Going to the United Kingdom
Bus, train, plane or ferry: there are many ways to get across the Channel, fast and rather cheap! It's up to you to choose the transport that suits you best. It is possible to travel by car with the ferries or the Eurotunnel. It can be a good experience. For more savings, opt for carpooling!
This is undoubtedly the most practical way for a quick and comfortable trip, especially since the journey is very short. Several airlines operate regular flights from major French cities to various cities in the UK. International flights exist to Manchester, Newcastle and Bristol. You can find tickets for less than €100 to Liverpool, London, Luton or Gatwick with the low-cost airline EasyJet.
Going by boat is long, but the price is advantageous. It is also the solution if you wish to leave with your car. Several ports on both sides of the Channel are connected by ferries. The shortest crossing leaves Calais and arrives in Dover (1h40). If you can afford it, you can opt for the hovercraft from Boulogne and Calais, which offers a 45-minute crossing.
The Eurostar TGV and Eurotunnel's shuttle services provide fast and comfortable crossings. The Eurostar takes you directly to London from Paris, Lille, Marseille, Avignon, Lyon or Brussels. The journey takes approximately 3 hours from the north of France, 6 hours from Lyon and 7.5 hours from the south of France, including about 20 minutes in the tunnel, and is reserved for pedestrians.
The Eurotunnel allows you to take your car, caravan or bicycle on board. From Calais to Folkeston it takes 35 minutes.
Long but very economical, the bus is a good alternative to go to the UK. There are regular bus services to the country from various French cities. Eurolines is the main company providing the connections. Buses leave from Paris and other provincial towns and the journey takes about 7 hours.
Transport networks in the United Kingdom
Studying in the UK gives you the opportunity to explore the beautiful British countryside, lively cities and picturesque villages. The UK is a small country and it is easy to get around by public transport. However, be careful as they are not always punctual due to congested roads and motorways. Always plan to leave a little early.
Airplanes are an expensive but fast means of transportation. There are a very large number of airports including 24 international airports in the UK. You can reach many destinations with domestic flights. Check out the routes offered on FlightMapping, then book through a travel agent or directly with the airlines. The low-cost airlines will allow you to travel at a reduced price throughout the country.
The national rail network is simple to understand and dense. You can choose to travel in first class or standard class. Unlike France, the British system is private and divided by region. Delays are frequent.
Train journeys are sometimes expensive depending on the season and destination, but discounts are regularly offered. Remember to book online and in advance. If you are under 25 years old or a full-time student, ask for the 16-25 Railcard discount card: it will allow you to save 33% on the price of your tickets. For regular journeys, ask about season tickets to save money.
Bus lines are less busy for long distances and provide connections between the main and neighbouring towns. For regular journeys, you can save money by taking a season ticket. Coaches are buses that make longer journeys. It may be necessary to book in advance.
If you are between the ages of 16 and 26 and a full-time student, you can purchase a Coachcard from National Express to save up to 30%. Citylink is the leading coach operator in Scotland. You can save 20% when you book online. For Northern Ireland there is Translink.
To get around in the cities, the British use the metro, bus, taxi and bicycle. Bus networks are highly developed and include a large number of lines that criss-cross almost every district. Some cities also have night buses that provide transport after midnight. However, they are less frequent than daytime buses. Taxis are plentiful in the UK and are not difficult to find.
In addition to the famous London Underground, there is also a subway line in Glasgow and a subway (which is actually more like a tramway) in Newcastle. In London, if you travel regularly on the underground, you can take the Oyster card. You can add credit to it whenever you want (pay as you go) or take a season ticket. You can combine Railcard 16-25 with your Oyster card to get extra discounts.
You will find buses in most British cities. They are a simple but not always efficient means of transport, due to frequent delays.
Taxis are easy to find in all major cities. They are very convenient but prices are rising fast. To ensure your safety, choose taxis from reputable companies.
Cycling will both save you money and keep you fit! Before you start pedalling, find out about safety: wearing a helmet is not mandatory, but it is recommended. At night, use white headlights at the front and red lights at the back and wear reflective clothing. Many universities offer bike clubs, coaching programs and workshops to learn more about bike safety and maintenance.
In London, the Barclays Cycle Rental program allows you to rent a bike for up to 24 hours. You can rent one quickly with a credit card and then hand it in at any car park.Conduire au Royaume-Uni
The road network in the UK is of good quality, but traffic is often heavy and roads are often congested. The first thing to remember is that driving is left-hand drive. Be careful when you enter the country! Pay particular attention to clockwise roundabouts.
To park, you will have to respect the regulatory parking zones in town. They are indicated by blue signs with the letter P. On the ground, a double red or yellow line indicates that parking is prohibited.
Speed limits in miles:
- in the city: 30 mph (48 km/h)
- on road: 50 mph (80 km/h)
- on the highway: 70 mph (112 km/h)
Renting a car during your trip to the UK can be an advantageous solution. You can either book in advance with an international agency or opt for local agencies.
In order to rent, you must have a licence that is at least one year old and be 23 years old. Drivers of 21 years old can also rent a car for an additional fee.
1 Transport ticket
1 Monthly pass
1 Litre of gasoline
Price car rental/day
Price of a domestic flight
Price of a taxi ride in a big city (by Km or from the airport to the city centre)
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