United Kingdom Transport

Get in

Air

London 's main five airports serve most international flights:London Heathrow Airport (LHR), London Gatwick Airport(LGW), London Stansted Airport(STN), London Luton Airport(LTN) and London City Airport(LCY). KLM has a large number of feeder flights to almost every UK regional airport from its international hub in Amsterdam Schiphol.

The major airports outside London are:

Manchester Airport in the North of England is the UK's largest airport outside London, serving many European and a reasonable number of long-haul destinations.

Birmingham International is the UK's seventh largest airport outside of London. The airport has good European services and some long haul services to far flung places. The airport is served by the major European flag carriers providing global hub connections, as well as LCC's such as Ryanair and Easyjet.

Liverpool John Lennon Airport, in North West England, is the UK's fastest-growing airport and is taking on more and more flights. Blackpool has an international airport nearby offering a lot of package-holiday flights.

Newcastle International Airport is the only airport in the North East of England offering a daily service to and from Dubai, with connecting flights into Australia and the far east, it is also a hub for easyjet, Thomson, Thomas Cook and Jet2, with flights available to over 100 destinations.

Edinburgh, Glasgow International, Glasgow Prestwick, Aberdeen, Inverness, Orkney and Shetland Isles' airports have links to London and abroad in Scotland.

Cardiff International, the only international airport in Wales, is a major hub of BA, Flybe and Thomas Cook, which has a few long-haul flights, such as Barbados. Anglesey Airport is the only other noteworthy airport of Wales, which has one flight a day to the Isle of Man and Cardiff.

In Northern Ireland, Belfast International Airport which has several North American long-haul flights, and George Best City Airport both serve the province's capital. City of Derry Airport serves the northwest with a limited number of international and domestic flights.

Train

Eurostar high-speed trains run between London (St Pancras International), Ebbsfleet and Ashford through the Channel Tunnel to Paris (Gare du Nord), Lille (Europe), Calais (Fréthun) and Brussels (Zuid-Midi). During the summer an additional weekly train operates to Avignon and during the winter a weekly service runs a ski service direct to the French Alps. Through tickets and connections are available through Lille, Paris and Brussels from many European cities to most large UK cities.

Bus

Buses are the cheapest way to travel to the UK from France and the Benelux. Eurolines(www. eurolines. com) connects a huge number of destinations, like Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels. There are lots of routes and options, and you can buy tickets online. Connections are available to most parts of the UK via the domestic National Express(www. nationalexpress. com) coach system, for most destinations it is cheaper to purchase this when purchasing your Eurolines tickets as discounts are available. Eurolines will also take you to/from other major European cities. Sometimes , a budget flight would be cheaper than bus. There are some other operators:Megabus offering buses between Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels and London, and Polonia Transport, running business between Eastern Europe and the UK.

Ferry

The main ferry routes between England and Republic of Ireland, ports of entry include Pembroke, Fishguard and Holyhead and Swansea. There are sailings from Dublin to Holyhead, and Liverpool. There are a lot of ferry routes between England and mainland Europe, including Dover to Calais or Dunkirk (France), Harwich to Hook of Holland (Netherlands) and Esbjerg(Denmark) , Hull to Zeebrugge (Belgium) and Rotterdam (Netherlands), Portsmouth to Santander or Bilbao (Spain), and Newcastle to Bergen (Norway) , Gothenburg (Sweden) or Amsterdam( Netherlands). On the south coast, Portsmouth serves ferries from Le Havre, Caen, Cherbourg, St. Malo and Bilbao in Spain and there are speedy services between Dieppe and Newhaven. The other route from Spain is Santander to Plymouth, Plymouth also has ferries from Roscoff, Poole has ferries to Cherbourg as well as the Channel Islands.

Some operators offer freighter travel. For example, Grimaldi Lines operates services from Italy, Cyprus, Israel, and Uruguay that allow up to 12 passengers to travel with their vehicles, in addition to a service from Nigeria, Benin and Côte d'Ivoire that carries 12 foot passengers only.

Car

The Channel Tunnel has provided a rail/road connection since 1994. On arrival at Folkestone, you can drive on to the M20 motorway which heads towards London. Passengers travelling from France to the UK undergo UK passport/identity card and customs checks in Coquelles after the French exit checks before departure, rather than on arrival in the UK.
Get around

Air

Fly is popular for domestic travel within the UK for its cheap price and convenience. The main domestic hubs are London, Belfast, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh. The arrival of budget airlines have seen a boom in domestic UK air travel, and have forced fares down considerably. To get the best fare, it is advisable to book as far in advance as possible.

Train

The UK operates two railway networks. In England, Scotland and Wales the extensive National Rail network covers some 34, 000km (21, 000 miles) covering most of Great Britain, from Penzance in Cornwall to Thurso in the far north of Scotland and including over 2, 600 stations. Train travel is very popular in Britain, with many services busy and passenger numbers rising steadily every year. A mixed system is operated, with infrastructure being state-owned while commercial franchises operate trains, to a destination and service pattern specified by the government.

In Northern Ireland there is a state-owned system called Northern Ireland Railways (NIR) which is separate and uses a different track gauge (the Irish gauge). For more details on rail travel in Northern Ireland, see Rail travel in Ireland; the remainder of this section will focus on rail travel in England, Scotland and Wales (i. e. the island of Great Britain).

Two classes operate: standard class and 1st class. Commuter trains and some local services offer standard class only. Six scheduled overnight sleeper trains operate every night of the week and reservations are compulsory on sleeper trains.

There are three types of ticket, which allow you to choose between flexibility and value. Advance tickets can be bought in advance, and travel only on a specific train at a specific day and time . Off-Peak can be bought any time, and travel 'off-peak' (usually 09. 30-16:00 and after 19:00, and all day at weekends) . And Anytime tickets mean you can Buy any time and travel any time.

Hitching

If you don't mind long waits, hitching is perfectly possible and UK is very safe. However pedestrians are banned on motorways, motorway junctions, as well as on certain primary routes. It's fairly customary to use the number of the road on them rather than the destination in your sign.

Bus

Coachs services cover the entire country with comfort and cheap price, however it tends to be slower than train. National Expres, Megabus, CityLink are three largest coach companies in the UK.

Taxi

Metered (black) cabs that can be hailed in the street and are mostly found in larger towns and cities; and minicabs (private hire taxis) which must be ordered by telephone.

Boat

Ferries link the mainland to the many offshore islands including the Isles of Scilly from Penzance; the Isle of Wight from Southampton and Portsmouth; the Isle of Man from Liverpool and Ireland and the Orkneys and Shetland Islands from Aberdeen and the far north of Scotland.

Car

People under 17 is forbidden to drive in Mainland UK. Differing from most of Europe, the UK drives on the left. Most cars in the UK are manual ("stick-shift") transmission, and car rental companies will allocate you a manual transmission car unless you specifically ask for an automatic when you make a reservation. The cost of renting an automatic vehicle in the UK is significantly more expensive than renting a manual one. Always compare the prices before renting car, or you can book online in advance for good deals from site like Avis, Rental Cars Uk, Thrifty. Traffic can be very heavy, especially during 'rush hour', when commuters are on their way to and from work - typically 07:00-10:00 and 16:00-19:00. School holidays can make a noticeable reduction in traffic, however, particularly in the morning rush hour. Parking on-street is usually heavily restricted. Many cities operate a "Park and Ride" scheme, with car parks on the edge of the city and cheap buses into the city centre, and you should consider using them. In major cities (particularly London, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow and Birmingham) it is usually a much better option to park on the outskirts and take public transport to the centre. This not only saves money on parking and fuel but also saves a lot of time as heavy traffic, twisty one way systems, and limited parking space causes long delays.