Travel Information

Arriving in Cardiff by Air

     London (Heathrow)
     London (Gatwick)
     Cardiff (Cardiff International Airport)


Most of CMC's international students land at one of London's main international airports, generally Heathrow, but if travelling from Europe, you can come to Gatwick. You can also land at Cardiff International Airport if you change at Amsterdam's Schipol Airport. Heathrow is 2 hours from Cardiff.

    Heathrow - Terminals 3 &4 Tel: +44 (0)870 000123 www.heathrow.co.uk
    Gatwick - North Terminal Tel: +44 (0)1293 535353 www.gatwick.co.uk
    Cardiff International Airport Tel: +44 (0)1446 711111 www.cial.co.uk


Arriving in the UK by Sea

If you are arriving by sea, there are excellent coach and rail links to Cardiff. Normally, you must travel into London to connect with coach or rail services to Cardiff. The main coach station in London is Victoria: Tel +44 (0)8705 808080. The main line rail station serving South Wales and Cardiff is London Paddington. Victoria and Paddington can be reached by London Underground.

Immigration Control

Gaining entry into the UK can be a slow process. Passengers generally reach the Arrivals Lounge 40-60 minutes after their flight has landed.

You should make sure all your necessary documents are easily accessible:

  Passport/Visa

  Proof of Admission to Cardiff Millennium College

  Proof that you have enough funds to support yourself and your family if appropriate.

You should approach one of the two Passport Control desks: either European Community Passport Holders or Other Passport Holders. The Immigration Officer may ask you a number of questions, but if you have all your documentation to hand, you should not have any difficulty. If you have problems with your English then you can ask for an interpreter.

The stamp entered on your passport states the following:

  You have entered the UK on a particular date for the purpose of full-time study

  You have approval to stay a specified length of time

  You are required to register with the Police or not

As a full-time student you will generally be given approval to stay in the UK for 12 months.

Going through Customs

After passing through Passport Control, you must go to the Baggage Reclaim zone. Free trolleys are available to make it easy to move your luggage. At Heathrow red uniformed skycap porters charge you £7 to help you with your bags. Signs show the Trolley Collection Point. Take your entire luggage with you through the Customs Hall. There are three channels:

  •  RED        Items to declare
  •  GREEN  Nothing to declare
  •  BLUE     Arrival from a European Country


You may be requested to open your luggage for a check in the Customs channel. If you are uncertain you should take the RED channel and ask for guidance. If requested, you must open, take out and put back your luggage. Information of what may be brought into the UK is available on the aeroplane, British Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates abroad.

Travelling from London to Cardiff

Once you have arrived in the UK you will need to get from your airport to Cardiff if you have not pre-booked an airport transfer taxi through Cardiff Millennium College.

By Coach

Heathrow and Gatwick airports have direct coach links to Cardiff; the journey time from Gatwick is around 30 minutes longer than from Heathrow. Coach travel is comfortable with most coaches having toilets and a drinks service, and it is usually cheaper than rail travel. Once in the airport simply follow signs to 'Central Bus Station,' or 'National Express.' The coaches leave approximately once every hour, with fewer coaches leaving during the night. The journey will take around 3 hours from Heathrow and 4 hours from Gatwick. You can book seats on arrival in Heathrow or in advance by telephone, or on-line. Tickets cost approximately £24 from Heathrow to Cardiff, and from Gatwick to Cardiff will cost approximately £27.

National Express Enquiries Tel: +44 (0)8717 818181 www.nationalexpress.com


By Rail

Both airports have train stations linking to Cardiff. Booking your train ticket in advance offers the discounted option; however, this may not be the most practical as, with an advance booking you must catch the train at a stated time, so if your flight is late and you miss that train you might have to buy a new ticket. Tickets can be purchased in advance or directly from the train station.

National Rail Enquiries Tel: +44 (0)8457 48 49 50 www.nationalrail.co.uk


Travelling from Cardiff International Airport to Cardiff City

Some flights from Europe bring students into Cardiff Airport. In particular there are several connecting flights, especially with KLM airlines, from Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam to Cardiff International Airport. This is located 12 miles south-west of Cardiff. There is a Cardiff Bus coach service from Cardiff Airport into Cardiff City Centre which runs every hour from Monday-Saturday. The fare is £3.40 and the journey takes 25 minutes. A taxi from Cardiff Airport can be hired immediately outside the Terminal Building. Always have your accommodation address with you.

Getting to your accommodation

Trains and coaches stop at Cardiff Central Bus/Train Station, which are at the same location, and are about 5 minutes from the College. There will be taxis waiting at the directly outside the Central Station and fares cost between £5.00 and £9.00 depending on where your accommodation is, as well as how much luggage you are carrying. You do not need to go to the College to report your arrival, the best thing to do is go directly to your accommodation, familiarise yourself with your new surroundings and get some rest.

Important Documents

Carry all your important documents as hand luggage, and make sure to keep them with you at all times during your travelling. These include:

  Travel tickets

  Passport/Visa

  Proof of finance

  All necessary medical documents

  Letter of acceptance from Cardiff Millennium College

  Any insurance documents

  Important telephone numbers

  Travellers cheques

  Credit cards and money

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