Travelling to Cardiff


1. Travelling to Cardiff from Heathrow Airport

Airport welcome 

We are pleased to confirm that we will be offering an airport welcome service from London Heathrow for students who will be enrolling at Cardiff Met in September 2022. We are pleased to confirm that the new airport welcome dates are as follows:  

Wednesday 14th September 2022 – Booking deadline: Tuesday 6th September 2022

In order to register for the airport welcome service, students must book a place on our transport before the booking deadline stated above. In order to book a space on the service please complete our online booking form that can be found here

Please only book a space on our airport welcome service once you have received your visa and your flight is confirmed. 

Please note: students must book a flight that lands at Heathrow before 7.00pm to use the airport welcome service.  

Family members: Due to limited availability, we are unable to guarantee a space on our transport for family members, prioirty will be given to students. However, we will try our best to acccommodate a maximum of one family member per student. 

Bus

If you are unable to take advantage of our airport welcome service, the cheapest way to travel to Cardiff is via the National Express bus service: https://www.nationalexpress.com/en. You can purchase a ticket in advance using the website, or when you arrive at the airport. The journey usually takes between 3-5 hours. If you are booking a ticket in advance, please ensure you leave yourself enough time to pass through immigration (sometimes this can take up to 3 hours) and collect your luggage.

Once you have arrived in Cardiff at the bus station, you will need to catch a taxi to your accommodation. The taxi driver will need to use a metre for the duration of your journey. There should be taxis waiting at both the train and bus station, but if not, you can call a Premier Taxi on 02920 555 555. Alternatively, can you use Uber.


Train

The quickest way to travel to Cardiff is via the train which usually takes around 2 ½ hours. If you catch the train, you will need to use the Heathrow Express to London Paddington where you will then catch the train to Cardiff central train station.  It is cheaper to book your train tickets in advance but please ensure you leave yourself enough time to pass through immigration, sometimes this can take up to 3 hours. Alternatively, you can book your train tickets on the day. Here is a link where you can purchase your tickets in advance: https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/.

Once you have arrived in Cardiff at the train station, you will need to catch a taxi to your accommodation. The taxi driver will need to use a metre for the duration of your journey. There should be taxis waiting at both the train and bus station, but if not, you can call a Premier Taxi on 02920 555 555. Alternatively, can you use Uber.


Private Transfer

Alternatively, you could book a private transfer from the airport direct to your accommodation with FlightLink Wales who operate a reliable transport service. Your FlightLink driver will meet you inside your arrival terminal before taking you to their car to drive you to your accommodation in Cardiff. If you are arriving with friends, you could share a private transfer to spread out the cost. Further information can be found on the Flight Link website: https://www.flightlinkwales.com/.

2. Travelling to Cardiff from Gatwick Airport

Bus

The cheapest travel option for you is to catch a National Express Bus to Cardiff. This will cost approx £52.00 (one-way) and you will be able to purchase this ticket from the National Express Ticket Office at the airport. The National Express bus will take you to Sophia Gardens (Cardiff). Below is the link to the National Express Website if you would like some more information.       

www.nationalexpress.com

The National Express bus will arrive at Cardiff Sophia Gardens where you will need to catch a taxi to your accommodation. Taxis are usually waiting at Sophia Gardens for passengers but if for some reason there are no taxis available, please call +4429 20 555 555 to order one. It would be very useful if you wrote down the name of the accommodation where you will be staying to show to the taxi driver.


Train

A quicker option to travel to Cardiff from Gatwick is via train, most journeys take just over 3 hours. You can catch the train directly from Gatwick Airport and then will have one change during your journey. It is cheaper to book your train tickets in advance but please ensure you leave yourself enough time to pass through immigration, sometimes this can take up to 3 hours. Alternatively, you can book your train tickets on the day. Here is a link where you can purchase your tickets in advance: https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/.


Private transfer

Alternatively, you could book a private transfer from the airport direct to your accommodation with FlightLink Wales who operate a reliable transport service. Your FlightLink driver will meet you inside your arrival terminal before taking you to their car to drive you to your accommodation in Cardiff. If you are arriving with friends, you could share a private transfer to spread out the cost. Further information can be found on the Flight Link website: https://www.flightlinkwales.com/.


3. Travelling to Cardiff from Cardiff Airport

Cardiff Airport is located 20-30 minutes outside of Cardiff city centre. Unfortunately the bus service connecting Cardiff Airport to the city centre has been suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, the quickest and easiest way to travel to Cardiff is via a taxi service. You can book a private transfer from Cardiff Airport with FlightLink Wales using the following website: https://www.flightlinkwales.com/.  

4. If you require advice about travelling to Cardiff from a different airport

If you are not arriving via one of the airports listed above, please email internationalarrival@cardiffmet.ac.uk with your flight information. We will then advise you of the best way to travel to Cardiff from the airport of your arrival. 

5. What can I expect to happen at immigration control and what should I bring with me?

When you arrive at a UK airport, you will need to pass through Immigration Control. In order to make this process as smooth and stress-free as possible, it is essential that you are prepared and know what to expect to happen at Immigration Control. Please check the UK Border Force's top 10 tips for a smooth arrival to the UK. 

We would strongly advise you to read the guidance notes provided by UKCISA and that you prepare the items listed below in advance of your journey to the UK.

  • Valid passport containing student visa/ entry clearance
  • Travel tickets
  • Money - some cash in British Pounds (sterling) PLUS travellers cheques or a credit card for use on arrival until you can open a bank account
  • X-ray report/medical certificate (ask the British Council in your home country if you require this)Vaccination certificates if required
  • Any prescription drugs that you are taking as well as a letter from your doctor explaining what they are
  • Cardiff Metropolitan University letter which states that you have accepted a place on a course
  • Documents showing money to fund your studies in the UK (e.g. recent bank statements, proof of sponsorship)
  • Originals (or certified true copies) of any degree certificates/qualifications
  • English language test scores
  • Detail of onward travel arrangements in UK
  • Address where you will be staying
  • Warm items of clothing to wear on arrival.

6. How much money should I bring to the UK when I arrive?

It usually takes about two weeks for students to open a bank account in the UK, so please ensure that you have enough money and/or a credit card available for this period. If you are going to find privately rented accommodation, you should have approximately £500 available to cover the cost of your first months' rent and deposit as both must be paid before you get your keys to a property.  Also, if you have booked into temporary accommodation, such as a hotel, please budget for this. We encourage all students to carry their money in a secure form, e.g. visa card, travellers cheques. 

7. Social activities

Please click here for more information about Social Events.

​8. Living in Cardiff

Please click here for more information about ​Living in Cardiff.

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