Getting to Manchester

Information about travelling to Manchester and the University.

Before you travel

Whether you’re arriving by air, rail or road, read our latest travel guidance

Are there any travel restrictions for students coming to the UK?

As of Friday, 18 March 2022, there are no COVID-19 related restrictions on travelling into England. This is because of the high rate of vaccination within the UK.

However, restrictions may be reintroduced at short notice and it’s important to make yourself aware of the latest rules and requirements before you travel. The latest guidance can be found on the UK government website.

The rules may be different if you’re passing through Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland before travelling into England.

Take time to familiarise yourself with any other requirements based on your circumstances before you travel to England. For example, most students must apply for a student visa before they travel.

Buddy scheme

The Students Union are also running a buddy scheme to help students support each other.

Getting to Manchester 

Travel from Manchester Airport

Manchester Airport is located just 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.

As you arrive in the arrivals Hall look out for the signage for “Taxis” and you will see ranks of Black cab taxis outside each of the terminals.  Alternatively you can book with Streetcars. The details can be found on the Airport website.

Please read the government advice for people arriving in the UK and the Public Health England advice, which the University is following. 

Travelling from Manchester Airport to other destinations in the North

If you’re travelling on to a destination other than Manchester, the airport has plenty of travel options to easily get to places such as Liverpool, Bolton and Huddersfield.

You can take a train direct from Manchester Airport to all of these destinations, with only one change at either Manchester Piccadilly or Manchester Oxford Road train stations. These are both located in the city centre, just a 20-minute journey from Manchester Airport. Your onward journey from here to your destination will vary in time.

Please see the links below for useful information on planning your train journey from Manchester Airport. There’s also advice and tips for students who commute to the University from outside the city centre regularly.

Trains and trams (The University of Manchester)

Student Support | Tailored support for specific communities | Commuter students | The University of Manchester

Airport Support Service

We offer an Airport Support Service to new University of Manchester students arriving at Manchester Airport every September. 

This year the service will operate between: 

Tuesday, 13 to Sunday, 18 September 2022 from 8:00am and 8:00pm.

If you require assistance when you arrive at the airport, our student ambassadors can answer questions and direct you to available onward transport, such as bus, coach, taxi, train or tram. 

You will find our teams of student ambassadors in each terminal’s arrival hall, after baggage claim. You will be able to identify them by their University of Manchester-branded purple t-shirts with the words 'student ambassador' on the back. 

If you are a new student who would like our student ambassadors’ support when you arrive at Manchester Airport, register your interest for onward travel assistance by completing the Airport Support Service form in My Manchester. 

To complete this process, you will need to activate your University IT account. 

Please note that transport is not provided as part of this service, students are responsible for arranging and paying for their own onward transport from the airport. 

If you are not going to arrive at a time when our Airport Support Service is running, please refer to the Getting to Manchester section above for up-to-date information about travelling to Manchester and the University from Manchester Airport. 

Travel from airports other than Manchester

If you are flying to the UK we advise you to fly directly to Manchester, if you are able to. 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. 

If you are arriving from a red list country, there are restrictions in place. Please refer to the UK government travel advice and further guidance will also be given on the University’s website.   

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.

In-line with the UK government’s advice, we strongly recommend that face masks be worn on all public transport and in crowded areas.

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.

In-line with the UK government’s advice, we strongly recommend that face masks be worn on all public transport and in crowded areas.

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.

Take a self-guided tour of campus

To get yourself orientated with campus you can also do a self-guided tour using our self-guided tour app. 

You can take a tour the main campus, showcasing our learning and study spaces, outdoor spaces, our historic buildings, and subject buildings for all three faculties. The guide also features tailored tours for each faculty specifically, so you can visit general spaces on campus, along with buildings specific to your preferred area of interest. All the tours come with audio narration.

You can download the app from the App Store or Google Play by searching 'Visit UoM.' 

Greener travel

Cars

At Manchester, we're committed to making greener travel choices.

If possible, we advise that you don't bring your car with you when you move into University accommodation. With the exception of blue badge-holders, we do not provide parking permits for University car parks.

Bus

You can catch the 147 bus for free between north and south campus.

Cycling

Cycling is popular in Manchester and the city is home to several dedicated cycling routes, including on Oxford Road where much of our campus is based.

We offer subsidised bike hire for students through Biko Bikes/second-hand bike sales at our Owens Park Campus, as well as free or subsidised bike lock schemes.

The Bee Network cycle hire scheme is also available for student use. A docking station is situated opposite the gates of Owens Park Campus.