Flying within the UK


Flying is a great time-saving alternative to road or rail when it comes to getting around the UK. If you’re thinking about emigrating within the UK – England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland – flights are fast, frequent and often cheap. The below is intended to give you an idea how to get there, travel times, costs and the best ways to book your flight.

How to get there

Many major carriers fly within the UK including British Airways, Air France, KLM and Aer Lingus as well as budget airlines like easyJet, Ryanair, Flybe, Germanwings and bmibaby.

There are 15 major airports in the UK, which can be defined as those that receive international and internal passenger flights. These airports can be found in Aberdeen, Belfast International, Belfast City, Birmingham, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Leeds, London City, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, London Stansted, Luton, Manchester and Newcastle.

Britain’s three busiest airports are Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester.

Costs and time

Some of the most popular routes in the UK are London Heathrow to Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow; Manchester to London; and Edinburgh to London. You can sometimes find flights that are cheaper than long-distance rail fares.

To give you an idea of costs and time, London to Manchester takes just an hour and starts at around £40 one way.

A flight from Edinburgh to London will take just over an hour from around £45 onwards. A longer flight like Cardiff to Inverness will take from around 6 hours with one stop, costing from £100 upwards.

Airports in the UK

London Heathrow Airport is the busiest airport in the UK and serves passengers for domestic flights within the UK and external flights to the rest of the world. It is also a hub for connecting flights to many countries.

Heathrow is also the third busiest in the world, with almost 200,000 passengers moving through its terminals each day. It has 4 operational terminals, soon to be five with the re-opening of Terminal 2. You can get between the airport and London Paddington in 15 minutes via the Heathrow Express, or take the Piccadilly Line on the Underground, the most cost-effective rail route.

The UK’s second-busiest airport, Gatwick, has 2 terminals, serving roughly 34 million passengers a year and flying to hundreds of destinations worldwide.

The UK’s third busiest airport, Manchester Airport, is the largest outside the London region, providing flights to over 200 destinations – more than any other airport in the United Kingdom.

London Stansted and London Luton are the fourth and fifth busiest airports respectively.

If you’re really looking to score the cheapest possible flight, follow these tips:

  • Do fly mid-week
  • Do fly early in the morning or late at night
  • Do make use of sales
  • Don’t fly during public holidays
  • Don’t book your ticket less than two weeks in advance.