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London to Chester

from £15.00
Visiting the Roman city of Chester? Here’s our guide to the London to Chester train service.

Available train operators on this journey

  • Avanti West Coast
  • Transport for Wales
  • London Northwestern Railway

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What are my London to Chester train options?

You have three main options when it comes to catching a London to Chester train. If you want to take a more direct route, then you can either take a direct Avanti West Coast train, or you can change at Crewe. Alternatively, you can take a slower Chiltern Railways train to Birmingham and change there. Let’s go through each option.

Avanti West Coast

This is the fastest and easiest London to Chester train option. It isn’t the most frequent, though. These trains run roughly every two hours from London Euston, with extra trains at some hours of the day. They call at Stafford, Crewe, and Chester, and the journey takes just over two hours to complete.

Here are the on-the-day fares:

  • Anytime Return - £310.00
  • Off-Peak Return - £103.90.

The outward part of the Off-Peak Return is valid to leave London between 09:26 and 15:01 and after 18:45 Mondays to Thursdays. When you return, you can arrive in London after 11:30. There aren’t any restrictions on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays or Bank Holidays.

West Midlands Trains & Transport for Wales

This is a cheaper option for a London to Chester train trip. However, there aren’t any dedicated on-the-day fares. Instead, you’ll need to look for train-specific Advance tickets.

If you take this option, it’ll typically take around three hours from London Euston. You’ll need to change at Crewe.

Chiltern Railways & Transport for Wales

This option is fairly slow, but you can get reasonably priced on-the-day fares. Firstly, you’ll need to take a Chiltern Railways service from London Marylebone to Birmingham Moor Street. Then, take a stroll over to Birmingham New Street for a Transport for Wales service to Chester. You might need to change at Shrewsbury, as well.

The journey times can vary, but it’ll take at least four hours to take this route. Here are the on-the-day fares:

  • Anytime Return - £168.10
  • Off-Peak Return - £81.80 
  • Super Off-Peak Return - £61.00.

The outward part of the Off-Peak Return is valid at any time if you’re leaving from London Marylebone. You’re able to arrive at London Marylebone after 10:00 on weekdays on your return trip. There aren’t any restrictions on weekends and Bank Holidays.

You can use the outward portion of the Super Off-Peak Return from London Marylebone between 08:30 and 16:00 and after 19:01 on weekdays. The return portion is valid to arrive in London Marylebone after 11:30 on weekdays. There aren’t any restrictions on weekends and Bank Holidays.

How do I get the best London to Chester train fare?

You can do that through Railsmartr! Let’s see what we can find. These fares are cheaper train-specific Advance tickets: 

london to chester train fares on railsmartr

As you can see, it’s much cheaper to take the slower option of West Midlands Railway and Transport for Wales. It takes an extra 45 minutes, but you’ll save nearly 50% on your London to Chester train fare.

What are the trains like?

There are quite a few different types of trains that you could catch, depending on which route you take on your London to Chester train journey. Let’s take a look at the main ones.

Avanti West Coast

If you’re taking a direct London to Chester train, then it’ll be a Super Voyager. These trains are set to be replaced in the coming years, too. Standard Class is in a 2+2 layout and every window seat has access to a power socket.

Changing at Crewe? You’re more likely to have a Pendolino train. They’re currently being refurbished. The refurbished ones have a power socket at every seat:

West Midlands Trains

Taking the cheaper, but still direct route? Then you’ll have a Desiro train. They have quite a few different layouts. Some of them have seats in a 2+2 layout, and others have them in a 3+2 layout:

The trains with a 2+2 layout have sockets at every window seat, while the ones with 3+2 seating only have them in the former First Class area.

Chiltern Railways

This is the very slowest route, as we mentioned above. If you’re travelling out of London Marylebone, then you’ll have a Turbostar. These trains have seating in a 2+2 layout and power sockets at every window seat:

Is there anything else I should know?

The final thing we’d recommend is using the Railsmartr website to book your London to Chester train tickets. We’re completely independent, so we’re happy to ‘tell you like it is’ when it comes to rail fares!

Don’t forget that 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, too.

All fares stated on this page are for ONE adult with no Railcard discount and were correct at 17:00 26/09/2023. All information is issued in good faith. They’re subject to change at any time and Railsmartr are not responsible for any loss or disappointment incurred as a result of the information provided.