Edinburgh to Penzance by train

How to travel by train from Edinburgh to Cornwall



From Edinburgh Waverley to Penzance

Travel Information

Final Destination: Penzance

The train also calls at: Liskeard (connect for Looe); Bodmin Parkway; Par (connect for Newquay); St Austell; Truro and St Erth (connect for St Ives)

A mix of 125 and Voyager trains are used on this route, but there is no means of working out which of these trains will be used on the departure you will be travelling by.

Monday to Friday = up to 3 x trains per day
Saturday = 2 x trains
Sunday = 1 x train per day


Book Early and Save: Yes

Online Bookings Usually Open: From 12 weeks ahead of travel

On Monday to Friday and Saturday trains* are scheduled to depart between 10:00 and 12:20 but on Sunday, the train will usually depart just after 11:00.
So hone in on these times when looking up this journey.
*There is only one train direct train from Edinburgh to Penzance on Mondays to Fridays during the winter months.

Booking Advance Tickets

If you want to travel at the cheapest possible price, look for the 'Advance tickets', though the three key things worth knowing about booking and using 'Advance' tickets are:
(1) Your ticket(s) will only be valid on the departure you selected when making a booking
(2) A fee will be payable if you want to transfer your ticket(s) to a different departure ahead of your travel date.
(3) This type of ticket can't be refunded if you subsequently change your travel plans, or miss the train in circumstances not to do with a connecting train.


When you book an Advance ticket for this train journey, you will be automatically assigned a seat(s), but if you book the other types of ticket ahead, you can request a complimentary reservation

However, if you buy Off Peak or Anytime tickets just prior to boarding at the station, a seat reservation WON'T be automatically included with your booking.

Though, CrossCountry now offers a service buy which holders of Anytime and Off-Peak tickets can book reservations up to 10 minutes prior to departure time.

Travelling on Monday - Friday

Tickets are usually available 12 weeks ahead of the travel date.

However, when you look up a journey you may see dates further ahead on the calendar, but you'll be informed that tickets aren't yet available for those dates.

Travelling on Saturday-Sunday

Tickets are usually available 12 weeks ahead of the travel date, but maintenance work on the route is periodically undertaken at weekends and if it is scheduled on your travel date, it can affect when tickets will be released for sale.

If you're looking up a journey less than 12 weeks ahead and tickets aren't available, it can be a good indication that works will be impacting on your travel date - a fairly common occurence on a journey as long as this.
It can be worth checking this on the National Rail website

Finding a late deal

CrossCountry atypically offers the ability to book Advance tickets until up to 15 minutes before departure.

However, because of the length of this route, you may be able to save money by splitting the tickets across separate sections of the journey.
hejourney.com/tickets-and-rail-passes/information/15-unitedkingdom) to buying train tickets for train journeys in Great Britain.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
CrossCountry *

CrossCountry Guide

If you will be buying tickets last minute for CrossCountry trains so won't have received a reservation, you can arrange reservations up to 10 mins before departure by using the 10 minute reservation service.

Another aspect of how CrossCountry offers tickets for sale outside of the norm is that if you book any type of ticket ahead, you will automatically receive a seat reservation.
If you book Off-Peak or Anytime tickets you can transfer them to a different departure.

NationalRail *

NationalRail Guide

In Great Britain each Train Operating Company provides its own booking service for journeys by its trains, but many of their websites also sell tickets for nationwide journeys, regardless of which company operates the trains on the routes you wish to travel by.

The National Rail website is plugged into all of the train operator's booking services, so when more than one of these companies offers tickets for a route, it in effect offers a price comparison service.
It isn't a ticket agent, so you will be connected to the website of your choice in order to make a booking.

RailEurope *

On this journey

Journey Features

Scenic - YesCoastal views

Good to Know

If when you board, you discover that your assigned seat(s) are on the right-hand side of the train, when facing the direction of travel, see if you can find available seats on the left of the train.
If you move to a different seat(s) it won't affect the validity of your ticket.

All of the sea views on this journey are on the left.
If your ticket(s) don't include reserved seats, then try to choose seats on the left - when facing the direction of travel.

Look out on the left for the view of the Bass Rock Look out on the left for the view of the Bass Rock
By the coast to the south of Dunbar By the coast to the south of Dunbar
Looking east from the Royal Border Bridge on a greyer day Looking east from the Royal Border Bridge on a greyer day
Passing by the town of Alnmouth Passing by the town of Alnmouth
Looking down on the River Tyne as the train departs Newcastle Looking down on the River Tyne as the train departs Newcastle
The stunning view over the city of Durham The stunning view over the city of Durham
Travelling through Derbyshire Travelling through Derbyshire
Travelling by the shore between Dawlish and Teignmouth Travelling by the shore between Dawlish and Teignmouth
Approaching the Royal Albert Bridge and heading into Cornwall Approaching the Royal Albert Bridge and heading into Cornwall
Looking south from the Royal Albert Bridge Looking south from the Royal Albert Bridge
After Saltash station there views over the Tamar estuary After Saltash station there views over the Tamar estuary
Looking down on to the branch line to Looe Looking down on to the branch line to Looe

Step on board for one of Britain's most epic journeys by train

The sxenic highlights of this journey are at both ends of the train ride, but you need to be travelling when days are longer in order to enjoy the views at the other end of the trip; the train which departs Edinburgh shortly after 10:00 will travel by the Devon coast at around 18:00.

The sea views kick in before the train has even left Edinburgh behind; and they initially continue until south of Dunbar.

To the north of Berwick-upon-Tweed the train will travel across the clifftops as it crosses the border into England- these are the most dramatic coastal views on this first part of this journey (though they are tricky to photograph).

Minutes after the train has passed through Berwick-upon-Tweed, the next highlight is the view from the majestic Royal Border Bridge.
Between there and Alnmouth there are views on the left over the dramatic Northumberland coast.

Between Alnmouth and Darlington the railway snakes its way through the towns and cities of north-east England, and just before Newcastle station on the left there are views of the city's iconic Tyne Bridge

The next highlight of the journey is the passage over the River Tyne, as the train departs from Newcastle Central station and heads over the King Edward VII Bridge.
Looking to the left, five other bridges that span the river can be seen.

Around 15 mins after leaving Newcastle comes the stunning views over the city of Durham,l.
Over on the left before and after the station, the town's stunning castle and cathedral can be clearly seen in all their glory.

On the middle part of the journey between Durham and Exeter the train will pass through a series of cities and large towns, which are separated by farm land - though north of Derby the railway travels through the foothills of the Peak District.

A highlight of this journey is the 20ish minutes that the train spends travelling between Exeter and Newton Abbot – it’s probably the most fantastic 20 mins that can be enjoyed when looking out of the window on a British express train.

For on this part of the journey the railway is on shore line of the South Devon coast, so when heading west, the sea views are on the left-hand side of the train.

Whenever a train travelling by the sea is shown on British television the footage will show a train travelling through Dawlish and Teignmouth, two stations that are right beside the beach.
Though when looking out of the train windows, the views over the river estuaries which can be seen between Exeter and Dawlish, and then between Teignmouth and Newton Abbot are even more magical.

The railway turns inland between Newton Abbot and Plymouth, but this area of South Devon is very hilly, so the necessary twists and turns slow the train down, but the views of the countryside are rather lovely.

After departure from Plymouth the journey takes on a different character, as from both sides of the train there are sweeping views over the city.

Then around 7 minutes after leaving Plymouth station come the most spectacular views that can be seen when travelling to Cornwall by train, the vistas that can be enjoyed from the Royal Albert Bridge which conveys the train over the River Tamar and into England’s most westerly county.
The best of the views are again on the left-hand side.

The first five minutes of the journey through Cornwall are the loveliest, if you’re sitting on the left-hand side of the train.
Between Saltash and St Germains there are some utterly charming views down over the Lynher River Estuary.

Cornwall’s primary lure for travellers is its dramatic coastline, but despite travelling for most of the county’s length, the railway through it avoids the coast.
There are some distant sea views on the right near Hayle, but the train won’t travel right beside the shore again until it approaches journey’s end near Penzance station.
After departure from St Erth, look out for the blink and you’ll miss it view over on the left of St Michael’s Mount.

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