Whether you’re based in the city or the countryside you’ll be able to travel to most places quickly and see a lot during your time in the UK – and Eurostar, international coaches and great flight connections mean that the whole of Europe is also on your doorstep.
The UK has a large train network connecting cities and towns around the country – for example, it takes just over two hours to travel by train from London to Cardiff, and just over four hours from London to Edinburgh.
Full-time students and anyone aged 16-25 can apply for a ’16-25 railcard’ that allows you to save a third on rail travel throughout the UK.
You can also get big discounts if you book in advance or with some group or season tickets.
See National Rail for more details.
London, Glasgow, Liverpool and Tyne and Wear all have underground rail systems.
All these have Travellers on the London Underground (the Tube) can save money with a top-up Oyster card. Add credit when you need it or buy a weekly, monthly or annual travel card. You can also get a Student Oyster card, or add a 16–25 Railcard to your Oyster card, to get further discounts.
Other cities also have top-up, pay-as-you-go and student cards.
With Eurostar's high-speed train services running frequently between the UK and Paris, Lille, Calais and Brussels, you can travel from London to the continent in just over two hours, every day of the week.
Most UK towns and cities offer regular bus services. You can buy a ticket from the driver when you board (except on some buses in London where you can buy tickets in advance, use a travel card or Oyster card). For regular journeys, consider a season ticket to save money.
You can travel by coach (long distance bus) to hundreds of UK towns, cities and airports. If you are aged 16–26 and a full-time student, buy a Coachcard from National Express to save up to 30%.
With 24 international airports in the UK and a variety of cheap flights on offer, it’s easy to travel between UK cities and beyond. Fly from London to Manchester in one hour, or from the UK to more than 10 European capitals in under two.
Cars and taxis
Taxis are easy to find in all major cities and towns. As in all countries, make sure the taxi you use is safe. Consider booking a cab from a company recommended by your university or college.
If you are considering driving a car in the UK, you’ll need a valid driving licence and insurance. The car must also be registered and taxed. If your car is over three years old, you must get it tested annually with an MOT test to check it is road-worthy.
Cycling is very popular in the UK and a great way to get around your town or city, save money and keep fit. Many universities have cycling clubs or cycle buddy schemes and run workshops on bike safety and maintenance.
Some UK cities such as London, Liverpool and Belfast have city cycle hire schemes. These allow you to pick up a bike from a docking station for a small cost and return it to a docking station elsewhere in the city within 24 hours.