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Arriving in London

If you are arriving on an international flight to London, you will be coming into one of four airports - Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton or Stansted. Heathrow is south west of London, Gatwick is South of London, Stansted is north east of London and Luton is north west of London.

Travel from Heathrow to London several options

Heathrow Express   is a high-speed underground train, getting you to the city centre in 20 minutes and is the most expensive rail option. If you are staying in Greater or Central London, it is worthwhile enquiring about an Oyster Card when purchasing your ticket, as the card will probably reduce your transport costs. The Oyster Card is a pay-as-you-go card that discounts your travel on London buses and the underground. It also saves you from having to queue. The credit on your card does not expire, and there is a choice of peak and off peak travel times.    

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London Underground (Tube)   The all-stops Piccadilly Line (dark blue or purple line) is less expensive than the Heathrow Express, but will take longer to get into central London (about 45 minutes).  

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Bus to Euston, Victoria or Kings Cross   you can pre-book your bus journey to avoid queuing with your entire luggage. The bus drivers are extremely helpful, so ask them to let you know where you should get off. This is an inexpensive way of getting into central London, but is more time-consuming than the railway options.

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Taxis   are the most expensive option. However, if you are sharing the cost of the journey, it may be the most attractive option. After a long, arduous flight, it is good to have a door-to-door service. Taxis queue at the exits of all airport terminals.

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The hotel shuttle bus -   If you are staying in a hotel on arrival, prior to moving on to your place of study somewhere else in the United Kingdom, do make enquiries about using your hotel shuttle service. You can email the hotel directly for advice.

Similar travel options are available from Luton, Gatwick and Stansted.

By car -   Any new arrival would be extremely brave to hire a car and drive into London. As in most capital cities, driving in London is quite stressful, even for experienced residents. The only assurance you would have is that satellite navigation could ease the stress. There are car rental firms at the airports. You would have to produce your driving licence in order to hire a car.

Please also remember that in Britain, cars are driven on the left hand side of the road. Even as a pedestrian, you must be aware of this, and take great care while crossing the road.

Entering the UK by Eurostar

If you are travelling by Eurostar through the Channel tunnel, your passport and documents will be checked on the train, or at the United Kingdom Immigration terminal if you are travelling by car.  

Travelling elsewhere in the UK

Britain's economic development was greatly influenced by its railway networks and it has one of the most extensive in the world, which includes some beautiful lines through sparsely populated and scenic countryside. Due to the country's comparatively small size, it is very easy to travel by train or road and reach your destination comfortably.  

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The most economical way of getting around the UK, however, is on buses. The Young Person's Travel Card allows you about 33% off bus and train travel (see   ). You can purchase most travel tickets online.


This information is supplied by UK Work Study specialists in helping international students come to the UK.

Contact   for more details on our UK Study Pack.


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