A guide to using Cheltenham Spa railway station

Cheltenham Spa (Cheltenham)

Discover all that's useful to knowing about taking a train from and to Cheltenham Spa railway station.


At a Glance


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For a town of its size, the main station in the historic spa town of Cheltenham, is comparatively small, partially because the remaining station's function was to be a calling point for trains travelling between Birmingham and Bristol - hence the majority of the trains which call at the station are operated by CrossCountry.

Hence there are only two platforms (tracks):

  • 1 = used by trains heading south towards Bristol, South Wales, the West of England and London
  • 2 = used by trains heading north towards Manchester, Nottingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Worcester and York.

There are entrance/exits on both platforms which can be accessed by stairs and comparatively steep and less obvious ramps, the station is not equipped with lifts / elevators.
The entrance hall on platform 1 is the main station building, it faces Queens Road and houses the station's cafe and toilets - and a bus stop is by the entrance / exit doors.
The taxi rank and car park is also on this side of the station.

The secondary entrance / exit on to Gloucester Road is on platform 2.
A footbridge across the station links both of the entrance halls, so the trains departing from platform 2 can be accessed from the main entrance on Queens Road; and vice versa.
Though what is unusual is that the two platforms (tracks) are below street level, hence the stairs and ramps which give access to/from the trains, as the footbridge is at street level.

(99.99% of the images used on ShowMeTheJourney were captured during our travels, but we have yet to visit Cheltenham, hence the image at the top of the page was taken by Michael Garlick and downloaded from Wikimedia)

to and from the town centre

Cheltenham Spa station is located some distance from the town centre, hence the 9-10 minute bus journey being the most convenient alternative to taking the taxi.

Bus route /line D typically departs every 20 mins from the stop right of station, the direction is Bishops Cleve and the city centre stop is at Clarence Street (stop 8).
Route D also stops by the racecourse, though additional shuttle buses operate during the Festival race meeting.

The bus to the railway station goes from a different location, due to Cheltenham's extensive one-way system.
Route D goes from Piitville Street (stop 15) and High Street (stop 13).
The buses to the station are heading to Hatherley and in this direction they stop on Queens Road, by the road junction which gives the vehicle access to the station.

Train Service Summary

The usual pattern of train services at Cheltenham Spa station is:

  • to Birmingham New Street - Derby - Sheffield - Leeds - York and Newcastle; hourly by CrossCountry trains
  • to Birmingham New Street - Wolverhampton - Stafford - Stoke-on-Trent - Manchester Piccadilly; hourly by CrossCountry trains
  • to Birmingham New Street - Derby - Nottingham; hourly by CrossCountry trains
  • to Worcester; hourly by GWR on Monday to Saturday
  • to Bristol; 2 x trains per hour by CrossCountry trains; 1 x train per hour continues on to Taunton - Exeter St Davids - Plymouth; with some trains travelling on through Cornwall to Penzance
  • to Gloucester - Bristol; hourly by GWR on Monday to Saturday
  • to Gloucester - Newport and Cardiff; hourly by CrossCountry trains
  • to Gloucester - Newport - Cardiff - Bridgend - Maesteg; hourly by TFW Rail on Monday to Saturday
  • to Gloucester - Stroud - Swindon - Reading - London Paddington; by GWR - hourly on Monday to Saturday (connect in Swindon in some hours; 3 x direct trains on Sunday (connect in Swindon in the other hours)
    Trains call at additional stations to those included in the summary.

As all southbound trains at Cheltenham Spa call at platform 1 - And all northbound trains use platform 2, connections between CrossCountry services are much more easily managed at Cheltenham Spa, compared to changing trains at Birmingham New Street.


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This is one of more than 100 train travel guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.