How Long Does it Take to Drive to Edinburgh from London

Drive to Edinburgh from London

Many tourists fantasize about taking a road trip from the energetic streets of London to the charming history of Edinburg.

The Journey between these two renowned cities provides a combination of natural beauty and cultural discovery, whether you’re looking for the stunning scenery of the Scottish highlands or the cosmopolitan appeal of England’s capital.

To travel from London to Edinburgh, though, how long does it actually take? 

We’ll go into the specifics of this thrilling adventure in this post, and we’ll also provide you helpful advice to make planning your road trip in a snap. 

Ready? Here’s what you should know while driving! 

You’ll probably be considering purchasing a car if you intend to follow one of our self-drive UK itineraries, like our two-week UK itinerary. Of course, a vehicle (or motorcycle) or campervan is a terrific way to travel throughout the UK since it allows you to stop anywhere you want and gives you a lot of scheduling flexibility. 

The UK has a reasonable road network with reasonable distances. If you’re new to driving in the UK, check out our advice here. 

Please be aware that we do not advise driving in London or Edinburgh because both are crowded cities where parking may be challenging and expensive. The best ways for a visitor to experience both cities are on foot, by public transportation, or by cab.

Therefore, we would only advise driving or hiring a car if you have other destinations in mind for the trip or after your Edinburgh stay. 

What time is required to drive from London to Edinburgh?

The distance between downtown London and central Edinburgh is around 400 miles, and if traffic is light, the trip should take you about 7 hours. The route will be mostly on a fast highway. The 7 hours do not include any stops, so I would predict a minimum of 8 to 9 hours for the entire trip to accommodate stops for food and relaxation. 

The trip will probably take a little longer if you travel during rush hour, during Edinburgh’s August festivals, during the Hogmanay festival season, or during a holiday weekend. 

Obviously, if you’re driving, you may take side trips to some of the other towns and tourist destinations in Scotland and England that are close to the route. There is a lot to see and do in between, so even if your schedule is tight, we’d recommend scheduling a few breaks and even an overnight stay along the way to break up the lengthy journey. 

Fastest route by car between London and Edinburgh? 

For individuals searching for the shortest way to get from London to Edinburgh, there are primary two possibilities. Taking the M1 to the A1 is the quickest route. 

However, you may also go via the M1, M6, and A702. Normally, neither option takes more than 7 hours nonstop. 

Additionally, UK radio stations frequently report on traffic conditions, which may help you stay informed while you’re travelling about any significant accidents that may occur along the way. 

Where in the UK can you rent a Car? 

There are several rental car firms operating in the UK if you need to borrow a vehicle. Just keep in mind that most companies may charge extra for a one-way cost if you want to travel only one way, so be sure to check before making a reservation. 

To get the greatest rate on a rental automobile, we certainly advise shopping around on several different websites. Both and AutoEdurope are two pricing comparison websites that we frequently examine. Do check with the enterprise directly as well; we frequently find their one-wat rate to be the most reasonable. 

What would it cost to drive from London to Edinburgh? 

Whether you need to hire a car, the type of car you rent (luxury vs. economy for example) the price of gas, and your route (do you take many diversions or do you drive directly there?) will all have a significant impact on this. Based on current fuel rates, the cost probably ranges from 55 – 80 pounds, depending on your car, your speed, and your route.

As an illustration of the cost of renting a car, we looked at for a 2-day rental in April 2022 and discovered rates as low as 60 pounds for a cheap mini-sized car with a pick-up in London and drop-off in Edinburgh. 

A two-day rental may cost as little as 125 pounds if fuel expenses of 65 pounds are included. For a 2-day hire, we would thus estimate prices to be between 125 and 250 pounds. Just keep in mind that you’ll also need to account for any necessary insurance and any possible one-way costs. 

Final words

The journey by car from London to Edinburgh promises to be an adventure full of interesting cultures, varied scenery, and the freedom of the open road. Although the anticipated driving time is between 7-8 hours, it’s crucial to take into account a number of variables that may affect how long it takes you to get there. 

Your journey from Edinburgh to London may be a special aspect of your trip if you prepare in advance, take in the sites along the route, and take advantage of rest opportunities. 


1. Are there any other roads to take into account during the travel from London to Edinburgh?

– Alternative routes do exit, and each has special charms of its own. The A68 route, which offers a more inland journey through beautiful scenery, is preferred by some drivers, while the A702 route across the Scottish Borders may be chosen by others. 

2. Can I do the journey in a single day? 

– While it is feasible to finish the drive in a single day, it is advised that you schedule at least one overnight stay to guarantee a comfortable and secure trip. 

3. What notable landmarks are located along the route? 

– Explore the medieval city of York, the quaint market village of Alnwick, and the breathtaking Northumberland National Park among other sites. 

4. Is driving during the cold months advisable? 

– Although the road may be used year-round, the winter season may bring difficult weather, particularly in northern regions. Before setting off on a trip during the colder months, check the weather forecast and the state of the roads.