There is so much to discover in the United Kingdom, this land of historic cities, breathtaking moorlands and gentle rolling pastures, cathedral cities, unrivaled theatre, country lanes and the quintessential English garden. With a population of seven million, London is Europe’s largest metropolis. The city’s reputation for trendsetting has never been so justified as the designer boutiques and hip clothes shops of the West End attract as many visitors these days as the famous monuments, galleries and museums. If you want to visit the most stimulating, historic, lively, and creative city in the world, come to London. Parks and greenery, spectacle and ceremony, shops and scenery…London has them all.
The U.K is made up of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, each with its own distinctive landscapes, traditions, history, architecture and people. From the Welsh valleys to the bright lights of London, from the the tip of Scotland to the unspoiled coasts of Cornwall, you’ll have a wonderful time exploring Britain. There are also many islands off the coast to visit such as the Isle of Wight, Orkney, Shetland, Isle of Man, Isle of Mull and Oban to name but a few.
Each area of England offers something new and unique: Cornwall’s quaint fishing villages in the South of England-Shakespeare country in the Heart of England-Cathedrals, castles and gardens in the East of England-Spectacular mountains and lakes in the Lake District-the historic cities of Chester and York in England’s North Country.
Scotland is a land steeped in history, whose folklore, and romance combine to provide a spectacular destination. Unspoiled, wild and dramatic scenery with castles, battlefields and ancient settlements combine with sophisticated, cultured, lively cities.
Wales is the land of legend, fire-breathing dragons, and undisputed natural beauty.
In Northern Irleand a country just 85 miles long and 70 miles wide, you’ll find a remarkable variety of scenery; majestic mountains, farmland, lakeland, forests, and spectacular coastline, including the legendary Giant’s Causeway. Belfast, the capital city, offers museums and history, grand Victorian and Edwardian buildings, shopping and, of course, great nightlife.
Restaurants & Food in the UK
Every major town has its top-range restaurants, many of them boasting awards for excellence, while it is possible to eat well and inexpensively thanks chiefly to the influence of Englands various immigrant communities. However, the pub will long remain the centre of social life in England, a drink in a traditional local often making the best introduction to the life of a town. Also on the rise in the major towns are vaguely French brasseries, informal bar-restaurants offering simple meals. Of the innumerable types of ethnic restaurants offering the good-value high-quality meals you will find Chinese, Indian and Bangladeshi specialities in every town of any size, with the widest choice in London and the industrial cities of the Midlands and the north. Other Asian restaurants, particularly Thai and Indonesian, are now becoming more widespread, French and Italian places by far the most popular European cuisines, though most cities have their share of more-or-less Spanish tapas bars. Japanese food has been one of the success stories of recent years, with diners and sushi places joining the expense-account restaurants that have been established for some time in the business centres of England
UK Restaurant Recomendations -
Breakfast at the Lido cafe by the Serpentine, Hyde Park
Accommodation in the UK
There is no formalized nationwide system for grading Hotel accommodation in England, but the tourist authorities and various private organizations classify hotels on a system of stars, crowns, rosettes or similar badges, typically with five stars being the top rank. The grades used by the AA and RAC are the most reliable, as they combine evaluation of facilities with a degree of subjective judgment. At the lower end of the scale, it is sometimes difficult to differentiate between a Hotel and a Bed and Breakfast (B&B) establishment. At their most basic, these typically English places are often known also as Guest Houses in resorts and other tourist towns are ordinary private houses with a couple of bedrooms set aside for paying guests and a dining room for the consumption of a basic breakfast. At their best, however, B&Bs offer rooms as well furnished as those in Hotels, delicious home-prepared breakfasts, and an informal hospitality that a larger place could not match. B&Bs are graded by the same organizations mentioned above, but using diamonds instead of stars.
Getting Married in the UK
If it’s a wedding at home you are looking for and the assistance of a wedding planner or some advice on which wedding venues are available, goeasy travel can help.
Here are just a few of the wedding venues we recomend.
Wedding and conference venue London
One great George Street
One Great George Street offers an unforgettable wedding or
Wedding Venue near Maidenhead Berkshire
The Bird in Hand A 14th century country Inn Hotel and Function room situated between Reading and MAidenhead in Berkshire.
Honeymoon in the UK
If you do not want to travel far for your honeymoon and are looking for inspiration on where to go in the UK, goeasy travel can offer you many suggestions for very different honeymoons in the UK. Here are just a few to consider for a romantic honeymoon in the UK. Wheter you are looking for luxury accommodation or self catering remote lodges goeasy travel will be able to assist.
Honeymoon South England
Take a short ferry trip to the Isle of Wight and spend a few nights in the wonderful boutique hotel The Hambrough Hotel
the hotel has a wonderful restaurant and Bistro cafe, The Pond House.
North of England
If you have never been to the Lake district then a visit to the The Punch Bowl is a deffinate must with their wonderful accommodation and fantastic bistro menu.
Honeymoon in Scotland
Loch Lomond is a beautiful part of the world to choose as a honeymoon. The The Devere Cameron House Hoteloffering a luxury option on the banks of the Loch.
Weather in the UK
Britain’s weather can be unpredictable. Winters are usually quite mild with temperatures rarely dropping below freezing; January and February are usually the coldest when snow is not unusual, particularly in Scotland and northern parts of England and Wales. In summer, temperatures have soared into the 80s and 90s in the last few years, particularly in the south, although it is still more often likely to be around 70-75 degrees F.
Banks in the UK and Currency
There are 100 pence to the pound sterling, notes come in £50, £20, £10 and £5 values (£1 notes are still issued in Scotland and though most places should accept them, it may be better to change them to £1 coins before you leave Scotland).
Most banks are open from 9:30am until 4:30pm, Monday to Friday, with some of the main branches open an extra hour and for a few hours on Saturday mornings. Many branches have 24-hour banking lobbies where a range of services can be obtained through ATMs.
Bureaux de Change, also found in travel agencies, larger department stores and some post offices in London and Northern Ireland, are often open even in the evenings, and there is a 24-hour service at major airports. Always check the exchange rate and any commission charges in advance.
Visa Requirements for the UKEU citizens may live and work free of any immigration controls. Citizens of all the countries of Europe, other than Albania, Romania, Bulgaria and the republics of the former Soviet Union (with the exception of the Baltic States) can enter Britain with just a passport, generally for up to three months. US, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand citizens can enter the country for up to six months with just a passport. All other nationalities require a visa, obtainable from the British Consular office in the country of application.
Driving in the UK
In order to drive in England you need a current full driving licence. If you are bringing your own vehicle into the country you should also carry your vehicle registration or ownership document at all times. Furthermore, you must be adequately insured: check your existing insurance policy.
In England you drive on the LEFT, a situation which can lead to a few tense days of getting used to for overseas drivers. Speed limits are 30 to 40mph (50 to 65kph) in built-up areas, 70mph (110kph) on motorways (freeways) and dual carriageways and 60mph (95kph) on most other roads. As a rule, assume that in any area with street lighting the speed limit is 30mph (50kph) unless otherwise stated.
The Automobile Association (AA), the Royal Automobile Club (RAC) and Green Flag National Breakdown all operate 24-hour emergency breakdown. Car hire is worth considering if you want to explore some of the remoter towns and villages at your own pace.
Goeasy Travel have arranged the best value Car Rentals in the UK for you. To get your free quotation online please go to our Holiday Car Hire
Calling Home from the United Kingdom
Most public payphones are operated by British Telecom (BT) and, at least in the towns, are widespread. Many payphones take all coins from 10p upwards, although an increasing proportion only accept phonecards, available from post offices and newsagents which display BT’s green logo. These cards come in denominations of £3, £5, £10; an increasing number of phones also accept credit cards.
Domestic operator tel 100
International operator tel 155
International directory assistance tel 153 (free from payphones, otherwise 80p)
In case of an Emergency
You should check to make sure your own medical insurance covers you overseas; otherwise you will need to take out additional insurance. The National Health Service in Britain can only offer free treatment in the event of an emergency. Emergency Number – 999
Call this number – free of charge – from any phone for Police, Ambulance, and Fire emergency services
For a great source of information on the UK go to the British Tourist Authority Web Site United Kingdom Tourist Board
Events in the UK
For the sporty, the traditional Oxford/Cambridge University Boat Race is held in London on the River Thames in late March; the famous but gruelling Grand National steeplechase takes place at Aintree, Liverpool, on the first Saturday in April; the FA Cup final takes place in May; Lawn Tennis Championships, complete with strawberries & cream and tantrums by major players, take place at Wimbledon in late June; the champagne-quaffing set head for the Henley Royal Regatta at Henley-on-Thames also in June; and the Cowes Week yachting extravaganza pushes off on the Isle of Wight in late July
If you are not interested in sports, check out the Chelsea Flower Show at London’s Royal Hospital in May; the Trooping of the Colour pageantry on the Queen’s birthday in London in mid-June; the Glastonbury Festival music extravaganza that swamps Glastonbury’s paddocks in June; and the outrageous (in the best possible sense) Caribbean carnival in London’s Notting Hill in late August.
Check out the Places to Visit pages too – there’s a wealth of things to do and see whether the sun is shining or the snow is falling!