Best ways to travel between Bristol and London
If you’re studying in Bristol travelling from London to Bristol can be a daunting trip, particularly if you’re travelling with a lot of luggage. Almero have created a guide providing some of the best options available to students travelling during the holiday periods and on weekends from Bristol to London and for those travelling from London to Bristol. There are 4 main ways to travel between London and Bristol, car, train, coach and by taxi.
London to Bristol by car
If you’re an international student from outside of Europe you’ve most likely landed at Heathrow Airport. At Heathrow you can rent cars and even have one booked beforehand ready and waiting for you when you exit the terminal. The route is fairly simple and as you exit the airport in your car follow the signs for M4 West. The route along the M4 takes you west towards Bristol taking roughly 1 hour and 30 minutes. As you get near to Bristol you need to take junction (exit) 19 towards Bristol which will take you onto the M32 South. The M32 will take you towards Bristol and from here you can use your in-car satnav or mobile satnav to take you to your accommodation in Bristol. The whole journey should take roughly 2 hours but depending where in Bristol you’re trying to get to this can take slightly more or less time.
If you’re arriving into Gatwick Airport you’ll need to follow the signs out of the airport for M23 North, then follow the signs for M25 West, take the M25 to junction (exit) 12 and follow the signs for M3 West, take the M3 to junction 3 and exit onto the A322 and follow the signs for M4 West. You will now follow the route to Bristol along the M4 for about 1 hour and 30 minutes until you get to junction 19 which will take you to the M32 South towards Bristol. As you get onto the M32 put the post code of your accommodation into the car satnav or your mobile satnav and this will take you to your destination. The whole journey should take 2 hours and 45 minutes but might be longer if traffic is severe.
If you’re travelling from Central London, you need to head west towards the M4. You’ll see signs for Heathrow, Chiswick, Hammersmith and Kensington, follow these until you reach the M4. Follow the M4 all the way to junction (exit) 19, and then follow the M32 South to Bristol. As you approach Bristol put the post code of your accommodation into your satnav and follow this until you reach your destination. From central London your journey should take about 2 hours and 25 minutes.
Bristol to London by car
If you’re heading to London by car for the weekend or you’re going home for the holidays and flying from one of London’s airports the best route to take is the M4 East towards London. Follow the M32 North towards the M4 then join the M4 and it’ll take you straight to central London. IF you’re travelling to Heathrow the signs will come up on the M4 near Heathrow for your exit at junction 4. For those of you travelling to Gatwick, exit at junction 10 to the A329 South following this until you reach the A322. Continue on the A322 to the M3 and then take the M3 East towards the M25. Follow the M25 south to junction 7 and take the M23 South to junction 9 and exit to Gatwick.
London to Bristol by train
Trains leave London to Bristol twice an hour during busy periods and once hourly during quieter periods. There are first class and standard class carriages available and food trolleys and the usual facilities, particularly useful are the large luggage racks for anyone travelling with large amounts of luggage.
Bristol to London by train
There are trains that go from Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington twice hourly and hourly throughout the less busy periods of the day. First class and standard class coaches are available on all trains and the journey takes about 2 hours. There are various railcards available one that is particularly useful is the 16-25 railcard which can save travellers a third off their rail fare.
London to Bristol by coach
Coaches leave London Victoria Coach Station for Bristol Coach Station from 7:30am to 11:59pm. These times vary so please check each coach company’s website. If booked in advance coaches can be as cheap as £1 but last minute booking can cost £30-£45 and sometimes more. Coaches are the best value for money transport available however journeys can often take significantly longer on a coach instead of a train as they can encounter traffic on motorways. The London to Bristol route is lucky in that the journey takes about 2 hours and 20 minutes which is not too dissimilar from the train journey and car journey. So when you consider the price of the journey vs a car or train it really looks like a fantastic and affordable option.
Bristol to London by coach
Coaches leave Bristol Coach Station for London Victoria Coach Station at 3:50am until 8:30pm. Prices start at as little as £1 if booked in advance and last minute can cost as much as £30-£45 and sometimes more. Booking a few days in advance can get you tickets as cheap as £10-£15 so even a little bit of forward planning can save you a lot of money. Journeys take slightly longer going to London than from London with journeys lasting about 2 hours and 35 minutes. The best bit about the coach is that it has loads of room for luggage and you can usually take two medium seized bags weighing 20kg each and a piece of hand luggage, this varies depending upon the company you travel with.
London to Bristol by taxi
Taxi prices can vary massively depending upon the time of day you travel, which day you travel and what vehicle you want to travel in. Pre-booked taxis are cheaper than taxis you hail on the street and you should always pre book a taxi or if you are going to flag one down on the street then use a licensed taxi company. Pre booked taxis from central London cost about £170 but can cost considerably more depending upon the time and day and the vehicle you request. Flagging down a taxi on the street can cost 3-4 times more than pre-booking a taxi so always pre-book!
Taxis from Heathrow can also be pre-booked and there are taxis waiting but again these are much more expensive than pre-booked taxis. A pre-booked taxi from Heathrow to Bristol costs about £145 but again this can vary greatly based on the day and time and the vehicle you request for the journey. The great thing about taking a taxi from the airport is that you don’t have to struggle moving lots of big heavy bags onto a train or coach, you can also take as much luggage as you can fit in the car. Taxis are the most expensive form of transport but the most private and allow you to transport the most luggage with ease.
Taxis from Gatwick are slightly more expensive as the distance you have to travel is greater. Prices for pre-booked taxis are around £185 but as is normal with taxis this can vary considerably depending upon the time and day and vehicle you request. There are also taxis at the airport you can take without pre-booking but these are 3-4 times more expensive than pre-booked taxis. A taxi allows you to transport the most amount of luggage of any of the other modes of transport we recommend and it is also the most comfortable and private form of transport.
Bristol to London by taxi
Taking a taxi from Bristol to central London costs about £170 and whilst it probably makes more sense to take the train in terms of cost it is the most comfortable mode of transport, especially if you have lots of luggage with you. A taxi is also good if you are travelling with friends as you can split the cost between you which makes it quite affordable against the train or driving given the extra comforts over driving yourself or taking the train.
A taxi from Bristol to Heathrow will cost you £145 and is a quick and direct route for getting to the airport. It is the most expensive option available to you but it offers privacy, comfort and an unlimited allowance of luggage to transport to the airport. It’s also a great option if your friends are also going to the airport as you can share the cost of getting there.
Travel to Gatwick is slightly more expensive than Heathrow at £185 as you travel much further to the southern side of London. However, the comfort of travelling in a taxi isn’t beaten by any other type of transport. You can take as much luggage with you as you need and you get driven to the terminal entrance right by the luggage trolleys. You can also share a taxi with a friend to reduce the cost of travelling by yourself and this makes the cost of the journey much more affordable and bearable.