London to Aberdeen by Train, Bus, Car and Air

Travel Directions London to Aberdeen

Aberdeen
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

LNER offers direct London to Aberdeen services.The direct trains leave from London Kings Cross to Aberdeen Station about every four hours. The journey takes about 6 and a half hours and there are only a few direct trains each way. The company also runs hourly services throughout the day with a change of trains in Edinburgh.The cheapest fare (as of August 2018) was about £100 round trip when purchased in advance as two, one-way tickets for off-peak services. Use the Cheap Fare Finder, described below, to find the best deal.

The most comfortable train deal by far for this long journey is the Caledonian Sleeper that leaves London Euston at 9:15 p.m. and arrives in Aberdeen at 7:39 a.m. If you are willing to travel in a seat rather than a sleeper compartment, the fare (as of September 2018) is £50 each way.

Standard fixed, advance purchase fare for a shared sleeper compartment is £135 each way  with no refunds, changes or on train upgrades. The Flexi fare for standard is £160 each way. And if you opt for a single sleeper car the Fixed Advance fare in £165 each way (or £195 Flexi fare) 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 13 and 14. Buses leave Victoria Coach Station in London for Aberdeen Bus Station twice a day, at 8a.m. and 11 p.m.. The 8 a.m, coach takes about 13 hours and 40 minutes; the night coach, leaving at 11 p.m.  takes 12 hours and 45 minutes. Fares in 2018 started at £31.50 ach 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 2018 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:

  • Flybe from London Heathrow for about £40 each way or London City for about £150 each way in September 2018
  • easyjet  from London Gatwick (starting at about £35) and London Luton (from about £32) in 2018
  • British Airways from London Heathrow , from £58 each way in September 2018.