As a popular holiday destination, direct services run to Plymouth from most parts of the country. Its large railway station is a regular stop on routes from Penzance to London and Bristol, and there are also daily services to this historic port from Birmingham, Inverness and other points north. Conveniently for tourists and sight-seers, many of the other beauty spots of the Devonshire coastline are less than 2 hours away by rail.
Plymouth's train station is to the north of the town. It has Wi-Fi, a baby change area, cafe, restaurant, spa and WHSmiths, plus lifts to the upper platforms. It's less than 10 minutes on foot from the town's main shopping centre, the university and the grounds of Plymouth FC. There's a taxi rank by the main entrance and frequent buses to the seafront. From the station there are departures morning and afternoon to other noteworthy local destinations like Bodmin and Exeter.
Great Western Railway run trains to Plymouth from London Paddington (a journey of 3 hours 30 minutes) and Bristol (3 hours). The first of these routes also calls at Truro, Taunton and Reading, and both terminate at Penzance some 2 hours from Plymouth. Cross Country operates services from Birmingham and the North-West, while London North Eastern Railway and Scotrail cater to passengers from Scotland.
Train rides to Plymouth aren't especially cheap, but they are consistently faster than the alternatives. For example, travelling from London can take as much as an extra 3 hours by coach, and it's the same story with journeys from Birmingham. Coming from parts of Scotland, it can be the only practical option, with admirably fast times compensating for the cost of the ticket. Plus the train can be much more convenient than the coach for families taking small children and belongings on vacation.
Plymouth is a good starting off point for exploring the scenery of Devon and Cornwall by bike. Cycles can be carried free of charge on many trains to Plymouth. It's also possible to prebook a bicycle hire by visiting plymouthbikehire.co.uk and then collecting it at the station when you arrive.
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