With two airports, 74 flight routes, and 3 Ferry Crossings- getting to Belfast is much simpler than you think. Charlie is sharing his experience and tips for anyone travelling to Queen's for the first time.
As a student from England, whenever I tell people that I study at Queen’s, I get a few questions, and one of the most common ones is: “Isn’t that so far away?”
Since my hometown is on the South Coast of England- I suppose yes, geographically, I live nearer to Paris than Belfast but that's true for travelling to almost anywhere else in the UK! But as with anywhere in the world these days, transportation options are endless – which makes my uni commute just that little bit easier.
Arriving at the airport ready to check-in and board my first flight to Belfast as a Queen’s student, I felt anxious, but with an overwhelming sense of excitement at starting the next chapter of my life. Saying goodbye to parents and other loved-ones at an airport can be tough, but you could explore the option of them accompanying you on a trip to Belfast and helping you out with the luggage load – thus taking in the friendly and hospitable Northern Irish culture for themselves – to reassure their nerves and help them to realise that you will be happy in your new home. Take a look at recent blog posts for travel ideas in and around Belfast.
Not many students can say that their main mode of transport to and from university is flying, which certainly makes an impression when you tell people. I was worried about the logistics of getting all my luggage over, but it was no hassle at all, with plenty of baggage deals available on different classes with different airlines, some of which will be covered below.
Belfast has two airports, Belfast International, Aldergrove and George Best, Belfast City Here, with flights to over 74 world destinations. So getting here is really simple. Plus, flights usually take less than an hour if you’re coming from England, Scotland or Wales which definitely beats hours in a Megabus! To make things easier, I have compiled a list of the different routes and methods of transport that GB students can take to get to Belfast:
East Midlands: Belfast City with Flybe (Flybe offer great student packages including 2x 23kg checked baggage for the price of one upon showing your student card)
London Luton: Belfast International with EasyJet
London Southend: Dublin with RyanAir (a really good option for cheap flights if you don’t mind the two-hour coach trip to Belfast)
London Stansted: Belfast International with EasyJet and RyanAir
London Heathrow: Belfast City with British Airways and Aer Lingus
London City: Belfast City with FlyBe
Newcastle: Belfast International with EasyJet
Liverpool: Belfast International with EasyJet
Manchester: Belfast City with FlyBe, Belfast International with EasyJet and RyanAir
London Gatwick: Belfast International with EasyJet
Southampton: Belfast City with FlyBe
Exeter: Belfast City with FlyBe
Bournemouth: Dublin with RyanAir
Newquay: Dublin with Aer Lingus
Bristol: Belfast International with EasyJet
Birmingham: Belfast City with FlyBe, Belfast International with EasyJet
Doncaster-Sheffield: Belfast City with FlyBe
Leeds-Bradford: Belfast City with FlyBe
Aberdeen: Belfast City with FlyBe
Inverness: Belfast City with FlyBe
Edinburgh: Belfast City with FlyBe, Belfast International with EasyJet
Glasgow: Belfast City with FlyBe, Belfast International with EasyJet
Cardiff: Belfast City with FlyBe
ISLE OF MAN:
Isle of Man: Belfast International with EasyJet
As always, if you live in the Channel Islands, the British Overseas Territories or further afield, don’t forget that there are plenty of connecting flights through London Heathrow and other UK airports.
However, if you fancy reducing your carbon footprint, whilst enjoying a ride along the Irish Sea, there are ferry options. There’s 99 cross channel sailings each week and three ferry routes to Belfast that you can choose from: Cairnryan to Belfast, Cairnryan to Larne, and Liverpool to Belfast. Alternatively, there’s also a ferry from Holyhead to Dublin too – all with onward transport connections.
Whichever way you choose to get to Belfast, you can be rest assured that a warm welcome will be awaiting you from its friendly people!
To Find Out More about how to get to Queen's from where you live check out this page.
Charlie Rae Allen
BA (Hons) Spanish and Portuguese | 2nd year | Brighton, England
Hi! I’m Charlie, and I study Spanish and Portuguese at Queen’s. If you haven’t already guessed by my degree choice, I love travelling – leaving my home of sunny Sussex by the Sea to go away and meet new people along the way, a big part of my reason for coming to study in Belfast. I’m also a Campus Tour guide, so you might see me donning my tour guide jacket, come rain or shine. Hope you find these blogs enjoyable whilst you follow me on my Queen’s journey thus far…
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