Our Journey to York with LNER (London North Eastern Railway) [AD]
Last week, we were invited to travel with LNER (London North Eastern Railway) to check out some of the northern destinations they connect to from London. Despite being avid fans of train travel, we’ve never contemplated travelling further afield via train. We assumed it would sacrifice some comfort, but we were wrong!
Whilst I enjoy driving and recognise that it is a privilege, I find motorway driving tiresome and – let’s face it – dull. It’s often also long and boring, especially if the route isn’t particularly scenic. It’s also not the most environmentally friendly!
Situated in London King’s Cross (a 5-10 minute walk from London St. Pancras), LNER service a number of northern stations, from Peterborough and Doncaster to Leeds and York. In addition, they are also service parts of Scotland; from Edinburgh to Inverness. Trains start as early at 6:30am and can get you to York within 3 hours. By car, the same journey is over 5 hours, which is quite the saving!
For our journey, we were invited to choose a destination – we chose York from London Kings Cross – and a time and date that suited us. We were also kindly offered first class tickets to make our first journey with LNER comfortable!
With every First Class ticket, you’re invited to take advantage of the following benefits:
- Access to their First Class lounge (station dependent).
- Wide seats that recline for added comfort.
- Extra generous leg-room and larger tables.
- Power sockets and USB charging points at every seat.
- Complimentary food and drink served to you.
- Free WIFI.
Travelling First Class was a whole new experience for us so we didn’t know what to expect, however it did not disappoint!
Their lounges offer complimentary hot & cold drinks and snacks, as well as plenty of seating areas – ranging from sofas to desk areas. It certainly made waiting for a train more pleasurable. There’s also several “break out” areas and places to charge phones and laptops.
Once on the train, this service continued.
Each First Class area offers a variety of seating options. This ranged from single, one-person seats with a fold-down table to four-seater areas with a large table in the middle. The seats themselves are comfortable with plenty of room, offering adjustable arm rests between seats. This was great for when T needed a little lay down. The seats also recline and have adjustable head rests, and the window blinds are also adjustable. In between each seat is also a power point as well as USB port.
As part of the service, food and drink is also included and varies depending on the time of day you travel. On offer is a meal of your choice, as well as hot and cold drinks; including alcoholic drinks!
During our journey, Sharon and T chose Chicken Salad sandwiches and I went with a Cauli-Caesar Salad Pot, which was delicious. All of these came with crisps as well as an indulgent sea salted caramel chocolate pudding. We certainly didn’t need the snacks that we’d packed!
The full menus can be found here and offer a wide selection of Meat, Vegetarian and Vegan options, with some that are naturally Gluten Free.
The service was similar to when you fly and we cannot not fault it one bit. Staff were welcoming, professional and friendly, and the journey was incredibly smooth on our particular train; the Azuma.
Once we got our books and activity packs out, and then tucked into our lunch, we were already over half way through our journey! In no time at all we then arrived in York feeling stress-free and relaxed. We were incredibly lucky with the weather too, which offered us wonderfully scenic views from the beginning to the end.
The journey back was similar, albeit with a few changes to the menu (for example, we were offered these small nuggets of heaven in the form of a chocolate brownie that were also Gluten Free!).
The lounge in York was generous in size and offered the same benefits as the lounge in London, and the journey back was just as comfortable as the journey there.
Value for Money
Looking online, a single ticket from London to York starts from £27.00, with First class starting at £51.00. This obviously varies depending on weekday, school holidays and the time of day you travel, but that’s a massive saving when you think of the cost of petrol, parking and everything in between!
Whilst travelling by train isn’t always the cheapest option, especially if you’re looking at First Class, it certainly offers you options when wanting to access cities like York and Edinburgh for short periods. For us, travelling to York for the period in which we did just wouldn’t be worth the 5-hour drive or the tank (or two) of petrol. We would have to stay somewhere for longer to make it worth while, which isn’t always financially possible.
We thoroughly enjoyed experiencing an LNER journey, especially their Azuma trains, and it certainly won’t be our last. Knowing that we can go direct from London to northern locations, in comfort and in style, has certainly given us reason to look further afield when it comes to booking short breaks!
Thank you, LNER – it was a pleasure!
We were offered First Class tickets from London to York in exchange for a review. All thoughts, opinions and imagery are our own.