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Glasgow to Leeds

from £21.70
Taking a trip to the unofficial ‘Capital’ of Yorkshire? Here’s our handy guide to getting the best fare.

Available train operators on this journey

  • Avanti West Coast
  • TransPennine Express
  • Northern
  • LNER

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What are my Glasgow to Leeds train options?

There are four main ways to make a Glasgow to Leeds train journey. Three of them involve going from Glasgow Central. You can either take Avanti West Coast to Lancaster then Northern to Leeds, or TransPennine Express to Carlisle then Northern to Leeds, or you can go via Manchester on TransPennine Express throughout.

You can also go from Glasgow Queen Street and travel via York. This normally involves taking ScotRail to Edinburgh, LNER to York and then Northern or TransPennine Express to Leeds. Let’s take a look at each option.

Via Lancaster and Bentham

Your first option is to travel via Lancaster and Bentham in order to make a Glasgow to Leeds train journey. You’ll take Avanti West Coast (or TransPennine Express) to Lancaster, followed by Northern. There are seven journeys a day where you can make this trip on Mondays to Saturdays and four on Sundays. The journey time and stopping patterns can vary depending on the connection time but each train takes around two hours.

Here are the fares that you can expect to pay on the day. There aren’t any return fares, only singles:

    • Anytime Single - £76.30
    • Off-Peak Single - £66.70.

The Off-Peak Single is valid after 09:30 on weekdays. There aren’t any restrictions on weekends and Bank Holidays.

Via Manchester

This is a bit of a roundabout route, but you might find it to be the cheapest option for a Glasgow to Leeds train journey, depending on when you book. There are only four direct trains on weekdays, four on Saturdays and two on Sundays (which might vary depending on engineering work). These trains will take you to Manchester Piccadilly or Manchester Oxford Road where you’ll need to change to another TransPennine Express service. You can expect this to take around five hours.

The fares mentioned above are valid via Manchester. If you want a return ticket, then these fares are valid only on TransPennine Express:

    • Anytime Short Return - £148.60
    • Off-Peak Return - £107.40.

The Off-Peak Return is valid after 08:30 on weekdays. There aren’t any time restrictions on weekends and Bank Holidays.

Via Carlisle and Appleby

This can be the cheapest way to make a Glasgow to Leeds train journey at the last minute. There are eight journey opportunities on Mondays to Saturdays and five on Sundays. You’ll need to change at Carlisle. It’ll typically take around 4h30m. Here are the fares that you can expect to pay on the day:

    • Anytime Day Single - £54.50
    • Anytime Short Return - £68.10.

Via York

This is the final option. It’s the most frequent one and it isn’t much slower than some of the other options, but it can be a little more complicated. For most of the day, you’ll need to head over to Glasgow Queen Street then change at Edinburgh and York. There can be up to two journey opportunities every hour, and they’ll take around 4h30m.

The fares are the same as going via Lancaster.

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

You can get the best Glasgow to Leeds train fare with Railsmartr. Here’s what we found a month in advance of travel:

glasgow to leeds train fares on railsmartr

As you can see, there isn’t a huge difference in price on many routes. The cheapest option is to go via Bentham, while going via Manchester isn’t far behind.

Travelling via Appleby is a little more expensive, but that fare is the Off-Peak Single. This means that it can’t get any more expensive, so you should see it as an effective ‘cap’.

What are the trains like?

Let’s take a look at the trains that run on the Glasgow to Leeds route and all the features that they have.

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. What is the difference, you ask? 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.

These trains will take you between Glasgow Central and Carlisle/Lancaster.

TransPennine Express

If you’re using TransPennine Express on your Glasgow to Leeds train trip, then you’re likely to have a Nova 2 and then a Nova 1 if you’re going via Manchester. They have five carriages and have seats in a 2+2 layout in Standard Class:

You’ll find a USB port and three-pin socket at every seat as well as free WiFi. There’s also a catering trolley on every train, with free refreshments if you’re in First Class. First Class seating is in a 2+1 layout.


If you’re using LNER for a Glasgow to Leeds train trip, then you’ll have an Azuma train. The vast majority of the trains on this route have nine carriages, though a couple will have five or 10. In Standard Class, all of the seats are in a 2+2 layout:

You’ll find power sockets under every seat, as well as a cafe bar. It’s also possible to order food and drink directly to your seat by scanning a QR code on the seatback. In First Class, you’ll also have access to USB ports under your armrest. Feeling peckish? There’s a complimentary menu on every train. You can expect, at minimum, sandwiches, snacks and hot and cold drinks (including alcohol after 11am). On many trains, you’ll get hot food, as well. 

When it comes to seat comfort, the seats in both classes can be a little firm. However, the legroom is pretty good, so there’s a bit of space to stretch out.

These trains will take you on the portion of your journey between Edinburgh and York.


If you’re going via Appleby or via Bentham, then you’ll have an Express Sprinter train on the parts between Carlisle/Lancaster and Leeds. They have 2+2 seating and most are fitted with USB ports at every window seat:

Is there anything else I should know?

The final thing we’d recommend is using the Railsmartr website to book your Glasgow to Leeds 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 14:00 04/10/2023. 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.