A Celtic Rail Expedition Through the UK

Start your journey in the UNESCO World Heritage City of Bath before moving west into Wales for an exploration of its vibrant capital and renowned coastal wonders. You’ll also discover languid villages and historic antique hotspots in England’s storied ‘frontier country’ along the way.

Be smart and book your flight from EDI to CWL well ahead of time to get the best deal. Prices tend to increase as the departure date approaches.


Trains are a fast, easy, and comfortable way to get from Edinburgh to Cardiff. Whether you’re coming from the north or south, a direct train will get you to your destination within about five hours. On weekdays, trains to Cardiff depart from Edinburgh Waverley around the clock. On weekends, there are up to 32 departures between Edinburgh and Cardiff.

The average journey time between the two cities is 7hrs 34 mins, and the fastest journey takes just 5hrs 53 mins. Prices vary depending on the type of train and route you select, as well as when you book. First class tickets are available on most services, and they provide more space and a range of extra amenities compared to standard.

If you’re traveling on a budget, consider using TrainPal to find cheap deals. The app offers an instant price comparison service that allows you to see all the prices available on your route, as well as the estimated arrival and departure times. It also offers a booking alert, which will send you an email when the cheapest tickets are released for your trip.

Once you’ve bought your tickets, you can board the train at Edinburgh Waverley. You’ll travel down through the Scottish Lowlands, past Carlisle and into Northern England. As you make your way through the Midlands, you’ll pass two of England’s famous national parks and arrive at Birmingham New Street. Here, you’ll transfer to a CrossCountry train that will take you the rest of the way to Cardiff.

While you’re in Cardiff, be sure to check out some of the city’s most popular attractions. The capital’s Gothic castle, which sits overlooking the river, is a must-visit, as is the Wales Millennium Centre, which hosts operas, musicals, and other performing arts events. You can also visit the city’s thriving arts and culture scene, with numerous theaters, museums, and galleries to explore. In addition, Cardiff has a reputation as the “City of Arcades,” as it boasts the highest concentration of Victorian and Edwardian shopping arcades in Britain.

While you’re in town, be sure to stop by Clwb Ifor Bach, a beloved Womanby Street hangout that has been a cornerstone of the Welsh music scene since its opening 40 years ago. The bar offers regular live performances by local musicians, and it’s a great place to listen to traditional folk songs or contemporary Welsh music.

Train Schedules

There are no direct trains from Edinburgh to Cardiff Central, so you will have to make at least one change on your journey. The quickest route takes you from Edinburgh Waverley to Birmingham New Street, where you can switch to a train operated by CrossCountry or Avanti West Coast (formerly Virgin Trains). You’ll travel past two of England’s famous national parks — the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales — before arriving in the heart of Wales at Cheltenham Spa. From here, you’ll pass through the Welsh town of Chepstow and arrive at Cardiff Central.

When you arrive in the Welsh capital, take some time to explore the city’s highlights. Discover the gothic castle and its medieval courtyards, or stroll along the riverside to admire the views of the impressive mountains that surround the city. For a dose of culture, check out the Museum of Welsh History and the 13th-century Caerphilly Castle. For a little adventure, try your hand at family or solo white water rafting at Cardiff International White Water, or head to the east to Caerleon Roman Fortress for an illuminating glimpse of what life was like 2,000 years ago at Europe’s only viewable Roman legionary barracks.

If you’re a frequent traveler on the Edinburgh to Cardiff train line, consider purchasing a rail pass that saves you money and allows for unlimited travel for a set amount of time. Visit the rail pass website to browse options and learn more about how they work, and get the most bang for your buck by choosing a pass that fits your travel needs.

For example, a Super Off-Peak Single ticket gives you a 1/3 discount off eligible trains to and from London and Edinburgh, and offers a flexible option if your travel dates vary.

Alternatively, you can also book a tour to see the highlights of Scotland, England, and Wales all in one trip, from a comprehensive Scotland road trip to a full-day Stonehenge private tour with end-to-end transportation from Bath. Explore England’s cosmopolitan capital of London, and visit the Scottish capitals of Edinburgh and Glasgow before heading to Cardiff for a taste of Wales’ vibrant culture.

Train Tickets

With a little planning, it’s possible to travel from Edinburgh to Cardiff for less than £200. Cheap tickets are available for advance purchase online, and they’re typically cheaper than on the day of departure.

The average trip between Edinburgh and Cardiff takes about 5 hours and 45 minutes, though some trains are much faster and others take longer. On weekdays, the first train of the day leaves Edinburgh at about 06:52 and the last train departs around 00:30. Trains are more frequent on weekends, with about 32 departures each day.

Several train operators run services between Edinburgh and Cardiff, including CrossCountry and Virgin. These trains offer a variety of ticket types and onboard amenities, so it’s important to choose the one that’s right for you. For instance, if you’re travelling with children, it might be a good idea to book a family ticket. In addition, if you’re planning to spend the night in Cardiff, consider booking a sleeper train.

From the world’s oldest record shop to a modern art gallery housed in an old scaffolder’s workspace, there are plenty of things to do in Cardiff. Whether you’re looking for a fun and unique way to experience the city, or simply want to try some delicious Welsh cuisine, there’s something for everyone in Cardiff.

With Rome2Rio, it’s easy to plan your Edinburgh to Cardiff journey online. The website offers door-to-door travel information and bookings for selected transport operators, making it simple to find the right option for your trip. Rome2Rio’s online booking system also gives you the chance to compare prices and features of different options, helping you to make a fully informed decision about your trip. So whether you’re travelling for work or leisure, let Rome2Rio help you get from Edinburgh to Cardiff by train.

Train Timetables

A train trip is a fantastic way to explore Scotland and Wales. You can enjoy the scenery, sit back and relax, and visit multiple destinations along the way. However, it’s important to plan ahead when booking a train journey as tickets can sell out quickly. You can also find cheap fares by travelling outside of peak times.

Trains between Edinburgh and Cardiff are operated by a number of different companies, including CrossCountry, ScotRail, First TransPennine Express, and Avanti West Coast. The average travel time between the two cities is 7h 34 mins, and the quickest journey takes 5h 53 mins. The price of a ticket from Edinburgh Waverley to Cardiff Central varies depending on the day, and first class tickets typically offer more space and amenities compared to standard class.

Once in Cardiff, there are many ways to get around the city. Walking and cycling are great options, as the city is relatively small. You can also take a river taxi on the River Taff, which is an excellent way to see the city from a unique perspective. In addition, there are a number of bus routes throughout the city, including a hop-on, hop-off bus pass that allows you to explore the city at your own pace.

Cardiff is also home to a number of sports venues, including the Principality Stadium and the Millennium Stadium. Whether you’re looking to cheer on your favorite team or try out a new sport, you’ll find that there is something for everyone in this exciting city.

If you’re planning on visiting the UK, be sure to book your train ticket well in advance. The best deals are available when you book your ticket at least 3 months in advance. You can also save money by purchasing a railcard or buying a Super Off-Peak Single fare. If you’re unsure which train to take, check out Rome2Rio’s train timetables and schedules for Edinburgh to Cardiff to help make your decision easier. By following these tips, you can ensure a stress-free trip on your next train adventure.

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