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

September 3 2022
4 min read
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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.

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 photo 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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6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
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Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

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  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees