Overall you will find it is faster to travel by train between Bath and Cambridge and suprisingly it can often be considerably cheaper than the coach if you can book ahead. The only disadvantage is that you have to cross London using the Underground, which is inconvenient if you are carrying a lot of bags.
National Express coaches leave from the Avon Street Car Park in Bath. It will take you between 5-6 hours to get to Cambridge, including a 1 hour transfer at Heathrow Airport. There are 11 coaches per day and the first one leaves at 03:25 and the last coach is at 18:30. You can buy a single ticket for around 40 GBP, which is amendable, but non-refundable. A standard return ticket is 53.50 GBP, or, if you can book seven days in advance and are not travelling on a Friday, you can get an Economy Apex Return for 38.50 GBP.
After booking online, you will be issued with an e-ticket, which you need to print out and take with you, or an m-ticket, which is sent to your mobile phone. Otherwise you can get at ticket at the bus station. Buses from Bath to Cambridge can be very crowded at times and there is no guarantee of a place unless you book in advance.
Trains to Cambridge leave every 30 minutes from Bath Spa station. You have to change at Paddington Station, in London and transfer to Kings Cross station or Liverpool Street station via the London Underground. From Paddington Station, take the anticlockwise Circle (yellow) or eastbound Hammersmith and City (pink) underground line to Kings Cross. Exit the underground and follow the signs for the mainline station, where you'll be able to catch a Cambridge-bound train, which runs three times per hour.
The journey should take around 3 ½ hours, but allow a little extra time for negotiating the Underground system. Subway trains run every 2-3 minutes but there are often delays. Try to time your journey so you avoid travelling across London in the rush hour - subway trains can be impossible to board, especially if you are travelling with luggage. An off-peak return fare is 67 GBP, but if you book ahead it is possible to get two singles from about 13 GBP each way.
The UK train ticketing system is notoriously complicated. It is usually cheaper to buy your tickets up to 6pm on the day before you travel than on the day. And fares are more expensive if you travel before 09:30.
On arrival in Cambridge, it is a 15-minute walk to the town centre, or you can catch a taxi outside the station for around 5 GBP. There is also a bus that runs about every 10 minutes.
To walk, exit the station and continue along Station Road, which is directly in front of you. At the T-junction, turn right onto Hills Road, which takes you towards the city centre.
If you are travelling in a group you may find the most economic way to travel from Bath to Cambridge is by private taxi. For example 4 people in a taxi costs from 239 GBP compared 160 GBP for a bus and an 8 person minivan taxi costs just 299 GBP. Click the button below to use our taxi calculator to get an estimate of cost for your group now:
If you are looking for a deal on accomodation on arrival in Cambridge why not check out some hotels deals: