Welcome to Bath
If you are driving to Bath for the first time we hope you'll find this blog helpful to find a parking space and also avoid any fines for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Not a great experience if you receive a notice a few weeks after your memorable visit to the city.
The last few miles
You may have travelled hundreds of miles to reach Bath but it's our experience that the last few miles can be the most stressful. We have tried to give a simple narrative of the best way to find a car park so that blood pressure stays at a normal level and relationships are less fraught.
From London or M4 (Green Route)
Arriving from London it’s likely you will leave the M4 at junction 18 and drive south down the A46. (Fosse Way) You will pass Dyrham Park, a National Trust site (read more here ) on your right and also the Tollgate Café. No tolls required though!
As you see the signs for the Bath turn off don’t miss the fabulous view of the city and Bath Abbey which is off to your right. Your journey into the city with then be along the A4, the London Road. It’s often slow but does keep moving, stay out of the bus lanes and keep to 30mph! The obvious car park to head for is Charlotte Street. You get there by keeping straight and following the road via The Paragon, George Street and the amazing Queen Square. Drive 3 sides of Queen Square and turn left, Charlotte Street car park will be on your right. After parking it’s an easy stroll (10mins) to the Abbey Churchyard and the centre of the city.
From the South via A36 (Purple Route)
If you are approaching Bath from the south using the A36 following the valley of the River Avon, crossing the Limpley Stoke viaduct you will enter Bath at Sydney Gardens. (Sydney Gardens was a pleasure garden during Georgian times and a favourite of Jane Austen, who lived opposite at No4 Sydney Place. It’s on the right hand side with a plaque. Don’t forget to ask your guide about it.)
Just before you reach Sydney Gardens you should veer left off the A36 and down the hill. Turn left at the junction and pass St Marys, Bathwick, a perpendicular gothic church. Keep going straight and turn right just after the railway bridge. There is parking at the Cricket ground and Sports Centre. If you continue over the River Avon, passing the Toll Booth (in our picture) you will need to turn left into Manvers Street, towards Bath Spa Railway Station. At the station turn right and pass the bus station on your left. You are now heading to park in either Southgate or Avon Street. Bear left and then immediately right.
Follow the road around. Avon Street car park is accessed by veering left and Southgate by veering right. Avon Street is at street level and Southgate is an underground car park.
From Bristol via A36 (Blue Route)
Entering Bath from Bristol is very straightforward. You will be travelling out of Bristol on the A4, Bath Road. You will by pass Keynsham and eventually join the A36 at The Globe roundabout. The A36 becomes duel carriageway at this point and you have a choice to make at the next set of traffic lights. If you turn left and follow the road you will come across Charlotte Street Car Park on your left handside after about 10 minutes driving. If you carry straight on you will travel into the city on the Lower Bristol Road. After numerous sets of traffic lights and a large roundabout you will emerge with the river on your left and railway arches on your right. It's at this point you should turn left, across the River Avon. If you follow the road you will see Avon Street Car Park on your left and if you merge right you'll see the entrance to the Southgate Car Park on your left.