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Meet & Greet services

We know there’s a lot to think about when travelling to a new country, which is why we organise a Meet & Greet service at the start of each term. Our friendly staff will be available during key arrival times to help you reach your new home quickly and easily.

Meet & Greet services: September 2019

You can travel to Bournemouth by coach, train or air, and there are details on all of these options on our directions and maps webpages. However you choose to travel, please think carefully about how much luggage you bring with you... are there things you can buy when you get here, will you be able to carry your luggage by yourself and are there any luggage restrictions with your plane/bus/train ticket?

Bournemouth Travel Interchange: Thursday 19–Sunday 22 September

However you travel to Bournemouth, many of you will arrive at Bournemouth’s main coach and train station, the Travel Interchange. We’ll meet you there to make sure the final stage of your journey goes smoothly. By registering for this service, you will benefit from:

  • A BU representative to meet you at Bournemouth Travel Interchange (all coaches and trains arrive here)
  • A smooth onward journey to your BU residence, escorted by a BU representative
  • A map of Bournemouth and a free UK SIM card so you can call home
  • Help and advice if you are delayed or arriving late (after 18:00).
  • The option to be connected with other students departing from the same home airport as you

Booking instructions

This is a free service but you must register in advance so we know when to meet you.

You’ll also need to book a coach or train ticket to Bournemouth. As a new BU student, you can get a 25% discount on your National Express ticket from the airport to Bournemouth (or Poole). You need to book your ticket at least three days in advance, using this the National Express website. (The 25% discount gets applied automatically at the last checkout page).

London Heathrow Airport: Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 September

In addition to meeting you when you arrive in Bournemouth, if you’ll be arriving at Heathrow Airport (London) over the weekend, we’ll have BU representatives there too! They’ll be able to answer any initial questions and help you to make the connection for your onward journey to Bournemouth via National Express.

Just tell us your flight details and arrival terminal when you register for the Meet and Greet Service. Then we’ll email you nearer the time with all the other information you need about when, where and how you can find us when you arrive at Heathrow.

Other ways of getting here

From Bournemouth Airport

There is a regular bus service from the airport to Bournemouth Travel Interchange (Bournemouth Station). The bus costs £6.20 and takes approximately 45 minutes.

Alternatively, you can take a taxi direct to your accommodation which will cost approximately £22 and take about 15 minutes.

From Gatwick Airport

You may find the travel information on the Gatwick airport website helpful.

The easiest journey to Bournemouth from Gatwick is by coach. National Express coaches run frequently to Bournemouth. Journey times and prices vary a lot. Direct coaches are usually cheaper and the journey takes between 3.5 and 4 hours. Coaches that travel via Heathrow or Central London are more frequent but can take up to 5 hours and are normally more expensive. You should check the timetable carefully and ask for advice at the ticket office if you’re not sure. Ask about student discounts when you book your ticket.

You can also travel here by train. The journey takes about 2.5 hours and trains are very frequent however the journey usually involves several changes and tickets are sometimes more expensive than coach tickets. 

From Heathrow Airport

Heathrow is one of the biggest and busiest airports in the world! You may find these maps of the airport useful.

The Heathrow website has lots of information about the variety of travel options available to you.

Your cheapest and easiest option is probably to travel by National Express coach to Bournemouth. The journey time is approximately 2.5 hours and costs approximately £35. Check that you book a ticket on a direct coach to Bournemouth (not one that goes via Central London). Ask about student discounts when you book your ticket.

From Luton Airport

National Express coaches depart hourly for Bournemouth – you’ll need to change buses either at Heathrow or in Central London. Journey time is between 4 and 5 hours and ticket prices vary. You should check the timetable carefully and ask for advice at the ticket office if you’re not sure. Ask about student discounts when you book your ticket.

It takes about 3.5 hours to travel to Bournemouth by train from Luton Airport Parkway station. (There’s a shuttle bus from the airport to the train station that takes about 10 minutes.) Although it’s faster than the coach, you will need to change trains several times, so it’s not a straightforward journey, particularly if you have a lot of heavy luggage.

From Southampton Airport

The quickest and easiest option from Southampton airport is to catch a direct train to Bournemouth. It takes about 35 minutes and costs about £15.

From Stansted Airport

The coach station for National Express is just a 2-minute walk from the airport terminal at Stansted. Buses take between 4.5 and 5.5 hours to get to Bournemouth, usually with one change either at Heathrow Airport or in Central London. Ticket prices vary a lot, but are almost always cheaper than the train. Check the timetable carefully and ask for advice at the ticket office if you’re not sure. Ask about student discounts when you book your ticket.

It takes about 3 hrs 45mins to travel to Bournemouth by train from Stansted Airport station. (The train station is just a 2-minute walk from the terminal.) Although it’s faster than the coach, you will need to change trains at least twice, so it’s not a straightforward journey, particularly if you have a lot of heavy luggage. The train ticket costs about £80.