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UK Intro
UK Travel Tips
UK Currency
1 USD = 0.70 GBP
1 EUR = 0.89 GBP
UK Time
08:09 on Thursday
November 23, 2017
Std. Time 0.00 UTC

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Home > UK Hotels > UK Travel Tips


UK Travel Tips - with Wired Destinations
 

UK Arrival

Tower of London
Tower of London

Foreign nationals from the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa do not need a visa to visit the UK for periods of up to 6 months, but they are prohibited from working. Citizens of the European Union (EU) do not need a visa to enter the country and may live and work here freely. Your passport should show at least 2 months validity prior to the expiration date. You will need proof of onward or return travel from Britain (if you plan to fly from the United Kingdom on to a country that requires a visa, you should secure that visa before your arrival in Britain). You may be required to show a visible means of support during your stay in the country. Pack prescription medications (in their original containers, with pharmacy labels) in your carry-on luggage, otherwise they will not make it through airport security. Having some local currency upon arrival, (enough to cover airport incidentals and transport to your hotel) is a good idea if you wish to avoid long lines at the airport ATMs. London's Heathrow and Gatwick are the two main airports for transcontinental flights, though some also touch down in Manchester and Birmingham. Continental European flights land in all the major, and many minor, English airports. Heathrow airport is accessible by bus, London Underground (Piccadilly line) and the Heathrow Express. A taxicab to or from the airport is available but quite expensive. It takes the Gatwick Express 30 minutes to get from Gatwick airport to Victoria station. The Channel Tunnel has made travel between England and continental Europe fast and convenient. There are two different services: Eurostar (or Le Shuttle) for walk-on passengers, and Eurotunnel for people with vehicles. If you feel uncomfortable with the thought of a tunnel or just want to get some fresh air on an English Channel crossing, you can catch a ferry or Seacat from mainland Europe. Count on about 90 minutes for the ferry (shortest routes) and about 35 minutes for the high-speed Seacats. Ferries link France, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Scandinavia from southern and eastern British ports; Spain from Portsmouth; and Ireland from a number of western English ports.

UK Climate

England's weather is moderated by the light winds blowing in off relatively warm seas. Temperatures inland rarely drop below freezing in winter (December to February), nor do they reach much higher that 30C (86F) in summer (June to August). It is coldest in the northern part of the country. London, the southeast and the West Country are the warmer regions. Evenings are cool, even in summer. Rainfall is substantial in hilly areas and in the West Country. You can expect overcast conditions and occasional light rain throughout England at any time.

UK Currency

Pounds and Pence are the units of Britain's monetary system. There are 100 pence in one Pound (commonly called a "quid"). Notes come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, and 50-Pounds. Aside from 1 and 2 Pound coins, you will find coins in denominations of 50, 20, 10, 5, 2, and 1-Pence.

ATM (automated teller machine) is the best way to access cash. Cirrus and PLUS networks are pretty much global. You can also get cash advances on your credit card at an ATM. Take note of your daily limits and international transactions fee charges. Keeping loose change and small bills handy is useful for tipping. Traveler's checks are another convenient option excepting that they normally require identification each time you wish to cash one. MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted as is American Express and Diners Club but to a lesser extent.

UK Time

UTC / GMT (0 hours) Greenwich Mean Time or Universal Time Co-ordinated begins here and either increases or decreases depending whether you are heading east or west. In New York for example, it is 7 am when Britons are sitting down to lunch while in Bangkok, Singapore and Hong Kong, folks are settling into an evening activity.

UK Business Hours

Business hours vary but in general, they are Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. Shops open Monday through Saturday from 9 am to 5:30 pm. In the countrysides, towns usually observe an early closing day midweek, when the shops close at 1 pm. Pubs open Monday through Saturday from 11 am to 11 pm, and on Sunday from noon to 10:30 pm. Post offices are open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5:30 pm and Saturday from 9:30 am to noon.

UK Communication

Telecommunications are well developed throughout the UK and should not pose a problem. Internet and IDD (International Direct Dial) services are widely available. Public telephones operate by coin, phone card, or both. For emergencies, dial 999 for police, fire, or ambulance. For directory assistance in London, dial 142; for the rest of Britain, dial 192. Some credit card phones can be found in airports, train stations etc. For collect calls, dial 155 for international operator assistance. Check the surcharge for calls made from your hotel; it may be far less expensive to use your calling card or a pay phone.

UK Electricity

240V, 50Hz Bring suitable transformers and / or wall plug adapters or ask the concierge at your UK hotel.

UK Language

Why, English of course!

UK Dress Code

Check with the establishment if you are unsure of their requirements.

UK Transport

England has a good rail service providing a rewarding and relaxing way to get around. There are a number of lines ranging from cozy countryside routes to high-speed inter-city express lines. In England, long-distance express buses are usually called coaches. Buses are usually slower and cheaper. There are bus stations and there are coach stations. Outside of cities, the schedules for buses are quite loose and you would be well advised to check with a Tourist Information Centre (TIC) before planning your day's activities. London's famous black cabs are excellent but not as economical as the minicabs, with freelance drivers. However, you cannot flag down a minicab on the street. Outside London and other big cities, taxis are usually reasonably-priced. Your valid driver's license and at least 1 year of driving experience is required to drive personal or rented cars.

UK Health Facilities

Health services and facilities in the UK are excellent. In most cases, your existing health plan will provide the coverage you need. You may want to buy additional travel medical insurance. When asking for the whereabouts of the nearest drug store or pharmacy, using the word "chemist" will net quicker results. Every police station in the country has a list of emergency chemists. Dial 0 (zero) and ask the operator for the local police, who will give you the name of the one nearest you. For emergencies, dial 999 for police, fire, or ambulance.

Wired Destinations provides vital information on  UK destinations with valuable recommendations on UK hotels and London hotels, with a UK Travel Guide and UK Travel tips. We'll help you get to your UK hotel, England hotel, Scotland hotel or Wales hotel. For UK travel, think Wired Destinations.

 


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