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Travel to Manchester

Flying to Manchester

Airlines operating direct flights to Manchester from other UK cities include British Airways, easyJet and Flybe. Cheaper flights are available if you book well in advance and avoid peak business travel times (i.e. early mornings and evenings). Airlines offering direct flights from the USA include American Airlines, Delta, United, US Airways and Virgin Atlantic.

Flight times

From London - 1 hour; New York - 7 hours; Toronto - 7 hours; Los Angeles - 13 hours (including stopover); Sydney - 24 hours (including stopover).

Travel by road

Traffic drives on the left in the UK and drivers must be at least 17 years old. Speed limits are 113kph (70mph) on motorways, 97kph (60mph) on single-lane main roads and 48kph (30mph) in built-up areas.

Overseas driving licences and International Driving Permits are valid for up to one year. Insurance is mandatory. Overseas visitors bringing their own cars should bring registration documents and check with their insurance company as to whether a Green Card is needed.

Breakdown service, traffic updates and general motoring information are available from the AA (tel: +44 121 275 3746; and the RAC (tel: +44 844 891 3111;

Emergency breakdown services

AA (tel: 0800 887 766, in the UK); RAC (tel: 0800 828 282, in the UK).


Ringed by the M60, Manchester is easily accessible by road and is signposted from the M6 that runs north to south on the western side of the city, or via the M62 and M66 which run north on the eastern side of the city.


National Express (tel: +44 871 781 8181; operates regular coach services connecting Manchester with various destinations in the UK, including Victoria Coach Station in London.

The National Express terminal is close to the centre of the city on Chorlton Street, within easy walking distance of Piccadilly Gardens - the main terminus for local bus routes.

Time to city

From London - 4 hours;Newcastle - 2 hours 30 minutes; Leeds - 1 hour; Birmingham - 1 hour 40 minutes; Liverpool - 50 minutes.

Travel by Rail


The Piccadilly Railway Station is Manchester's main station and is located just a few minutes' walk to the east of the city centre. Central Manchester is also served by stations at Victoria, Deansgate and Oxford Road. Manchester is well connected to the rest of the UK by an efficient rail service.


Virgin Trains (tel: +44 871 977 4222; operate numerous services to Manchester, including a fast service from London.

TransPennine Express (tel: +44 345 600 1671; offers services from across the north of England and Scotland.

Northern (tel: +44 333 222 0125; provide good coverage of the north as well as access to the Peak District and Lake District National Parks.

CrossCountry (tel: +44 844 811 0124; connects Manchester to the southwest.

For all train information contact National Rail Enquiries (tel: +44 3457 484 950;

Journey times

From Birmingham - 1 hour 30 minutes; London - 2 hours 10 minutes; Edinburgh - 3 hours 20 minutes; Liverpool - 50 minutes; Cardiff - 3 hours 10 minutes.

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Book Accommodation

Featured Hotels


Premier Inn

This budget hotel chain has several locations in and around the city, but the stay with the best setting is at Deansgate Locks, situated close to Old Trafford. It's conveniently located close to a seven-day free city centre shuttle bus service and also offers free onsite car parking.

Radisson Blu Edwardian

Retaining the vintage features of the Free Trade Hall, where the suffragettes rallied, Bob Dylan went electric in 1965, and the Sex Pistols played in 1976, the Radisson Edwardian is a contemporary hotel with every kind of creature comfort. Within easy walking distance of some of the city's best attractions, the hotel has an indoor infinity pool, a fitness centre and high-speed Internet access.

Lowry Hotel

Located in the Chapel Wharf area on the Salford-Manchester boundary, this is one of the finest hotels in Manchester, a stunning haven of glittering glass and steel, with 164 elegant rooms that include intense flashes of colour amid quietly expensive neutral colour schemes. Bathrooms are marble-lined and there's also a gym and spa, and a spectacular riverside restaurant. There is live entertainment in the River Bar and Terrace most evenings.

The Midland

The Midland is a Grade II-listed Edwardian building that exudes elegance and charm, but is reasonably priced. There are 312 en-suite bedrooms decorated in a contemporary style that's in keeping with the building. Rooms are dotted with polished wood furniture and each comes with air conditioning, flat-screen TVs and Internet access.

Great John Street

Housed in a former Victorian schoolhouse, the Great John Street Hotel is one of Manchester's slickest new boutique hotels. Duplex suites come with flatscreen TVs, free Wi-Fi and rainforest showers. Some even have views of the set of Coronation Street. Be sure to try out the swanky bar too.

The Light Aparthotel

If you want a place to hunker down for a longer stay, this apartment hotel is the perfect fit. It's slap bang in the middle of town and rooms are surprisingly good value considering the space offered. There's even a penthouse if you're feeling flush.