To the UK by Coach
Continental Europe to the UK
Taking the coach (long distance or express bus) is often the cheapest way to get from Continental Europe to the UK but definitely slower than the train. It takes 2 hours 15 minutes on the high-speed Eurostar train to get from Paris to London but a coach journey takes 8-12 hours. However, coaches are generally comfortable often with reclining seats, air conditioning and ample legroom unless you are exceptionally tall. Coaches cross the English Channel either by boarding the ferry or the vehicle-carrying Eurotunnel Shuttle train passing through the Eurotunnel.
Victoria Coach Station is the largest coach terminal in London and the UK hub for coaches travelling between London and cities in Continental Europe. The station covers 13,000 sq metres (3.3 acres) featuring separate arrival and departure terminals, food outlets, shops and left luggage facility. The station is located off Buckingham Palace Road and within walking distance from London Victoria Station, a central London railway terminal and London Underground Station. From Victoria Coach Station, you can transfer and continue your journey to other destinations across the UK mainland.
Going to the UK by coach is becoming popular especially with many operators offering improved facilities and services besides the low fares. Most operators allow passengers two medium size luggage to store in the hold area and a small hand luggage on board the coach. Journeys are often long and you won’t know if and when the coach will make a rest stop. Therefore, bring bottled or canned drink and a packed meal for the trip. Many coaches provide free WiFi but connections may not always be stable when passing through areas with low connectivity.
Eurolines is a network of nearly 30 coach companies co-operating under a single brand connecting many cities in Europe with London’s Victoria Coach Station. There are regular services to London from Amsterdam, Antwerp, Berlin, Brussels, Frankfurt, Madrid, Paris, Lisbon, Rome and Warsaw to name a few. Another major operator is Megabus, which competes with Eurolines on many major European routes to London. Other coach services arriving at Victoria Coach Station from Continental Europe include Ecolines, FlixBus, Ouibus, IC Bus and Transmarian.
Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland
There are regular cross border coach services between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Major operators include Bus Eireann (Republic of Ireland) and Ulsterbus (Northern Ireland) but also include several private operators. Coaches operated by Bus Eireann and Ulsterbus (Goldline coaches) stop at Dublin, Dublin Airport, Drogheda and Dundalk in the Republic of Ireland and Lisburn and Belfast in Northern Ireland. You can purchase tickets at the coach stations or book online from the operators’ websites.
Ulsterbus Goldline coach by Eric Jones
There are no border controls (immigration and customs checks) on either side of the border. Therefore, the coaches do not stop for border checks and you’ll only realise that you have crossed the border when you see a simple road sign stating you are leaving one country for another. However, passengers on the coach must have with them appropriate travel documents such as a passport regardless of the country they are from.
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