Glasgow is 405 miles from London, a long way to drive all in one go. Luckily there are easier, faster and more economical ways to travel from the UK capital to the arty capital of hip culture that is Glasgow. These information resources will help you plan a journey that suits your time scale and your budget.
How to Get There
Virgin Trains run West Coast mainline services, the busiest passenger route in Britain, throughout the day between the line's terminus at London Euston and Glasgow Central Station , a listed building dating from 1879.
The journey takes between 4.5 and 5.5 hours.
In May 2017, regular round trip advance fares start at about £70 (when purchased as separate one way tickets), but if you can be very flexible about when you travel, the National Rail Enquiries Cheapest Fare Finder can come up with even cheaper tickets. I shaved another tenner off the price this way but it did involve a very limited selection of departures.
Fans of slow travel can take an overnight sleeper, The Calendonian Sleeper. The train leaves Euston Station nightly, at about 11:30p.m., arriving in Glasgow nearly eight hours later,at about 7:30 a.m. Costs start at £40 for advance booking of a one way ticket in recliner seat. First Class travel in a single occupancy cabin with berth and breakfast in the lounge car cost £170 in 2017 for a fixed reservation and £200 for a flexible ticket. If you are planning on using a BritRail pass to get around, you should be aware that you can't use the pass for the Caledonian Sleeper.
UK Travel Tip 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.
National Express Coaches run bus services between London and Glasgow. The trip takes between 8 hours and as much as 13 depending upon whether the bus is a direct service or requires a change in Birmingham. Fares range from a bargain £12 one way ticket (purchased in advance) to a standard fare of £30 each way. There are three direct trips, between Victoria Coach Station in London and Glasgow Buchanan Bus Station, in each direction daily with longer journeys stopping in Birmingham first. Bus tickets can be purchased online.
Megabus are now also running frequent scheduled services from London to Glasgow, ranging in price from £1 to £20 each way. Their overnight sleeper service to Glasgow is in an extra-long, bendy bus. Find out more about traveling with Megabus.
UK Travel Tip Most National Express journeys between London and Glasgow involve either overnight trips or arriving at unsociable hours. Since tickets are sold on a one-way (single) basis only, it can be confusing trying to put together the best combinations of schedules and fares. It's much easier to just use the company's low fare finder. It will show you a selection of what National Express call "fun fares" which are the cheapest options available. Generally these have to be purchased well in advance and are limited in supply.
London to Glasgow by Car
Glasgow is 405 miles north of London via the M1, M6. M42, A74(M), M73 and M8 motorways. According to the Automobile Association, the trip should take about 7 hours to drive in traffic-free conditions. But, be warned, any journey using the M1 and the M6 will never involve traffic-free conditions. It is much more likely to take you 12 to 15 hours or more. Keep in mind too 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.
- Use the Automobile Association Route Planner to map a route with suggested stopovers and gasoline stations.
- Check Daily Petrol (Gasoline) Prices
Flights from London to Glasgow
I rarely recommend flying between destinations in the UK mainland because, when you factor in the costs and time of getting to and from the airports at either end, the train is usually a better option.
Glasgow is an exception to this rule. Unless you are taking the sleeper or touring and making your way up the country over several days, London to Glasgow by car or train is a long and tiring trip.
On the other hand, plan well and cheap flights are available. Regular flights from London to Glasgow Airport leave Heathrow, Gatwick, London City and Stansted airports throughout the day. The flight takes about 1 1/2 hours. The cheapest and most frequent flights (in 2017) were easyjet from Stansted to Glasgow Prestwick Airport.