2014 Conference Travel

By Air

Manchester Airport

It is most convenient to fly to Manchester Airport (IATA code MAN) which is just 14km southwest of the centre of Manchester. The easiest way to get to the city centre is to take a direct train to either Piccadilly Station (main train station) or Oxford Road Station (closest to Conference Venue). Travel time is between 17 and 25 minutes. A return ticket (only slightly more expensive than a single) is about £8. In case you take a Taxi (about £20) straight to the Conference Venue it is best to ask the Cab Driver to go the Main University Building (Oxford Rd).

Those interested in the history of aviation may wish to know about the Runway Visitor Park, which offers guided tours (pre-booking required) of decommissioned Concorde and Nimrod aircraft.

Liverpool John Lennon Airport

A good alternative destination is Liverpool John Lennon (LPL) Airport, which is about 50km to the west of Manchester. It is served by several budget airlines: if you are based in Europe and seeking a low-cost flight, it is worth checking whether Liverpool offers any useful alternatives (see destination list). There is a direct and non-stop bus service from the Airport to Manchester City Centre (one coach per hour, 60-minute journey, £12 for a return trip).

London Heathrow Airport

London Heathrow (LHR) is one of the world’s largest international hubs, offering direct services to destinations around the globe. The onward connection to Manchester is covered by frequent services from numerous operators, with a typical flying time of 45 minutes.

Alternatively you can connect to Manchester by train. This may be a good option in particular if you are planning to spend a few days in London. Trains from London to Manchester (Piccadilly Station) take about 2 hours. However, if you are not planning to stay in London this may be somewhat cumbersome as you will first have to transfer from London Heathrow Airport to Euston Train station.

The simplest and cheapest route is to take the London Underground – Piccadilly Line from Heathrow to Green Park, then Victoria Line from Green Park to Euston (see map), approximately 60 minutes – then see this page for trains from Euston to Manchester.

The Heathrow Express offers a much faster (and more expensive) route into the city. Its terminus at Paddington is not convenient for northbound connections, but it may be useful if you have other business in London.

By Train

With Manchester taking its proud place in the history of passenger rail travel, you shouldn’t be surprised that it is well linked into the British Rail network. There are direct services from London Euston (just over 2 hours), Oxford (2h 45m), Glasgow (3h 15m), Edinburgh (3h 30m), and many other towns and cities. The Eurostar via the Channel Tunnel from Paris and Brussels runs to London St Pancras allows a straightforward onward journey.

The main rail station in Manchester is Piccadilly Station, but if you can get a train to Oxford Rd Station you will find that this is the closest to the Conference Venue (and a somewhat nicer walk to the Venue compared to the walk from Piccadilly – see this map).

From Oxford Road station: there is a frequent bus service at all times. Exit the station and go down the steps on your right, crossing the cobbled courtyard to emerge on Oxford Street; alternatively, avoiding the steps, take the road sloping downwards to your left (past the Cornerhouse, which is a good place for a coffee, beer or movie), turn right and immediately right again at the bottom onto Oxford Street. Cross the street to the bus stops outside the Palace Hotel, just before the railway bridge. Services to the University area include numbers 41, 42, 43, 111, 142, 143 and 157. Ask the driver for a single ticket to the University Precinct Centre (costs vary). The bus journey takes approximately 5 minutes. Once you get off the bus you should already see the big round, grey building which is University Place, the conference venue.

Alternatively, you can walk this route (under the railway bridge and continue straight down Oxford Road) in around 15 minutes, or take a taxi from the forecourt rank outside Oxford Road station.

From Piccadilly station: The 147 bus runs Monday to Friday between 07.15 and 20.30 (8.30pm). Exit the station by the Fairfield Street exit (down escalators near Platforms 10 to 14: follow signs for Buses and Taxis, Metrolink, Way Out to Fairfield Street). You will see the bus stops over to your left beyond the taxi rank. The bus calls at Stop C, makes a short loop, then calls at Stop D on the opposite side of the road before continuing towards the University. Ask the driver for a single ticket (price about £1). Ask the driver for a single ticket to the University Precinct Centre. The bus journey takes approximately 10 minutes. Once you get off the bus you should already see the big round, grey building which is University Place, the conference venue.

The 147 does not run on Saturday or Sunday, or late at night. Alternative options from Piccadilly are as follows:

  • the most convenient option is a taxi, which will cost around £5. Taxis are available from the rank by the Fairfield Street exit.
  • a 5-minute walk will take you to Piccadilly Gardens bus station, where you can catch a bus at any time of day or night. Exit the station by the Piccadilly exit (near Platform 1: follow signs for free city centre buses, Way Out 1, Piccadilly Station Approach). Follow the road downhill and continue straight on. On your left, you will pass an NCP car park and a Costa Coffee. Just after this, at the road junction, turn left into Portland Street, and you will see the bus waiting area on your right. Services to the University area include numbers 41, 42, 43, 111, 142, 143 and 157. Ask the driver for a single ticket to the University Precinct Centre (costs vary), and proceed as described above. The journey should take 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Walking from Piccadilly to University Place takes around 20 to 25 minutes, and is not recommended if you have heavy bags. Check maps for details.

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