It is faster, and may be cheaper to take the train, especially if you book ahead. However, you do need to travel across London on the underground. Try to avoid travelling at rush hour, when it is very busy, as it can be difficult to board the subway trains.
From Stansted airport it takes 5 hours to get to Bath by coach. There are 9 National Express buses a day and you need to change at Heathrow Airport. A single journey costs about 30 GBP and it is about 38 GBP return. For more detailed information, including maps and national and local buses in Bath see our guide to Bath Bus Station.
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 opt to pick up your ticket at Heathrow's central bus station on arrival. If you buy a ticket for a specific bus time, the ticket is normally honoured for 24 hours from your original departure time should you be delayed.
If you have plenty of time and are looking for the cheapest option you could consider taking a Terravision bus or an easyBus to London (from 2 GBP one way) then picking up a Megabus or MegaTrain from Victoria coach station or London Waterloo to Bath or Bristol (change to local bus at Bristol) which can cost as little as 1.50 GBP one way if you book far enough ahead.
By train, it takes around 3 ¼ hours and there are trains every 30 minutes. You need to change at Liverpool Street and transfer by London Underground to Paddington Station. From Liverpool Street station, take the westbound Circle (yellow) or Hammersmith and City (pink) line to Paddington. Exit the underground and follow the signs for the mainline station. A single fare costs from 13 GBP or an off peak return is about 65 GBP. For more detailed information, including maps, national and trains from Bath see our guide to Bath Train Station.
You get the best fares by booking up to three months in advance. You can buy your tickets online, at the station ticket counter, or from the ticket machines. If you book online you will need to collect your tickets from the ticket machine using the same credit card you used to book your tickets online.
If you are travelling in a group you may find the most economic way to travel from Stansted Airport to Bath is by private taxi. For example 4 people in a taxi costs from 224 GBP compared 38 GBP each for a bus and an 8 person minivan taxi costs just 319 GBP. Click the button below to use our taxi calculator to get an estimate of cost for your group now:
If you decide you would like to spend a little longer in Bath to soak up the atmosphere and visit a few more attractions why not check out some of the Bath Hotel Deals and see if anything takes your fancy?