The following information provides an overview of things to consider before arriving in the United Kingdom (UK) for your visit to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The West Midlands is in central England and is about 2-3 hours from London. At the heart of the UK’s motorway and rail network, it is easy to get to via many of the UK’s main airports, stations and ports.
- If you intend to travel to the UK, please note that, as with all international travel, there are certain entry requirements you must meet. Discover more about UK Visa Requirements and those associated with the Coronavirus pandemic.
- If you intend to travel by air to the UK:
- Birmingham Airport is the nearest international airport to most Commonwealth Games venues. East Midlands Airport is about an hour away. London’s Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Luton Airports and Manchester Airport are all within three hours of the host city.
- If you intend to travel by public transport within the UK:
- London’s St Pancras Station (about two hours from Birmingham) is the nearest international train station, with direct links to mainland Europe offered by Eurostar.
- National Rail and Trainline are both good sources of information on train travel in the UK. Do check their websites as services may be disrupted.
- The UK has a good network of long-distance coach services, including those operated by National Express and Megabus. Please check with the relevant company for further information. We have set up a dedicated long distance coach service specifically for Games related travel. Please check the Journey Planner or the dedicated booking platform: https://www.nationalexpress.com/commonwealthgames
- Most towns and cities in the UK offer good quality local bus services, many of which can be paid for by using the prepaid travel card for that region. Visit Britain website has more detailed information.
- Remember that your Games ticket includes public transport in the local area for venues in the West Midlands on the day of your event.
- . Additional information is available here.
- If you intend to drive within the UK:
- Do I require a special licence to be able to drive in the UK? UK Government has an online portal where you can find out if your current driving licence is valid in the UK.
- How old do you need to be to rent a car in the UK? You need to be over 23 to rent a car in the UK. However, restrictions on the type of vehicle may apply to people who are 25 and under. Please check details with the relevant car rental agency.
- Which side of the road do they drive in the UK? On the left. Additional information on driving in the UK is available here.
- Is it a good idea to drive to the event? With the exception of those who have purchased a wheelchair event-day ticket, there is either no or limited dedicated spectator parking at or near venues. Park and Ride and Park and walk options will be available at some locations but must be booked in advance. Parking and road restrictions around competition venues Check before you travel and allow extra time to get around.
- Spectators are encouraged to leave their car behind if possible.
- Find out how to get to the venues once you have arrived in the UK:
- Discover more about how to get to each venue during the Commonwealth Games here.
- Finding out what to do and where to stay:
- The UK has a large network of tourist information centres that provide information on where to stay and where to go in the local area. To find out more about options in the West Midlands, visit here. If you are thinking of extending your stay and visiting other parts of the UK, you can find out more here.
Other hints and tips:
- What is the legal drinking age in the UK? It is illegal to consume alcohol in licensed premises below the age of 18. Additional information about alcohol and the UK law is available here. Alcohol is not permitted in any Games venues.
- What is the legal age for buying tobacco? It is illegal to buy tobacco if you are under the age of 18 in the UK. Additional information available here.
- National and international visitors to the Games should call 111 for health-related matters.