Trains & Busses
- When you’re on the mainland you’ll need to get around and public transport will often be you only option for longer journeys. If your accommodation is some way away from where you’re studying you may also need to think about daily travel by bus or train.
- Information about busses to and from where you study should be available from your school or college. Most areas have a bus pass scheme that helps reduce the cost. It may be helpful to get this information before you arrive so that you are fully prepared.
- There are a whole range of different bus operators up and down the country but a useful website for finding information is Traveline.
- National Rail Enquires is a good source of information for finding out about train travel in the UK. As well as information about travel times you can book tickets and find out about delays. Remember that the sooner you book the cheaper tickets generally are but be aware that tickets can often only be used on specific trains at specific times. If you miss your train you may have to buy a new ticket.
- Many students chose to buy a 16-25 railcard; these give you a good discount on rail travel. Brochures can be collected from stations or further information can be viewed here.
- Long distance coach travel is another option you could consider if you are going further afield. Have a look at National Express.
- Remember that bus and train stations aren’t always the safest places to hang around at, especially at night. Take care and keep your wits about you.
- For more information on how to read a bus or train timetable see our Using Timetables page.
Cycling & Walking
- If you don’t want to rely on public transport and car travel isn’t an option then consider walking or cycling. Both are cheap, good for your health and environmentally friendly. Cycling in particular may give you extra independence and allow you to explore more of your new location.
- If you walk, stay safe. Make sure there is a good pavement and lighting for your route.
- If you cycle remember that mainland roads are much busier and more dangerous than roads on Scilly. You may also encounter traffic lights, roundabouts and other features you aren’t familiar with. It is wise to practice your route when traffic isn’t too busy, perhaps on a Sunday.
- Riding with lights and other high-viz clothing is essential and you must use a lock. If you leave a bike unlocked it will get stolen. A helmet is also highly recommended.
- Hitchhiking or accepting lifts from strangers is not a sensible way of getting around and can be very dangerous.
Car & Motorcycle
- At some point you’ll probably want to learn to drive so that you can have a bit more independence. The minimum ages for driving on British roads are –
- 16 for mopeds
- 17 for small vehicles (Including most cars and motorbikes)
- 21 for larger vehicles
- Before you can get in the driver's seat, you need a provisional driving licence. You can't use this until you're 17, but you can apply for it up to three months before your 17th birthday.
- In theory you can get anyone over 21 to teach you to drive, but in reality they probably wouldn't have the experience or training to do it properly. It is much better to do some research and find a good driving instructor.
- Don’t underestimate the costs of owning a car or moped. Even cheap insurance, which is a legal requirement will cost several hundred pounds!
- Also remember the drink drive laws.
- The best source of information for learning to drive can be found here.