YMCA175 is excited to welcome delegates from all over the world, travel planning is in important part of preparing for YMCA175, and in the pages that follow you will find some advice. We are proud to partner with Raptim Humanitarian Travel, the official travel agent of YMCA175, a fully YMCA/ YWCA owned social enterprise to help you with your travel needs.

Focussing on serving and supporting those who travel the world to do good. Raptim Humanitarian Travel supports missionary and humanitarian organisations with great fares and flexibility with experienced and dedicated staff to make your travel planning as easy as possible. Raptim is part of a networked global travel organisation offering tailor made fares, and great flexibility on tickets. 

Their staff are ready to support National Movements, local YMCA delegations and groups with flexible travel plans to London. As an environmentally conscious travel agency, you will find details of your carbon emissions on all itineraries, so that you can calculate your delegations total emissions with an option to offset your flight with certification.


The UK and London has an extensive transport network of train, bus, roads and several ports to arrive into the UK by ferry.


For groups of delegates coming from across the UK and mainland Europe, making arrangements for group travel by car, minibus or coach can be a more cost effective and environmentally friendly option. 

Key international UK ferry ports include: Felixstowe, Harwich, Folkestone, Dover and Southampton. Ferry fares vary greatly according to the season, time of travel and duration of stay so make sure you do you research before you book. 

Eurotunnel transports vehicles connecting Calais, in France, to Folkestone, in England.

For delegations considering driving there is parking for cars and coaches available at ExCeL London (made by prior arrangement) for £20 per day. This can be booked here


Eurostar railway service connects London with Amsterdam, Avignon, Brussels, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Paris and Rotterdam. 

London has an extensive network of mainland trains that arrive in from across the UK from ferry ports, airports and other UK destinations. Good places to book tickets include:  and


London has six international airports, all are accessible from the venue on public transport. In the image you can find some basic information about the main ones: London City, Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick. Click on the image to enlarge.

London Luton and London Southend Airports are also commutable but are smaller airports, and slightly further from the venue. 

Please note delegate tickets do not include airport transfers. YMCA175 recommends travelling from airports to accommodation by public transport.

by air ymca175


Travelling around London and getting to the venue YMCA175 recommends that delegates use London’s extensive public transport network while in the city. 

All Delegates will be provided with a travel pass for the duration of the event (excluding airport transfers). 

If you are driving to London, it is recommended you store your vehicle in ExCeL London car parks while in London. Cycle racks are available at ExCeL London, too, with public bikes for hire across the city at docking stations. 

For more information on getting to the venue go to:

Click here for checking our frequently asked questions on travel, to help find answers that we may already have answered.

London has six international airports, all are accessible from the venue on public transport, below is some basic information, however for more information on air travel and selecting your airport go to ExCeL London’s website.  For planning purposes, here are four major airports are within proximity of ExCeL London. London Luton and London Southend Airports are also commutable but are smaller airports, and slightly further from the venue.

  • London City Airport (10 minutes to ExCeL London , direct on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR))

London City Airport is the closest airport to ExCeL London, taking 5 to 10 minutes to travel direct to the venue.

  • Heathrow Airport (90 minutes to ExCeL London, travel on London Underground, with changes)
  • Stansted Airport (90 minutes by public transport, with changes)
  • Gatwick Airport (90 minutes by public transport, with changes)
The best way to travel to and from the venue, and around London is the London Underground (or ‘tube’). A ticket for the London Underground for the duration of YMCA175 will be included with all delegate tickets and volunteer places. This will also give you access to London’s extensive bus network, too. Your ticket does not include airport transfers, which is best carried out on public transport.

An optional programme of Discovery and Study Visits will be offered to groups registering for YMCA175 to visit YMCAs in London and across England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland before and/or after the event. Groups will be able to register an interest in taking part in Discovery and Study Visits as part of the registration process. A coordinator will then be in touch with more information later in 2018 / early 2019.

August is the United Kingdom’s hottest month, with average temperatures starting at 18 degrees Celsius, but can be as high as 28 to 32 degrees Celsius in London, and is mainly dry with little rainfall usually. However, the weather in the UK can still be unpredictable, and it is recommended that you pack for some rain still for travel to and from ExCeL London. The majority of YMCA175’s programme will take place inside, with some activities outside.

This will be included as part of your registration, and will come from YMCA175 hosts, YMCA England & Wales. Once you register to attend YMCA175, are approved by your National Coordinator (where relevant) and make payment to attend, you will be reserved accommodation which will trigger an automatic email with your Visa letter. Please note, accommodation is subject to change from what is given for your Visa invitation letter.

Your letter will also be available for you to download from your delegate portal in the registration system. If you are applying to volunteer, your Visa initiation letter will only be issued once your application has been accepted to volunteer and payment made.

If you are registering a group to attend YMCA175, Visa invitation letters will only be issued for delegates that have all details required completed.

Visa information can be found at the UK Home Office. If you need to contact UK Visas about your existing application please go here. It is recommended that if you require a Visa, that you complete registration as early as possible so that the process of issuing a Visa invitation letter can begin.

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