London to Manchester by train

Prices explained

Prices explained

At Rail Europe we believe in price transparency. We use real data from Rail Europe searches to estimate the cheapest fares you should be able to find for your journey.

The cheapest price is the lowest fare we've ever found for this journey. These prices can usually be found by searching when booking opens but they vary due to availability, which depends on factors like the day of the week or time of year.

More popular journeys include 30 day advance and 7 day advance prices. These are updated every two weeks using prices we've found by searching exactly 7 or 30 days from the most recent Thursday (we picked Thursday because this is when average prices are usually found).

30 day and 7 day prices fluctuate based on demand and availability at the time of search. For example, the 7-day price in summer is likely to be more expensive than the same journey in winter.

Prices are sourced in GBP and converted to other currencies using the daily market exchange rate.

We're always seeking to improve how price-checking works, and we welcome feedback on how we can make it better.

More advice about how to find the cheapest tickets can be found in our infographic.

  1. Cheapest Price $19.81
  2. 30 day advance $59.42
  • First train
  • Last train
  • Avg changes
  • Fastest journey
    2hr 4m
  • Distance
    261 kilometres
  • Trains per day
  • Avg. journey time
    2hr 18m
  • Train operators

Travelling from London to Manchester by train

Fast trains from London to Manchester take around 2 hours and 4 minutes, covering a distance of approximately 261 kilometres. There are frequent services on the rail route between London and Manchester.

1. Are there direct trains from London to Manchester?

Direct trains from London to Manchester have been found.

We usually find around 46 direct trains on the route from London to Manchester every weekday.

There are typically fewer departures at weekends, when we found around 40 departures.

2. How long is the train journey from London to Manchester?

The London to Manchester train travel time is normally about 2 hours and 4 minutes, whatever time you make the journey.

3. What are the London to Manchester train times and schedule?

On weekdays the earliest direct train to Manchester is usually scheduled to depart London around 06:16 and the last train is around 23:00. At weekends the first train of the day leaves London around 06:36, and the last at 21:51.

What's the London to Manchester train price?

The earlier you book the better, and the cheapest tickets we've found for trains from London to Manchester are $19.81.

Trains departing 30 days in advance will cost around $59, and when booking 7 days in advance the price is usually the same. Booking on the day of travel may be more expensive.

When to book London to Manchester train tickets?

Trains in the UK usually open for booking around 3 months in advance. If booking is not yet open for your dates then you can set a booking alert to receive an email on the day that the cheapest tickets are released for your journey from London to Manchester by train.

Help with booking alerts

Which train companies operate between London and Manchester?

More than one train company operates on the route from London to Manchester, so you’ll be travelling with one or more of the following rail operators:

  • Avanti West Coast
  • Virgin Trains

You can check which train you’ll be travelling on by looking for the train name in search results.

Manchester to London by train

Other journeys to Manchester View all journeys to Manchester

Virgin Trains

Taking the train from London to Manchester is very easy. There’s one early morning train from Manchester which dashes to London in just two hours. No northbound service can quite match that. The journey cuts through the Hertfordshire hills and then crosses the Midland Plain to Staffordshire, shirting the western edges of the Pennines on the approach to Manchester.

There are alternative routes departing from Marylebone, Paddington or St Pancras stations in London. These all require a change of train en route and the journey time to Manchester is much longer. You may however sometimes find attractive fares on these other routes.

London to Manchester

Virgin Pendolino trains are used on the fast direct services from London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly. Most services make just three intermediate stops on this journey. Heading north out of London, the railway follows the line of the Grand Union Canal as it runs through the Chilterns. Once well clear of London, there are some pleasing pastoral landscapes as the train runs north towards Manchester. Some services run via Stoke-on-Trent and the Potteries; others via Crewe and Wilmslow. All trains stop at Stockport about 10 minutes before arriving at Manchester Piccadilly.

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Child and youth passengers

The definition of "Child" and "Youth" varies by country and operator. This is why we ask for the age of young passengers.

Sometimes children below a certain age can travel without a seat for free. If you want to guarantee a seat for child passengers, enter '6' as the age of the child.

Read more about child and youth passenger ages. See also youth discounts and railcards.