Travelling to Leicester from Abroad

Leicester is conveniently located in the centre of England and is within easy reach of several major airports. There are also direct trains from London St Pancras, meaning that you can travel from Brussels or Paris on the Eurostar with just one change of train.

  • Heathrow Airport is the largest UK airport serving over 180 destinations in over 90 countries. It is located 15 miles to the west of London and there is a direct bus service from Heathrow to Leicester. 
  • Birmingham Airport is only one hour away from Leicester and serves over 180 destinations. Many flights from long haul destinations have a stopover in hubs such as Amsterdam, Paris or Dubai. There are convenient rail services from Birmingham International to Leicester.
  • Gatwick Airport is the second largest airport in the UK and operates flights to over 200 destinations. There is a direct bus service from Gatwick to Leicester.
  • Stansted Airport offers flights to and from over 140 destinations in over 30 countries and there is a direct rail service to Leicester.
  • London Luton Airport has flights going to several destinations across the globe and there are convenient rail services from Luton Airport to Leicester (via Luton Airport Parkway).
  • East Midlands Airport is the closest airport to the city of Leicester; however, it only operates flights to and from a select number of countries (mainly within Europe). Skylink buses take passengers to and from Leicester every 30 minutes during the day and once an hour at night.

Arriving in the UK by air

This advice applies to students from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and the USA.

Although students from the countries above can use E-Gates at UK airports, we recommend that you do not use the E-Gates as your passport will not be stamped.

Make sure that you speak to a Border Force official to obtain your entry stamp. Then keep your boarding pass (paper or electronic) and bring it with you when you attend the University visa checkpoint at the start of term.

Getting to Leicester from the airport...

... by train

There are direct train services from London Stansted and London Luton airports. From Birmingham International airport you can travel by train to Leicester, but you will need to change trains at Birmingham New Street station.

  • The University runs a free scheduled airport collection service from London Heathrow Airport to student accommodation in Leicester to coincide with September and January registration week. Seats must be booked in advance through our website.  
  • Information about train times can be found on the National Rail Enquiries website.
  • East Midlands Railway have a dedicated journey page with key information for international students travelling by train.

... by taxi

Do not take a taxi from outside the airport to Leicester. It is extremely expensive. If you wish to pre-book a taxi from a Leicester taxi firm you can contact Airport Taxis with your flight details. The cost will be approximately £100 from Heathrow to your address in Leicester. Depending on how much luggage you bring with you, two or perhaps three people travelling together would be able to share a taxi. Larger vehicles can also be booked for groups travelling together.

... by bus or coach

From London Heathrow and London Gatwick airports there are direct bus services to Leicester. While bus services take longer than the train, and are also cheaper, the big advantage is that they go direct from the airport to Leicester. If you are carrying heavy luggage (please check the luggage policy), this is by far the most convenient way to travel. If you can, it is advisable to book your bus ticket in advance. If your flight is delayed, you will be able to change your reservation to the next available bus after your arrival. You can check the bus services (times and fares) on the National Express website.

If you arrive at St Margaret's Bus Station in Leicester, please note there is no direct bus route to University accommodation. The easiest way to reach your accommodation is by taxi. There is a taxi rank at the bus station, and taxis are metered. The fare should be between £7 and £12, depending on your destination. When you are more familiar with the local area, and do not have heavy luggage, you will be able to use local public transport.

Find out more about getting to the University once you arrive in Leicester.

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