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What’s faster? Watch us race from London to Edinburgh by plane and train

Sept. 03, 2022
4 min read
What’s faster? Watch us race from London to Edinburgh by plane and train
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In our latest YouTube video, we follow in the footsteps of our previous races to European capitals Amsterdam and Paris — this time racing from the capital of England to the capital of Scotland, pitting train against plane between London and Edinburgh.

We start both our journeys from the Tower of London. Liam took the London Underground to Kings Cross, connecting to a London North Eastern Railway service to Edinburgh Waverley before making the dash up Castle Rock to the race finish point, Edinburgh Castle.

I jumped on the Tube from Tower Hill to Farringdon to connect to a Thameslink train up to Luton Airport Parkway. From here, there was a shuttle bus to navigate to the terminal, a flight to Edinburgh and a tram from the airport to the city center.

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You can watch the whole experience and find out who won on YouTube:

Nicky Kelvin — plane

We paid:

  • EasyJet flight: 144 pounds (about $166).
  • Thameslink, Tube and Luton shuttle bus: 28 pounds ($32).
  • Edinburgh tram: 6.50 pounds ($8).
  • Total: 178.50 pounds ($206).

This was by no means the cheapest way of getting to Edinburgh, especially as we traveled in the middle of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. However, because of the distance, a flight to Scotland was going to take some beating.

The easyJet flight left on time and arrived in Edinburgh early. The tram service was also a cheap and quick way to get right into the heart of the city from the airport.

The journey to Luton Airport Parkway from central London was quick and efficient, but a real downside to this experience is the shuttle to the airport terminal, which takes time, effort and money. Thankfully this could change in the future as a DART (direct air-rail transit) system is currently being built between the train station and the terminal — this can’t come soon enough.

Liam Spencer — train

We paid:

  • LNER train: 84 pounds ($97).
  • Tube: 2.50 pounds ($3).
  • Total: 86.50 pounds ($100).

The entire journey couldn’t have been more efficient and easy. I arrived at the station just minutes before departure, and there were no delays during the four-hour trip.

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After settling into my seat I was both surprised by and impressed with the order-to-your-seat food and drink service — my hot bacon roll arrived in under five minutes, which is pretty good.

On top of this, the train journey provided unrivaled views of the British countryside and there’s definitely something magical about the way it passes through multiple cities and towns en route to the final destination.

It wasn’t all positive, though. Despite booking my tickets well in advance I was not given a reserved seat for my journey, which was somewhat surprising.

Arguably this was partly my fault for not checking. However, the online booking process could make the seat selection process a lot clearer. With journeys this long you really do expect to get a reserved seat automatically.

Throughout the journey, the train was extremely busy and there were lots of children running around and screaming. I’ve had calmer travel experiences for sure.

Watch more:

Featured image by THE POINTS GUY
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
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  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
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  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees