Travel to Leeds
Here’s some useful information to help you plan how to reach Leeds once you have arrived in the UK.
COVID-19 Travel requirements
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When you plan the details of your journey and travel connections remember to allow time for any delays and queues at immigration control.
When you enter the UK do not use the electronic ePassport gates. You will not receive the correct immigration stamps if you enter via this method. Instead, make sure you speak to an immigration official to avoid any problems.
Travelling to Leeds
When you arrive in the UK by train, coach or plane, there are different ways you can travel to Leeds.
To help you have a smooth journey, the University of Leeds can arrange transport from Leeds Bradford Airport and Manchester Airport for new students who are arriving in Leeds for the first time.
Please be aware that the airport pick-up services will be available on key dates only. Find out more about how to book your arrival support.
To help you plan the best route to reach Leeds by coach or train, you can use the Traveline website.
It’s useful to know that tickets are usually cheaper the earlier you book them online. However, be aware that the cheaper ticket options can also be less flexible, which means that if you’re delayed on your journey, you might not be able to change your ticket.
Travelling by coach will often be the cheapest option but usually not the fastest. Coach companies in the UK include National Express and Megabus.
You can also reach Leeds by train. Check train times, routes and buy tickets on the National Rail website. If you’re arriving in London, you might need to change train and take the London underground for part of your journey.
Depending on where you arrive in Leeds, in most cases you will then need to arrange transport to your accommodation. Find out more information on travelling to your accommodation.
In this section, you can find travel information for four airports you might choose to travel to. The University can arrange a pick-up service from our nearest airports at key arrival times:
• Leeds Bradford
• Manchester Airport
You may also decide to travel to:
• London Heathrow Airport
• London Gatwick Airport
Leeds Bradford Airport
Leeds Bradford Airport is around 12 kilometres from Leeds city centre. It’s a small local airport and immigration queues will often be shorter than other airports.
The University of Leeds can arrange transport from Leeds Bradford Airport to the University of Leeds campus for students travelling to Leeds for the first time. Please be aware that the airport pick-up services will be available on key dates only. Find out more about how to book your arrival support.
If you’d like to arrange your own transport, you can find information on transport options on the Leeds Bradford Airport website.
You can reach Leeds in around 30 minutes by bus from Leeds Bradford Airport. ‘Flyer A1’ buses run every 20 minutes between the airport and the city centre.
You can pre-book a taxi through Arrow Cars or via the Uber app and arrange to be dropped off at your accommodation directly. A taxi journey from the airport to Leeds city centre takes around 20 minutes.
Manchester Airport is around 90km from the centre of Leeds.
The University of Leeds provides free transport from Manchester Airport to the University of Leeds campus for students travelling to Leeds for the first time. Please be aware that the airport pick-up services will be available on key dates only. Find out more about how to book your arrival support.
You can also find information on other travel options on the Manchester Airport website.
You can travel by coach from Manchester Airport to Leeds Coach Station, which will usually be the cheapest option. The journey will take around two hours.
Check the National Express or the Megabus website for coach times and to book you ticket.
You can get a direct train from Manchester Airport to Leeds train station. The journey will take around one hour and twenty minutes.
You can pre-book your own private taxi service through Arrow Cars or via the Uber app from the airport and arrange to be dropped off at your accommodation directly.
A journey from Manchester airport to Leeds city centre will take around one hour and twenty minutes. This is the most expensive travel option.
London Heathrow Airport
London Heathrow Airport is around 320km away from Leeds. Check the London Heathrow Airport website to help you plan your journey.
This is usually the cheapest option and the journey will take between six and eight hours and you might need to change coaches at London Victoria coach station.
You can travel by coach from Heathrow to Leeds with either National Express or Megabus.
If you’re thinking of travelling by train, be aware that there is no direct train from Heathrow Airport to Leeds.
Travelling by train can be difficult with heavy luggage, especially as you will need to change trains and use the London underground. The journey will take around three hours and forty minutes.
You may be able to book a connecting flight to Leeds Bradford or Manchester Airport. You will then need to arrange transport from the airport to Leeds city centre.
Find more information about how to do this in the ‘Leeds Bradford Airport’ and ‘Manchester Airport’ sections above.
London Gatwick Airport
Gatwick airport is around 380km from Leeds. Find out more transport options available on the London Gatwick Airport website.
The coach is usually the cheapest option and the journey will take between seven and a half and nine hours and it often includes a change of coach at London Victoria coach station.
You can travel by coach from London Gatwick Airport to Leeds coach station with National Express.
There are many routes between Gatwick and Leeds train station, many will include between one and three train changes. If you decide to travel by train, the journey will take around three and a half hours.
Check times, routes and book your ticket on the National Rail website.
We want you to have a safe trip to Leeds. Here are some things to think about when you travel:
Keep your passport safe and never give it to anyone except an immigration official.
Do not carry large amounts of cash.
Do not leave your bags unsupervised during your journey.
Arrange travel insurance cover before you travel. It will not stop something from going wrong, but it will protect you financially.
Keep essential travel documents and any medication in your hand luggage. Find out more about essential items and documents to bring with you.
Save important contact details in your phone so that you know who to get in touch with if you have problems at any point in your journey:
If you arranged to collect your keys but your journey is delayed, contact the Accommodation Office to let them know about your plans.
Phone: +44 (0)113 343 7777
If you’re staying in private accommodation, make sure you know who to contact if you’re delayed on your journey.
International Welcome Helpdesk
For any questions about your airport pick-up service email: email@example.com (10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday).
University Security Services
If you arrive at the weekend or outside of working hours and have an emergency, contact the University Security Services. The University Security Office is open 24 hours a day, every day of the week.
Emergencies only: +44 (0)113 343 2222
Non-emergencies: +44 (0)113 343 5494 or +44 (0)113 343 5495
Whatsapp Video Call service: +44 (0)7876 866747