Having flown half way around the world to visit my family in Scotland, getting back on a plane to fly to London was not high on my list of things to do. Therefore, when my father, a long-time advocate of train travel, suggested I make the trip by rail, I decided to give it a go.
The first surprise I got was a very pleasant one indeed – the price! For the equivalent of $70, I managed to get a return ticket. On first sight, this may appear expensive given that low cost airlines advertise fares from $2. By the time you add taxes, fees and the cost of travel to the airport, which more often than not is located quite a distance from the city, your low-cost flight isn’t so cheap after all. The second was that I could pick up the train from the local station, a mere five minute drive from where I was staying and no need to check in 40 minutes before departure!
From Glasgow to London you have the choice of two routes, one down the west coast and one down the east coast. My journey took me down the rugged east coast of Britain and within 20 minutes of boarding the train, green fields, hilly landscapes and country towns formed the view from my window. From Glasgow, the first major station is Edinburgh Waverley, an imposing but superb example of Victorian architecture. From here, my journey takes me through some of the most picturesque towns in the UK, Dunbar, Berwick-upon-Tweed and York.
Sitting back and relaxing, the glorious coastline, waves breaking over beaches, the outlook over the cliffs and the odd remote dwelling, provide plenty of distractions from my book and the pile of work that I had thought I would get through. However, the draw of a glass of wine and the time to chill is just too strong to ignore.
As the train pulls into Kings Cross Station, I can’t believe that four and a half hours have passed and I have reached my destination. I am almost slightly disappointed that the precious ‘me’ time I have been gifted is coming to an end. However, here I am, in the centre of London, relaxed and eager to make the most of the bright lights of the big city!
Trains run between London and Glasgow throughout the day, seven days a week. The journey takes between four and five hours depending on the route. Prices vary depending on the days and times travelled but there are special fares available. For details of train travel in the UK, visit Rail Plus