Living in the city of Bath and the South West
Students make up around a quarter of the city of Bath's population. Find out what Bath and the South West have to offer you as a student living here.
The University of Bath is a campus university within easy reach of the city. The city itself is surrounded by the countryside of the South West of England and its good transport links mean that you can travel around the country easily.
Find out more about the location of the University.
Start your career here
The city is attracting a new generation of technology and creative companies which are looking to our graduates to help them take their businesses further.
The South West also has some of the leading companies in the world, such as:
- BAE systems and AirBus in Bristol
- Dyson in Malmesbury
- Intel in Swindon
Living and studying in Bath puts you in the right place to start your career in one of these industries.
Explore a city of history
The Gothic abbey, stunning Georgian architecture and Roman Baths, which give the city its name, have led to Bath becoming the only city in England to have UNESCO World Heritage status.
Surrounded by beautiful hills and countryside, the crescent-shaped limestone buildings and cobbled squares attract visitors from around the world.
Bath is a modern city with a rich history and has been home to famous people for a long time; Jane Austen, William Herschel, Manolo Blahnik and Ken Loach have all helped make the city great.
Enjoy the best of Bath
Bath is a city with a lot going on and there’s plenty to see and do. The city is safe to walk around and most of the main attractions and interesting areas are close to each other.
There are lots of parks and open spaces to enjoy, including Victoria Park and the Kennet and Avon canal path.
Bath has a great reputation for good food. There are lots of places to eat and drink, including pubs, cocktail bars, cafés, delis and Michelin-starred restaurants.
There are student nights in the city’s pubs and bars throughout the week, as well as live music and club nights.
There is also a good selection of cinemas, comedy clubs and theatres in the city so you can find a huge range of entertainment and alternative nights out.
Bath has two cinemas and three theatres, including The Theatre Royal which frequently hosts plays straight from a West End run.
There are now three music venues in Bath, attracting a wide range of bands, including Komedia which was the 2017 winner of Best Venue in the West of England and Wales. Being so close to Glastonbury, Bath often serves as a warm-up venue for acts on their way there; bands that have played here include The Shires, Paloma Faith, Lily Allen, Oasis and Coldplay.
Pop-up food stalls and street performers around the city centre add to the vibrant street culture.
There’s a huge variety of shops here, including major high street brands and independent shops and boutiques in the city centre.
Bath Farmers Market runs every Saturday throughout the year, and Bath Artisan Market hosts independent makers and sellers on occasional Sundays. Towards the end of the year, you can also visit Bath Christmas Market for festive food and gifts.
Bath has a proud rugby heritage. Bath Rugby Club is one of the oldest and most successful in the country. They play at the Recreation Ground, which is a short walk from the centre of town.
The Bath Half Marathon is held every year in March. You can take part or go and support your friends.
For a shorter run, the Bath Skyline parkrun takes place every Saturday and is free to enter.
There are also gyms and a sport centre with a swimming pool in town.
Well known for its culture and entertainment, the city has a year-round programme of events for you to get involved in, such as:
Baths, ancient and modern
The Roman Baths is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the UK. You can see how the Romans bathed before you try the waters yourself at the Thermae Bath Spa. The only spa of its kind in the world, the water is heated by volcanic thermal springs beneath the city.
Galleries and museums
The city has a lot of interesting museums to visit, including:
- Victoria Art Gallery
- Holburne Museum
- Fashion Musem
- Herschel Museum
- American Museum
- Jane Austen Centre
The Leap List details events and activities for students in Bath. There are frequent updates about these on the Bath Leap List Facebook page.
Bath is one of the safest cities in the UK, and is consistently identified as one of the least-crime affected cities statistically.
The University additionally has its own security measures, and has won awards for its safety and security in recent years.
Discover the South West
Being in Bath gives you easy access to the rest of the South West of England. There are cycle and walking routes starting from the city which you can use to explore the local area.
Bath is surrounded by beautiful countryside and waterways. The Avon and Kennet canal is perfect for walking, running and cycling and can be accessed directly from the city. The Two Tunnels Greenway trail opened in 2013 and takes you along a former train line and through one of the longest walkable tunnels in the UK.
Summer activities and overnight stays
Living in the area makes it easy to go to Glastonbury Festival in the summer. You can also get to Devon and Cornwall by train if you want to explore the South West further.
If you fancy a day out at the seaside, you can catch a direct train to Weston-super-Mare or Weymouth.
Bristol is a good city to visit at the weekend. You can get there with a short train journey and there are several night buses between the two cities.
Bristol has a distinctive personality and is well-known for its history and heritage. You can visit the regenerated Harbourside area with its attractions like:
Bristol also has a thriving music scene, arts and culture. The Watershed is a leading film and media centre and the Arnolfini is one of Europe’s top venues for the arts. Upfest is Europe’s largest street art festival and in the summer there is the famous Bristol International Balloon Fiesta.
Cardiff, Wales’ capital city, is another place to visit on a weekend. Easy to get to by train from Bath, it’s the home of Wales’ national museum, the Millennium Centre and Cardiff Castle. The Principality Stadium, in the city centre, hosts international rugby and football as well as major music concerts.
Other places you can get to for a day trip include Salisbury, famous for its cathedral, the old city of Wells and the ancient sites of Avebury and Stonehenge. There are bus tours available if you don't want to travel there yourself.
Further afield, you can get to the Cotswolds and the Mendips, which are designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There are also lots of pretty villages, country estates and market towns like Bradford-on-Avon and Frome.
There are good railway links from Bath, making it easy for you to explore. It takes an hour and a half to get to London and under two hours to Birmingham.
Trains are the fastest way to travel between cities and towns, but you can also get a bus or coach if you want cheaper options.
There is a direct coach to Heathrow Airport, but you can also get to Bristol and Birmingham international airports by coach or train.