Trains to Manchester terminate at 4 main railway stations: Piccadilly, Oxford Road, Victoria and Deansgate, which make up the Manchester station group. The best way to reach famous spots like Salford Quays and the Museum of Science and Industry is through the free Metroshuttle bus service. Along with the inter-city connections, Manchester’s rail network links to the neighbouring districts and towns from Wigan, Oldham, Bolton, Stockport to Rochdale.
Most trains from UK destinations will arrive at Piccadilly train station. Mainly serving intercity routes to Bristol, London, Liverpool, Birmingham, Leeds, and Glasgow, Manchester Piccadilly is the fourth busiest train station in the United Kingdom. Visitors can book trips just anywhere across the UK from the station. With walkways and cycle lanes throughout, it takes around 5 to 15 minutes to get to the terminals and ten minutes to the city centre. It should take no more than 25 minutes to reach the airport from this major train station.
Getting to Manchester is possible through train operators Virgin East Coast Trains, East Midlands Trains, TransPennine Express and Northern Rail. The main provider and the only direct link from London to Manchester is Virgin East Coast. Regardless of the season, there will be regular trains running about hourly.
A trip from London to Manchester via train takes 2 hours 4 minutes. This is more convenient than taking a bus which takes nearly 4 hours. Most importantly, trains to Manchester operate 24/7 and run every 10 minutes regardless of the day of the week. Using a railcard can give up to 33% off the train ticket and can be combined with other discounts e.g. the NUS (10%).
Alongside all the obvious tourist attractions, like the football stadium, shopping at the Trafford Centre or visiting the Northern hub of the BBC at Salford Quays, Manchester has more to offer off the beaten track. Find rare vintage in the stores around the Northern Quarter, visit Roadhouse for a look into the history of music, or taste some craft beer in one of the bars spread around the city. Getting around Manchester City is quite easy thanks to the readily available fleets of trains, buses and trams. The city of Manchester is bike-friendly with numerous cycle paths marked throughout.