Sheffield is located in the middle of the country and
is quite accessible by train and from many different airports. This
information is skewed towards the methods of travel that I've decided
to use the most for Sheffield, namely planes and trains, not buses and
See below for information about
getting to Sheffield by:
Finally some local information
and what to do when you arrive
Please note that this information comes without guarantee: public
transport in the UK is sadly not as efficient or reliable as in other
For cheap flights from Europe, flycheapo is useful for working
out which airlines fly to and from which peculiar airports. Many more
and less peculiar airports are quite convenient for Sheffield:
my experience the most
convenient for Sheffield.
There are direct train
services hourly which take about an hour and 15 minutes.
You can buy your ticket from the ticket office at the train station or
in advance online eg here
is quite convenient.
There's a short train journey to Birmingham New Street station, and
then a direct train to Sheffield. The whole journey takes about 1h
40mins. You can buy the train ticket from the train station when
you get there, or in advance online eg here
Luton, East Midlands and Liverpool airports
are fairly convenient, probably in decreasing order as listed.
These all involve a train plus an airport bus connection. The
Luton one goes from Luton Airport Parkway station and is quite quick;
the East Midlands one goes from Derby station and is about half an
hour. I think the Liverpool one is longer. I think if you buy your
train ticket carefully it will include the bus part.
Heathrow and Gatwick
are further away but
not that difficult. From Heathrow you take the underground to St
Pancras (around 55
mins on Picadilly Line) and then get the train
(a little over 2 hours); you will need two separate tickets. From
Gatwick you can take a direct
train to London St Pancras (45 mins) and then get the train
; you can get one train ticket all the way from
Gatwick to Sheffield.
(There is an express train from Heathrow
to London Paddington but that's not very useful for getting to
London City airport
is not an airport I've
used much. It looks
like you'd have to take a couple of trains to get to St Pancras, and
then the train to Sheffield as above.
is not very convenient
The Eurostar is very convenient for Sheffield as it arrives into St
Pancras station, which is where the train to Sheffield departs
). You just need to go
upstairs. You can actually book a train ticket all the way
through to Sheffield via the Eurostar website and this is probably the
easiest option. It has the added benefit that if one of the trains is
late so that you miss the next train, your ticket will be honoured. NB
It seems that to make this work you have to book it through the UK Eurostar
There are trains to Sheffield from direct from London St Pancras.
The fastest ones take just over two hours and go once per hour on
Monday-Saturday; there are slower ones in between and on Sundays.
The ticket system is a bit complicated so I will now attempt to explain
in case you're not familiar with the convoluted system of UK train
tickets. The important thing to note is that there are a lot of
different types of ticket, and if you have the wrong type you will be
charged a fine of perhaps £50 or £100; you can't just pay
the difference on the train.
way to get a
ticket is to just go to the ticket office at the station and talk to a
person, telling them exactly when you're travelling. If ease is
your aim, ignore the rest of this section.
You can save
a bit of money by buying in advance online either at East Midlands Trains
or (cheaper for Sheffield-London, but stranger, and not on Sundays) Megatrain
- Tickets cost different amounts depending on the time of day, and
also depending on whether you book a particular train or not.
- The "Advance" tickets are booked for particular trains and are a
bit cheaper, but then you must
travel on the correct train. If
you get the wrong train, or miss your train, you will be charged a fine
and have to buy a new ticket, even if you explain that you're from
abroad and didn't understand.
- If you get a ticket online, you must collect a physical ticket
before getting on the train. To do this, you need your credit
card and the confirmation number, and you use a ticket machine in the
station. (Unless you use Megatrain, which has no physical tickets
and works completely differently.)
- If you have an "advanced" ticket you will get a seat reservation
for the particular train, but you don't actually have to sit in that
seat; you do have to sit on that train.
Clear as mud?
Other important facts:
Sheffield train station
- The trains are often late, especially on Sundays, but they still
try to depart on time. In fact the doors often close two minutes
before the train departs, so don't cut it too fine. They will not
hold the train for people who are running towards it.
- Because the trains are often late, I recommend taking a train
quite early if you are catching a flight.
- St Pancras is a large train station and is connected to King's
Cross, another large station. There is one underground station
connected to both, called King's Cross St Pancras. To get the train to
Sheffield you need to find the St Pancras side, and then the East
Midlands Trains part of the station (it's upstairs). Trains depart from
five or six completely separate areas of St Pancras.
- When you buy your ticket check if it's a direct train; they might
also offer you a route where you have to change at Doncaster, which I
think is a pointless hassle and often more expensive.
- St Pancras is not called St Pancreas. The pancreas is a body
part; many native English speakers make this mistake, unfortunately.
- UK train ticket prices do not satisfy the triangle inequality .
is about 20-30
minutes' walk from the university and/or most of the listed
hotels. There's a taxi rank in the train station and there's also
There are very cheap buses from London to Sheffield from Megabus
. The price can go
down as low as £2 each way, but it's quite slow.
I'm afraid I don't have much to say about this. I once drove to
Sheffield from London and got amazingly stuck in traffic around London,
and then lost in the one-way system in Sheffield, so I didn't do it
again. But I'm sure it's possible.
A Sheffield taxi number: (0114) 2 39 39 39
Sheffield is very near the Peak District, which is a popular place to
go walking and climbing. If you'd like advice on this, I'm the
wrong person to ask. People who know more about it include, I think,
every single other person in Sheffield.
What to do when
We will think of a place to gather on Sunday evening for anyone who'd
like to do that.
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Last updated 23:28, 13th January 2013.