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London to York

from £16.50
There’s so much to see and do in York. You'll want to find the best train fare as well, so here's our handy guide.

Available train operators on this journey

  • LNER
  • Grand Central

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What are my London to York train options?

The good news is that there’s a bit of competition on the London to York train route! You can either take LNER or Grand Central. Let’s go through each of them and how much they cost.

LNER

LNER is the most frequent option if you’re making a London to York train journey. There are at least two trains every hour from London King's Cross, as well as a ‘stopping’ train every other hour. Here’s a summary of the calling patterns and journey times:

  • Non-stop to York (1x per hour - 1h50m to 1h55m)
  • Peterborough, Newark Northgate, Doncaster and York (1x per hour - 2h to 2h05m)
  • Stevenage, Peterborough, Grantham, Newark Northgate, Retford, Doncaster and York (1x every two hours - 2h25m to 2h30m)

As for the fares, LNER currently has what we call ‘single-leg pricing’. This means that you can only buy single tickets if you want a flexible fare. Here’s how much they cost:

  • Anytime Single - £160.30
  • Super Off-Peak Single - £68.40.

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.

Grand Central

Grand Central are usually the cheaper (but less frequent) option if you’re making a London to York train journey. All of their trains are non-stop, and typically take around 1h50m to 2h05m. There are usually six trains per day in each direction. Here are the fares that you’d pay on the day:

  • Anytime Return - £181.00 
  • Off-Peak Return - £120.00
  • Anytime Single - £109.00
  • Off-Peak Single - £65.00.

The Off-Peak fares aren’t valid on the 16:48 from London King’s Cross or the 08:22 from York on weekdays. There aren’t any restrictions on weekends or Bank Holidays.

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

You can do that with Railsmartr! Even if you’re booking at the very last minute, it’s worth seeing if you can get a train-specific Advance fare for your London to York train journey. Let’s see what we can find a month ahead: 

london to york train fares on railsmartr

So, what can we take from this? First of all, we can see that the ‘fast’ London to York LNER train is the most expensive. It usually leaves on the hour, every hour. The ‘slow’ LNER train is the next cheapest. It leaves at the odd-numbered hours of the day at six minutes past on a Monday to Saturday.

We can see that the cheapest London to York train is operated by Grand Central. Not only that, but it manages to overtake the ‘slow’ train on the way.

Prices on this route can be quite expensive during ‘peak’ times and trains can also become fully sold out when it comes to Advance tickets. So, we’d always recommend booking as far in advance as you’re able to.

What are the trains like?

Let’s see what each of the trains on the London to York route are like. We’ll cover things like onboard facilities, seat comfort and more.

LNER

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?

Feeling inspired and looking for a day trip? We’ve written all about everything that you can get up to on a day trip to York.

The final thing we’d recommend is using the Railsmartr website to book your London to York 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 11:00 28/09/2023. 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.