Fastest journey1hr 18m
Taking the train from London to Bristol is very easy. Almost all travellers opt for the route from London Paddington, from where Great Western Railway (GWR) offer fast, frequent trains directly to Bristol.
The journey from London Paddington to Bristol affords views of some very attractive areas of southern England. Most trains follow the route via Swindon and Bath, so you’ll get to see the Thames Valley and the Berkshire Downs along the way. Occasional GWR services take alternative routes, travelling either via the Kennet Valley railway or via Bristol Parkway to reach Bristol Temple Meads.
Bookings for this journey typically open 10 to 12 weeks in advance of travel. There are some reasonably good ticket deals on this route, provided you are willing to opt for off-peak trains and can book a month or two prior to travel.
An alternative route from London Waterloo to Bristol Temple Meads is offered by South West Trains; it does take in some fine scenery on the stretch between Salisbury and Bath, but it takes an hour longer than the Great Western route from Paddington.
London to Bristol
The fast trains from London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads take between 1 hr 40 mins and 1 hr 50 mins for the 190-km journey. Most of these services make four or five intermediate stops. This is actually a very pleasant ride. Watch out for Windsor Castle on the left as your train speeds west from London. Further west you may catch a glimpse of the Uffington White Horse as the train skirts the Berkshire Downs. Later, you’ll get fine views of Bath as the train cruises down the Avon Valley towards Bristol.
The diesel trains on this journey are HSTs. They may not be the youngest, but they are extremely comfortable with large windows - perfect for sightseeing on a route which has some great scenery.
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Image credits: Clifton Suspension Bridge © Photobunnyuk