Travelling to the UK

If you're an international student arriving in September, remember to arrange your travel to the UK so that you can attend the Welcome Week programme. If you are arriving in the Spring term, you may wish to arrive in time for January orientation. For information on what to bring with you on your journey, see our page on what to pack.

Most of the time, travelling to York for international students means taking a flight. However, students living in Europe can also benefit from means of transport such as a train through the Channel Tunnel, a ferry, or a coach.

Travel by air

The closest airports to the University of York are Leeds-Bradford International Airport and Manchester Airport. If you are travelling a long distance, you may need to change planes at another, larger airport, particularly in order to get to Leeds-Bradford. You will need to arrange separate transportation from the airports to the University and factor this into your journey time. On certain dates in July and September, the University provides an airport collection service by coach from Manchester Airport.

Tips on booking the cheapest flights

  • Use price comparison websites like skyscanner, JustTheFlight or Trabber
  • Skyscanner enables you to be flexible about your search, for example, you can choose "United Kingdom" as your destination. This will bring up information on all possible connections to UK airports, giving you more options to compare.
  • Booking a flight directly with the airline company can save some money, as travel agencies and some flight searching websites charge an additional fee for booking.
  • Many airlines offer insurance together with the ticket. Please be aware that it may be cheaper to buy insurance separately. Endsleigh is one of many insurance companies, which is recommended by the National Union of Students (NUS) and the UK Council for International Students Affairs (UKCISA).

For more information, see how to travel from the airports to York.

Travel by train via the Channel Tunnel

Eurostar is the only company operating through the Channel Tunnel. They offer connections from France, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland. The fare varies from £40 to £150 for a single ticket, which is usually more expensive than a flight with one of the low-cost airlines. The train allows for vehicular as well as passenger travel, and is an alternative to using the ferry if you wish to bring a car to York.

You will be required to change in London from St. Pancras station to King's Cross station. The change between the stations in London is very straightforward; on leaving St. Pancras simply cross the road to King's Cross station from where you can take the train directly to York. To connect from Germany and the Netherlands, you will also need to change in Brussels. For more information, see the Eurostar website. If you arrive by the Channel Tunnel customs control will either take place in France or on the train.

Travel by boat

Ferries from Zeebrugge and Rotterdam dock daily at Hull, about 45 miles from York. Alternatively, you may wish to travel from a French port such as Cherbourg or Calais, to a port such as Dover or Portsmouth. These are a substantial distance from York and will require lengthy train journies.

When coming from Ireland, the most convenient port is Liverpool, offering both good road and rail links to York. Both Irish and European ferries can be booked through P&O Ferries.

Note that customs checks are generally performed on-board – you will be given directions on what to do by ferry staff.

An aeroplane flying over a sign to the airport

Further information

Useful links

Who to contact

  • International Student Support
    Student Hub, Market Square
    Tel: +44 (0)1904 324140
  • Office hours
    Term time: 9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday
    Out of term time: 10am - 4pm, Monday to Friday 
  • To make an appointment: Either ring the number above or call in to the Student Hub. Please note that appointments cannot be made by email.