Birmingham to Leicester By Train, Bus, and Car: Costs, Travel Times

There are lots of reasons to travel from Birmingham to Leicester. Perhaps to see the burial site of King Richard III or take in Leicester’s rich cultural heritage. 

Or maybe you were in Birmingham enjoying the Commonwealth Games, watching the talented Birmingham City Women FC play at St Andrew. Or visiting Aston Villa ahead of the Premier League and Leicester is your next stop. 

Whatever the reason, we’ve got you covered. 

Here’s a rundown of how to travel from Birmingham to Leicester. 

Travel methodApproximate Journey TimeCostBest For
Train1 hr From £10.80 one waySpeed
Bus1 hr 30 minsFrom £7.50 one wayAffordability
Car55 mins Varies depending on fuel consumption and tolls Flexibility
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Birmingham To Leicester By Train: The Quickest Way

Using public transport is often the cheapest option. And, when travelling from Birmingham to Leicester, the train is a good mix of speed and affordability. 

About 40 trains make this run a day, with a journey time averaging around 55 minutes. Ticket prices are also affordable, with some as low as £8 if you book far enough in advance. 

Birmingham To Leicester By Train: Overview

Travel time55 minutes 
Train ticket price From £8 (in advance)
Distance34 miles (54 KM) 
First train05:19 AM
Last train10:22 PM
Departure stations Birmingham New Street 
Arrival stationsLeicester 
Transfers Direct train available
Train operatorsCross Country 

All trains departing from Birmingham to Leicester do so from Birmingham New Street station (near the Peaky Blinders mural). These trains run directly to Leicester train station, also conveniently located in the city centre. Additionally, the direct train means there are no changes to worry about. 

Birmingham New Street is about 50 minutes from East Midlands airport and around 23 minutes from Birmingham airport if you’re flying into Birmingham and need to catch the Leicester train. 

Leicester railway station is located on the Midland Main Line running from London St Pancras to Sheffield and Nottingham. 

In 2019, the remaining part of the Midland Main Line near Leicester underwent an upgrade electrifying the railway and cutting down journey times to just over an hour and a half from London Paddington and a little over an hour from London St Pancras. 

Here are a few pointers on getting cheaper train fares: 

  • Book off-peak times: Tickets are generally more affordable when you travel during the quieter hours.  
  • Book in advance: You can book your train tickets several months in advance. Doing so provides the best opportunity for finding low-cost tickets. 
  • Buy a Railcard: If you’d like to save even more, a Railcard might be your best bet. You’ll save up top 1/3 on most train fares for a year.

Fun fact: With the Premier League kicking off on 6 August 2022, both Aston Villa and Leicester will be planning their route to victory, though Manchester City is surely looking at taking a hattrick. 

However, England’s biggest team Manchester United, currently in 6th from the previous Premier League, will be looking to knock a few teams from the roster. And, with West Ham United close behind, will Manchester United be able to pull it off? Whichever way it goes, public transportation will be packed between these cities as football fever heats up.

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Birmingham To Leicester By Bus: The Budget-Friendly Way

Travelling by bus from Birmingham to Leicester is the perfect option for anyone looking for a comfortable journey without breaking the bank. Plus, your coach should have free Wi-Fi to help make the journey feel a little shorter. 

Most trips take a little over an hour, with ticket prices starting from around £6.50.

Birmingham To Leicester By Bus: Overview

Travel time1 hr 5 mins (fastest), 1 hr 35 mins (average)
Bus ticket price £6.50
Distance47 miles (75 KM)
First bus5:45 AM 
Last bus10:30 PM
Departure stations Birmingham Coach Station
Arrival stationsLeicester St Margaret’s Bus Station
Transfers Direct busses available
Bus operators National Express

National Express busses typically leave from Birmingham Coach Station in Digbeth, located about 30 minutes from Birmingham airport. However, there are a few other stations you can depart from, including Hill Street and Station Street.

There are also a few arrival stations in Leicester, namely Rail Station, located about 30 minutes from the Great Central Railway and 15 minutes from the National Space Centre. Charles Street/Halford Street is the other arrival location, about 25 minutes from the Great Central Railway.

National Express also has a generous luggage allowance. You’re allowed one piece of soft hand luggage and either two medium cases or one large case. 

Some tips on how to get cheaper bus tickets:

  • Use a Coachcard: A Coachcard can save you a third of your bus fare. However, this card is only available to people with disabilities, full-time students between the ages of 16 and 26, and seniors over 60. 
  • Book in advance: If possible, book your ticket as soon as possible to take advantage of the lower prices. 
  • Travel off-peak: Look for tickets available during less busy hours. Off-peak usually implies travelling in the middle of the day or night and avoiding weekends.

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Birmingham To Leicester By Car: The Flexible Way

If you’d rather avoid public transport, driving from Birmingham to Leicester is always an option. The two cities are quite close together, and there are several routes you could take. 

Route Via M6 and M69Via M42Via M6, M69, and Narborough Rd
Travel time54 mins1 hr 10 mins53 mins
Distance43.8 miles (70.5 KM)45 miles (72.4 KM)42.7 miles (68. KM)

Fuel costs will vary depending on your vehicle type and chosen route. 

Additionally, Leicester City has no Clean Air Plan, so you don’t need to worry about paying a fee if your car doesn’t meet emission standards

Fun fact: Several cities in the UK had to drop their clean air plans for reasons of expense. Although, Manchester City is working to develop a new Clean Air Plan, which the city should implement in July 2022. 

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10 FAQs About Travelling From Birmingham to Leicester 

Here are a few commonly asked questions when travelling from Birmingham to Leicester: 

  1. What Is The Fastest Journey Time From Birmingham To Leicester?
  2. What Amenities Are On The Trains From Birmingham To Leicester?
  3. Does Leicester Station Have Step-Free Access?
  4. What Time Does The First And Last Train From Birmingham To Leicester Leave?
  5. What Happens If I Miss My Coach From Birmingham To Leicester?
  6. How Far Is Birmingham From Leicester? 
  7. How Far Is The Leicester City Centre From The Train Station?
  8. When Should I Book My Train Ticket From Birmingham To Leicester?
  9. When Should I Book Coach Tickets From Birmingham To Leicester?
  10. How Far Is Leicester From London?
  11. How far is Stanstead Airport from Leicester?

1. What Is The Fastest Journey Time From Birmingham To Leicester?

Between taking the train, bus, and driving, the train offers the fastest journey times. The shortest journey time is 48 minutes, but most trains average about 55 minutes. Note that this can be longer on weekends and holidays. 

2. What Amenities Are On The Trains From Birmingham To Leicester?

Cross Country, a National Rail member, provides each passenger with various amenities, including seating options, ample space for hand luggage, electric points, tables, and Wi-Fi. 

3. Does Leicester Station Have Step-Free Access? 

Yes, the entire station has step-free access with accessible ticket machines, booking counters, and wheelchairs. A passenger may also use the lifts to every platform with ramps for easy access on and off the trains. 

Note: Ticket office hours at Leicester station run from 5:20 AM to 10:30 PM from Monday to Saturday. On Sundays, the ticket office opens at 7:15 AM and closes at 10:30 PM.

4. What Time Does The First And Last Train From Birmingham To Leicester Leave?

The first train departs Birmingham station from around 5:19 AM. The last train from Birmingham to Leicester leaves around 10:22 PM. 

Note that these departure times may vary during weekends and holidays. Additionally, trains that depart in the early morning or late evening may be sleeper services. 

5. What Happens If I Miss My Coach From Birmingham To Leicester?

National Express busses offer a Standard and Fully Flexible fare types. Both are amenable should you need to change anything, but you may incur additional fees. 

Alternatively, you can add Change and Go to your booking when buying your tickets. This allows you to board any available bus 12 hours before or after your original departure time for an additional £5 per journey. 

6. How Far Is Birmingham From Leicester? 

When travelling from Birmingham city in the West Midlands to Leicester city in the East Midlands, the journey is about 45 miles by road and around 34 miles by rail. 

7. How Far Is The Leicester City Centre From The Train Station?

Fortunately, Leicester train station is a stone’s throw from the city centre. It’s a short 10-minute walk from the station to many major attractions, including the King Richard III Visitor Centre and Highcross Shopping Centre. 

The National Space Centre and Rockingham Castle are also worth a visit.

8. When Should I Book My Train Ticket From Birmingham To Leicester?

You should try booking your tickets in advance for the best possible price. Generally, booking is open around 3 months in advance. Alternatively, you can set a booking alert to be notified once bookings are available.  

9. When Should I Book Coach Tickets From Birmingham To Leicester?

Generally speaking, travelling from the West Midlands to the East Midlands on a Tuesday is cheaper. If you’re looking at travelling on the weekend, a Sunday would be your best bet to find the cheapest tickets. 

Additionally, National Express tickets tend to go on sale about 15 months in advance so that you can keep a look out for the best prices. 

10. How Far Is London From Leicester? 

Where you’re departing from in London will affect the travel times. Note, the times below are based on public transport. 

  • From London Paddington, the journey takes about an hour and a half. 
  • From London St Pancras to Leicester, the journey takes a little over an hour. 
  • The journey from Heathrow Airport to Leicester is about two hours.

11. How far is Stansted Airport from Leicester? 

Stansted Airport is located about 42 miles south of London in Essex. The journey from Stansted to Leicester should take a little over 2 hours.