London to Nottingham
Available train operators on this journey
- East Midlands Railway
- Hull Trains
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What are my London to Nottingham train options?
You have two main options when it comes to a London to Nottingham train journey. You can either take East Midlands Railway which runs direct to Nottingham, or you can use LNER or Hull Trains and change at Grantham. Let’s go through each company, their frequency and journey times.
East Midlands Railway
There are two trains per hour on the London St Pancras to Nottingham route that are operated by East Midlands Railway. They have slightly different calling patterns, and there’s one ‘semi-fast’ train and one ‘fast’ train:
- Kettering, Market Harborough, Leicester, Loughborough, East Midlands Parkway, Beeston and Nottingham (1h45m)
- Kettering, Market Harborough, Leicester and Nottingham (1h35m - 1h40m)
Here are the fares that you can expect to pay on the day:
- Anytime Return - £208.50
- Off-Peak Return - £122.30
- Super Off-Peak Return - £75.70.
The outward part of the Off-Peak Return is valid to leave London between 08:47 and 16:35 and after 18:47 on weekdays. When you return, you can arrive in London after 10:01. There aren’t any restrictions on weekends and Bank Holidays.
When it comes to the Super Off-Peak Return, you can use the outward portion out of London between 10:05 and 15:36 and after 18:47 on weekdays. When you return, you can arrive in London after 11:30. Again, there aren’t any restrictions on weekends and Bank Holidays.
There are usually two trains per hour from London King’s Cross to Grantham, where you can change for an East Midlands Railway service to Nottingham. The journey times can vary, depending on the connection time at Grantham. Here are the calling patterns and journey times for the LNER portion of the trip:
- Stevenage and Grantham (1x per hour - 1h05m - 1h10m)
- Stevenage, Peterborough and Grantham (1x per hour - 1h15m).
The typical journey time from Grantham to Nottingham is an additional 40 minutes or so, so you can expect an average journey time end-to-end of around two hours. Here are the fares that you’d pay on the day for this London to Nottingham train trip. LNER does ‘single-leg pricing’, so there are only single tickets available:
- Anytime Single - £88.20
- Super Off-Peak Single - £38.90.
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.
Finally, you can make your London to Nottingham train trip on Hull Trains up to Grantham. They run up to seven trains in each direction non-stop to Grantham, with an average journey time of one hour.
There aren’t any dedicated on-the-day fares for using Hull Trains. Instead, you’d use the same fares as listed above for LNER, which are simply routed via Grantham, so you can use either operator.
How do I get the best London to Nottingham train fare?
You can get the best London to Nottingham train fare with Railsmartr. When you search for this trip, remember to simply search for ‘London’ to Nottingham, and we’ll show you all of your different options. Let’s see what we can find a month in advance:
As you can see, sometimes it’s best just to keep things simple. The best London to Nottingham train fare on this occasion is on the direct train, operated by East Midlands Railway. However, it’s only just over a pound more to take LNER from King’s Cross and change. At certain times of the day, this might actually be the cheaper option!
There aren’t any dedicated Advance tickets for Hull Trains, but the Super Off-Peak Single effectively acts as a ‘cap’ for this trip. Basically, there’s no need to pay more than £38.90 outside of peak times.
What are the trains like?
Let’s take a look at the kind of trains you can expect on a London to Nottingham train journey and the features that they have.
East Midlands Railway
All of the London to Leicester train services are currently Meridian trains. They have five, seven or 10 carriages. You’ll find a power socket at every window seat and there’s WiFi on board, too. Seating in Standard Class is in a 2+2 layout:
Meanwhile, First Class has seating in a 2+1 layout:
There are a couple of things that are worth bearing in mind. First of all, the film that’s placed over the windows can make getting a reliable data signal difficult. You’d certainly struggle to make a video call or get any work done that requires a stable connection.
The overhead luggage racks are also very small. You can’t store anything bigger than a small backpack in them!
Finally, there’s free food and drink in First Class, but only on a Monday to Saturday.
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:
(image) 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.
Using Hull Trains on your London to Nottingham train trip? Their trains are known as Paragon. They have five carriages and they’re almost identical to LNER’s Azumas. The only difference is that you’ll find USB sockets in both classes.
At the time of writing, there’s complimentary food and drink in First Class, but there isn’t any sort of service in Standard Class.
Is there anything else I should know?
The final thing we’d recommend is using the Railsmartr website to book your London to Nottingham 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 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.