Cranfield Defence and Security (CDS) is based at the Ministry of Defence establishment on the Oxfordshire/Wiltshire borders.

Shrivenham itself lies in the picturesque Vale of the White Horse, close to the M4 motorway which links London and South Wales. It is seven miles from Swindon, the nearest town, which lies off the M4 at the hub of Britain’s motorway network.

Bath, Cheltenham, Bristol and Oxford are all within an hour’s drive and London less than two hours away by car.

All visitors must ensure that the person they are visiting has pre-registered them at reception.

Address for Cranfield University at the Defence Academy of the UK

Cranfield University

View on Google Maps

Directions by road from Oxford

  • Leave the Oxford ring road (A34) at the A420 Botley Interchange. 
  • Follow signs for the A420 to Swindon. Travel on the A420 until you reach the Watchfield Roundabout - Junction with B4508 (will take around 30 minutes). 
  • Take the second exit off the roundabout (following signs for Defence Academy) and the main gate is just after the exit on the left. 
  • All visitors must report to the main gate.

Directions by road from Swindon

  • Leave the M4 at junction 15, take the A419 for approximately 3 miles, then take the A420 towards Oxford. 
  • Continue past the right turn for Shrivenham Village and at the next roundabout take the third exit (following signs for Defence Academy). 
  • The main gate is just after the exit, on the left. 
  • All visitors must report to the main gate.

On arrival

All visitors to Cranfield University at Shrivenham must make arrangements in advance, through the person you will be visiting.  

On arrival at the main Visitor Reception Centre you will be asked to produce photo ID (passport, UK photo driving licence, government ID card or similar).  

If you are travelling by car, providing full details of it in advance (make, model, colour, registration number) will help with the issue of a vehicle pass on arrival.  

Bus travel

From Swindon Bus Station the S6 route to Oxford stops at the Defence Academy. Students can use their DMR (site access) pass to board the bus and purchase discounted tickets. The journey takes approximately 25 minutes. There are two services each hour.

Route planning information is available either at:

Coach travel from major UK airports

National Express runs coaches from several major UK airports to nearby towns.

Rail travel

  • London Paddington to Swindon – frequent trains take 50 minutes.
  • Bristol to Swindon – the journey takes 25 minutes and trains run frequently.

There are also train links from Swindon to South Wales, and to the Midlands and North.

The National Rail travel information website gives timetable information for all train operating companies. Their phone number is T: +44 (0)8457 484950.

Air travel

Swindon is connected to several major UK airports.  These include:

Also close by are Bristol, Southampton and Cardiff airports.

Coach travel from major UK airports

National Express
National Express runs coaches from several major UK airports to nearby towns.

Taxi information

There are several taxi companies operating from Swindon or Oxford or locally at Shrivenham. The taxi journey from Swindon takes about 20 minutes to Shrivenham.