • Avanti West Coast
  • CrossCountry

Buy train tickets

What are my Birmingham to Edinburgh train options?

Looking to make a Birmingham to Edinburgh train trip? You have two options. You can either take Avanti West Coast or CrossCountry. Let’s see how often they run and how long the journey takes.

Avanti West Coast

Taking Avanti West Coast on your next Birmingham to Edinburgh train journey? There’s a direct train every two hours. You’ll find seven trains each way on Monday to Saturday and five on Sundays. This is their typical calling pattern:

    • Sandwell & Dudley, Wolverhampton, Stafford, Crewe, Warrington Bank Quay, Wigan North Western, Preston, Lancaster, Oxenholme Lake District*, Penrith North Lakes*, Carlisle, Haymarket and Edinburgh.

Not all trains call at Oxenholme and Penrith. The journey time on these trains is 4h15m to 4h30m. Here is the fare that you can expect to pay on the day:

    • Off-Peak Return - £147.90.

This fare is valid after 04:15 - so in practice, there isn’t any restriction on when you can use it.

On the opposite hour, when there aren’t any direct Avanti West Coast services, you can take one to Preston instead and change for a TransPennine Express service. The fare above isn’t valid on this combination, so the cheapest option will be an Advance ticket.


You’ll find one CrossCountry train every hour between Birmingham and Edinburgh. They take a different route to Avanti West Coast and the stopping pattern can vary.

They all stop in Derby, Sheffield, Wakefield Westgate, Leeds, York, Darlington, Durham, Newcastle and Edinburgh at minimum. The typical journey time is between 5h and 5h10m. Here are the fares that you can expect to pay on the day:

    • Anytime Return - £281.20
    • Off-Peak Return - £165.30.

The Off-Peak Return is only valid after 09:30 on a Monday to Friday. There aren’t any restrictions on weekends and Bank Holidays. We wouldn’t recommend paying these fares and there are certainly cheaper alternatives. We’ll explain more below.

How do I get the best Birmingham to Edinburgh train fare?

You can get the best Birmingham to Edinburgh train fare with Railsmartr. Let’s see what we can find a month in advance:

 birmingham to edinburgh train fares on railsmartr

As you can see, it’s far cheaper to travel with Avanti West Coast (sometimes in conjunction with TransPennine Express) on a Birmingham to Edinburgh train journey. The CrossCountry fares are either extremely high or there isn’t even an Advance fare available at all.

What are the trains like?

Let’s go through the trains that run on the Birmingham to Edinburgh route and what their features are.

Avanti West Coast

Taking an Avanti West Coast train? You’re likely to have a Pendolino train. They’re currently being refurbished and have either nine or 11 carriages. The refurbished ones have a power socket at every seat:

Meanwhile, Standard Premium and First Class have seats in a 2+1 layout. Wondering what the difference is? We’ve taken a trip to compare them.

Feeling peckish? There’s a shop in Coach C. If you’re in First Class, then you’ll get complimentary food and drink served at your seat.

As for seat comfort, we’d recommend the refurbished trains. They have more legroom, winged headrests and generally more space to stretch out.


You’ll have a Voyager train if you’re taking CrossCountry on a Birmingham to Edinburgh train trip. They have four, five, eight or nine carriages. You’ll find a power socket at every window seat and free WiFi. Seating in Standard Class is in a 2+2 layout:

You’ll find a trolley service of drinks and snacks. If the train is too busy, then it’ll usually be ‘static’ and act like a small buffet. It’s worth noting that luggage space on these trains is fairly limited and they’re liable to being extremely busy. You’ll also find a film on the windows, which makes it difficult to get a reliable internet or phone signal.

In First Class, seating is in a 2+1 layout. You may get complimentary drinks, snacks and sandwiches.

Is there anything else I should know?

The final thing we’d recommend is using the Railsmartr website to book your Birmingham to Edinburgh train tickets. We’re completely independent, so we’re happy to ‘tell you like it is’ when it comes to rail fares!

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 16:00 02/10/2023. All information is issued in good faith. They’re subject to change at any time and Railsmartr are not responsible for any loss or disappointment incurred as a result of the information provided.