Travelling to Bath
Once you've booked your flight you'll need to think about what you're going to bring and how you're getting to campus.
What to bring with you
The Home Office requires you to carry certain documents in paper form (not on an electronic tablet or mobile phone) so that you’re ready to present them on arrival into the UK. You should be prepared to answer a few simple questions from the Border Force Officer.
There are certain documents we advise you carry with you in your hand luggage. There are also items we think you'll find useful to include in your checked luggage.
Key documents to carry in paper form include:
- Your visa decision email or letter
- Offer of place from Bath Spa University
- Your Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS)
- The original academic qualifications as listed in the evidence text box of your CAS
- Evidence of your finances
- Details of where you're going to stay
- UK currency and about £100 in cash for immediate expenses or emergencies.
You'll also need, if applicable:
- The original English language qualification the University has used to assess your English; this will also be listed in the evidence text box of your CAS
- Your TB certificate.
Here's a helpful list of what to bring with you. Our Accommodation team will email you with more information after you've applied for accommodation.
- While you can purchase travel adapters in the UK, it's a good idea to buy them in your home country so you can charge everything when you arrive. We'd recommend bringing several so you can charge your laptop, phone and toothbrush all at the same time!
- It's a good idea to bring some traditional sweets, games, or other items from your country. This can be a good way to start conversations and make new friends during your first week.
Photos and mementos
- Bring some photos or mementos of your family and friends. Most rooms will have a noticeboard where you can pin these up and they'll help you to feel more at home.
- Remember that our Student Wellbeing Services are always on hand to offer free mental and emotional support if you experience any difficulties.
- If you're taking regular prescribed medication, please check if the name of your medication will be the same in the UK. This is because some medicines may have a different name in the UK, and some medications may not be available at all. Please check with your doctor before arriving here.
- You should be able to order most medications once you're in the UK. If you need a refrigerator to store your medication, please check our access needs page for more information on how to arrange this with our Accommodation team.
Bedding packs and cutlery
- You won't have a bedding pack in your room, but we advise that you don't bring bedding sets and cutlery with you due to limited luggage space.
- You can purchase bedding and cutlery packs from our partners UniKitOut before you arrive. There are also many shops in Bath that you can purchase these from.
Important things to consider when packing:
- If you're bringing valuables, store these safely in your hand luggage
- Label all your bags with your name, Bath Spa University and your new accommodation address (both inside and out)
- It's also a good idea to include some spare personal items in your hand luggage in case your checked luggage becomes temporarily lost.
Entering the UK via the Republic of Ireland
You might travel to the UK via the Republic of Ireland. However, it is important to understand that both countries are part of a Common Travel Area (CTA). There is no immigration control on arrival in the UK from the Republic of Ireland. It is important to check how this can impact your immigration permission in the UK. Before you travel, please read the guidance on the UKCISA website to understand how you may be affected if you arrive in the UK via the Republic of Ireland.
Please note this is only an issue when arriving via the Republic of Ireland (for example, via Dublin). Northern Ireland is part of the UK.
Immigration on arrival in the UK
You can join the UK/EEA immigration lanes and use the automatic ePassport gates if:
- You used the Home Office's ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app for your Student visa application and received 'digital status'
- You're from an eligible country
- Your passport has a biometric chip, and
- You're over 12 years old - this means that any dependents travelling with you under the age of 12 will not be able to use them.
Eligible countries include:
- EEA countries (The EEA includes the EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway)
- New Zealand
- South Korea
- United States.
If you don't meet the criteria mentioned above for using the eGates you'll instead meet a border force officer who will look at your passport and check your visa.
When you enter the UK with Student immigration permission, the Border Force Officer must be satisfied that you speak English at the required level, without needing an interpreter. They may check by asking you some simple questions about your study plans. Be ready with all the documents advised in the hand luggage section above.
If you received an entry clearance vignette (visa sticker) in your passport, make sure that the border force officer has put a date stamp in your passport before you move on through the airport.
Getting to Bath
By coach, with National Express
Check which terminal you're flying into. Flights arrive into Terminals 2, 3, 4 and 5.
- Terminals 2 and 3: Head to the Heathrow Central bus station, a short walk from the terminals. It’s open 24/7.
- Terminal 4: Coaches depart from stands 12-14.
- Terminal 5: Find stands 13-15 outside Arrivals.
Alternatively, you can take the free underground Heathrow Express transfer to the Central bus station. You'll need to get a free transfer ticket from one of the self-service machines next to the entry gates. The journey takes about 20 minutes.
Making your booking
From the Central bus station, journeys take two to three hours to Bath Bus Station depending on traffic. They depart at various times of the day and night.
You can book an e-ticket online in advance. Single journeys cost around £25-35 and there are discounts available in the 'offers' section of the website. There are no ticket offices for National Express at Heathrow, so you will need to have already purchased a ticket, or use one of the automated ticket machines.
Once you've chosen a time, we recommend that you purchase the fully flexible fare for a small additional cost, just in case you don't arrive at the Heathrow bus station in time or you're delayed earlier in your journey. If you need to change to a different coach, you can manage your booking or go to the travel centre at the Central bus station, where it says 'coach tickets'.
When you're about to board the coach, you can show a printed copy of your ticket or a digital copy on your phone.
Private taxi transfers from Heathrow to Bath take two to three hours depending on traffic and cost around £135-£150. Some options include:
By coach, with Airdecker
Air Decker operates an hourly bus service from Bristol Airport to Bath which costs £16. Payments can be made directly upon boarding. The bus is green and will be numbered A4. It picks up from right outside the terminal.
- The stop nearest to Gardens/Lakeside accommodation at Newton Park campus (BA2 9BN) is Newton St Loe/Globe. From there, you can cross the road to the opposite bus stop and pick up the U5 bus which goes directly to campus.
- For Waterside Court (BA2 3ED) and Charlton Court (BA2 3ES), the nearest stop is Windsor Villas. It is an eight minute walk from Windsor Villas to the accommodation.
Private taxi transfers from Bristol Airport to Bath take 45 minutes and cost £35-£50. Arrow Cars offer pick up from the terminal.
Getting to campus
If you arrive at Bath bus station or Bath Spa train station on Dorchester Street, you'll then need to make your way to your accommodation.
For information on the bus services around Bath please refer to First Bus where there is information on the routes that go to the Bath Spa University campuses. There is also information on how much the rides cost and how you can purchase and use bus tickets for the academic year.
- Taxis depart from the front of Bath Spa train station (eight minute journey).
- The U5 bus service runs from Bath bus station to Newton Park Campus.
- Taxis depart from the front of Bath Spa train station (15 minute journey).
Welcome to Bath Spa!
We hope you have a safe and stress free journey and find your accommodation with minimal disruption. Please read our When you arrive page for information you'll need to know when you get here.