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London to Birmingham...?? HELP!

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Boston, MA
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London to Birmingham...?? HELP!

My friend and I are coming to London from Boston in November.

One of our plans is to go to the Billy Joel concert in Birmingham on Friday night.

Our original plan was to rent a car, and take the 2+ hour drive up. But the more we think and hear about it, we are thinking that might be a bad idea considering we have never driven on other side of the road, etc...

The trains seem to stop running before the concert would be over from what I found...

Anybody have any advice on the best way to handle it and get up there...?

Any advice would be appreciated...

London, United...
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1. Re: London to Birmingham...?? HELP!

Book a hotel in Birmingham for the night of the show. If it means you will pay for an unused night in your London hotel it will be worth it if attending the concert is your desire.

Rail tickets are on sale now for the journey from London Euston to Birmingham New Street for early November; if you can get tickets to the concert then consider the extra night at a hotel as part of the cost of the holiday.

Boston, MA
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2. Re: London to Birmingham...?? HELP!

Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately, that isn't really an option. We already have the hotel booked in London and have to be back before the trains start again...

Portland, Oregon
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3. Re: London to Birmingham...?? HELP!

In that case your only option is to drive. Most of the route (all of it if you rent from an airport such as Heathrow or Luton) would be motorway, so you wouldn't have much trouble driving on the other side.

FYI - the Billy Joel concert is at the NEC (LG Arena), right next to the M42/M6, and so the railway station required would be Birmingham International. The last train is at 23.20 (arrives Euston at 01.15). The first train the next day is at 06.00, arriving Euston at 07.15. Both trains have Advance fares available at £7.50 each. There are hotels in the area as the NEC is adjacent to Birmingham International Airport.

Edited: 04 September 2013, 05:20
London, United...
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4. Re: London to Birmingham...?? HELP!

Unless you're willing to leave the show and take the train from Birmingham International - it seems the concert is at the LG Arena - at 2320, the only other option is the National Express coach from Birmingham at 0300, arriving at London Victoria Coach Station about three hours later. That's not a pleasant option, nor is leaving the concert early, but the choices are limited unless you decide to stay in Brum.

London, UK
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5. Re: London to Birmingham...?? HELP!

Most of the journey is on motorways and major roads so it would least be a fairly easy drive (depending on where you're trying to get to in London). The roads will be quieter at night too. Obviously I wouldn't recommend it if you're really nervous about driving here though.

London
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6. Re: London to Birmingham...?? HELP!

I reckon you could make the 23.20 if you left at 22:45 . The NEC is connected to the station via a walkway, see walking map below

lgarena.co.uk/travel/Documents/lg_walking_ti…

Liverpool, United...
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7. Re: London to Birmingham...?? HELP!

Most concerts have a 11pm curfew, so as mentioned above, you should be able to make the last train. Just make sure you are close to the exit towards the end of he concert and then make a run for it!

P.S. unless your name is Axl Rose and your band is Guns N Roses who came on nearly 2 hours late on a Sunday evening at Liverpool Echo Arena and didn't finish until 2am the next morning! ;-p

Edited: 04 September 2013, 11:59
Boston, MA
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8. Re: London to Birmingham...?? HELP!

Thanks for all the help. I'd really hate to miss the end of the concert and have to run to make a train... And, if we happened to miss the train, then we are stuck for the night with nothing with us!

It's looking more and more like driving is the best option. We would get the car from the Avis in Knightsbridge, and then head straight to Birmingham. So I assume most of it is highway as you mentioned...

The only other problem would be finding a place to park the car when we get back to London at 2am... Ugh!

Are there any services that would pick us up at hotel, drive us to concert, wait for us after the show and then bring us back to hotel? Any places that I can look into for that option?

London, UK
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9. Re: London to Birmingham...?? HELP!

Of course there are companies who will do that but it would be properly expensive. If you go the Avis route, you need to arrange with them where you will drop the car off (unless you're keeping it longer of course). Some car hire places are helpful about out of hours drop-offs and some are not in my experience. Re. the driving, you're on the right side of town so that's a good start.

San Francisco, CA
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10. Re: London to Birmingham...?? HELP!

Hard to believe that two days car rental, parking in Birmingham and London, plus the aggravation of driving back and forth would be more cost effective than booking a round trip train ticket and staying in a hotel near the arena that night. Yes, you'll be out the one night hotel in London but if you want to have an enjoyable concert experience, I think just eating that cost would be worth the time and trouble.

I imagine booking a car service to take you there and back, plus having them wait for you, would be cost-prohibitive.