London To Birmingham By Train, Coach & Car: Timings, Prices

Birmingham began as a market town in the English medieval period. Today, it’s the second-largest city in the UK and is a hub of innovation and culture. 

Located roughly 118 miles from London, there are plenty of travel options between these two cities. 

Here’s an overview:

Travel MethodApproximate Journey TimeCostBest For
Train2 hours From £6.40 one-wayFastest travel time
Bus3.5 hours From £5.15 one-wayBudget-friendly
Car2.5 hours (no traffic)Depends on petrol prices and car engineFreedom to make your own schedule
Flight 3 hours onwards (with at least one stopover). There’s currently no direct flight available. From £100 upwards, one-wayAlternative to all other methods. 

Let’s get into the details.

This Article Covers:

London To Birmingham By Train: The Fastest Way

Train travel is convenient and timely between London and Birmingham. With over 180 trains per day, you won’t have much trouble planning your journey:

London To Birmingham By Train: Quick Facts 

Travel Time1 hr 22 min (fastest)
Ticket PriceFrom £6.40 (with advanced booking)
Distance101 miles (163 km)
First train04:34 (train times vary during weekends and holidays)
Last train23:30
Departure stationsLondon Euston, London Marylebone 
Arrival stationsBirmingham New Street, Birmingham Moor Street 
ChangesDirect trains available 
Train operatorsAvanti West Coast, West Midlands Railways, Chiltern Railways

Avanti West Coast (previously known as Virgin Trains) and West Midlands Railway trains depart from London Euston, while Chiltern Railways trains leave from London Marylebone station. Early morning or late evening trains may be sleeper services. 

For the cheapest fares, here are some tips:

  • Book in advance: Advanced tickets are usually available up to 12 weeks before the departure date. It’s best to book in advance at an Off-Peak time. Prices generally increase the closer it is to the departure date.
  • Buy two one-way tickets: It’s usually cheaper to get two one-way tickets than a single round-trip train ticket, odd as that may sound. 
  • Use a Railcard: If you travel frequently, National Railcards can help you save up to 1/3 off eligible train tickets. 
  • Grab a Season Ticket: If you use the same train more than three times a week, a Season Ticket could help you save more money. 

Trains are typically direct and most of them have WiFi service.

Read more: Want to explore the heritage of Birmingham while you’re there? Visit these magnificent museums!

London To Birmingham By Bus: The Cheapest Way

The route between London and Birmingham is well-serviced, with National Express and Megabus coaches leaving hourly from Victoria Coach Station (located in central London). You can also grab a coach from Heathrow Airport if you’re flying in. 

By the way, “coach” is a British term for long distance buses!

London To Birmingham By Bus: Quick Facts

Bus companyNational ExpressMegabus
Distance191 km
Travel time2 hrs 25 min (fastest)2 hrs 45 min (fastest)
Ticket priceFrom £6.90 one-wayFrom £5.15 one-way
First bus06:00 (Victoria Station)00:10 (Heathrow)08:00 (Victoria Station)00:10 (Heathrow)
Last bus23:30 (Victoria Station)
23:15 (Heathrow)
23:30 (Victoria Station)
19:40 (Heathrow)
Departure StationLondon Victoria Coach Station, London Heathrow Airport London Victoria Coach Station, London Heathrow Airport 
Arrival StationBirmingham Coach StationBirmingham Brunel Street

NOTE: There are other departure options within London, like Paddington Rail Station or Marble Arch, though these routes may require a change and cost more.

The fastest bus can make the trip in 2 hours 25 minutes in good traffic, but you should expect to spend an average of 3 hours 30 minutes on the road. 

Ticket prices are fairly consistent, but if you book in advance, you may be able to get even lower fares. 

Upon arrival in Birmingham: 

  • National Express coaches disembark at Birmingham Coach Station, right in the city centre. There’s a taxi stand and bus stop outside. 
  • The Megabus Brunel Street stop is a basic street bus stop, but is located in Birmingham city centre. It’s a short walk from Birmingham New Street railway station.

London To Birmingham By Road: Setting Your Own Schedule 

Driving distance from London to Birmingham is about 118 miles (191 km). 

The shortest driving route is via the M1 and M6 motorways, but you can also get there via the M40 past Oxford, or the M11 and A14 past Cambridge. It’ll take you around 2.5 hours in good traffic. 

Driving offers the freedom to set your own schedule. If increasing the driving distance is no issue, you could make a road trip out of it with the many interesting detours along the way — like Windsor or Stratford-upon-Avon

But, you should get familiar with driving on the left, if you aren’t already.

You should also keep the parking fees and gas bills in mind, and you’ll be subject to Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone (CAZ) ruling. 

What Is Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone And How Will It Affect Me?

Birmingham’s CAZ is an area targeted for improved air quality. It covers all roads within the A4540 Middleway Ring Road (but not the Middleway itself). 

You’ll need to check if your vehicle is compliant and pay a daily fee to drive there if it doesn’t meet emissions standards.

FAQs On Travelling From London To Birmingham

Here are some quick answers to help you along: 

1. When’s The Best Time To Travel To Birmingham?

Birmingham weather is temperate all year round, but it’s generally nicer to visit in the summer when the temperature is at its warmest. 

There’s always something happening in Birmingham, like the 2022 Commonwealth Games, the, Crufts Dog Show in early March or the International Dance Festival in September. Perhaps you could explore Birmingham’s canal network or the treasures stored at the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. 

2. How Much Does It Cost To Travel To Birmingham From London?

Train ticket prices start from as little as £6.40 with advanced booking. Bus ticket prices start at £5.15 and can be even cheaper if booked earlier.

3. How Long Is A Train Journey From London To Birmingham?

A Birmingham train takes an average of 2 hours from London. 

4. Is There A Direct Train From London To Birmingham?

Yes, there are plenty of direct London Birmingham trains, but availability depends on the departure date.

5. When Do The First And Last Trains From London To Birmingham Leave?

The first London Birmingham train is at 04:34. The last Birmingham train leaves London at 23:30. Train times and services will vary on holidays and weekends.

6. When Should I Book My Train Tickets From London To Birmingham?

UK trains are generally open for booking around 12 weeks in advance. Advanced booking will help you save costs, and you can always set a booking alert for cheap tickets. 

7. How Do I Get To London Euston Or Marylebone Train Stations?

The Euston and Marylebone stations are both located near Regent’s Park. To get there, take the underground train from Central London:

  • To Euston station, it’s about 14 minutes on the Northern Line
  • To Marylebone station, it’s about 12 minutes on the Bakerloo Line

If you’re flying into London City Airport, you can take the DLR train to the Bank DLR station. Transfer to the underground Bank station and from there, get to Euston Station via the Central and Northern lines. 

Both stations have standard UK Passenger Assist Facilities for travellers with hidden disabilities or limited mobility. 

8. What Birmingham Railway Stations Do Trains Arrive At? 

Train stops in Birmingham include Birmingham New Street station, Birmingham Moor Street, and Birmingham International:

  • Avanti West Coast and West Midlands Railway trains from Euston station stop at Birmingham New Street Station and Birmingham International
  • Chiltern Railways trains from London Marylebone stop at Birmingham Moor Street Station

Birmingham International isn’t in the city centre and is located closer to Birmingham Airport and the National Exhibition Centre. 

Airport transfer: There’s a free Air-Rail Link between Birmingham International station and Birmingham Airport for an airport transfer. 

9. What’s The Fastest Travel Time Between London And Birmingham By Bus?

The fastest bus between London city and Birmingham takes 2 hours 25 minutes. 

10. When Do The First And Last Buses From London To Birmingham Leave?

The first bus from Victoria Coach Station leaves at 06:00 (National Express.)
The last bus from Victoria Coach Station departs at 23:30 (National Express and Megabus.)

11. How Do I Get To London Victoria Coach Station?

London Victoria Coach Station is about 300m from the underground network. It’s served by the Victoria Line, Circle Line, and the District Line

There’s also a bus stop directly outside the coach station, served by several routes from the city centre.