Trains to Bristol
Cheap Trains to Bristol
Known as the cultural capital of the South West, Bristol is considered one of the most dynamic, quirky and colourful cities in the country. Below we outline our top tips on how to travel here and the spots you just can’t miss.
Tip 1: Buy tickets in advance to save money. Train companies often offer cheaper train tickets to Bristol on journeys booked 12 weeks before the date of travel. Buy train tickets in advance to ensure the lowest price, but hurry – these sell out fast! Cheaper advanced fares can be bought up to an hour before departure but are in high demand and may not be available at such a late stage.
With excellent train links to London, Wales, the Midlands and more, Bristol is the perfect weekend break. With the regularly operated service by Great Western Railway, it’s only a 90 minute journey from the capital to Bristol central (Bristol Temple Meads). For a day’s sightseeing, enjoy a visit to Clifton Bridge with its stunning views over the River Avon or complete the world-famous Banksy street art trail with 8 unique pieces.
Tip 2: Forget the Fees. Whilst other train companies charge you for every fare booked on their platform, we do not charge a booking fee. Only if you make a saving through splitting your train tickets will we take 10% of the saving you make. No split ticket means no fee.
No visit to Bristol is complete without enjoying a spot of retail therapy at the quirky St Nicholas’ Market, home to over 60 independent retailers and a multitude of street food stalls. To round off your visit, head to the Bristol Old Vic Theatre to catch a show or simply take a stroll around the Harbourside and watch the boats go by.
Tip 3: Don’t Pay for the Delay. Make use of our Delay Repay scheme - if your train to Bristol is late, you can request a partial or full refund. A delay as small as 15 minutes could entitle you to your money back but can vary depending on different train companies. Some tickets are not always covered by the Delay Repay scheme, so please do check with your train provider or at your local ticket office.
Opened in 1840 and built by the famous Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Temple Meads is situated around 15 minutes walking distance from the centre. Trains to Bristol from all major cities across the UK mean that Temple Meads is a thriving hub and interchange for many inner city transport services. Bristol’s largest shopping area can be accessed from here, as well as a host of other attractions.
Tip 4: Travel Off-Peak. Train travel to popular destinations during peak hours can be expensive. To avoid holidays, weekends and the rush hour chaos, buy tickets on a weekday and grab yourself a bargain.
There are also a number of other major railways stations in Bristol. The Great Western Railway services Bristol Parkway, St Andrew’s Road, Montpelier and more, giving you access to surrounding areas via Temple Meads. From the capital trains can be taken from London Paddington and take around 90 minutes.
Tip 5: Book As A Group. If you and your friends are looking to save up to a 1/3 on your train tickets to Bristol, book as a group of 3-9 people to access the group save discount. National Rail tickets along with Mobile E-Tickets are valid for this offer and savings will be added automatically on group bookings during checkout.
Bristol has a wide range of excellent family-friendly activities. We The Curious, situated a 20 minute walk from Temple Meads station, is a unique museum on the harbourside that brings science to life with its interactive exhibitions. If animals are your passion, Bristol Zoo in Clifton boasts hundreds of species, including gorillas, lions and penguins and is accessible from Clifton Down train station serviced by Great Western Railway.
Tip 6: Check Single and Return Tickets. If you book a journey somewhere you will want to come back at some point. It is always worth comparing the price of buying two single tickets versus the cost of one return to find a cheap train at the cheapest price.
Excluding London, no other city boasts more Michelin stars than Bristol. Whether you fancy Spanish tapas or the Best of British, Bristol's food scene is known to be some of the best the country has to offer. For a wide choice of food and some fantastic live music, head to Stokes Croft, Bristol's offbeat cultural hub situated a 10 minute walk from Montpelier Station.
Tip 7: Choose the Slower Trains. If you’re interested in taking the train whilst enjoying the scenery, booking a slower or less direct train service can often work out as the cheapest option. We will show you the fairest deals to save you money automatically but will also show the fastest routes for those of you in a rush.
Bristol also boasts its own airport, with flights to Europe running all year round. Passengers taking trains to Bristol can take the local bus direct to the airport from Bristol Temple Meads for a relaxed, stress-free journey.
Tip 8: Check First Class. Occasionally 1st class tickets to Bristol are reduced to below Standard class fare due to low demand. This means you can enjoy the extra 1st class facilities such as food, drinks and a larger seating area for a cheaper price.
Cabot Circus shopping centre is the perfect place to see the best of the high street, with over 110 shops, cafés and restaurants only 15 minutes walk from Temple Meads station. If vintage and charity shopping is what you're after, Gloucester Road boasts the largest number of independent shops of any street in the UK, and can be accessed via Montpelier Station in the north of the city.
Tip 9: Invest in a Railcard. With a railcard, you could pay a 1/3 less when you buy train tickets. There are also additional benefits such as free entry to popular attractions and other discounts. Most railcards come at a price of only £30 – for example, the Two Together card allows two adults to save on most fares.
The Family and Friends card gives you a 60% discount on fares for children and up to a 1/3 off all tickets for up to 4 children and 4 adults on certain trains.
The Senior card offers similar discounts, at the reduced price of £70 for three years valid on select trains.
The Disabled Persons railcard allows disabled customers to access discounts of up to a 1/3 on their trains to Bristol at a cost of £30.
Other Railcards such as the Network Railcard, 16-25 and 26-30 Railcard are available for use with all trains.
To find out more details on Railcards and discounts, visit the National Rail or Great Western Railway website, or enquire at your local station.
Experience Bristol throughout history by visiting M Shed; the harbourside museum that hosts art exhibitions, photography and film displays. Only a 20 minute walk from Temple Meads station, M Shed offers free entry for all.
Tip 10: Be flexible: Being flexible with your dates and train times can cost you less money. Use the journey planner to help you buy tickets at a reduced price on the cheapest day of travel.
Main stations in Bristol
- Bristol Airport
- Bristol Parkway
- Bristol Temple Meads
- St Andrews Road
Frequently Asked Questions
What train goes to Bristol?
The main trains to Bristol are run by Great Western Railway (GWR) and CrossCountry with services to London, Cardiff, Edinburgh and many other destinations.
How can I get to Bristol cheap?
The cheapest way to get to Bristol is by splitting your ticket but it is also worth booking in advance.
Is Bristol worth visiting?
Bristol is well worth visiting. It has beautiful architecture and parks and many attractions to visit, including the SS Great Britain.