Travel and Visa info

Getting to Southampton

By air

Southampton International Airport is a few minutes away from Highfield campus by bus (Unilink bus: U1, £2 single/£3.50 all-day pass) or taxi (usually around £6-12), off junction 5 of the M27. There are flights to Southampton from UK airports, mainland Europe and the Channel Islands.

London Heathrow Airport is just over 60 miles from Southampton. You can catch a National Express coach direct to Southampton from the central bus station, located close to Terminals 1, 2 and 3. Some coaches stop at the University’s Highfield Interchange, others go direct to Southampton Coach Station. You can also travel by train from Heathrow to Paddington in central London. From London, you can take a train to Southampton. For more details see the National Rail website.

London Gatwick Airport is nearly 90 miles from Southampton. You can catch a National Express coach direct to Southampton Coach Station. You can also catch a direct train from Gatwick Airport to Southampton Central. For more details see the National Rail website.

Taxis to/from London airports

The following local companies provide a taxi service between Southampton and the London airports:

  • Radio Taxis
  • English Rose Collection

By car

  • Postcode for SatNav: SO17 1BJ. What Three Words address ///civil.mile.lives
  • Visitor parking: There is a Pay and Display car park for visitors, accessed from University Road. Please note that it can fill up very quickly during the morning.
  • From the M3: Exit at junction 14 (Southampton A33)
  • From the M27: Exit at junction 5 (Southampton Airport)

Please note there is extremely limited public parking on campus and local teams may issue parking fines for those parking in non-public car parks and/or without displaying appropriate official permits. The organisers strongly advise attendees to travel to campus using public transport.

By rail

Fast trains from London and Bournemouth/Weymouth stop at Southampton Central and Southampton Airport Parkway. Trains from Portsmouth and Bristol/South Wales stop at Southampton Central. There are also regular trains from major airports such as Gatwick and Heathrow to Southampton Central. You can find details of routes and timetables on the National Rail website.

Highfield Campus is three miles from Southampton Central, and two miles from Southampton Airport Parkway. You can get the Unilink bus: U1 from either of these stations to Highfield Campus.

By bus or coach

Highfield Campus is easily accessible using our Unilink bus service. Unilink buses go from Southampton Airport, Southampton central train station, the city centre, the National Oceanography Centre and Southampton General Hospital to Highfield Campus. You can find timetables and route maps on the Unilink website.

National Express provides regular coach services to Southampton from central London, Heathrow, Birmingham, Bournemouth and the north. Southampton Coach Station is at Western Esplanade, in the city centre. Some coach services also stop at Highfield Campus.

From Southampton Coach Station you will need to walk to the nearby Civic Centre, where can continue your journey to Highfield Campus using our own Unilink bus U1 or taxi. The Unilink bus fare is £2 for a single or £3.50 for an all-day pass. Taxi fares from the city centre are usually £6-10.

Visa information

International registrants should be particularly aware and careful about VISA requirements, and should plan travel well in advance.

The UK Government provides guidance on entry to the UK on its website which can be found here.

Requesting Visa Support Letters

​Please note that the Association for Computing Machinery does not issue formal invitation letters for visas to attend ACM sponsored conferences.

As part of the visa application process, you may be required to provide a visa support letter. ACM is able to provide visa support letters to attendees as well as authors with accepted papers, posters, or members of the conference committee.

To request a visa support letter, register for the conference and then email your request to The request should include the following information:

  1. Your name as it appears on your passport
  2. Your current postal mailing address
  3. The name of the conference you wish to attend (“ACM WebSci 2020”)
  4. Your Registration Confirmation Number
  5. If you have any papers accepted for the conference, please provide the title and indicate whether you are the “sole author” or a “co-author”
  6. A fax number or email address of where the letter can be sent

Visa support letter requests are handled in the order they are received. You should allow 7-10 business days to receive it.
​Please note that support letters will only be sent to participants who have registered and paid for the conference. Should participants withdraw from the conference after the issuance of a support letter, the consulate will be notified of the withdrawal accordingly.
If you have any questions about the visa support letter process, feel free to contact ACM WebSci 2020 registration chair.