Getting around the UK: the ULTIMATE travel guide

By BzBarlow 22 Jun 2016

Just landed in the UK?

Then this guide will be pretty useful for you! You will soon find out that the quickest and cheapest way to travel around Manchester and the UK is by public transport.

Catch the bus

Look up and find your nearest bus stop, when you see the bus coming stick out your thumb so the driver doesn’t pass you by. Wait until it stops then either show the driver your pass or pay the fare (single, return or day fare). The bus will only stop if you press the bell/button or if someone wants to get on. If you're not sure where to get off, ask the driver.

  • Tickets are valid for each journey rather than for a period of time, so if you get off the bus you'll need to buy a new ticket when getting on another bus (unless you have a day fare or monthly pass).
  • If you regularly catch the bus, student passes are available which will be sure to save you money. Check out the website to find out any information regarding student passes. 

Tip: Having loose change is always handy! Avoid giving the driver a £10 or £20 note if you can.


Take the train

You can buy your train tickets online, at the station or on board the train. Most stations in the UK will have exit barriers so you will need a valid ticket in order to leave.

  • Manchester has 4 train stations dotted around the city - Piccadilly, Victoria, Oxford Street and Manchester Airport.
  • From Manchester, you can connect to most cities in the UK: London (2hrs), Birmingham (2hrs), Leeds (1hr), Liverpool (1hr), Edinburgh (3-4hrs), Bristol (3hrs)
  • Manchester Oxford Road station is just a short walk to campus or there are taxis and buses running right down Oxford Road. 

Tip: Students can get a 16-25 discount card for £30 a year or get a 3-year card exclusively online for £70. This card allows you 30% discount on rail fares. For more information click here


Hop on a coach

Travelling by coach is often much cheaper than the train, but can take a lot longer! National Express and Megabus are the two main companies used by students in the UK.  

Tip: You usually can't buy tickets on board a coach, so it's best to buy them in advance. Tickets are often cheaper the further in advance you book them. (Megabus are known for famously offering £1 fares around Britain)   



If you fancy a trip to the capital, London is the exception to the rule!
To travel around London, you can't use cash to pay for your bus fare. The easiest way to pay for your travel is to get an Oyster card which you can top up and use for buses, trams, and the underground. 


BzBarlow is part of the Browzer team and loves to bake.
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