IWSM2018 Bristol 15-20 July Travel

Bristol lies about 160km directly west of London, at the head of the Bristol Channel/ Severn Estuary that separates Wales from South West England. Transport connections by train and air are very good. The conference venue is within walking distance of the city centre and the main bus and rail stations.


The workshop accommodation booking page is now closed (the hotels have to release rooms). Basic University accommodation targetted at students is also available. Half an hour by bus from the workshop UWE (University of the West of England) offers less basic university rooms. A wide variety of hotel and other accomodation is also available through the usual websites and through Visit Bristol. There is a Youth Hostel situated very nicely for the city centre and conference venue. It is also possible to stay in Bath, which is 15 minutes by train from Bristol Temple meads station (a 25 minute walk from the conference venue).


Bristol is in the West of England, so it has a basically maritime climate and the weather is highly variable. In July it is likely to be warm or hot and sunny, but there may be cool days and rain. Any rain can be heavy. Bring clothing for the possibility of hot and humid weather, and something for cool weather. Also bring an umbrella or raincoat.

Visa requirements

Nationals of many countries do not require a visa to enter the UK for an academic conference, but from other countries it is required. If in doubt you should check visa requirements and if necessary apply for a visa in plenty of time.


The university's printable map shows the best route to the university from Temple Meads railway station or the bus station. The printable campus map is also useful. The conference venues are Chemistry (marked as 12 on the maps) and the Queen's Building (Thursday only, marked as 20). Other maps are also available from the university maps page. See also IWSM2018 Location .


Despite being somewhat hilly, Bristol has a lot of cyclists and cycle path provision. There are many cycle hire shops to choose from, as you can find by googling. For example, one possibility is to hire a Brompton folding bike to pick up from Bristol Temple Meads station.


Eurostar offer rapid travel under the channel to St Pancras station London. They offer through ticketing to and from major European stations. Bristol is about 3 hours from St Pancras, including crossing London. Take the Hammersmith and City line from St Pancras to Paddington.

Eurostar are not always great at finding sensible connections. Deutsche Bahn is better for finding out what is available and sometimes has good deals to London (they are very efficient at booking by phone). For trains within the UK use National Rail to check times and book tickets.

By train you want Bristol Temple Meads station (not Bristol Parkway). From Temple Meads station to the workshop venue is 2.5km (80m ascent), which takes 30 minutes on foot (without pushing it). A number 8 bus from Temple Meads towards Clifton runs every 10 minutes (Park Street Top stop leaves you with a walk of a couple of minutes).


Bristol Airport is the most convenient, and has direct flights to many European airports. Connection to the city of Bristol is excellent using the Airport Flyer bus which runs a frequent service around the clock. The airport flyer terminates at Bristol bus station, which is 1.1km from the workshop venue. You can book the Flyer in advance, but this is not necessary, and in any case does not guarantee a seat (the buses are frequent enough that this is really not a problem).

The alternative is to fly to Heathrow or one of the other London airports, and take the bus or train to Bristol. Train to Bristol Temple Meads via London Paddington station, using the Heathrow Express, is reliable and quick but a bit expensive. See National Rail. A cheaper alternative is to take the Rail Air Link from Heathrow to Reading and then take the train to Bristol Temple Meads. National Express buses offer Bristol services to and from Heathrow and the other London Airports. These are much cheaper than the train, but take a bit longer. Note also that the south east of England is congested, so it is prudent allow a bit of extra time to get back to any of the London airports if travelling by road.