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VisitScotland has announced a new partnership with train operator London North Eastern Railway (LNER) to encourage London commuters to escape the daily grind and enjoy the magic of a break in Scotland.
The national tourism organisation and the long-distance rail provider are teaming up on a campaign, highlighting the ease of train travel to Edinburgh from London, and promoting the range of unique experiences on offer in the Scottish capital and beyond.
Adverts will be displayed at prominent sites on the London underground and rail network including the new Elizabeth line. They appear in real time - so a commuter heading home in the evening will see what they could be doing at the same time in Scotland. The journey direct from London’s Kings Cross to Edinburgh with LNER takes four hours and 20 minutes.
The joint-funded project features a mix of social media, digital display and billboard advertising. They highlight “magical” moments on offer in the Scottish capital such as cocktails at sunset from SKYbar Edinburgh and castle view dining at The Outsider Restaurant, as well as the breath-taking panoramic views from the Salisbury Crags. The moments are unveiled as imagery of LNER train sliding doors open, giving the appearance of movement and depth to static pictures.
Recent research* has shown that around a third of UK adults (33 per cent) indicated they are more likely to choose a trip in the UK than overseas, compared to pre-pandemic, with 73 per cent planning to take a trip within the UK in the next 12 months. It also revealed that 30 per cent of people planning on visiting Edinburgh this summer intend to get there by train, the majority of whom live in London.
Edinburgh serves as a gateway destination between London and Scotland on the LNER route which serves 26 locations across Scotland, including Glasgow, Tay, the North East and the Highlands.
The campaign – which is now live - is the latest from the VisitScotland Global Marketing team who have cultivated successful content with Hilton Hotels, ScotRail, Caledonian Sleeper, Hostelling Scotland, and Citylink over the last year.
Cat Leaver, VisitScotland Head of Brand and Global Marketing, said: “Identifying and working with strategic partners is an important part of VisitScotland’s marketing strategy and our work to support the recovery and growth of Scotland’s tourism industry. Since the pandemic, we have seen strong demand for a break in Scotland from people in other parts of the UK, particularly from London which is why we are excited to be partnering with LNER on this campaign.
“From spectacular scenery to world class events and culture, leading attractions and food and drink, this campaign highlights the range of unforgettable experiences Edinburgh and Scotland has to offer visitors with the added convenience and sustainability of rail travel, an important part of our plans to develop Scotland into a leading destination for responsible tourism.”
David Horne, Managing Director at LNER, said: “We are proud to serve so many must-see destinations along the LNER route. We are continuing to welcome more and more customers back to rail, maintaining our lead over the planes, with more than 50 per cent of journeys between Edinburgh and London being made by train as people increasingly look to travel in a more sustainable way.
“We know our services deliver significant economic, social and environmental benefits to the towns, cities and wider regions we serve, and we are delighted to be working with VisitScotland and tourism organisations across our route to further enhance the visitor economy.”
*Taken from the UK Consumer Sentiment Tracking Report: 1-7 March and from the UK Consumer Sentiment Tracking Report: Scotland Level Summary 4 Jan - 8 March 2023