Mobile menu

18th July 2019 Rebecca Burns

Getting to and around Bath

Travel to Bath with ease, with major road networks, ferries and public transport leading the way.

By train

Bath Spa train station is conveniently located in the centre of the city, just a short walk from the city’s shops and attractions. There are regular train services direct from London Paddington to Bath Spa, which take around 90 minutes and a few direct trains from Waterloo which take a bit longer.

Luggage at Bath train station

Travel direct from London Paddington to Bath via train

Bristol Temple Meads is just 11-15 minutes away by train. It is a major hub for travel to all other parts of the country. A number of services to Bath Spa will change at Bristol Temple Meads including services from northern England, Scotland, Devon and Cornwall. You can get direct trains to Bath Spa from other destinations in the UK, including Cardiff. Regular train services run from Cardiff Central train station to Bath Spa, with an average journey time of around 65 minutes.

Travel discounts are also available for groups with First Great Western, allowing groups of two adults or families with children to travel cheaply with a railcard. If you are staying in Bath for a few days you can easily take a day trip by train to a number of nearby destinations including Bradford on Avon and Bristol. Alternatively, treat yourself to a luxury journey aboard the Belmond Northern Belle. Choose from day excursions departing from or travelling to Bath.

By car

Bath is located just 10 miles from junction 18 of the M4 motorway which runs direct from London and Heathrow Airport. There are also excellent motorway links from the North and Devon and Cornwall via the M5 motorway, whilst Wales is just a short drive west on the M4 motorway.

Bath is well served by three Park & Ride services and 12 car parks as well as additional on-street parking.

Road with cars moving

Bath is easily accessible by the M5 and M4 motorways

By bus

As a major visitor destination, Bath welcomes coaches and there are regular services to the city with National Express. Several bus operators provide services in and around Bath. First is the largest and they operate from the bus station in Dorchester Street adjacent to Bath Spa train station. Travelling around Bath by bus is easy, with a number of routes from the centre to the city’s outer areas.

You can also enjoy a number of great days out from Bath by bus to explore the surrounding area. Ideas for places to visit easily by bus include the beautiful Prior Park Landscape Gardens (service 1) or the town of Bradford-on-Avon on the edge of the Cotswold (service 264/265). Visit the ancient city of Wells and explore the city’s Cathedral (service 173). Alternatively, visit the lively city of Bristol (service X39) where you can explore the SS Great Britain or enjoy a day at Bristol Zoo.

By air

Bristol Airport is the closest airport to Bath. Just 20 miles from Bath, it is one of Britain’s fastest growing airports and serves over 110 destinations worldwide, with more routes expected. A direct coach service runs hourly from outside the airport into the centre of Bath for £20 return with the Bath Bus Company – just buy your ticket in advance online.

Aeroplane in sky

Alternatively, The Bristol Airport Flyer express coach drops you at Bristol Temple Meads train station, where you can catch a train services into Bath. Either way, the complete journey time from Bristol Airport to Bath Spa train station is approximately 60 minutes. All London airports are also within easy travelling distance of Bath, as are a number of airports in the region.

Heathrow Airport to Bath
Heathrow Airport is just 100 miles east of Bath on the M4 motorway. A regular National Express coach service goes direct from the airport to Bath. Complete journey time 120 to 180 minutes. Alternatively, a Heathrow Express train service runs between the airport and London Paddington train station where you can then pick up a direct train service to Bath Spa train station. Complete journey time approximately 135 minutes.

Gatwick Airport to Bath
Gatwick Airport is located in South London, approximately 140 miles east of Bath. You can take a train from the airport to Reading train station where you can pick up a train service to Bath Spa train station. Complete journey time approximately 180 minutes.

Alternatively, you can catch a National Express coach from Gatwick Airport via Heathrow Airport to Bath. Complete journey time approximately 270 minutes.

By sea

The closest ferry port to Bath is Portsmouth, approximately 80 miles/130 km away (for boats to and from mainland Europe). Fishguard in Wales approximately 140 miles/250 km away is ideal for boat connections to and from Ireland. Travel 140 miles south west of Bath to Plymouth for connections to France and Northern Spain.

Ferry port

You can also travel to Bath by ferry

The major southern Port of Dover is 190 miles/305 km away from Bath and is one of the world’s premier ports. You can cross the English Channel to three French ports from here and sea crossings are the fastest and most frequent to France.


Everything you need to know about Bath

The best things to do in Bath

Where to eat in Bath

The best shopping in Bath

The best nightlife in Bath

Your guide to arts and culture in Bath

Image credits: ©ING Image; Getty images; Shutterstock.com; Zerophoto/Fotolia

Related features

×