United Kingdom Travel Guide

United Kingdom Travel Guide

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General Info FAQWhen To Travel

Overview

The United Kingdom, more commonly known as Britain or Great Britain, includes four nations: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The UK offers outstanding landscapes, history, modern cities, and culture.
You’ll find big cities like London, with world-famous monuments and museums, and culture, to peaceful towns, beaches, and views.

Country

United Kingdon

Approx. Duration

Min 1 day

Accessibility Level

Accessibility Level – High

Local Currency

Pound sterling

Price Level

Medium

Min. Price

Not Relevant

Address

United Kingdom

Spoken Languages

English

Recommended Age

Babies, Kids, Teens, Adults, Seniors, Any Age

Pricing Details

Not Relevant

Electricity

230V, 50Hz, plugs have three rectangular pins

Safety

While it is generally a very safe country, the UK is packed with tourists. That attracts pickpockets and scam artists to circulate, especially in popular cities and landmarks.


Things To Do

Fire Icon means popular

Total: 9

Things To Do

Total: 9

Additional Information

Reasons to visit

  • Admirable scenery and breathtaking views – enjoy endless spectacular landscapes and landmarks around the UK. Check out places like The Lake District in northwest England, The Jurassic Coast in southern England, Orkney on the north coast of Scotland, and Glencoe in western Scotland. 
  • Home to some of the most beautiful gardens in the world – In London, you’ll find many parks and gardens. Still, its Royal Botanic Gardens, which features more than 50,000 species of plants, is known to be one of the best gardens in the world. Outside of London, you can find the lovely Colby Woodland Garden in Wales, the tropical Inverewe Garden in Scotland, and Mount Stewart’s world-class gardens in Northern Ireland.
  • Exciting events, music festivals, and sporting events
  • Gastronomy – Enjoy a fabulous dining experience at top restaurants and markets.
  • London – London is one of the most touristic cities in the world and for a lot of good reasons.
  • Deep history and culture – enjoy world-class art, architecture, iconic landmarks, and some of the best museums. 

Things to avoid when in UK

  • Don’t drive in cities – If you’re not used to driving on the left side of the road, it could be confusing, especially in crowded cities occupied with notoriously impatient drivers. Instead, use public transportation. In most places it’s very good. If you want to get to the quieter towns or villages, take the train and arrange to collect your rented car there.
  • Don’t block the escalators – People are in a hurry, like in many other cities. When using the escalators, stay on the right side, and let people in a rush pass you.
  • Never confuse England with the rest of the United Kingdom – Nothing irritates someone from Scotland or Wales more than being called English. Use Britain and British as safe general terms if you are not certain who you are speaking to.


Frequently Asked Questions

Tipping is less expected in Britain in general, but here are more details on specific tipping scenarios:

  • Hotels – Most hotel employees don’t expect tips, unless they do something special for you or if you’re staying at a high-end hotel. In some hotels, especially with spas and gym facilities, a service charge is optional and is added to your bill. If you decide to tip, you can leave 1 to 2 pounds for the person helping with your bags and 1 to 5 pounds for the doorman who hails you a cab. Although housekeepers are not usually tipped, you can leave few pounds in the room before you check out. Valet parking services typically cost money, so tipping is unnecessary.
  • Restaurants and Bars – 10 percent is a standard. Sometimes, a service charge of 12 to 15 percent may be added to your bill. In such case, you don’t need to add a tip.
  • Tipping is not expected at pubs. Offer a small tip if the barman provides exceptional service.
  •  Transportation – it’s typical to tip your cab driver by rounding up to the nearest pound or tipping 10 percent of the total fare.
  • Guided Tours – It’s customary to give your guide a 10 to 15 percent tip at the end of the tour. Try to leave a minimum of 2 to 4 pounds if you’re a solo traveler. If you’re a family or group, 1 to 2 pounds per person should be ok. If you’ve been on a few days’ trips, consider tipping the driver or guide 2 to 4 pounds per person for each day of the trip.
  • Spas and Salons – Tipping is not expected at spas, but if you get your hair cut or nails done, you should tip the stylist 10 percent of the total bill.

The fastest way to travel around the UK is by train, especially when it comes to long journeys. In big cities, the public transportation options are great, and the service is usually very good. Note that train tickets are generally cheaper if you buy them online in advance.

  • In case of an emergency call, 999 or 112 – 999 is for the UK; 112 is available in many countries in Europe (see the list of relevant countries) and reaches the same service, and has the same priority. You can call this number from any phone for free.
  • 111: Non-emergency number for the NHS – for medical help.
  • 101: Non-emergency number for the Police only.

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Best Time To Visit

The UK can be visited at any time of year, as its climate is relatively temperate and generally doesn’t experience extremes during either summer or winter.

The best time to visit the United Kingdom is spring (late March to early June) and autumn (September to November) when it’s usually warm and dry.

July and August are peak season, with very long days, great weather, and many tourist activities. 

Note that prices go up during peak season, holidays, and festivals, and it could get crowded.

Shoulder season (May, early June, September, and early October) offers smaller crowds, better room availability, and is usually less expensive. You’ll also find many events this time of year. But be aware that there is a good chance you won’t enjoy sunny weather, especially in Scotland.

During the winter (November to February) generally has lousy and rainy weather. Still, it can also be an enjoyable time to visit. Prices are better, and it’s less crowded (except in London). Especially in the countryside, attractions’ opening hours are shorter, and some only open on weekends or close entirely in the winter. However, the main cities remain open and will be quieter for sightseeing. Christmastime is especially fun in London, while Edinburgh is the place to be for Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve).

lightbulb icon Remember to check the weather forecast few days before the trip and before heading to the airport.

Flights & Accommodations

Save up to $500 when you book your flight +hotel!

The weather can change quickly in the UK, so always carry a lightweight raincoat and travel umbrella at whatever time of year you visit, even in the summer. In addition, bring a warm coat, gloves, a warm hat, and a scarf during the cooler months of November, December, January, February, and March. Get dressed in layers to get comfortable when going inside or the sun comes out.


Events & Festivals

Before planning a trip around an even, verify the dates on the event website or local tourist info center.

The Bath Festival celebrates music and books in a beautiful city.

Visit the official site for more details.

Amazing garden designs, gorgeous floral displays and exclusive shopping.

Learn more.

Viking fun for all the family. JORVIK Viking Festival is a city-wide celebration of York’s rich Norse heritage.

More details.

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Indie pop/rock music. More details.

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Series of classical-music performances in Royal Albert Hall.

More details.

Indie rock and more festival for the entire family.

More details.

Music festival for the entire family.

More details.

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An annual Caribbean festival event on the streets of the Notting Hill area of Kensington.

More details.

Unique, diverse and accessible arts and culture throughout the month of September with activity taking place on, beneath, and along the River Thames.

More details.

Light festival, with traditional festoons, tableaux and interactive features along the Promenade.

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England’s largest festival of history and culture! Free entry to many historical sights across England.

More details.