Getting to Cambridge

Most international visitors arrive at Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted airports, and it is possible to get from these airports to Cambridge by either train or coach. The train station is about a mile from Pembroke and King’s Colleges, which can be reached by a regular bus service or by taxi. The colleges are likewise only a ten minute walk from the bus drop-off point at Parkside on Parker’s Piece. Prices below are for one way tickets but return or roundtrip tickets are often better value so do explore all the options.

Travelling to Cambridge by coach

By far the easiest method of getting to Cambridge is by National Express coach, and you can plan your journey using their website. From Heathrow, the journey takes 2-3 hours and costs around £30. From Gatwick, the trip takes 3-4 hours and costs as little as £21. From Stansted the travel time is up to one hour, and tickets cost around £11. Tickets can be purchased at the National Express ticket desk at the various airports, or on their website.

Travelling to Cambridge by train

For train timetable and ticket information visit thetrainline website.

From Heathrow Airport

To reach Cambridge from Heathrow, it is necessary to travel to central London by subway or train and catch a connecting train from London King’s Cross station. Trains from King’s Cross to Cambridge take as little as 46 minutes and cost around £20.

There are two options for getting to King’s Cross from Heathrow airport. The first is by Underground (subway, also called the Tube), and the Piccadilly Line (navy blue) goes direct from Heathrow to King’s Cross. The journey takes just over an hour and costs £4 one-way, though you may wish to buy an Oystercard which makes travelling on the Underground much cheaper.

The second option for getting to King’s Cross involves taking the Heathrow Express train. This train takes 15 minutes non-stop, and costs approximately £18. The Heathrow Express terminates in London Paddington station, from where students will have to take the Underground to King’s Cross. It is worth considering that, if you are travelling directly from Heathrow to Cambridge, travel times on the Heathrow Express and Underground routes are roughly the same and that transferring to the Underground at Paddington involves many stairs.

From Gatwick Airport

To reach Cambridge from Gatwick, it is necessary to travel into London and take a train to Cambridge from London King’s Cross. Trains from King’s Cross to Cambridge take as little as 46 minutes and cost around £20.

There are two options: The first is to take the regular ThamesLink train to St Pancras Station, which is directly across the street from King’s Cross. This journey will take 30-45 minutes and avoids the necessity of travelling on the Underground with luggage. A ticket from Gatwick to Cambridge will cost approximately £28, making this the easiest and cheapest option.

The second option involves taking the Gatwick Express train to Victoria Station, which costs from around £16, and takes approximately 35 minutes. From Victoria it will be necessary to take the Underground via the Victoria Line (light blue) to King’s Cross, making this a slightly longer option overall.

From Stansted Airport

Stansted Airport is the closest airport to Cambridge, though it serves mainly European airports. Trains to Cambridge leave directly from the airport, take around 30 minutes and cost around £11.

Accommodation options

If you are planning to arrive in the UK before the programme starts, there are some suggestions for hotels in Cambridge and London on our Hotels page.