You will need to plan how to reach Leeds and how to travel to your accommodation once you have arrived in the UK. Before you make any travel plans, check when you should arrive in Leeds. When you plan the details of your journey and travel connections remember to allow time for any delays and queues at immigration control.

Before you leave home

Before leaving home you should know where you will stay on your first night, the arrangements for collecting your accommodation key and the 24-hour phone number for your accommodation.

Many accommodation site offices are not open in the evening, so if you plan to arrive in the evening, contact your accommodation in advance to ensure you can collect your keys.

It is also useful to carry the University’s Security Office contact details in case of an emergency. You can also check what else to bring with you

Travelling to Leeds

Tickets on public transport are usually cheaper when booked in advance. You should look to book your journey as soon as possible after your flight is booked.

Public transport in the UK is usually convenient and reliable. You can find train times and buy tickets on the National Rail website

Travelling by coach will often be cheaper than other options. There are a number of coach companies operating in the UK, you can check prices and buy tickets at National Express and Megabus

If you will be traveling in London, find out about London buses and the underground. More information about UK public transport is available from Traveline

Airports

There are a number of airports which are accessible from Leeds. Below you can find travel information on four airports you might choose to travel to.

Leeds-Bradford Airport

Leeds-Bradford Airport is around 12 kilometres from the centre of Leeds. As it is a small local airport, immigration queues will often be shorter than other airports. You should be able to reach your accommodation by taxi from the airport. Alternatively, you can catch a bus to Leeds city centre.

Manchester Airport

Manchester Airport is around 90km from the centre of Leeds.

Train: you can get a direct train from Manchester Airport to Leeds train station. The journey will take around one hour and twenty minutes. 

Coach: the coach fare from Manchester Airport to Leeds Coach Station will usually be the cheapest option. The journey will take around two hours and 30 minutes.

Taxi: the taxi fare from Manchester Airport to Leeds Train Station will be more expensive than public transport. The journey will take around one hour and twenty minutes.

London Heathrow Airport

London Heathrow Airport is around 320km away from Leeds.

Plane: you can get an internal flight to Leeds Bradford Airport. This must be booked in advance.

Coach:
the coach is usually the cheapest option and the journey will take around six hours.

Train: there is no direct train from Heathrow Airport to Leeds. You would need to change trains twice in London. The journey will take around three hours and forty minutes.  

London Gatwick Airport

Gatwick airport is around 380km from Leeds city centre. 

Coach: the coach is usually the cheapest option and will take seven to eight hours.

Train: there is no direct train from Gatwick to Leeds and you would need to change trains twice in London. The journey would take around three hours and forty minutes. 

Travelling to your accommodation

When you arrive in Leeds you may wish to take a taxi to the accommodation that you have arranged for your first night in the city. There are permanent taxi ranks at the airport, train and coach stations.

If you arrive in Leeds from 8 to 15 September 2017 at Leeds Bradford Airport or Leeds Train Station, you can choose to use our free Meet and Greet service

If your journey is delayed and you arrive late unexpectedly, phone your accommodation before you leave the airport or station. If you are not able to contact your accommodation, take a taxi to the University's Security Office where staff are available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Travel safety tips

  • keep your passport safe and never give it to anyone except an immigration official
  • do not carry large amounts of cash. Do not leave your bags unsupervised during your journey
  • take out travel insurance. It will not stop something going wrong but it will protect you financially
  • for more information on how to travel safely, read the British Council safety guide Creating Confidence

Find out more about what happens when you arrive and how we can help you with settling in.