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Birmingham to Bristol

from £23.10
Looking to explore all that Bristol has to offer? Make sure you're getting the best fare.

Available train operators on this journey

  • CrossCountry

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What are my Birmingham to Bristol train options?

Looking for a getaway to Bristol, the city with the fiercely independent spirit? We've got you covered. Here's our guide to getting a better price on your Birmingham to Bristol train journey and what you can expect when you travel.

In terms of a direct Birmingham to Bristol train, there's just one operator, which is CrossCountry. They run two trains every hour, stopping at Cheltenham Spa and Bristol Parkway on the way. They take between 1h20m and 1h40m to complete the trip. Let's take a look at the fares that you can expect to pay on the day:

  • Anytime Return - £140.90
  • Off-Peak Return - £68.10.

The Off-Peak Return is valid after 09:30 on weekdays in both directions. There aren't any restrictions on weekends or Bank Holidays.

How do I get the best Birmingham to Bristol train fare?

At Railsmartr, we'll find the best Birmingham to Bristol train fare. This is one journey where split ticketing is almost always essential. So, why is that? Put simply, the 'through' Advance fares for Birmingham to Bristol train services (a 'through' fare means buying one ticket from A to B) are very expensive.

However, if you buy a ticket to Cheltenham, and then another to Bristol, then you can save a packet. Let's take a look at what we get if we want to travel a couple of weeks ahead: birmingham to bristol train fares on railsmartr with split tickets As you can see, it's cheaper to get split tickets for every service! So, how much are you saving when you book with Railsmartr?

split ticket savings on railsmartr site for 0912 birmingham to bristol train The 09:12 train on weekdays is a funny one. It leaves Birmingham during 'peak' times (the Birmingham to Bristol Off-Peak fare is only valid after 09:30 on weekdays) but by the time it leaves Cheltenham Spa, we're into Off-Peak times.

As a result, you can save £27.30 here by getting the Anytime fare to Cheltenham, then an Off-Peak one to Bristol. Later on in the day, and with Advance tickets, the savings aren't quite so substantial, but still worth having:

split ticket savings with advance tickets on railsmartr on a birmingham to bristol train You'll save £5.90 here by purchasing a ticket to Cheltenham, then another from Cheltenham to Bristol. So, why is it the case that it's almost always cheaper to buy a ticket for a Birmingham to Bristol train in this way? The simple explanation is that every journey has a fare setter.

This is the rail company that sets the price between those two stations. Between Birmingham and Cheltenham, and Birmingham and Bristol, this is CrossCountry.

Meanwhile, between Cheltenham and Bristol, this is Great Western Railway. Put simply, Great Western Railway prices the Cheltenham to Bristol leg pretty cheaply. It's treated as a 'local' journey, while the CrossCountry-priced ones are priced at a bit of a premium.

How extreme can these savings get? Well, we managed to find a saving of £42 on the 14:42 Birmingham to Bristol on May 8th. That made the fare just £21.60 instead of £63.60:

birmingham to bristol train fare on railsmartr site showing £42 saving with split tickets

What are the trains like?

Taking the direct Birmingham to Bristol train? Then you can expect to travel on a Voyager or Super Voyager. They have four or five carriages, but they're often paired up to make an eight or nine-carriage service. In Standard Class, the seats are in a 2+2 layout:

interior of crosscountry birmingham to bristol train

If you're travelling with a lot of luggage, you should bear in mind that the overhead racks are extremely small. So, anything larger than a backpack will need to go in the stacks at the carriage ends. There's a large compartment for luggage in Coach D. Typically, you'll only find two tables per carriage as well, except in Coach B, where you'll find four.

Another thing to remember is that the windows on these trains have a film on them that makes receiving phone and data signals quite challenging. On many sections of the journey, you might find it difficult to do anything other than light browsing. In terms of power sockets, you'll find one at every window seat. Don't have a seat reservation? The unreserved carriage is Coach F. If your train has five carriages, then Coach is unreserved, too.

It's possible to travel in First Class. You'll find seating in a 2+1 layout as well as light snacks and refreshments. Don't expect anything too substantial, though. Our top tip is that it's worth asking exactly what's available on board, as we had to specifically ask for a bacon roll in the morning when we sampled the service!

Is there anything else I should know?

The final thing we’d recommend is using the Railsmartr website to book your Birmingham to Bristol train journey. We’re completely independent, so we’re happy to ‘tell you like it is’ when it comes to rail fares. Not only that, but we’ll show you the slower, but cheaper options that some websites won’t. Don't forget that we've got split ticketing, too!

We don’t charge any fees, either. That includes if you change your mind and want to travel on a different day. If your ticket is refundable, we’ll refund it fee-free.

All information on this page is issued without liability and was correct at the time of writing (21/02/24). All fares are for ONE adult without Railcard discount. Railsmartr is not responsible for any loss or disappointment incurred as a result of the information provided.