Travelling to England

Travelling to England can be as easy as stepping off a plane. Or it could mean arriving in England by ferry or boat as invaders, visitors and traders have done since ancient times. And lately, getting to England has become even easier.

With the opening of the channel tunnel rail link, visitors can now travel to England from Paris or Brussels straight through to London St Pancras without ever having to leave their seat.

Drivers also have an additional option, as they can now drive their car onto a train and cross under the English Channel, travelling to England in comfort.

This page is meant as a quick reference resource for visitors. It gives numbers and - if known - email and web addresses for ports, airports and rail operators, plus a few other useful links I've turned up.

If there's any information you would like to see on this page, please let me know here. And if you want to keep up with any news and developments on the travel front, then simply subscribe to my monthly newsletter Essentially England News or keep an eye on the England Blog, which is now available vis RSS feed.

Arriving in England by Sea

Some of the earliest visitors - Saxons, Norsemen and Vikings - would have been travelling to England in boats like the ones depicted here, spreading panic and mayhem wherever they went.

Fortunately for us, most visitors these days catch their first glimpse of England from the deck of a cross-channel ferry or cruise ship. Not quite so "romantic", perhaps, but much more comfortable!

England has ports dotted all around its coast and most ferries accommodate cars. The table below gives contact and routing details for the largest ferry operators around the UK.

Ferry Operator Contact Information Routes
Brittany Ferries Tel: 08703 655 333
Plymouth to Roscoff, Santander; Portsmouth to Caen, St Malo, Cherbourg; Poole to Cherbourg; Cork to Roscoff
Caledonian MacBrayne Ltd Tel: 08705 650 000
Firth of Clyde and The Western Isles
DFDS Seaways Tel: 08702 520 524
Harwich to Esbjerg; Newcastle to Gothenburg, Kristiansand, Amsterdam
Irish Ferries Tel: 08705 17 17 17
Dublin to Holyhead; Rosslare to Pembroke, Roscoff, Cherbourg
Isle of Man Steam Packet Co Ltd Tel: 08705 523 523
Douglas to Heysham, Liverpool; Douglas to Dublin, Belfast (summer only); Dublin to Liverpool
NorthLink Ferries Tel: 0845 6000 449
Aberdeen to Lerwick, Kirkwall; Scrabster to Stromness; Kirkwall to Lerwick
P&O Ferries Tel: 08705 980 333
Dover to Calais; Portsmouth to Bilbao; Hull to Rotterdam, Zeebrugge
P&O Irish Ferries Tel: 0870 24 24 777
Troon and Cairnryan to Larne; Liverpool to Dublin
Stena Line Tel: 08447 70 70 70
Harwich to Hoek of Holland; Fishguard to Rosslare; Holyhead to Dublin, Dun Laoghaire; Stranraer to Belfast; Fleetwood to Larne

Arriving in England by Rail

Eurostar, the high-speed Channel Tunnel passenger service, links London and Ashford in Kent with Calais, Lille, Brussels, Avignon, Paris, Disneyland Paris and the French Alps. From there you can reach the rest of Europe with Eurostar Connections.

Eurostar services are very popular and book out rapidly. And no wonder, as on the train you will be travelling to England in style from any number of European destinations, savouring breakfast, lunch or dinner along the way.

If you want to travel to England with your car, but don't fancy a ferry crossing, Eurotunnel will be a good option for you. An engineering project of almost unparalleled magnitude, the tunnel allows you to cross from Calais to Dover in just over 30 minutes.

You can check timetables, find out about special deals and book tickets on their website:

  • Eurostar
  • Eurotunnel

Arriving in England by Air

Travelling to England by plane is, perhaps, the most common way for visitors to arrive these days and England is well served with airports.  And the airports in southern England are amongst the busiest in the world.  But not all airports in England are in the south.

Regional airports serve charter flights and some scheduled connections.  They also link to the international airports in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow.

Airport Enquiries Website
Aberdeen 0870 040 0006
Belfast International 028 9093 9093
Birmingham 08707 335 511
Bristol 0870 12 12 747
Cardiff 01446 711 111
Carlisle 01228 573 641
Dundee 01382 662 200
Durham Tees Valley 01325 332 811
Edinburgh 0870 040 0007
Glasgow 0870 040 008
Glasgow Prestwick 0871 223 0700
Humberside 01652 688 456
Isle of Man 01624 821 600
Jersey 01534 492 000
Leeds Bradford 0113 250 9696
Liverpool John Lennon 0870 129 8484
London Gatwick 0870 000 2468
London Heathrow 0870 0000 123
London Luton 01582 405 100
London Stanstead 0870 0000 303
Manchester 0161 489 3000
Newcastle 0870 1221 488
Norwich 01603 411 923
Nottingham East Midlands 0871 919 9000

Travelling to England is only half the adventure.  Once you're here, you'll find yourself exploring ancient monuments and modern cities, stunning landscapes and deserted beaches.  England simply offers something for everyone.

Return from Travelling to England to Travel Tips

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