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

London to Durham

from £25.00
Taking a day trip to Durham or heading there to study? Here's our guide to the journey.

Available train operators on this journey

  • LNER
  • Grand Central

Buy train tickets

What are my London to Durham train options?

There’s just one direct option for a London to Durham train journey, which is LNER. They usually run one direct train every hour, though there are more in the early morning and late evening. They all go from London King's Cross. Here’s the typical calling pattern:

    • Peterborough, Newark Northgate, Doncaster, York, Northallerton*, Darlington and Durham.

A London to Durham train journey usually takes around 2h55m, but it can vary depending on whether the train stops at Northallerton. During the bulk of the day, only alternate trains stop there.

Here are the walk-up fares that you can expect to pay on the day. LNER has ‘single-leg pricing’ which means that it’s not possible to buy a return ticket:

    • Anytime Single - £192.80
    • Super Off-Peak Single - £83.80.

The Super Off-Peak Single is valid between 09:06 and 14:59 and after 18:59 on a Monday to Thursday. There aren’t any restrictions (when using LNER) on a Friday, and there aren’t any restrictions on any operator on weekends and Bank Holidays.

It’s also possible to travel on Grand Central to York and then change for another operator’s train. There are six journeys a day that you can do this on, but there aren’t any dedicated walk-up tickets. We’ll discuss this in more detail in the next section.

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

You can get the best London to Durham train fare with Railsmartr! We’ll offer you the cheapest available fare for your journey. Let’s see what we can find if we search a month ahead: 

london to durham train fares on railsmartr

As you can see, there aren’t any drastic price differences. The most expensive option is to take the fast LNER service up to York and then change. It’s a little cheaper to take the direct train, and then a little cheaper again to take Grand Central and change at York.

If you want to travel to somewhere in the wider County Durham area, then it might be cheaper to take Grand Central for the entire journey. For example, they serve Hartlepool and Sunderland, which may be more convenient if you’re trying to get to the likes of Peterlee or Sedgefield.

What are the trains like?

Let’s take a look at the different trains that you might use if you’re making a London to Durham train journey.


If you’re using LNER, 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.

Grand Central

You can expect an Adelante train if you travel with Grand Central. They have five carriages. All seats in Standard Class are in a 2+2 layout and there’s a power socket at every window seat:

There’s a buffet counter, too. In First Class, the seats are in a 2+1 layout. You’re still entitled to some complimentary food and drink, but it’s more along the lines of drinks and snacks rather than a proper meal!

The seats are a little more comfortable than on LNER and they’re tilted back a little, so you can sit back and relax rather than being forced upright. The only issue is that legroom isn’t quite so good, especially at the table seats. If you’re working at a laptop, the airline-style seats can be a bit tricky. The tilt of the seat means that you need to have the laptop hanging off the edge of the table!

The overhead racks aren’t huge, either. You’ll struggle to get anything bigger than a small backpack into them, as they’re very shallow.

Is there anything else I should know?

The final thing we’d recommend is using the Railsmartr website to book your London to Durham 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 29/09/2023. 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.