You will need to plan how to reach Leeds and how to travel to your accommodation once you have arrived in the UK. 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
- 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.
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 travelling in London, find out about London buses and the underground. More information about UK public transport is available from Traveline
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 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 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 13 to 20 September 2019 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.