Buses and coaches

Bath city centre is fairly compact and mostly pedestrianised, so it is easy to walk to most of the most popular attractions.  However if you want to get your bearings, City Sightseeing offer frequent hop-on/hop-off open top bus tours of the city - see their website at  www.city-sightseeing.co.uk/bath.htm

If you are not staying in the city centre or you wish to travel to surrounding towns and villages, you will find that Bath is well served by bus services, most of them operated by the "First" bus company.  Tourists mainly find these useful for getting to Prior Park Gardens (bus 2 or 702) and for visiting nearby towns and cities such as  Bristol (X39),  Bradford on Avon (264/265),  Chippenham & Corsham (231/232),  Devizes (X72),  Frome (267),  Wells (173).  These buses run at least once per hour, but are less frequent on Sundays and public holidays.  For timings, visit the FirstBus website   or ring "Traveline" on 0871 200 22 33.

National Express coaches run from Bath to Heathrow airport and London approximately every two hours, and once per day to Oxford, Southampton, Cardiff and Swansea. There are services to most other parts of the UK from Bristol bus station.  Book your ticket at Bath bus station or visit the National Express website at  www.nationalexpress.com . 


Bath Spa railway station is in the city centre (opposite the bus station), from where there are frequent trains to and from:

  • London (Paddington) -  twice per hour  (journey time 90 mins)
  • Bristol (Temple Meads)  -  4 trains per hour  (journey time 15 mins) - then take bus 8 or 9 to the City Centre
  • Cardiff  -  every hour   (journey time 70 mins) 
  • Cheltenham / Gloucester  -  approximately every hour   (journey time 90 mins) 
  • Salisbury  -  every hour   (journey time 50 mins) 
  • Bradford on Avon,  Southampton  &  Portsmouth  -  every hour
  • Dorchester  &  Weymouth  -  every 2 hours
  • Brighton  -  approximately every 2 hours

There are also occasional direct trains to Taunton, Devon and Cornwall, but it is usually easier to take a train to Bristol from where there are regular departures to Devon. Cornwall, Cheltenham, Birmingham and northern England.  If you want to travel to Oxford, take the London train to Didcot or Reading and change there.  For more details of train services, visit the national rail website at   www.nationalrail.co.uk.  

Getting to the airports

BRISTOL AIRPORT  -  Take the train to Bristol Temple Meads, from where coaches 330 & 331 leave approximately every 15 minutes to Bristol Airport (coach journey time approx 30 minutes).

HEATHROW AIRPORT  -  Take the National Express coach direct to Heathrow Central bus station, or take the London train as far as Reading, then transfer to the Rail-Air Link coach to Heathrow.

GATWICK AIRPORT  -  Take the National Express Coach to Heathrow Central bus station, from where coaches depart regularly to Gatwick.  Alternatively take a London train as far as Reading, then another to Gatwick.

Day trips from Bath

In addition to the destinations listed above, it is possible to use public transport from to visit some other nearby tourist attractions:

  • STONEHENGE  -  Take the train to Salisbury, then catch bus number 3 from the rail station  or bus station to Stonehenge;
  • AVEBURY  -  Take bus X72 to Devizes or the London train as far as Swindon, then catch bus 49 to Avebury;
  • LACOCK   -  Take bus 231/232 to Chippenham Bus Station or bus X72 to Melksham Market Place, then bus 234 to Lacock (not Sundays);
  • CASTLE COOMBE  -  Take bus 231/232 to Chippenham Bus Station, then bus 35  to Castle Coombe at 10:20, 12:20 & 14:20 on Weekdays or at  10:13, 12:13 & 14:13  on Saturdays (no buses on Sundays);
  • LONGLEAT  -  Take bus 264/265 or the Portsmouth train to Warminster, then take a taxi for the 15 minute trip to Longleat House.

However, if you want to cram in several attractions into one day, check out Scarper Tours at www.scarpertours.com or the Mad Max Tours website at   www.madmaxtours.co.uk .