Getting to Manchester

Whether you're coming by air, rail or road we've got lots of guidance.

See the sections below for information about travelling to Manchester and the University.

Passenger locator form

Don’t forget that everybody (including UK passport holders) who is entering the UK from another country (even from a country where you aren't required to quarantine in the UK) must now complete an online passenger locator form 48 hours before travel. The government will use the information you give to contact you if you, or someone you’ve travelled with, develops coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms.

Quarantining when arriving in the UK

You must self-isolate for 14 days if you're coming to Manchester from a country outside the common travel area.

The government has introduced travel corridors for some countries and territories. The UK government has released a list of countries where visitors to England don't have to self-isolate on arrival if these are the only places you have been to or stopped in during the previous 14 days.

Take a look at the government’s rules around quarantining and newly issued guidance on a voluntary “Test and Release” scheme which may enable you to end your quarantine early (please note that this requires payment for a private test).

Please remember that you must wear a mask when travelling in the UK.

EU/EEA nationals

Effective 3 July 2020, if you're entering the country from the Common Travel Area, British Overseas Territories or one of the listed Travel Corridors then you won't be required to quarantine for 14 days on arrival, unless you have visited or made a transit stop in any other country or territory in the preceding 14 days. You're strongly advised to check the latest UK government requirements before making your travel arrangements, via the gov.uk website

Getting to Manchester 

Maps and travel advice

Our maps and travel advice will help you make your way to and around the University. Please note that face coverings must be worn on public transport in the UK.

Travel from Manchester Airport

Manchester Airport is located just more than 14 kilometres south of the city centre and is about 20 minutes away by car. If you're making your own way from the airport the easiest way to get to your accommodation will be by taxi, especially if you have a lot of luggage. Your driver can take you to exactly where you need to go and you won’t have to worry about finding your way around as soon as you arrive. It's likely to cost £25-£35 to get to University accommodation, depending on how much traffic there is and how much luggage you have.

Welcome service

This year we're offering a welcome service to all our new students. This service has been redesigned to make sure that we're able to keep you safe, to manage your arrival efficiently and to offer our usual friendly welcome to you and these are the principles we are working to.

We understand that there are many factors that will affect when you're ready and able to come to us so we're extending the period that we'll offer arrival support from Friday 4 September to Friday 30 October.

Central transfer

The level of support will depend on the number of students arriving on any particular day. On the busiest days, we'll operate a central transfer area for all students on campus. From here we'll be able to offer you either a free transfer to your University Hall of Residence or you'll be able to use a taxi or private transfer to any other place that you're living. Taxis to private accommodation and addresses will not be free so you should make sure that you bring a small amount of English cash to pay for this. The cost is likely to be less than £20. Using a central hub enables us to move you from the airport as quickly as possible, to control the numbers of people within the space, carry out appropriate hygiene measures and make ourselves available to help with any problems or queries. All our staff and ambassadors will be wearing masks and visors to help keep you safe.

24-hour helpdesk

On the days when a smaller number of students arrive, we'll operate a virtual 24-hour helpdesk. This means that you can message us when you set off from your home and then we'll be available for each step of your journey. You'll be able to keep in touch with us using WhatsApp or WeChat and Slack, and you can show us where you are and what’s happening so that we're up to date with your flight. When you land you can message us and we can talk you through what you need to do and where you need to go. Finally, we'll be available during your taxi journey and will check in to make sure you've arrived safely. The helpdesk will be staffed by student ambassadors who have made the same journey as you before, are familiar with the airport and supported by senior staff members. We want you to feel confident in the support the team can provide so please do keep us updated with your plans and progress.

Arrival information form

In order to make this new process work, we're asking you to use our arrival information form so we can see which days will be the busiest. You will see that the form asks you for your social media contacts, this is to enable our Helpdesk Team to get in touch. If you don’t want to receive this help, then just leave these fields blank.

Complete the form

Students coming from China will want to note that we're still actively pursuing the possibility of arranging additional flights from China with Hainan Airlines and as soon as we have more information we'll update you. In the meantime, you'll need to decide if you're able to wait to see if this initiative is achieved, or if you would rather make an alternative booking.

Please read the government advice for people arriving in the UK and the Public Health England advice which we're following. 

You can also see what changes our partners at the airport have been making to cope with the current situation. 

Travel from airports other than Manchester

If you are flying to the UK we advise you to fly directly to Manchester. There are flights to Manchester Airport from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Southend and London City Airports. You can also find flights to Manchester from other major European cities. If you are flying into London and transferring to another flight, remember to allow yourself enough time to get to your connection.

Arriving at a London airport and continuing to Manchester by coach

If you arrive in London by plane and are going to Manchester by coach, in most cases you will first have to travel by underground train (tube) to Victoria coach station in the centre of London. You should be aware that most tube stations don't have lifts and some have lots of stairs. As well as this, space on trains can be limited and services are often very busy, especially in central London.

If you decide to fly into London Heathrow and travel to Manchester by coach, there are some direct services. The journey takes around six hours, but can be longer depending on traffic. The two most popular coach services in the UK are National Express and Megabus.

Manchester has two main city centre coach stations, Manchester Central on Chorlton Street and Shudehill Interchange.

If you decide to travel via London, remember to allow yourself enough time to collect your luggage, pass through immigration and travel across the city.

Information on transport in the London area can be found on the Transport for London website.

Arriving at a London airport and continuing to Manchester by train

Trains from London to Manchester leave from Euston Station in central London. The quickest way to get here from any of the London airports is to take the tube (underground train). Again, we strongly advise against travelling through London on the underground with lots of luggage because of the difficulty of navigating tube stations, which don't usually have lifts, and busy tube services with limited space.

Remember to allow yourself enough time to collect your luggage, pass through immigration and travel across London.

Information on transport in the London area can be found on the Transport for London website.

Manchester has three main train stations: Piccadilly, Victoria and Oxford Road. The train from London Euston arrives at Piccadilly and usually takes just over two hours. You can find information on train times and book train tickets on the National Rail website or on Trainline. The cost of train tickets vary from around £25 to over £100 depending on the day, how far in advance you are booking, and the time of travel.

Getting around campus

The University is located on the south side of Manchester city centre. You can find your way around our campus using our interactive map. All of our buildings are in the same general area of the city and are within easy walking distance of each other, making getting around our campus simple. There are regular shuttle buses to pick up and drop off students at various points around the campus. These are also highlighted on the campus map.