The UK is relatively small compared to India so most journeys can be completed within a few hours, even travelling from London in southern England to Newcastle in northern England can be achieved on a train in just over 3 hours.
The most common forms of transport used in the UK are:
Here is a breakdown of the types of journey each mode of transport is commonly used for and some details of pros and cons:
Car / motorcycle
Travelling via car or motorcycle is very convenient as it is flexible, you can take any route that suits you and you can stop during the journey as you wish. Having a car or motorcycle is very useful if you have to do regular short journeys such as commuting to work.
You will need a driving license to drive a car or motorcycle on UK roads, please see the Driver and Vehicle Licensing (DVLA) website for more information. If you have an Indian driving license it may allow you to drive in the UK for the first 12 months but you will need to get a UK license after that. Getting a license in the UK can be expensive depending on how many lessons you need.
Owning a car or motorcycle can also be expensive, apart from buying the vehicle you will also need to insure, tax, fuel and maintain it. Fuel alone is an expense to consider as it is heavily taxed in the UK. See our Finance section for more details on insurance.
If you only plan to use a car on a very occasional basis then the best option may be to hire.
Using taxis for short journeys is common in the UK, it is a very convenient and way to travel especially if you don’t know the area as the driver will have local knowledge. Please be aware that rates increase at night.
Ordering a taxi by phone is cheaper than picking one up on the roadside, especially if you are doing a slightly longer journey. There are black taxis in city centres which are very convenient as they wait around for passengers but the cost will be slightly higher.
Bus / coach
Buses run to regular schedules across defined routes, it is an inexpensive way of travelling short or medium journeys. Use search engines to find details of routes and schedules in your local area.
Coach services are run between major cities in the UK, primarily these are based around routes from major airports to other cities. If you arrive at a UK airport and need to travel to another city coaches are a good option, the cost is reasonable and taking luggage is not a problem.
The UK has an extensive rail network spanning most regions with particularly good connections to airports. If you are travelling a long distance in the UK trains are usually the chosen method of transport, however costs can be high if you are travelling in peak periods.
It is worth searching for cheap tickets online by booking in advance (the earlier the better), possibly by buying 2 single tickets rather than returns and by travelling outside of peak hours (times when people are commuting for work).
If you are travelling with luggage be aware that many train journeys require you to change trains during the journey, possibly multiple times.
Aeroplane / air travel
There are over 40 airports in the UK, they range from major international airports such as Heathrow to small airports which are primarily used for internal flights.
Travelling between locations within the UK is relatively expensive but can be a very efficient way of travelling longer distances.