London to Aberdeen by Train, Bus, Car and Air

Travel Directions London to Aberdeen

Aberdeen city center. Mark A Leman/Getty Images

Aberdeen is 545 miles from London. Unless you have an urgent need to drive there, several other travel options are better.

The granite city of Northeast Scotland is a gateway to Orkney and the Shetland Islands as well as the center of Scotland's North Sea oil industry with all its related exploration and engineering businesses. Since the exploitation of the North Sea fields began, Aberdeen has changed from a provincial northern port to a cosmopolitan center, able to cater to the sophisticated tastes of well-heeled travelers.

The best ways to travel between London and Aberdeen is to fly or take a an overnight sleeper train. Check out these travel directions for train, bus, air and car to decide which is your best option for Scotland's North Sea oil industry capital.

How to Get There

By Train

Virgin East Coast offers direct London to Aberdeen services.Trains leave from London Kings Cross to Aberdeen Station about every four hours. The journey takes about 7 and a half hours and there are only a few direct trains each way. The cheapest fare (as of December 2017) was about £163 round trip or £81.65 each way for advance purchase, off-peak services. This can be a complicated and expensive train journey, with some services requiring three changes. Use the Cheap Fare Finder, described below, to find the best deal.

The best train deal by far for this journey is the Caledonian Sleeper that leaves London Euston at 9:15pm arrives in Aberdeen at about 7:30am.

If you are willing to travel in a seat rather than a sleeper compartment, the fare (as of December 2017) is £50 each way. Standard fare for a shared sleeper compartment is £110 each way when purchased in advance. And if you opt for a single sleeper car the Fixed Advance fare in £190 each way with breakfast and access to station first class lounges and showers included.


UK Travel Tips The cheapest train fares are those designated "Advance" - how far in advance depends upon the journey as most rail companies offer advance fares on a first come first served basis. Advance tickets are usually sold as one-way or "single" tickets. Whether or not you buy advance tickets, always compare the "single" ticket price to the round trip or "return" price as it is often cheaper to buy two single tickets rather than one round trip ticket.

To find the best fare, use National Rail Enquiries Cheapest Fare Finder, ticking the "All Day" box in the search form if you can be flexible about travel time.

Look for First Class Deals - Whether you take a direct train, change trains en route or take the sleeper, the journey from London to Aberdeen is a long one. When you use the Cheapest Fare Finder, search first class fares for special advance deals as well. First class upgrades are sometimes quite reasonably priced for this train. While I don't recommend first class for most shorter journeys, a more comfortable seat and onboard meal service can make the longer trips to Scotland a lot more relaxed.

By Bus

National Express Coaches from London to Aberdeen take between 12 to 13 1/2 hours. Buses leave Victoria Coach Station in London for Aberdeen Bus Station twice a day, morning and night. The 8am coach takes about 13 and a half hours; the night coach, leaving at 10:30pm takes almost 12 hours. Fares in 2017 started at about £25 each way. Bus tickets can be purchased online.

UK Travel Tip Tickets are sold on a one-way (or "single") basis only and the variety of prices for the same journey can be mind boggling (in 2017 I found fares for this journey ranging from £24 to £45 each way). The best way to get the best fares and potentially get your hands on extra cheap tickets is to use the online farefinder. Fares are displayed on a calendar so, if you can be flexible about the time or date you travel, you can save quite a bit.

By Car

Aberdeen  is 545 miles northeast of London, using the M1, M6 and M42 motorways in England and the M74, M8, M9 and M90 and A90 motorways in Scotland. In perfect conditions, it can take about 10 hours to drive but conditions are rarely perfect. Besides the traffic and constant road works on the M1, M6 and M42, you can run into spring or autumn snow on parts of this route. You could easily spend 18 to 20 hours trying to drive this in one go. The journey should only be taken by car as part of a multi-day tour or by alternating drivers. 

Keep in mind that gasoline, called petrol in the UK, is sold by the liter (a little more than a quart) and the price is usually more than $1.50 a quart.

By Air

Aberdeen Airport is one of the UK's international airports, handling flights from Europe, North America and throughout the UK. These airlines have flights from London to Aberdeen: