Despite its worldwide fame and status of being the second most visited city in the UK after London, Bath is very small with just a population of 89,000. This means that it’s not quite as accessible as other cities in the UK, but its proximity to Bristol means that getting there isn’t too bad.
If you’re wondering how to get to Bath, so you can check out all of the amazing attractions, including the Roman Baths and Georgian architecture, this post is your answer! We’ll summarize all the possible transport options and look at the best way to get to Bath.
How to get to Bath: all the options!
Driving to Bath
If you are driving to Bath, you’re likely to reach it by junction 18 of the M4 motorway. From here, it’s about a 20 minute drive southbound to the city. The M4 connects to the M25 at west London, and the M5 at Bristol. The M5 goes to Plymouth in the south and Birmingham in the midlands; it then connects to the M6 for northern cities. Other ways to reach Bath are via Cotswold country roads and the A303 through Wiltshire.
Driving times from various cities to Bath are:
- London to Bath – about 2 ¼ hours
- Bristol to Bath – 40 minutes
- Birmingham to Bath – about 2 hours
- Manchester to Bath – about 3 ½ hours
- Newcastle to Bath – about 5 ½ hours
- Nottingham to Bath – about 3 hours
- Plymouth to Bath – about 2 ¼ hours
- Exeter to Bath – about 2 hours
Taking the Train to Bath
Bath only has one train station; Bath Spa. Served by Great Western Railway (GWR), trains from Bath Spa go to cities including London Paddington, Cardiff Central, and Portsmouth Harbour. Frequent trains run to Bristol, where it’s easy to connect to other cities elsewhere in the UK. The train to Bristol takes only 10 minutes.
Taking a coach to Bath
National Express serves coaches to Bath, which stop at the bus station not far from the rail station. Coaches leave from London Victoria, Reading, Bristol, Exeter, Plymouth and a few of the larger towns in Somerset and Devon. Coach travel is generally much cheaper than train travel, but of course, takes a lot longer and isn’t quite as comfortable.
What is the best way to get to Bath?
It depends where you’re going from, and how much money you have. Because you don’t need a car in Bath centre (and because parking can be difficult), you don’t really need to drive from Bath, unless you are planning on enjoying some of the day trips in the surrounding area. The coach isn’t too painful from London, if you want to save some money, but from other cities you might want to look at the convenience of either getting a direct train, or getting a train to Bristol and changing for a train to Bath there.
How to get around Bath
If you are able to, Bath is easily walkable. The town centre is compact, and most of it is all flat (there are hills on both sides, but not in the city centre itself). Buses do travel around the city, but not in the main area, which is pedestrian only. Taxis and Uber are also available, and there is a City Sightseeing bus for if you want to tour the city’s main attractions and take yourself around at the same time!
I hope this guide on how to get to Bath has been useful to you!