Arriving in the UK

Spending time preparing for your arrival in Plymouth, packing the right things and making sure you understand what documents you'll need and what'll happen when you get here is really important. 

Read our checklist to help and take a look at the advice from the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA).

Ensure your trip to Plymouth goes smoothly by planning as far in advance as you can and making sure you arrange your accommodation and transport beforehand. We're here to help. 

Here's some advice on what to expect when you land in the UK and how to book your travel from the airport to Plymouth.

Most international flights will arrive at London's main International airports - Heathrow or Gatwick. Exeter and Bristol airports are nearer to Plymouth if you're able to book flights to them.

What travel advice is there about coronavirus (COVID-19)?

As of May 2021, before you leave for the UK you’ll need to:

  • provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test
  • complete a passenger locator form

Find out more about what you’ll need to do before you leave for the UK because of COVID-19. From 17 May, the rules for people arriving in England from abroad are changing. What you need to do depends on where you have been in the 10 days before you arrive. If you have been in a country or territory on the:

You must follow these rules even if you have been vaccinated. Find out what list the country you’ve been in is on and what you need to do.Countries on the watch list could move into a different list at short notice.

This information is subject to change so please always check the UK Government Entering the UK page for the most up to date advice.

Arriving in Plymouth

If you are staying in University managed Halls, you will receive emails from our accommodation team with details of your room, when to arrive and how to get your keys. Contact details for this team are on the University accommodation webpages.

The University campus is very close to both the coach station and the train station, although if you have a lot of luggage you may still need to use a taxi.

If you are in non-managed halls please check with them for their arrival arrangements.

If you're arriving to attend a course, you should visit our International Student Welcome page.

If you are coming into the UK and stay more than six months, you should visit our UKVI Compliance page.

We look forward to welcoming you to the University of Plymouth.

Travelling to Plymouth from London airports

By train:

If you arrive at Heathrow airport, you can catch the Heathrow Express train, which runs every 15 minutes to Paddington Station in London from where you can catch the train to Plymouth. The train journey from London Paddington to Plymouth takes three to four hours.

If you arrive at Gatwick you can catch the trains to Reading station, where you'll join the train to Plymouth. These services are approximately hourly.

Check train timetables and ticket prices

The train station in Plymouth is very close to campus and the city centre, but it's advisable to take a taxi if you have luggage.

By coach:

There are two coach companies (National Express and Megabus) running from Gatwick and Heathrow airports to Plymouth approximately every two hours. The journey by coach is longer than the train but it's cheaper. 

The Plymouth bus station is very close to campus and the city centre, but it's advisable to take a taxi if you have luggage. 

Travelling to Plymouth from other UK airports

Although most students fly in to London there are some other airports that are closer to Plymouth and may be more convenient for you.

Bristol airport:

To get to Plymouth from Bristol airport, you can either travel by coach or train. 

Falcon Service runs hourly coach service on peak times from Bristol Airport to Plymouth. The journey take around three hours.

To travel by train, you'll first need to catch the Airport Flyer Express Link service which connects you to Bristol Temple Meads station, with services every ten minutes during peak times. There are direct trains running every hour during the daytime between Bristol Temple Meads and Plymouth, which take around two hours. 

Exeter airport:

To get to Plymouth from Exeter airport you'll first need to take a taxi or bus to Exeter St Davids train station. There are direct trains running every hour during the daytime between Exeter St Davids and Plymouth, which take around one hour. Check National Rail for timetables and prices. 

The train station in Plymouth is very close to campus and the city centre but it is advisable to take a taxi if you have a lot of luggage.