Polaris House is located in Swindon, Wiltshire and is home to the RCUK joint
units, alongside BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC and STFC. Swindon is in the south of the
UK on the 'M4 corridor' between Bristol and London.
Getting to Polaris House by Rail
Visiting Polaris House is best done by rail, as car parking on-site is extremely
limited. Furthermore, the site is conveniently situated directly behind Swindon's
Swindon is served by
First Great Western services from:
- London Paddington (1 hour);
- Reading (30 minutes);
- Didcot Parkway (15 minutes);
- Chippenham (15 minutes);
- Bath (30 minutes);
- Bristol (45 minutes);
- Cardiff (1 hour).
Road coach connections at Reading serve Heathrow airport.
Other train operators run services to Swindon from Oxford (taking around 50 minutes)
and Gloucester (about 45 minutes). Please check travel times on the
National Rail Enquiries website.
Polaris House is directly behind Swindon train station, therefore you should
leave the station via the footbridge rather than the main entrance. If you arrive
on platforms 1, 2 or 3, you should be able to easily find the footbridge as it is
located between WHSmith and the underpass to the main entrance (you will not need
to go down any stairs to reach it). If you arrive on platform 4, you will need to
follow the signs to platforms 1,2 and 3 and look out for WHSmith, you will see the
access to the footbridge immediately to the right of here. Once you have crossed
the footbridge you will see Polaris House (see the picture at the top of this page
Getting to Polaris House by road
Parking at Polaris House is extremely limited, the Research Councils urge visitors
to use alternative methods of transport where available. If you will be driving,
please be aware that a limited number of visitors spaces are available on a "first
come, first served" basis. However, disabled badge holders can reserve a space by
prior arrangement - you will need to inform your host at the Research Councils to
make arrangements for this. If you do not make prior arrangements for parking, or
if you prefer, there is a pay and display car park available immediately off site.
If you are travelling by road, we recommend you use a route planning service
RAC's Route Planner or
The AA's Route Planner. One of the postcodes you can use for Polaris House is
Polaris House is situated in an area called 'North Star' - this is also home
to Swindon College's North Star campus and the Oasis leisure centre. The road you
will approach North Star on is a dual carriageway called 'Great Western Way' (A3102).
We advise you to enter Swindon by J16 of the M4, you will almost immediately join
Great Western Way, simply look out for signs that say North Star and Oasis leisure
centre. If you arrive by other routes it is not so simple, and you are advised to
look for signs to 'town centre' first, and then 'North Star'. See the table below
for further information.
Once you arrive at the roundabout on Great Western Way for North Star, head in
and take the road between the Oasis and Swindon College - at the end of this road
you should be able to see the train station and the pay and display car park in
front of you, Polaris House is to your left.
||M4 to J15, then A419, A4259 into Swindon (or continue to J16, see Bristol)
||M4 to J16, then A3102 into Swindon (A3102 is Great Western Way)
||A417/A419, then A4311 into Swindon.
||A345 (to M4 J15), then A419, A4259 into Swindon.
Getting to Polaris House by air
The best airports to use when visiting us would be either
London Heathrow or
From London Heathrow, you can take a
Railair coach to Reading and then a train to Swindon. Alternatively, you could
Heathrow Express, a train which takes you from Heathrow to Paddington, where
you can then take a train direct to Swindon.
From Bristol International, you can use the
Bristol International Flyer express coach service to take you to Bristol Temple
Meads train station; from here you will be able to take a direct train to Swindon.
North Star House
North Star House is home to the Shared Services Centre (SSC Ltd) and is situated
opposite Polaris House.
Getting to North Star House by rail
To get to North Star House by rail, follow the instructions for Polaris House.
Once you have descended the steps from the footbridge, turn immediately around and
walk through the pay and display car park towards the roundabout on your right.
North Star House is situated just off this roundabout to your left.
Getting to North Star House by road
Again follow the instructions for Polaris House, only turn right instead of left
at the end of the road between the Oasis and Swindon College.
Getting to North Star House by air
Please follow the instructions for Polaris House.
MRC London Office
MRC's London Office is located on Kemble Street in London.
For directions, please see the
For directions to the various laboratories and facilities maintained by the Science
and Technology Facilities Council, please refer to the
Directions to Polaris House via Google Maps can be found below:
View Larger Map