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Getting from London to Manchester (and return)

Manchester is located in the north west of England and is known for the influence on the history of music. The city is vibrant and young , appealing to more and more travelers each year. The second largest city in the UK is home to the country’s busiest airport outside of London.

Many travelers arrive in London because there are plenty of airlines serving the city’s airports and it’s easy to find a good deal from any part of Europe and even from the USA.

Quick summary

When planning to travel from London to Manchester you need to take into account whether you need to hurry or take things slower. Flights take about an hour but trains take 2h 20 min and you depart and arrive to/from the city centers. Plus, train tickets start at £11.50 , if you purchase the ticket in advance (about two weeks). The other option is the coach, with takes about 5 hours, but the fares start at £6.50.

Flights from London to Manchester

Manchester Airport (MAN) is the fourth busiest airport in the UK and also the second busiest airport outside of London.
Flights from Manchester to London are operated by: BMI (Heathrow) and British Airways (Heathrow, Gatwick).

Should you fly during the shoulder season (November 2011), expect to pay from £39 for a single ticket on flight operated by BMI from London Heathrow. The flight time is 1h 5 min.
If you plan to fly between the two cities during the winter holiday, you can find flights from £36 one way from London Gatwick on British Airways. The flight time is 1h.

Read more about:
>>Flights to London Heathrow
>>Flights to London Gatwick

Trains from London to Manchester

Trains leave from London Euston Station and arrive at Manchester Piccadilly Station, every 15 or 20 minutes. The travel time is about 2h 20 min.
When you purchase a ticket , consider getting it in “advance” as these fares are cheaper than purchasing the single ticket on the day of traveling. Often, a return fare is more expensive than buying two single tickets.
Trains from London to Manchester are operated by Virgin Trains .The standard fare also depends on the time of departure. Advance fares start at £11.50, off peak fares are £69 and anytime fares are £139.50. However, if you purchase the ticket on the same week as the departure , the advance fares start at £30.50.

>>read more about the Railway Stations in London

Buses from London to Manchester

National Express offers direct coaches from London Victoria Coach Station to Manchester Coach Station. The travel time is about 5 hours.
Depending on the time of departure, expect to pay from £6.50 for a single ticket. When looking for fares and departures, you’ll be offered the lowest possible fare available at the moment you choose the time you want to travel, so these may sell out.

Driving from London to Manchester

There are three possible routes to travel by car between London and Manchester:

  • M1: 204 miles, about 4 hours
  • M1 and M6: 209 miles, about 3h 45 min
  • M40 and M6: 220 miles, about 4 hours

The map below shows the M1 route:

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