I need to go and come back a lot between London and Sheffield for the next year. What is the fastest way to travel between these two. I looked into trains time-tables and they are all 2 hours+.

  • 12
    Well it is over 150 miles. How long were you expecting it to take?
    – AakashM
    Jul 17 '14 at 9:54
  • 1
    @DaveRose 150 miles is too less to be traveled by flight. Jul 17 '14 at 10:14
  • 7
    A flight is never going to be faster than a 2hr train journey since, in practical terms, you need to be at the airport at least an hour before your flight leaves, but arriving at the railway station 15 minutes before the train leaves is more than enough. By the time you've added half an hour getting to and from out-of-town airports to each end of your journey, you've already spent more time than the train journey would have taken. Jul 17 '14 at 17:22
  • 3
    Sheffield's the 46th biggest city in the EU according to Wikipedia. I was going to disagree with "one of the biggest cities in the EU" but actually, by population it's between Copenhagen and Lisbon, so, fair enough! Jul 17 '14 at 17:52
  • 2
    Bear in mind that other than the Eurostar, there is currently no "High Speed Rail" in the UK. Average speed of 75MPH seems pretty reasonable for "normal speed rail". Its been more than 10 years since I did this journey regularly, so can't comment on reliability these days. Jul 17 '14 at 18:13

WikiTravel has a quite extensive guide on Sheffield. Looking for travel options,

By Car

Google Maps suggests that the distance is coverable by car in 3 hours and is about 160 miles, which seems a reasonable estimate.

By Rail

London St. Pancras, once per hour, operated by East Midlands Trains.

Looking at their website tells me that it would take at least 2 hours and 1 minute to get there, which also seems quite reasonable according to the distance.

By Air

Even though Sheffield is a prominent city, the closest airport from the city is Doncaster-Sheffield Robin Hood Airport(DSA) which is 35 minutes by car.

This would make it infeasible to travel from London because the distance is simply too short and the train trip would be faster anyway (think boarding into flights and landing, luggage etc.)

Thankfully, airlines seem to agree with that and yes, there are no direct flights from London to Sheffield.

So, your best bet is to take the train and enjoy the happy ride for 2 hours and 1 minute.


There are no direct flights from Doncaster-Sheffield Airport (DSA) to any London airport.

Sheffield-London uses the Midland Main Line, which is not a particularly fast main railway line. The fastest services take two hours and one minute.

Depending on exactly whereabouts in Sheffield you are leaving from, you might be able to use trains from Doncaster, which use the (faster) East Coast Main Line in about 1 hour and 42 minutes.

Note that the UK Government agrees with you that Sheffield-London takes too long, and has started a programme to upgrade the Midland Main Line by 2020, which will reduce timings by about 15 minutes, and by the proposed construction of HS2, which would see trains taking about an hour from London to Sheffield after 2030.

  • Would it be possible to add some links or references to your answer? I am having a hard time trying to find info on that train or that station. It is a travel website, so we should assume that it will be normal for people not from the UK trying to visit Sheffield. Jul 17 '14 at 14:25
  • This website gives an indication of the Doncaster-London travel time on the train: thetrainline.com/train-times/doncaster-to-london-kings-cross Jul 17 '14 at 16:06
  • @AdityaSomani I've added a link for London-Doncaster trains. Jul 18 '14 at 20:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.