East vs West coast

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adamskiodp

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Hi folks,

I’m looking at a short family break from London to Edinburgh in the Easter holidays, if travel and accommodation is permitted.

Is there much difference in the standard offering (seat comfort, catering offering etc) between the East and West coast routes (and which has the best scenery).

Also, is there a booking engine that will let me book East coast one way and West coast the other?

Many thanks
 
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Purple Orange

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Personally I would travel by LNER from London to Edinburgh, simply because Euston is a dog’s dinner and Pendolinos have tiny windows. Although the WCML is very nice through the lakes and in to Scotland, but the ECML gives a better sea view north of Newcastle. Plus going through Newcastle, Durham & York is interesting too. On the WCML you need to put your eyes through the horror of looking at Euston, the route out towards Watford, Birmingham (possibly), Crewe, Wigan, Warrington & Preston.
 

The Planner

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Hi folks,

I’m looking at a short family break from London to Edinburgh in the Easter holidays, if travel and accommodation is permitted.

Is there much difference in the standard offering (seat comfort, catering offering etc) between the East and West coast routes (and which has the best scenery).

Also, is there a booking engine that will let me book East coast one way and West coast the other?

Many thanks
I doubt Easter is going to be likely regardless. WCML is riddled with engineering works over Easter, as is Carstairs I think, so that is unlikely to get you there in any decent time or at all. Kings Cross remodeling will be in full swing too.
 
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Another thing to consider is that trains that go on the west coast to Edinburgh go via Birmingham, rather than along the mainline. This means that to get to Edinburgh would either require a change at somewhere like Carlisle, or would take considerably longer.
 

StephenHunter

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WCML's Pendolinos have better seats than the IETs on the ECML.

You also have the third option of Caledonian Sleeper.
 

Glenn1969

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I believe they have said the earliest date staycations will be allowed is April 12th but only in self catering type accomodation so Easter is out
 

peteb

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You could purchase advance tickets out one way return the other, which would no doubt be cheaper, but check the cancellation t's and c's. Personally I think the WCML probably has more activity to see from the train as long stretches are 4 track, and the hilly scenery north of Lancaster is hard to beat. True you do get some glimpses of the sea north of Newcastle but it is very flat looking on the ECML further south.
 

paul1609

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Personally I would travel by LNER from London to Edinburgh, simply because Euston is a dog’s dinner and Pendolinos have tiny windows. Although the WCML is very nice through the lakes and in to Scotland, but the ECML gives a better sea view north of Newcastle. Plus going through Newcastle, Durham & York is interesting too. On the WCML you need to put your eyes through the horror of looking at Euston, the route out towards Watford, Birmingham (possibly), Crewe, Wigan, Warrington & Preston.
Its strange how peoples views differ, to me it would be WCML for London to Scotland better scenery after Lancaster by a mile. The East Coast does have its highlights but from London to north of newcastle is mostly tedious and flat. If it was a non stop express (roll on First East Coast trains),maybe but LNERS offering is more or less a stopping service north of York.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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In general any TOC web site should/will sell you tickets via both routes, you don't have to book with LNER or Avanti to use their trains.
Some interchangeable tickets (not Advances) are valid via either route (and others, eg via Manchester or Leeds).
That applies to tickets for beyond Glasgow/Edinburgh too (eg Falkirk, Stirling, Perth).
Interchangeable tickets also let you use TPE north of Preston or XC north of Leeds/York.
WCML for me, scenery-wise. Nothing much to see on the ECML between Stevenage and Darlington.
Be careful about engineering work over bank holiday weekends, both routes are due major closures.
 

adamskiodp

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Another thing to consider is that trains that go on the west coast to Edinburgh go via Birmingham, rather than along the mainline. This means that to get to Edinburgh would either require a change at somewhere like Carlisle, or would take considerably longer.
Thankyou. The journey time isn’t a problem, was after the most pleasant route.

I believe they have said the earliest date staycations will be allowed is April 12th but only in self catering type accomodation so Easter is out
12th April is the second week of the Easter school holidays in Bucks so is ideal.
 

adamskiodp

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Thankyou all for the replies. Much food for thought. Now to find some accommodation with a decent cancellation policy.

Stay safe and well.
 

Kite159

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Thankyou. The journey time isn’t a problem, was after the most pleasant route.


12th April is the second week of the Easter school holidays in Bucks so is ideal.

But it depends when restrictions are relaxed in Scotland, as well as in England.

This BBC article is suggesting
In Scotland, bars and restaurants will be able to reopen from 26 April.

Ms Sturgeon said tourist accommodation and hotels should plan to reopen from that date

So Easter holidays will probably be ruled out unless you want to try and bend the rules (as I would imagine some hotels in Scotland would have remained open for workers & other users, similar to England).
 

adamskiodp

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But it depends when restrictions are relaxed in Scotland, as well as in England.

This BBC article is suggesting


So Easter holidays will probably be ruled out unless you want to try and bend the rules (as I would imagine some hotels in Scotland would have remained open for workers & other users, similar to England).
That’s the same article I read. It says that stay at home restrictions will hopefully be lifted on 5th April. Am looking at private rented accommodation rather than a hotel. Fingers crossed.
 

Bletchleyite

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Assuming engineering work doesn't affect your journey I would always go West. The ECML is scenic for about the last hour or so into Edinburgh and boring flatlands before that. The WCML is interesting and/or pleasant pretty much throughout.
 

yorkie

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Is there much difference in the standard offering (seat comfort, catering offering etc) between the East and West coast routes (and which has the best scenery).
WCML scenery is generally better but the ECML has good parts too.

Also, is there a booking engine that will let me book East coast one way and West coast the other?

Many thanks
Trainsplit allows you go to go advanced mode and you can specify different via points for outward and return journeys.

You will also get a seat selector for both operators.

If you have a connecting service (e.g. from Buckinghamshire) you also have the option to specify additional interchange time in your itinerary, if you want it.
 

Isaiah

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Personally I would travel by LNER from London to Edinburgh, simply because Euston is a dog’s dinner and Pendolinos have tiny windows. Although the WCML is very nice through the lakes and in to Scotland, but the ECML gives a better sea view north of Newcastle. Plus going through Newcastle, Durham & York is interesting too. On the WCML you need to put your eyes through the horror of looking at Euston, the route out towards Watford, Birmingham (possibly), Crewe, Wigan, Warrington & Preston.
I'm guessing that Euston is your favourite station ;)
 

Isaiah

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I use the WCML all the time. Love it.

Never used the ECML so I can't really say much about it
 

Bald Rick

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I doubt Easter is going to be likely regardless. WCML is riddled with engineering works over Easter, as is Carstairs I think, so that is unlikely to get you there in any decent time or at all. Kings Cross remodeling will be in full swing too.

Carstairs is postponed, and Kings X doesn’t affect Edinburgh services too badly.


That’s the same article I read. It says that stay at home restrictions will hopefully be lifted on 5th April. Am looking at private rented accommodation rather than a hotel. Fingers crossed.

West Coast for better scenery (much) and more comfortable trains. Euston - Edinburgh is via the West Mids though, so expect to take an hour or more longer that way. You can knock half an hour off by changing at Preston (northbound) or Crewe (Southbound), if that floats your boat.

Scotland is unlikely to open much in the way of restaurants / pubs - even for outdoors, or non essential retail or other leisure, until 26 April. There’s only so many times you can walk up Arthur’s Seat!
 

Bletchleyite

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On the WCML you need to put your eyes through the horror of looking at Euston, the route out towards Watford, Birmingham (possibly), Crewe, Wigan, Warrington & Preston.

I'll give you that Euston-Watford isn't that pretty, though the route out of Kings Cross isn't either. North of Watford/south of MKC you've got some beautiful Chiltern scenery - for some reason people tune that out, I used to before I lived down South. And Crewe-Preston is a good tour of our industrial heritage even if not all of it is *pretty* (though the bits outside the towns are hardly ugly).

By comparison the ECML is manky suburbs and drab flatlands until you get past Darlo, and other than the bits through Durham and Newcastle themselves is still not amazing until you get pretty close to Edinburgh.

As for rolling stock, depends if you prefer Pendolinos, Voyagers (if you want big windows on the WCML) or 80x.
 

Purple Orange

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I'll give you that Euston-Watford isn't that pretty, though the route out of Kings Cross isn't either. North of Watford/south of MKC you've got some beautiful Chiltern scenery - for some reason people tune that out, I used to before I lived down South. And Crewe-Preston is a good tour of our industrial heritage even if not all of it is *pretty* (though the bits outside the towns are hardly ugly).

By comparison the ECML is manky suburbs and drab flatlands until you get past Darlo, and other than the bits through Durham and Newcastle themselves is still not amazing until you get pretty close to Edinburgh.

As for rolling stock, depends if you prefer Pendolinos, Voyagers (if you want big windows on the WCML) or 80x.

True. In fact not many routes in to London are that great. I always found Liverpool Street to be the worst of the bunch. My favourite in to London is any of the stations directly on the north side of the Thames.
 
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