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Getting here

Travelling to Bournemouth from the airport

If you’re arriving at Heathrow or Gatwick Airport, it’s easy to get to Bournemouth by National Express.

You can buy your ticket at the airport, it costs approximately £30.00 and buses depart regularly for Bournemouth from early morning until midnight.

Try to book a direct bus (not one that goes via London) – it will get you to Bournemouth much quicker.

Most BU accommodation is at our Lansdowne Campus and the nearest National Express bus stop is Bournemouth Station/Travel Interchange.

If you are staying in Corfe House, you should book a ticket to Poole bus station which is very close to your accommodation.

With heavy suitcases, it is probably easiest to take a taxi from the bus station to your accommodation, so make sure you have a small amount of cash with you to pay the driver.

Arriving in Bournemouth late in the evening

If you will be arriving in Bournemouth late in the evening, here are some tips to help things go as smoothly as possible for you:

  • Most of our BU accommodation has 24 hour security, so there should be someone there to let you in and give you your keys, whenever you arrive. However, it’s a good idea to contact your accommodation in advance if you’ll be arriving after 6.00pm, so that they’re expecting you.
  • Think about food! If you’re arriving late you may not want to go out to buy food and, especially on Sundays, it may be difficult to find shops or cafés that are open. You could eat at the airport or buy some food there and bring it with you to Bournemouth. Alternatively, ask someone in your accommodation for the details of local shops or phone numbers for takeaway restaurants who can deliver to you.
  • If there’s a chance you may arrive late in the evening, it’s a good idea to order a bedding pack in advance so that you know you’ll have warm bedding waiting for you when you arrive.

How to reach us from different UK airports

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 quickest journey to Bournemouth from Gatwick is by train (approx. 2.5 hours). Trains are very frequent. Tickets are sometimes more expensive than coach tickets, but not always (see below).

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.

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.