Reasons why you might start wishing that 4h 20m journey was even longer

London to Edinburgh is a helluva long way

It’s an even longer train journey to just sit there looking out of the window. Look, there’s a hill … and some cows … and another hill. Clearly, you’re going to need something to occupy you. Well, we at Virgin Trains East Coast have given it some thought and we’ve come up with something rather special. We’re going to make that 4 hours, 20 minutes just fly by. Here’s a minute-by-minute breakdown:

Beam me up, Scotty

0-10 minutes – This is the important part. When you book directly with Virgin Trains East Coast, you get a free Wi-Fi connection. This will be pretty essential for what comes next. You did book directly with us, didn’t you? Anyway, check your e-mails, check Facebook, catch up on the news and then head over to the Virgin Trains website to download our new app. It’s called BEAM and you’re going to love it.


What does BEAM do? It gives you loads of entertainment on the train free of charge, that’s what it does. We call it entertrainment (see what we did there?). We’re talking content on demand – films, box sets, e-magazines, kid’s stuff and all sorts. Congratulations – you’ve just hit the motherlode! Sign up and settle in.

You should also watch out for Alexandra Palace TV and radio mast on the left around 10minutes after leaving King’s Cross.

Don’t wolf it all down at once

0:10 – 3:10 – Ooh, what to watch … there’s so much choice. You can get quite a lengthy film into this journey time. Let’s go for The Wolf of Wall Street - three hours long and never a dull moment. Starring Leonardo Di Caprio and directed by Martin Scorcese, it’s the true(ish) story of Jordan Belfort – a ruthless bond trader with the gift of the gab who makes a killing selling junk stock. It might sound as exciting as an appointment at the bank, but it’s actually a hedonistic thrill-ride of sex, drugs and excessive behaviour, as you watch Jordan and his disciples try to stay one step ahead of the FBI.



Make sure you don’t miss the famous London to Edinburgh Half Way sign at around 2h25min into your journey! Watch out for it after leaving York station.

Angel of the North

3:10-3:11 We should be approaching Newcastle right about now, so make sure you don’t miss the 66 feet high steel sculpture – watch out for it to your right.

Strike a pose

3:11 – 3:20 – Well, that was fun – especially the bit where he (spoilers). You must be in need of a stretch now. Let’s spend the next few minutes doing a spot of train yoga. We’ve listed some of the best exercises you can do on a train at our Zen page. It’s perfect for beginners and those who don’t know their half lunge from their Conqueror Breath.

Feeling a bit Peaky?

3:20 - That’s better. Yin and Yang now balanced? Feeling a little more centred? Well, now you’re in the perfect mood for a story of Birmingham gangland violence and intrigue. With only 1h 10m left until you reach your destination, you’ve still got enough time for an episode of Peaky Blinders. Set just after WW1, it tells the story of Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy), the head of a Romany gang as he seeks to expand his empire. Meanwhile, a hardened detective has been sent to clean up Birmingham. The sparks begin to fly. Watch it on BEAM or watch it on good old Netflix – the choice is yours with Virgin Trains East Coast’s free Wi-Fi.

Are we there yet?

4:18-4:20 – Yes, we are! Where did the time go? We’re about to arrive at Edinburgh Waverley station. So how was your trip, knowing that you’ll never be bored on a train again? Did you enjoy our picks? Leave us some Twitter feedback @Virgin_TrainsEC.

From gangsters to something a little more girlie

From gangsters to something a little more girlie

Sex, violence and bond trading are all very well, but some of us would prefer to metaphorically lounge around in our baggy PJs, eating chocolate and watching something light and fun. Well, BEAM caters for you too. Let’s start this journey again – only this time let’s make it fluffy.

0-15 minutes – Same as above. Take a selfie, get comfy, log in to Virgin Trains East Coast’s free wi-fi and download our free BEAM app.

Have you seen Miss Jones?

00:15-01:52  The chances are you probably have. But you can never watch Bridget Jones Diary enough times. Colin Firth and Hugh Grant in one movie? Mmm … yes please! If you’ve somehow avoided it up till now, Renee Zellweger stars as our hilarious heroine. She drinks too much wine, mysteriously puts on weight, gets into embarrassing situations and has trouble with men. You might as well be watching the film of your own diary.

Always the bridesmaid …

01:52 – 4:04 – Bridget was V. Good, wasn’t she? Oh to have those two hotties fighting over you. What could possibly follow that? Well, for some more acerbic female fun, you could do worse than Bridesmaids. Annie (Kristen Wiig) is a maid of honour who leads a colourful group of bridesmaids through all sorts of awkward scrapes prior to the wedding of her best friend. It’s touching, honest and fantastically funny all at once.

04:04 – 04:14 – Wasn’t that one of the funniest films ever? You’ve just got enough time to catch the bloopers:    

04:14-4:20 – You’re about to arrive at Edinburgh. Log off BEAM and freshen up. How did you like our Entertrainmnent picks? Leave us a Tweet @Virgin_TrainsEC. 

Okay, apart from gangsters and romcoms, what else do you have?

Not into any of the above? There are plenty of other ways you can while away 4h 20min travelling between London and Edinburgh on Virgin Trains East Coast:

1. Just be Zen. We’ll show you how in our dedicated guide. Meditate and become at one with your journey. Or you could just have a good long kip.

Time: 4:20

2. Watch Star Trek and Star Trek - Into Darkness – both available on BEAM.

Total time: 4h20min

3. Watch 5 episodes of Skins – C4’s acclaimed comedy drama about teenage life.

Total time: 3h45min with some spare time left to check the news and take a few train selfies.

4. Watch 5 episodes of the much-talked about Netflix political drama, House of Cards.

Total time: 4h


5. Listen to Beyonce’s Lemonade album 5.5 times, if you really can’t get enough of Ms. Bootylicious. Other albums are available.

In short, with the help of Virgin Trains East Coast and our new BEAM app, you need never be bored on the train again. Have a good journey!

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