Just as with the US and Canada – avoid London if you are flying. Manchester International Airport has budget airline connections to a large number of European cities. Even traditional airlines usually have affordable pricing if you can book far enough ahead. Given the cost of UK rail fares, it is likely to be cheaper for you to travel within your country to a connecting airport than to take an obvious flight to an airport in the London area and then come on by train. (This is slightly less true for London Luton, where you can get a rail connection via Sheffield or Nottingham to Manchester on a cheaper line.) If you want to travel by train, we recommend the excellent Seat 61 website http://bit.ly/1HaY1zW. Although this site is designed for UK travellers going abroad, it works just as well in reverse and explains to non-residents how they can buy affordable UK train tickets online. Finally, don’t forget that many European residents in the UK use express buses to travel to and from their own country. We haven’t found anything as good as Seat 61 so you are on your own for inquiries here, but Manchester is a big coach hub and you may well find this is the rock bottom deal.
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