We have compiled the following list of travel tips for our registrants who are traveling to the U.K. to join us at the C.S. Lewis Summer Institute 2017.
This information is offered for your convenience, and the C.S. Lewis Foundation assumes no liability for errors or omissions. Please contact a travel agent if you feel that you need further assistance.
Make sure your passport is current. If not, take care of this at least two months before travel.
Alert your ATM and/or credit card issuers of your travel plans (at least a week) before departure in order to avoid blockage due to suspicion of fraudulent charges being made overseas.
NOTE: You may need to change your pin number at your bank in order to access funds from overseas ATMs. ATM, Visa, MasterCard, or American Express cards yield the best exchange rates and are widely accepted at most hotels and shops throughout the U.K. Check with your credit card company concerning fees for international use. Your bank may have a “partner bank” in the U.K. which might not charge extra for withdrawals.
You may wish to convert dollars to Pound Sterling prior to leaving the States or you may do so upon your arrival in England. We recommend that you access needed cash in pounds via an ATM machine immediately upon clearing customs in order to pay the bus and taxi fares.
Be sure to know how your health care service works should you need medical treatment while overseas. If you are taking prescription drugs, make sure you have an adequate supply for your entire trip. It is also advisable to carry a copy of your prescriptions described by their generic names.
Traveling from the U.S.
Check the updated TSA policies here: http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information.
The C.S. Lewis Foundation is not responsible for any costs you may incur if you have to cancel your trip. We strongly encourage you to obtain travel and trip cancellation insurance. One potential company used by past Oxbridge registrants is Travelex Insurance at 1-800-228-9792.
- England is beautiful in the summertime; however, it can often be cool, damp, and overcast. Plan for daytime temperatures between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Layering is recommended due to variations in climate. Casual and business casual dress, as well as comfortable footwear, will serve most occasions.
- A raincoat and/or umbrella are a must.
Don’t forget to also bring:
- Airline ticket
- ATM card/credit cards
- Passport and driver’s license
- Alarm clock
- Voltage converter and a three-prong adapter (UK is 220V)
- Washcloth(s)—(towels are provided)
- Toiletries if you are staying in Keble or Robinson; both accommodations consist of dorm rooms
- Robe, slippers, or appropriate shoes if you do not have an ensuite room
- Bible, journal, and notebook
- Extra hangers
Check with your provider to see if your cell phone will work internationally. If not, you may want to purchase a pre-paid phone in England.
- Check with your airline regarding the number and weight limit of luggage allowed each passenger.
- Before you go, itemize the contents of your luggage as this will assist you in the event you need to file an insurance claim.
- Put your home address and destination address on the outside and inside of each piece of luggage, including carry-on bags.
Flight/Arrival: Have a valid passport, driver’s license, and your airline ticket. You may wish to keep a copy of your passport separate in case the original is misplaced or stolen. Passport Control/Customs
- During your flight you will be given a Visitor Card and instructed on how to fill it out.
- After claiming your luggage, proceed through Customs check (allow up to one hour for this entire process).
- You will need to present the Passport Control Officer with both your Visitor Card and a valid passport. The officer will ask you a few basic questions concerning your destination and the length and purpose of the visit.
You may be arriving at either London’s Heathrow or Gatwick airports. While Heathrow is a half hour closer to our conference sites, access to the university cities is fairly convenient from either airport. Your destination airport will depend largely on the airline you have chosen to fly.
Transportation to Oxford:
(In most cases we recommend taking the bus instead of the train—it’s inexpensive and direct)
Bus or Train from Heathrow to Oxford
Follow the airport directions/signs/maps to go to the Central Bus Station. Look for The Airline—an Oxford Bus Company. More detailed information may be found here: http://www.tourinaday.com/oxford/heathrow-to-oxford.html. A one-way bus ticket to Oxford currently costs about £23; it may be cheaper to purchase online in advance. No reservations are needed, and tickets may also be purchased on the coach (cash only). You may get more information about The Airline bus at www.oxfordbus.co.uk or by calling 01865 785 400 for details.
Bus or Train from Gatwick to Oxford
A link to this information is found at: http://www.tourinaday.com/oxford/gatwick-to-oxford.html.
Upon Arrival in Oxford:
If you are arriving in Oxford via The Airline bus, it will make several stops; however, you will want to get off at its final destination—Gloucester Green Station. Proceed to the taxi stand in the center of Gloucester Green Square and simply tell the taxi driver the name of the college to which you need to go (probably St. Catherine’s College, but it depends on your accommodations). The approximate fare is £5-£8.
Go directly to the Porters’ Lodge of the college to pick up your room key and drop off your luggage; a luggage store will be provided and rooms will be available after 2 p.m.
Walking directions to St. Catherine’s College from Gloucester Green Station are as follows–(an approximate 18-minute walk): From the bus station, head toward St. George Pl. and turn right. Turn left onto George St. Stay on George St. as it becomes Broad St. Before Broad St. becomes Holywell, turn left onto Cattle St./National Cycle Rte 57. Turn right onto Holywell St./National Cycle Rte 57. Turn left onto St. Cross Rd. Take a light right towards Manor Rd and continue onto Manor Rd. St. Catherine’s College is on Manor Rd.
Proceed to the CSLF Conference Office at St. Catherine’s College for registration and check-in. Volunteers will be on hand during registration time to point you in the right direction. (See schedule for more information: http://www.cslewis.org/programs/si/ox2017/program/).
Transportation from Oxford to Cambridge:
As part of your conference registration, the CSLF will transport you from Oxford to Cambridge by coach/bus.
Transportation from Cambridge to Heathrow or Gatwick:
The following links provide this information: http://www.tourinaday.com/cambridge/heathrow-to-cambridge.html and http://www.tourinaday.com/cambridge/gatwick-to-cambridge.html.