We make it easy and safe for children travelling to and from Heathrow Airport as around 90% of our students arrive and depart in this way. If you are arriving by car or rail you can find all the location details here.
Arrival and Departure
Our 2024 Course begins on a Sunday and ends on a Saturday.
Don't worry. We make it easy and safe for children travelling to and from Heathrow Airport.
For children arriving on Sunday 7 July and leaving on Saturday 3 August, we can collect students at Heathrow Airport, London (ALL TERMINALS) on Sunday 7 July (on flights arriving between 12.00 and 16.00) and return them there (ALL TERMINALS) on Saturday 3 August (for flights departing between 10.00 and 13.00). There is no charge for this before 6 June 2024. If details are received on or after 6 June 2024 and if we are able to add to our lists, there is a £50.00 charge.
It is quite usual for our students to fly alone. 90% of our students arrive and depart in this way. Our Collection/Return service is SAFE and FREE.
If flights arrive earlier than 12.00, students wait for our staff near the Information Desk. If flights leave after 13.00, we explain the procedure and take students to wait in the correct area.
For arrivals and departures NOT at Heathrow on 7 July and 3 August or not at the times specified, we can make arrangements at cost with a taxi driver known to us. Here are the charges made by the taxi company we use. We add nothing on for making the arrangements for you.
Children aged 10-13 must travel with a person aged 16 or older, unless the airline offers an 'Unaccompanied Young Persons (UYP)' or 'Unaccompanied Minors (UM)' service. You may also wish to use 'Airport Angels'. Prices are here. Information about their services is here.
Children aged 14+ can travel independently. We can put you in touch with others using the same airport.
Children with an Italian passport under 14 years of age, must hold a completed 'Dichiarazione di Affido' when travelling out of Italy. You must get this from a local police office as it is not available at the airport. Any Italian child under 14 years must be accompanied by a person aged 16 years or over.
A passport (not an Identity Card) is needed to enter the UK. We suggest you apply for a passport early.
If you need a visa (check here), please obtain it months in advance. We can supply a supporting letter if you request one.
We ask parents to communicate travel arrangements ONLY on our 'Agreement and Travel Details' form which can be scanned and e-mailed or posted. Please do not communicate travel arrangements in any other way – even if you do not use our services for arrival or departure.
At the airport
Before travelling, we send an identity badge and luggage tags to ensure quick recognition.
Our representatives will carry blue Vacational Studies' folders and will meet students at the entrance to the Arrivals Hall after leaving the Customs Hall.
Mobile phone numbers for staff collecting students on 7 July and returning them on 3 August will be posted here in March 2024.
If you do not take our standard collection/return service, but we make other arrangements for you, the 2023 taxi charges are here. The 2024 charges will be here in March 2024. The driver we use is Dave Roach - Telephone in UK: 01635 44444 (landline and diversion to mobile); Telephone outside UK: +44 1635 44444 (landline and diversion to mobile).
Everyone must leave the School by 13.00 on the last day. If a flight leaves after 20.00 on 3 August, the return must be on 2 August.
School address and directions
The Mary Hare School
From London, follow M4 to Exit 13 (Newbury). Leave M4 and follow signs to 'Services', then 'Donnington'. Continue for 2 kms. The Mary Hare School is signposted on the right.
Address for students' letters
VacStuds at The Mary Hare School,
Newbury, Berkshire RG14 3BQ.
Telephone (to contact Course Manager):
National: (01635) 244221 International: +44 1635 244221 (Only 08.07.23 – 05.08.23)
The telephone numbers and address given above are only for use during the Course.
During the rest of the year, please use our Newbury Office address and telephone numbers detailed in 'Contact Us'.
If you come by car
Please use the postcode RG14 3BQ to navigate to The Mary Hare School. Parents bringing students are asked to arrive at between 12.30 and 14.30. Parents collecting students on the last day are asked to arrive before 11.00. For those whose sat-nav systems do not allow the full UK postcode to be entered, here are directions: From London or Bristol take the M4 motorway and leave at Junction 13. Follow the sign 'A34 Newbury' and almost immediately take the exit on the left signposted 'Services', then 'Donnington'. Follow signs to 'Donnington' for about one mile. A turning marked 'The Mary Hare School' is on the right.
Directions by rail from London
By train from London, leave from Paddington Station. Arrive at Newbury Station (costs about £27). There are normally taxis at Newbury Station (costs about £10). If not, there are taxi numbers in the phone box near the station.
Directions by rail from Heathrow Airport
Take the RailAir link (bus) from Heathrow to Reading Station (costs £26). Take a train to Newbury from Reading Station. (costs about £12) There are normally taxis at Newbury Station (costs about £10). If not, phone Cabco on +44 1635 33333.
On arrival at the school
All money is handed in at the office for safe keeping. Students can withdraw money every day. We keep passports and tickets safely. We cannot accept responsibility for pocket money or valuables not handed to us.
On the first day
On request, students will be allocated to a returning student who will act as a guide, explaining the layout of the building, the way the course runs and answering any questions.
Clothes and possessions
Notes and advice on what to bring and other information will be sent to parents and students in advance.
Visits to the school
Visits to The Mary Hare School outside the course dates may be made only by appointment through our Newbury Office.