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Progressive Palaeontology 2019 - Birmingham, UK: Travel and Accommodation

Year: 2019
Location: Birmingham, UK
Hosted By: University of Birmingham
Organised By: Luke Meade, Emma Dunne, Daniel Cashmore, Juan Pablo Castaneda, Emma Hanson, Struan Henderson, Nicola Kirby, Amy Jones, Fion Ma, Marcelo De Lira Mota, Romy Rayner, Lisa Schnetz
General Contact Email:

Travel and Accommodation

Getting to Birmingham

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By plane

Birmingham Airport ( currently serves more than 140 direct flights and offers an additional 280 possible connections worldwide. Birmingham Airport is connected to the city centre via Birmingham International train station. There are at least 6 trains per hour (operated by Virgin Trains, Cross Country, and London Northwestern Railway) departing from Birmingham International station to Birmingham New Street Station. Find out more on the airport website:

By train

Birmingham New Street Station is the largest railway station in the city centre. It is a major destination from London Euston, Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Waverley (operated by Virgin Trains), as well as numerous other stations across the UK (operated by CrossCountry and London Northwestern Railway). Alternatively, there are services to Birmingham Moor Street and Birmingham Snowhill (also in the city centre) from London Marylebone (operated by Chiltern Railways). To consult ticket availability and booking online, check the websites: and 

By coach

National Express ( offers service from many cities to the main coach station, which is located in Digbeth, just to the east of the city centre. Megabus also offers services from many cities in the UK (

By car

  • Distances from selected other major cities in the UK to Birmingham, by road:
  • London–Birmingham: 202 km (126 miles), via M40
  • Manchester–Birmingham: 140 km (86.5 miles), via M6
  • Bristol–Birmingham: 156 km (97.4 miles), via M5
  • Edinburgh–Birmingham: 471 km (293 miles), via M6

Getting to the University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham is located on a campus in Edgbaston, a couple of miles south of the city centre, and is best accessed by rail. The campus has its own train station, called University (Selly Oak station is also in a reasonable walking distance). From New Street station (in the city centre) or Five Ways station (just southwest of the city centre), trains to Longbridge/Redditch stop at these two stations, and usually run every 10 minutes. Trains to Hereford and Cardiff may also stop at University. The journey time from New Street to University is around seven minutes, and around three minutes from Five Ways. Return tickets from New Street cost £1.70 GBP with a 16-25 railcard. Check train hours and platform information online at or use the West Midlands Railway app.

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The largest bus operator in Birmingham is National Express West Midlands ( Buses number 61, 63, X20, X21, and X22 are good options to get to the University from the city centre. Contactless is available on all National Express services (no registration required). If paying by cash, please note that buses require the correct change.

It is also possible to walk or cycle (or even canoe!) to the University of Birmingham from the city centre by following the canal towpath from Gas St Basin or the Mailbox. It is a pleasant walk, although it involves passing through a long tunnel, but we would only recommend it in daylight hours.

Parking can be exceptionally busy at the University campus during the week, and in general we would recommend avoiding driving. Parking is restricted on many of the streets surrounding the campus. More information on parking is available at: 


Birmingham offers a diverse range of hotels, youth hostels, and Airbnb options. In general, we recommend staying in the city centre or along Broad Street, where there are a greater variety of restaurants, pubs and nightlife.

There are few hotels or bed and breakfasts in the suburbs immediately surrounding the University. Airbnb ( may have options - search for postcodes B15 (Selly Oak) and B17 (Egbaston and Harborne). 

There are numerous hostels and hotels in the city centre that are located close to transport links, and excellent bars and restaurants, as well as the evening auction and Annual Dinner venues. Possible options close to Birmingham New Street station include:

  • Hatters Hostel, Livery St, B3 1RJ
  • Birmingham Central Backpackers, Coventry St, B5 5NH
  • Premier Inn, Waterloo St, B2 5PG
  • Other options include Ibis, Holiday Inn, EasyHotel, and Travelodge.

Hotels along and around Broad Street are also convenient, and provide easy access to Five Ways train station. Examples include:

  • Travel Lodge, Broad Street, B15 1AY
  • Premier Inn, Broad St., B15 1AU
  • Premier Inn, Bridge St (with canal views), B1 2JR
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