The author Tom Forth analysed the data, and offers several reasons to explain his surprising findings. Schiphol offers direct flights to 24 different UK airports, which is more than either Heathrow or Manchester. And a rail link is planned for 2016 that will take travellers from London to Amsterdam in just under four hours.

For most places in the UK, your best bet in terms of finding a fast and affordable fare is to fly via Schiphol. Travellers from Liverpool, Leeds, and Sheffield are better off taking a train to Manchester, and then using Schiphol as their connection to international destinations. 

Forth also looked at air freight, and found similar results: from most locations in the UK, it’s just as easy to fly cargo via Amsterdam as it is via Heathrow.

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, one of Europe’s four main airports, offers flights to 98 countries on more than 100 different airlines. Schiphol is also close to the ports of Amsterdam and Rotterdam. A wide network of rail and road connections provide easy access to all the main European markets, for passengers as well as cargo.

And if you needed even more reasons to choose Schiphol, Forth says, the Dutch “speak great English, the liquorice is delicious, the airport is efficient, and you can buy tulip bulbs and cheese while you wait for a connection.”