Short trips to Severn Beach
Following the recent improvements on the Severn Beach Line, for the first time in many years there is now the possibility of using the train to make a short visit to Severn Beach during the day on weekdays. The journey to Severn Beach is full of interest – a variety of scenery and fascinating glimpses of local history, geography and the environment. Moreover the trip is very affordable – the cost per adult of a return to Severn Beach from the inner Bristol stations at Temple Meads, Stapleton Road, Montpelier and Redland is only £3.00 (£1.50 for children). And if you join the train at Clifton Down, Sea Mills, Shirehampton or Avonmouth the return cost comes down to just £2 (£1 children). If travelling off peak, there is space on the train for buggies and bicycles. And for those with bicycles, Severn Beach makes a good starting point for longer journeys beside the estuary.
The timetable provides for conveniently timed departures around 9.15, 11.16 or 13.15, and allows a 2 or 4 hour break at Severn Beach. Trains run Weekdays and Saturdays, but there is no service to Severn Beach on Sundays.
Look out for the railway tunnel ventilation shafts. For the more energetic, a longer walk (another kilometre each way) to New Passage is another option. This used to be the point where travellers to South Wales transferred from train to ferry before the building of the Severn Tunnel; and where John and Charles Wesley, founders of Methodism, embarked on their journeys to Wales and Ireland. The community of Severn Beach used to be a significant leisure destination, attracting day trippers (including by special train) from the Bristol area and the Midlands. The environmental issues of the area, including the tidal range and the wildlife are also interesting for adults and children of all ages. You should however note that this is preferably a fine-day excursion! There is little shelter either in Severn Beach village or along the sea wall walk. There are shops for food and drink, as well as toilets, in the village.
Individuals or small groups can just turn up at the station, board the train and pay the conductor. If you are taking a larger group (10 or more), please contact First Great Western in advance (08457 000 125, selecting option 2 then 3) to ensure there is room on the train, and for group discounts. If the weather on the day is likely to be inclement groups can phone First Great Western to transfer the booking to another date.