Travel & arrival
When to arrive
If you plan to look for private-sector accommodation when you come to Leeds, arrive at least 1 week before you start your studies. Visit the International Student Office when you arrive to receive your welcome pack and arrival briefing.
If you have pre-booked your accommodation, arrive a few days before your course starts to attend your arrival briefing and complete your orientation and registration. Information about our orientation services is available on our orientation page.
What to do when you arrive in Leeds
When you arrive in Leeds take a taxi from your arrival point in Leeds to the accommodation that you have arranged for your first night in the city. Taxi fares are usually between £16 and £25 from the airport and between £5 and £8.50 from train and coach stations.
It is very important to pre-book either University accommodation or hotel accommodation and check that you can move in at the time you plan to arrive. If you arrive without a pre-booking, you may have difficulties finding reasonably-priced accommodation.
If you have any problems when you arrive in Leeds please go to the University Security Office, 183 Woodhouse Lane near the main entrance to campus or telephone 0113 343 5494 (or 0113 343 2222 in an emergency). The Security Office is open 24 hours. Remember to take these contact details with you when you travel.
If you arrive in Leeds late at night
Try to arrange not to arrive in Leeds after 11pm. If you do arrive later than this, contact your accommodation in advance to make sure you can arrive late. If you arrive late unexpectedly and have problems, telephone or visit the University Security Office, 183 Woodhouse Lane near the main entrance to the campus or telephone 0113 343 5494 (or 0113 343 2222 in an emergency). The Security Office is open 24 hours. Remember to take these contact details with you when you travel.
Plan your travel
When you plan the details of your journey and travel connections remember to allow time for delays and queues at immigration control.
Leeds/Bradford International Airport is the easiest arrival point in the UK. If you arrive at Leeds/Bradford you will pass through immigration in a small local airport where queues are much shorter than at London Heathrow or Manchester. You can book flights to Leeds/Bradford airport with a number of airlines routed through major European flight hubs such as Amsterdam or Paris which connect to Leeds. You can also connect to Manchester airport from Heathrow by plane and then take the train to Leeds. You can also download a Terminal Map for Leeds/Bradford International Airport.
Manchester Airport is less than 55 miles/88km from Leeds. It is connected to Leeds city centre by a direct rail line from a train station inside the airport. From the arrival hall follow signs marked ‘TRAINS’ until you reach the Manchester Airport Train Station. Here you can buy a ticket for Leeds. Take a direct train if possible. Journey time is 1 hour 20 minutes and a one-way fare is approximately £20.00. The taxi fare from Manchester airport to Leeds will be approximately £80. You can check train times on the National Rail Enquiry website. Click on the option ‘planning your journey’. The cost of coach travel from Manchester to Leeds is around £12.
Heathrow Airport is in London and about 5/6 hours away by direct coach. Flights must be booked in advance. Direct coaches depart regularly from Heathrow and the cost is approximately £20 - £40. There are no connecting flights between Heathrow and Leeds. You can connect to Manchester airport from Heathrow by plane and then take the train to Leeds.
Gatwick Airport is 7 hours away from Leeds by coach. Direct coaches depart regularly from Gatwick and the cost is approximately £40.
From central London you can travel to Leeds by train or coach. The Train is quicker but more expensive.
If you are driving to Leeds you can plan your route here.
Public Transport. Public transport and taxi companies in the UK provide a good, reliable service. Taxis operate under licence and are regulated by law. Only take a marked taxi car, and ask the driver beforehand for an estimation of how much the journey will cost.
You can download a map of Leeds Rail Station here.
UK public transport information is available from Traveline Tel. +44 (0) 870 608 2 608
Keep your luggage light as you will have to carry your own bags outside airports. You can always send for things from home after you arrive.
Pack these items in your hand luggage:-
- All the documents on the essential documents checklist in the International Pre-Arrival Guide
- Your copy of the International Pre-arrival guide
- Correspondence relating to your accommodation
- Your personal address book
- A change of clothes and toiletries in case your main luggage is delayed
The University of Leeds 24 hour Security Service phone number +44 (0)113 343 5494
Customs regulations in the UK are very strict. Do not bring in your luggage any food, illegal drugs or anything that could be considered a weapon. To find out more information on restricted and prohibited goods read the Customs Guide for travellers entering the UK
There are also restrictions on importing food and plants. Download these leaflets to check what you are not allowed to bring into the UK.
Information about importing food of animal origin
Information about importing fruit, vegetables and plants
Keep safe while you travel
Before you travel read the British Council Safety Guide - Creating Confidence.
Remember not to leave any bags unsupervised during your journey. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash because of the serious security risks. Use traveller’s cheques where possible.
Keep your passport safe and never give it to anyone except an immigration official. Ask the information desk at your arrival point for advice about how to catch official taxis and public transport.
Take out travel insurance. It will not stop something going wrong but it will protect you financially.