Good rail connections make York a lot more accessible from Central London than you might think, given its 210-mile distance (the National Railway Museum must have picked York for a good reason). It's a bit of a hefty outing for a day trip from the capital. But if you are in the UK for a very short visit and don't mind spending four hours on trains, you could snatch some time in this popular walled city.
York is also in a prime position on the national motorway network and the halfway point on the popular route between London and Edinburgh. Use these travel directions and tips to decide between transportation options.
How to Get to York
Virgin Trains run three or four trains an hour along the East Coast Main Line to York Station from London King's Cross Station. Most are direct services but one train an hour stops at Doncaster and involves changing to a cross country service for the last leg to York. There's little time difference between the direct and cross country services, with the journey taking about two hours. This is a popular route, so trains leave London regularly from about 6:15am to after 10pm. The cheapest off peak, advance return (round trip) fare in December 2016 was £33 when purchased as two singles (or one way) tickets.
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 ( but not always) cheaper to buy two single tickets rather than one round trip ticket.
National Express run at least four direct journeys a day to York (opposite York Railway Station) from London Victoria Coach Station . The journey takes five and a half but there are several fast journeys every day that take 4h50min. Longer journeys usually stop in Leeds. Round trip fare is about £35 when booked as two one-way tickets. But, if you make an online booking at least a month in advance, you could land "funfare" tickets fpr a £30 round trip, including a £1 booking fee. Look for the "Fare Finder" box on the National Express home page to get the lowest online fares.
- Read about bus travel in the UK
- Book National Express Bus Tickets in the UK
- Book Extra Cheap Megabus Tickets in the UK
UK Travel Tip National Express offers a limited number of "funfare" promotional tickets that are very cheap (£6.50 for a £39.00 fare, for example). These can only be purchased on line and they are usually posted on the website a month to a few weeks before the trip. It is worth checking the website to see if "funfare" tickets are available for your chosen journey. It's also worth being flexible about the day or time of travel.
York is 210 miles north of London via the M1/M62 motorway network.It takes 4 to 5 hours to drive.
Keep in mind that gasoline, called petrol in the UK, is sold by the liter (a little more than a quart) and the price can equal about $5.50 a gallon or more.
- Use the Automobile Association Route Planner to map a route with suggested stopovers and gasoline stations.
- Check Daily Petrol (Gasoline) Prices
UK Travel Tip - York is a small, walled medieval city that is very popular with visitors. If you are planning to drive to York, make use of the city's Park & Ride service. Parking is free in one of six Park & Ride facilities that ring the city. Round trip bus fare to the city center and back, in 2016, cost £2.80. Once you are within the York city walls, you will not need to drive.