Reach Cambridge

Rail

General information about UK train services is available at the National Rail web site. In general, trains are quicker but more expensive than coaches.

Stagecoach Cambridge services 1, 3 and 7 run frequently between Cambridge rail station and the city centre, and there are a number of other operators. It is also possible to take a taxi from the queue just outside the station.

There are regular train connections to Cambridge from London. Trains depart from Kings Cross or Liverpool Street stations in London. The journey time of the faster Kings Cross trains (Cambridge Cruiser trains) is about 45 minutes, while the other trains are slower and take around 70 minutes, or longer.

For convenience, here are details of the London transport system including buses and tube.

Coach (i.e. Bus)

There are frequent coach connections from the centre of London to Cambridge. These depart from Victoria coach station (near Victoria railway station) and take about 2 hours (more in peak hours).

Coach tickets can be bought from the driver. Please note that delays are common because of heavy traffic in and around London.

The Cambridge coach station is close to the city centre and there is an adjacent taxi rank.

Long-distance coach services are run by National Express.   Stagecoach Cambus runs services in Cambridge and to/from nearby villages and towns.

Car

Directions on how to get to King’s College by car from various directions can be found on the College pages here. Please note that the College has very few parking spaces. If it is essential for you to bring a car please get in touch with the conference manager in advance.

Air

London Stansted Airport
This is the closest major airport, about 25 miles from Cambridge (40 minutes by car). It is well served by airlines flying from European destinations. For flight information try the BAA Stansted website or contact the airlines directly (budget airlines easyJet and Ryanair operate direct flights to Stansted from many European airports).

Cambridge is within easy reach by rail, coach or taxi. The railway station is part of the terminal. The services to Cambridge are operated by Central Trains and take about 30 minutes. The service operates seven days a week, the first train departing at 05:27 Monday to Friday, 05:21 on Saturday and 10:19 on Sunday). The last direct train to Cambridge departs at 20:20 Monday to Friday, 20:51 on Saturday and 22:19 on Sunday. If you arrive outside these hours, you can take the Liverpool Street train and change at Bishops Stortford for Cambridge (some trains do not stop at Bishops Stortford). This may involve a wait of 30 to 60 minutes in which case it is then better to take the coach (see below). The times of trains between Stansted Airport and Cambridge can be found from the National Rail web site.

The coach services to Cambridge run once per hour, and take about 50 minutes. Tickets can be purchased from the coach ticket desk in the arrivals area of the terminal or on the coach.

London Heathrow Airport
Many airlines fly to London Heathrow. The easiest way to get to Cambridge is to take a direct coach service. The coach runs at least once per hour, see the National Express web site) and takes at least 2.5 hours to reach Cambridge (often much longer, depending on traffic jams).

A fast train service, the Heathrow Express, connects the airport with London Paddington station. From there use the underground to connect with rail or coach services listed above to reach Cambridge.

The airport is also served by the Picadilly line of the underground which will take you directly (in about one hour) to Kings Cross station, from which the fast trains to Cambridge depart (see instructions above).

Renting a car to drive to Cambridge is not an attractive option, unless you know that you will need a car later in your visit to the UK and wish to return it to the airport. The only reasonably direct route to Cambridge is along the M25, London’s only orbital motorway, on which there are frequent traffic jams (not only during rush hour). The M25 is a bad place to reacquaint yourself with driving on the left!

London Gatwick Airport
This airport is located to the south of London. A direct train service, Thameslink, connects the airport with Kings Cross station, offering a good view of London from the Thames. From Kings Cross follow the instructions above. There is also a fast train service, the Gatwick Express, to London’s Victoria station. From there, use the underground (Victoria line, northbound) to reach Kings Cross. Alternatively, coach services run directly from Victoria coach station (next to the railway station) to Cambridge.

There is also a direct National Express coach service to Cambridge that takes around 4 hours, but the coaches go round the M25 and are vulnerable to traffic jams and serious delay.

London Luton Airport
Some budget airlines (e.g. easyJet) use Luton airport, which is about 35 miles from Cambridge. No intercontinental flights operate from Luton. Contact the Luton Airport web site for a list of operating companies.

There is no efficient train connection from Luton airport to Cambridge, but there is a National Express coach service that runs once every two hours, departing from just outside the terminal building.  It takes about 1.5 hours to reach Cambridge.

London City Airport
The City airport is located very close to the centre of London. It serves major european cities. See the London City Airport web site for details. There is a shuttle bus from the airport that connects with the underground network.

Train from the continent

London can be reached from Paris or Brussels by the Eurostar train which uses the channel tunnel. You will arrive at London Waterloo station. Use the underground to reach Kings Cross station (Bakerloo line, northbound until Oxford Circus, then Victoria line northbound), and follow the directions above.

Driving from the continent

It is also easy to drive from Europe to the UK, including taking your car by train through the channel tunnel.   There are frequent ferry services between Calais and Dover with SeaFrance and P&O Stena line, as well as other boat connections from France, Belgium, Holland and Ireland, see for example here.   Many of these routes have train connections to London or directly to Cambridge.

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