Airport and Sea Connections

There are many ways to travel to and within the UK. We have detailed some of the most popular:

By Air

London Heathrow

One of the world's busiest airports, London Heathrow is located about 15 miles from London. There is a multitude of different ways to get from Heathrow to London - below are the choices.

Heathrow Express - From Heathrow Airport to London Paddington in just 15 minutes! Trains depart Heathrow every 15 minutes.

Remember! Validated BritRail Passes can be used on Heathrow Express!

London Underground or The Tube - Heathrow Airport is on the Underground's Piccadilly Line, which services London Euston and Kings Cross Stations. The journey time from Heathrow to Central London/Kings Cross or Euston is about 1 hour. Local fare for a one-way journey is about £4.

Taxis - At first, taxis may appear to be the most convenient for travel to and from the airport. However, they are costly (£30-£45 one way) and can be tedious, especially during morning rush hour into London and out in the evening. Travel time can vary and may take close to an hour to get to central London. Tip: If you are normally a 'taxi person' then give the Heathrow Express a try - chances are you'll prefer it.

Heading West - If you are heading to Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Cornwall or Devon, avoid London altogether by taking the dedicated Rail Air Link coach from Heathrow Terminals to Reading Rail Station. There are a plethora of services from Reading to the West Country and Wales. You can purchase a ticket for this service from the coach driver (There is a charge for this service: Go to http://www.railair.com).

London Gatwick

London Gatwick Airport is located 27 miles south of London and has its own railway station making the train the best way to get from Gatwick to your final destination! Here are the options:

Gatwick Express - A dedicated rail link between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria Station. Trains depart every 15 minutes. Journey time is just 30 minutes!

Other train operating companies operate local trains to London too, they mostly take a little longer, but BritRail tickets are valid on them.

Thameslink offers a commuter service between Gatwick and London Kings Cross Thameslink Station, which is about 200 yards from Kings Cross mainline terminal. Service operates approximately every 30 minutes. This service is best if you are going directly to Kings Cross for trains to Scotland. This route helps to avoid a tube/taxi transfer.

Note! Validated BritRail Passes are valid on any train!

Taxis from Gatwick to Central London can be long and expensive.

Heading West: If you are travelling from Gatwick directly to the West County or South Wales we suggest the Gatwick to Reading rail service. It runs frequently and helps you avoid transferring stations in London. At Reading, you connect into the westbound services, which originate at London Paddington.

Heading South trains go directly to coastal towns such as Brighton, Eastbourne and many others.

London Stansted

Trains take you directly from the airport to London Liverpool Street Station in 42 minutes. Stansted Airport is also the starting point for a service that takes you cross-country through Cambridge, Peterborough (for connections to York and Edinburgh), to Birmingham, Liverpool or Manchester.

Stansted Express is the fastest and most convenient way to and from Stansted Airport, with trains departing every 15 or 30 minutes.

Birmingham Airport

Birmingham International Airport has its own rail station on the main London to Birmingham rail route. Birmingham New Street, right in the heart of Birmingham, can be reached easily in 10 minutes. Should London be your destination it is only 1 hour 20m to Euston. In both directions trains run extremely frequently.

Manchester Airport

Now that the rail station is part of the airport buildings, this new airport link has great rail connections and makes it a great place to arrive in the UK. Apart from an incredibly quick and frequent service to Manchester itself, Manchester Airport rail station has service to places such as Huddersfield, Leeds, York, Blackpool, Windermere (Lake District), Chester and Liverpool.

Glasgow

Glasgow Airport is not equipped with its own rail station. Therefore it is necessary to take a bus link to Paisley Gilmour St and then the train to Glasgow - which takes about 45 minutes. If your final destination is Glasgow and you have baggage it is perhaps easiest to get a taxi or a bus.

London Luton Airport

A frequent dedicated free shuttle bus links Luton Airport with Luton Airport Parkway station - journey time 5 mins. Luton Airport Parkway is served by frequent Thameslink services direct to Central London, Gatwick Airport, Brighton and Bedford. There are other services to Derby, Leicester, Nottingham and Sheffield. There are direct coach links to many destinations as well. Note: There is now a 1 GBP fee to ride the shuttle bus between Luton Parkway station and Luton Airport (1.50 GBP without a Rail pass or ticket)

London City Airport

Located in London's docklands. The airport operates a regular shuttle bus service to Liverpool St Station in Central London from where Underground connections are available. Journey time approx. 30 mins. Buses run every 10 mins.

Glasgow Prestwick Airport

Prestwick International Airport Station is situated directly opposite the main airport terminal buildings. A covered walkway links the station with the terminal buildings. Direct trains operate to Glasgow Central station and Ayr. Journey time approx. 45 mins

Newcastle Airport

A metro service operates between the Airport and Newcastle Central Station, journey time 20 mins. Up to 6 trains per hour 0600-2300.

Aberdeen Airport

Dyce station is 5 mins by taxi, from which local trains to Aberdeen and Inverness run, with some through trains to Edinburgh and Glasgow. Aberdeen station is 20 mins by taxi.

Bristol Airport

Buses connect to Bristol Temple Meads station every 30 mins 0545 to 2345, with a journey time of 20-30 minutes.

Cardiff Airport

Regular buses serve will take you to Cardiff Central station and the local station Barry. Buses run hourly to Cardiff Central station taking 30 mins.

Edinburgh Airport

A frequent bus service links Edinburgh Waverly and Haymarket stations with Edinburgh Airport. Journey time approx. 25 mins.

Leeds Bradford Airport

A direct coach service operates to Leeds Station with a journey time of approximately 35 mins. There are also direct buses to Bradford station.

Liverpool Airport

A direct bus service operates between Liverpool Lime St station and the airport. Buses run every 30 mins 0515-0015, journey time approx. 45 mins.

By Rail

Eurostar trains from Paris, Lille, or Brussels arrive at London's St Pancras Station, which offers mainline rail connections, access to the Underground and of course taxis!

By Sea

Sail and Rail from Britain to Ireland

Travelling From Britain to Ireland

Thinking of travelling to Ireland? Whether you want a short trip to the vibrant city of Dublin or to tour around the scenic Irish countryside, BritRail has a train and ferry option to suit you.

Ireland is easy to reach from Britain. There are 4 ferry routes to choose from, with the best crossing times being less than 2 hours. Train services connect with the ferries, and interchange between train and ferry is simple.

BritRail offers a range of products to suit your every need from touring Passes to point to point tickets as well as ferry crossings across the Irish Sea. For more information, please select the BritRail + Ireland Pass from our Passes menu or the BritRail Irish Sea Crossing from the Complementary Products menu.

Example Point to Point Fares
If you are thinking of visiting Dublin only, then consider a point to point fare, giving you return travel to and from your chosen destination, inclusive of rail and ferry travel.

Newcastle
Ferry services arrive at the port at the mouth of the river Tyne, just west of North Shields. The shipping company involved arranges a connecting bus service to Newcastle Central station, about 30 - 40 minute ride. Here you can find frequent services to Scotland, York, London, Leeds, Manchester and many others.

Hull
Ferry services arrive at King George Dock about 6 km from the city centre and railway station (Paragon). A bus service is provided to connect with the ferry services into town and the station, journey time is about only 20 minutes. Direct services from Hull are principally to Doncaster, Sheffield, Manchester, Leeds and York, by changing trains either in Doncaster or York connections to Durham, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow and London can be made.

Harwich
The railway station (Harwich International) is adjacent to the ferry terminal - in fact having cleared customs; the platform is less than 20 meters away! A boat train is provided to London's Liverpool Street station, journey time: 1 hour 20 minutes. There is also a local service to Harwich Town and Manningtree, where connections to Colchester Ipswich and Norwich are available.

Dover
The ferry company involved has their own buses shuttling passengers the 10 minute journey to Dover Priory railway station 2-3 km away. Here you will find frequent services to both London Victoria and London Charing Cross stations, as well as services to Canterbury, Folkestone, Ashford and Maidstone.

Portsmouth
Ferry services arrive at the Continental Ferry Port, situated about 3km's north of Portsmouth Harbour railway station. A bus service is provided for the 10-minute journey to the station, here there are direct services to London, Brighton and the south coast, Southampton, Bournemouth, Salisbury, Bath and South Wales.

By Train Taxi

All major and many other stations have taxicab ranks outside. If you want to check which do, go to the helpful www.traintaxi.co.uk website. This site also gives details of licensed taxicab and private hire operators serving all 2,500 stations in Great Britain, so that you can pre-book to be met on arrival at even the smallest country station.

Outside London, taxicabs and private hire vehicles offer similar services at similar fares. Both are regulated to high standards. However, only taxis are allowed to wait on public taxi ranks; private hire vehicles must be pre-booked.

In London, you are strongly advised to use only the famous "London taxis" and to avoid unmarked and unlicensed "minicabs".

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