Arrival and transport

The content on this page is for students who started in 2018. Information for 2019 courses will be available nearer the time.

When to arrive

Please plan to arrive at your accommodation the day before your course starts:

  • 14-week pre-sessional course –  arrive by 16 May 2018
  • 10-week pre-sessional course – arrive by 13 June 2018
  • 6-week pre-sessional course – arrive by 11 July 2018

If you arrive before this, you will need to find somewhere else to stay.

If you arrive late, please contact the accommodation office. If you are going to miss the first day of your course, you will also need to email to explain why and say when you expect to arrive.

Student Ambassadors are here to help

Leaving home and arriving in a different country can be overwhelming. We are here to help. Our friendly Student Ambassadors can meet you at Heathrow Airport and Bristol Coach Station. They will wear red T-shirts and hold a University of Bristol sign.

They can help you:

  • in terminals two and three of Heathrow Airport – with your coach travel from Heathrow Airport to Bristol Coach Station
  • at Bristol Coach Station – with getting a free minibus to your accommodation.

When we can meet you

We can meet you when you arrive in the UK, if you arrive on:

Wednesday 13 June 2018 (for 10-week pre-sessional course)

  • at London Heathrow Airport, between 10 am and 8.30 pm
  • at Bristol Coach Station, between 10 am and 7 pm.

Wednesday 11 July (for 6-week pre-sessional course)

  • at London Heathrow Airport, between 10 am and 8.30 pm
  • Bristol Coach Station, between 10 am and 7 pm.

If you are delayed, or you arrive at any other time, you must organise your own travel to Bristol. If you would like us to meet you, please tell us your arrival details

We cannot meet students on the 14-week pre-sessional course.

Booking a coach ticket to Bristol

We recommend you travel by coach from Heathrow and Gatwick airports to Bristol Coach Station. Travelling by train involves an underground journey to London, which will add time and cost to your journey.

You can book a coach with two companies:

You can get a 50 per cent discount for National Express by using the link above. We recommend buying your ticket in advance online (with a bank card), as coaches can be fully booked on the day. This would delay your journey.

When buying your ticket, remember to:

  • book a coach that departs three hours (minimum) after your plane arrives, to allow for flight delays and border/passport checks
  • buy a 'standard' or 'fully flexible fare', as this allows you to change your ticket (amendments must be made prior to the journey)
  • buy additional luggage allowance if you are travelling with more than two medium-sized suitcases.

It is possible to buy National Express tickets on the day. However, you must ensure you have sufficient cash to pay at the counter.

Other tips:

Further travel information

You can read UKCISA tavel and transport in the UK for general information. 

Our maps and travel section has more information on how to get here, and maps of the University precinct and our halls of residence (accommodation).

Student Ambassadors in red and white T-shirts can meet you when you arrive in the UK.

Join the Unique Society WeChat group

Talk to other Chinese students who can give you advice about what to expect when you arrive.

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