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Travelling to Nottingham

You'll find everything you need to plan your journey to Nottingham from all major UK airports on this page. Includes advice about travelling from red, amber and green list countries.

Page updated: 28 July 2021

Arriving in Nottingham
Student at Nottingham train station

What you must do before you travel

Testing and self-isolation requirements for students travelling to the UK vary, depending on which country you are travelling from, or through, to get to the UK.  A 'traffic light' system of red, amber and green countries is in place and you can find full information on the government website.

As the government reviews which countries are categorised as red, amber or green every 3 weeks, we encourage you to book a flexible flight. This will give you more options should your country of origin or transit move on to the red or amber list.

All students travelling to the UK will be required to:

You must also make sure that you:

  • have the correct immigration permission/visa to start or resume your studies;
  • check that you comply with the travel restrictions of your own country.

Full details of the traffic light system and self-isolation requirements are given below.

Please read the information carefully before you make any travel plans.

You may also like to visit the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website which features the latest guidance and advice from the Department for Education.

Traffic light system: self-isolation requirements on arrival in the UK

Passengers travelling from red and most amber list countries are required to self-isolate for 10 days on arrival. Where you self-isolate will depend on which country you have travelled from, or through.

RED LIST COUNTRIES

Before you travel to the UK from, or though, a red list country you must:

  • Complete and present a negative Covid-19 pre-departure test during the 3 days before travel (please ensure you are following the very latest guidance on when you need to take your test).
  • Book your managed quarantine hotel. This booking package includes your 10 day (11 night) hotel stay, food and beverages, transfers, security and two COVID-19 tests (a test on or before day 2 for variant surveillance and a test on or after day 8 to check that you do not have COVID-19).
  • Complete a passenger locator form 48 hours before you travel with the travel test package booking reference number.

You must follow these rules even if you have been vaccinated.

For more information about quarantine please visit  UK government advice: what to expect from managed quarantine.

Reimbursement of quarantine hotel costs

If you are a new student travelling from a red list country, we are pleased to confirm the University will reimburse the cost of the managed quarantine hotel.

We will be in touch closer to the start of term to explain how you can make your claim for reimbursement.

Please make sure to keep receipts / copies of emails with managed quarantine booking information as you will need to provide these.

Please read the terms and conditions for this support carefully.

Quarantine cost reimbursement – Terms and Conditions

If you have any questions please contact us.

*Students traveling from a green or amber list country via a red list country are not eligible for this support.

AMBER LIST COUNTRIES

Before you travel you must:

  • complete and present a negative COVID-19 pre-departure test during the 3 days before travel (please ensure you are following the very latest guidance on when you need to take your test);
  • book a travel test package. This involves a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 for variant surveillance and a test on or after day 8 to check that you do not have COVID-19. You should use the booking portal to book your travel test package.
  • complete a passenger locator form 48 hours before you travel with the travel test package booking reference number.

On arrival in England from (or if you have travelled through) an amber list country:

  • you must take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 after arrival;
  • self-isolate in your term-time address for 10 days.

For your self-isolation, you must travel directly to the place you are staying and not leave until 10 days have passed.

There are exemptions for travellers from the EU and the USA if you are fully vaccinated with vaccines authorised by the European Medicines Agency and Food and Drugs Administration. If this applies to you, you will not have to isolate upon arrival but will need to carry out testing. Information can be found on the government website for this update.

NTU can support new students with organising accommodation and access to support services during your 10-day self-isolation period. Visit amber-list support web page for more information.

  • Follow safer travel guidance for passengers.
  • Only leave your accommodation in limited circumstances.
  • You will need to take a COVID-19 test booked via the travel test package on or before day 2 of your quarantine/self-isolation period. The day of arrival in England will be treated as day zero. This first test is designed to help identify any potentially harmful variants of COVID-19 at the earliest opportunity. Tests will be taken in your own accommodation.
  • You will need to take the second booked COVID-19 test on or after day 8, unless you received a positive result from your day 2 test.
  • When you have self-isolated for 10 days and received a negative result to both the day 2 and day 8 tests, you may leave the place where you’re self-isolating. The 10-day period is counted from the day after you left your country of origin before returning to the UK.

Test to Release scheme

If travelling from amber countries you have the option to end quarantine early if you pay for an accredited COVID-19 test from a private testing provider through the ‘Test to Release’ scheme after 5 days of self-isolation, with a negative result releasing you from the need to isolate from day 6.

Students planning to use the Test to Release scheme must still take a test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8, unless you are exempt. Even if you get a negative result from the Test to Release and are released from self-isolation, you will still need to take a test on or after day 8 to check that you do not have COVID-19 as part of the travel test package.

If you’re interested in this option, you can book your test and state the booking reference and name of test provider on your passenger locator form 48 hours before you travel to the UK.

When you arrive in Nottingham, a negative Test to Release test means you will be able to reduce your isolation period by 4 days. You’d be able to explore Nottingham and join on-campus teaching, if this is available to you.

If you test positive, please let us know by completing the NTU Coronavirus Tracking Form so that you continue to get the support you need while self-isolating.

  • Please note that the Test to Release Covid test is not the same as a Lateral Flow Covid test or travel test package. And a negative Lateral Flow Covid test will not release you from your self-isolation period.
  • Please note you cannot use the Test to Release scheme if you have travelled from, or through, a ‘red list’ country.

GREEN LIST COUNTRIES

Before you travel you must:

If you have arrived in England from, or travelled through a green list country:

  • you must take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 after you arrive;
  • you do not need to quarantine/self-isolate, unless the test result is positive;
  • you must self-isolate if NHS Test & Trace informs you that you travelled to England with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

You must follow these rules even if you have been vaccinated.

What to pack, and not to pack
Advice from our regional teams (sub-titles coming soon)

What to bring with you

Try not to bring too much heavy luggage with you!

You'll be able to get most things you need at the shops in Nottingham (clothes, food, toiletries etc).

As a guide, you can bring two medium-sized suitcases (maximum 20kg) and one small piece of hand luggage (per person).

If you are not sure what to bring with you, there's some useful advice in our video!

Airport arrivals
Going through immigration control

At the airport

From 1 January 2021, the ‘blue channel’ (previously used for arrivals from EEA countries) will close. All passengers arriving from the EU will be required to make a customs declaration by selecting the green channel (nothing to declare) or the red channel (goods to declare) as rest of the world passengers do now.

EU citizens are able to use eGates if travelling on a biometric passport.

Citizens of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the USA can use eGates.

For more information and advice please visit the UK Government website.

Your travel documents

You should be prepared and bring the following immigration documents that you'll be asked to present:

  • your CAS statement email
  • your visa decision letter
  • your NTU confirmation email, which you'll receive when you've met all your offer conditions
  • details of your accommodation in the UK, including your full address.

You must bring printed copies of these documents. Do not rely on electronic copies.

Travelling to the UK through Ireland

If you will be travelling to the UK via Ireland you will not pass through UK immigration control.

Make sure you keep evidence of your travel to the UK as you not receive a stamp in your passport. This could be a boarding card, ticket or booking confirmation. The evidence should include your name / passport number and photocopies or screenshots of these documents are acceptable.

You must present these documents when you enrol at NTU and to your accommodation provider.

There is further information on the UKCISA website about travelling to the UK via Ireland.

Students standing at tram stop
Students at Nottingham tram station

Planning your journey from UK airports

To plan your journey, please select from the travel options listed below.

Travelling by coach, train or taxi

Manchester airport  

Travelling by National Express coach to Nottingham

Journey time approximately 5 hours.

Tickets cost approximately £20 and you can book online in advance on the National Express website.

You must print the e-ticket and show this to the driver.

Manchester airport

Travelling by train to Nottingham

Follow signs for ‘The Station’.

Journey time is 3 hours approximately.

Tickets cost approximately £20 - £40. You need to change trains so please check this and ask at the ticket office if you are unsure.

Book your journey with East Midlands Railway.

It is cheaper to buy your ticket in advance online.

Manchester airport

Your arrival into Nottingham by coach or train

Coaches and Trains arrive into Nottingham at Station Street. If you have a lot of bags/luggage you might want to pre-book a taxi for when you arrive into Nottingham. You could call a taxi using the Uber App or book a local taxi service, such as.

Please note that you will need cash in £ Sterling to pay the taxi fare.

*Please note that this airport is not a designated port of entry for red list country arrivals*

Nottingham East Midlands airport

Travelling by coach to Nottingham

24-hour Skylink (not National Express) bus service travels frequently to Nottingham.

Journey time approx 40 minutes.

You can catch the Skylink bus directly outside the terminal building. Tickets cost £5.95 per person and you can buy your ticket from the bus driver as you get on the bus.

Nottingham East Midlands airport

*Please note that this airport is not a designated port of entry for red list country arrivals*

London Heathrow airport

Travelling by National Express coach to Nottingham

We’re working with National Express coaches to provide free transfers for Nottingham Trent University students starting the first year of their course in September 2021. Services will be available from Saturday 28 August 2021 – Sunday 3 October 2021. You can choose a date and time that fits with your flight arrival time using our new flexible service.

The journey to Nottingham takes approximately 3 - 5 hours (3 hours and 30 minutes direct). The Central Bus Station at Heathrow is a short walk from Terminals 2 and 3. If you need to travel between terminals for your coach please use these travel instructions.

When your place at NTU is confirmed we’ll send you details of how to book onto this service.

London Heathrow airport

Travelling by train to Nottingham

Journey time 3 hours 30 minutes approx.

You can take the London Underground direct from Heathrow to London St Pancras International train station, where you can catch trains to Nottingham.

Tickets costs approximately £60 - £100.

Book your journey with East Midlands Railway.

It is cheaper to buy your ticket in advance online.

London Heathrow airport

Your arrival into Nottingham by coach or train

Coaches and Trains arrive into Nottingham at Station Street. If you have a lot of bags/luggage you might want to pre-book a taxi for when you arrive into Nottingham. You could call a taxi using the Uber App or book a local taxi service, such as.

Please note that you will need cash in £ Sterling to pay the taxi fare.

London Gatwick airport 

Travelling by National Express coach to Nottingham

Journey time 6-8 hours.

Tickets cost approximately £25 - £45 and you can book online in advance on the National Express website.

You must print the e-ticket and show this to the driver.

Coaches leave from both North and South terminals.

London Gatwick airport

Travelling by train to Nottingham

You can take the London Underground direct from Gatwick to London St Pancras International train station, where you can catch trains to Nottingham.

You can then get a direct train from St Pancras to Nottingham.

Journey time 3 hours 30 minutes approx.

Tickets costs approximately £30 - £70.

Book your journey with East Midlands Railway.

It is cheaper to buy your ticket in advance online.

London Gatwick airport

Your arrival into Nottingham by coach or train

Coaches and Trains arrive into Nottingham at Station Street. If you have a lot of bags/luggage you might want to pre-book a taxi for when you arrive into Nottingham. You could call a taxi using the Uber App or book a local taxi service, such as.

Please note that you will need cash in £ Sterling to pay the taxi fare.

London Stansted airport 

Travelling by National Express coach to Nottingham

Journey time approximately 4- 7 hours (no direct coaches).

Tickets cost approximately £25- £40 and you can book online in advance on the National Express website.

You must print the e-ticket and show this to the driver.

The coach stop is approximately a two-minute walk from the terminal building.

London Stansted airport

Travelling by train to Nottingham

Journey time approx 3 hours and 30 minutes.

You first need to take the train from Stansted Airport to Tottenham Hale. Next take the London Underground to Kings Cross/St Pancras station and then a direct train from St Pancras station to Nottingham.

Tickets cost approximately £20 - £80.

Book your journey with East Midlands Railway.

It is cheaper to buy your ticket in advance online.

London Stansted airport

Your arrival into Nottingham by coach or train

Coaches and Trains arrive into Nottingham at Station Street. If you have a lot of bags/luggage you might want to pre-book a taxi for when you arrive into Nottingham. You could call a taxi using the Uber App or book a local taxi service, such as.

Please note that you will need cash in £ Sterling to pay the taxi fare.

*Please note that this airport is not a designated port of entry for red list country arrivals*

Birmingham airport

Travelling by National Express coach to Nottingham

Journey time approximately 20 minutes from the airport to Birmingham and 1 hour 45 minutes from Birmingham to Nottingham.

Tickets cost approximately £15 - £20  and you can book online in advance on the National Express website.

You must print the e-ticket and show this to the driver.

Coaches leave from Terminal 1 (Terminals 1 and 2 are next to each other - it is just a few minutes walk between them).

**You need to change coaches at Birmingham Coach station, Digbeth - ask the driver if you need help with this**

Birmingham airport

Travelling by train to Nottingham

Tickets cost approximately £25.

Journey time 1 hour and 30 minutes approx.

Take the Air-Rail Link from the terminal building to Birmingham International train station. This is a free service which operates approximately every two minutes.

You will need to change trains at Birmingham New Street and get on the train for Nottingham.

Book your journey with East Midlands Railway.

It is cheaper to buy your ticket in advance online.

Birmingham airport

Your arrival into Nottingham by coach or train

Coaches and Trains arrive into Nottingham at Station Street. If you have a lot of bags/luggage you might want to pre-book a taxi for when you arrive into Nottingham. You could call a taxi using the Uber App or book a local taxi service, such as.

Please note that you will need cash in £ Sterling to pay the taxi fare.

Taxi

Advice on taxi bookings

If you plan to travel by taxi, we recommend these local Nottingham taxi companies who provide a door-to-door service from the airport to your accommodation:

Please see below for details of costs, how to book and cancellation policy.

How to make a taxi booking

Cost

You should expect to pay around the following for a standard size taxi:

  • London Heathrow £140
  • London Gatwick £180
  • London Stansted £140
  • London Luton £130
  • Birmingham £75
  • East Midlands £30
  • Manchester £120

How to book

To book a journey with one of these companies, you will need to book and pay at least 5 days before you travel. You can do this online, or by calling the Nottingham taxi company directly. To book, you’ll need to give the following information:

  • your confirmed flight number
  • the number of suitcases you will bring
  • the number of passengers travelling in the taxi

Please note that the number of passengers determines the size of the taxi and there may be an increased cost.

After booking, you’ll get a confirmation email and text and the taxi company will confirm the driver’s name and contact details before you travel.

Delays and cancellations

Don't worry if your flight is delayed, the taxi company will monitor the flight arrival times so the driver will be aware of the situation.

If you need to cancel or change your booking, you’ll need to give the taxi company at least 12 hours’ notice or you may have to pay for part, or all, of the charge.

You can check the cancellation policies online:

Arriving with no taxi reservation

We highly recommend that you pre-book your taxi before you travel.

If you can’t do this, you’ll be able to hire a taxi when you arrive at the airport. Please note, however, that it is likely you’ll have to pay a higher price than a pre-booked journey with these Nottingham companies.

Still need help?

International Development Office
+44 (0)115 848 8175