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7 UK Travel Tips: Need To Know Before Visiting

Planning to travel to the UK for the first time and don’t know where to begin? Well,  here’s a complete guide to the country- from its visa requirements to famous tourist attractions, from the accommodation, food, and transportation to all kinds of expenses that you can think of. 

But first, a quick insight into what makes it one of the richest and great powers of the world that it is today. 

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The UK or the United Kingdom comprises four countries- England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, with the first three constituting Great Britain. And hence the name- the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, or in short the UK, which is nothing but a political union between these four nations. 

Obviously, there’s a lot you can explore in the UK starting from its capital- the mighty London to its mesmerizing and lush green countrysides, all renowned for their rich history of art, music, and culture. No wonder why the UK is often described as a cultural superpower.

With that said, let’s find out 7 handy tips that you can use to have a fun and memorable experience while in the UK:

Visa and Passport

Getting into the UK as a tourist isn’t that hard, especially for citizens from the EU and many English-speaking countries as they don’t require a visa for upto 6 months. For Asian citizens, however, a visa has to be applied for in advance for a stay of upto 6 months.

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Here’s an easy way to check if you need a visa for the UK, depending on the country you live in.

Best places to visit

The United Kingdom is undoubtedly one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and for all the good reasons! Being a political union of four nations, it offers a diverse combination of picturesque land and fun activities.

From prehistoric megaliths such as Stonehenge to centuries-old architecture of the Tower of London, from ancient roman settlements to the modern British Museum that contains over 13 million antiques and artifacts from all around the globe.

Here’s a list of places you cannot miss when visiting the United Kingdom:

  • Stonehenge
  • Tower of London
  • The Roman Baths and Georgian City of Bath
  • The British Museum
  • York Minster and Historic Yorkshire
  • Windsor Castle
  • Chester Zoo
  • Lake District National Park
  • Canterbury Cathedral
  • Liverpool & The Beatles
  • Eden Project
  • The Cotswolds
  • The National Gallery
  • Warwick Castle
  • Tate Modern
  • Royal Museums Greenwich

Accommodation

The first-ever industrialized nation- the UK has ample accommodation options to choose from. There are campsite stays, cheap hostels, Bed and breakfast lodging high-end hotels, and guesthouses which may vary in price and quality depending on the time of the year. (Albeit a cold place, most of the UK is relatively hot and sunny during summers from May to September, making it the most appropriate time for a visit.)

The approximate budget for accommodation could range from anywhere between £15-30 to £130+.

Transportation

The cheapest way to get around in the UK is of course public transport. Domestic flights and rail networks cover much of the UK and are the quickest way to move from one city or town to another. And yes! the earlier you book, the cheaper the ticket.

You can also hire a cab but it’s rather pricy, so do it only if you need to access a remote or rural area.

When in London though, look no further than the underground railway network aka the London tube. Make sure to get yourself the Oyster card which is a cost-effective way of traveling the metropolitan. 

As far as the transport charges are concerned, a bus would be £4-10 for a short distance, and £15-30 for long-distance. A train ticket would range from £10-60 depending on the distance, and a car for hire would cost you about £35 for a single day.

Food

While the UK isn’t particularly famous for its traditional food, things are changing now. Plenty of fine international cuisines like Indian is coming out as of late in most cities and towns. Top it up with a classic English wine and you’ll have a pleasant meal at just £7-25.

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And don’t forget to taste the famous beer at just £4 from a good old-fashioned English pub or bar.

Cellular connection

While getting a cell phone connection in the UK isn’t challenging, calling abroad and data usage is rather expensive. Although most hotels do provide free wi-fi to guests and tourists, the better option would be to have a global or international SIM card for uninterrupted access.

If you don’t want to buy a separate SIM card, you can always check out a UK eSIM that can be easily bought and downloaded online without having to take your existing SIM card out. 

Do’s and Don’ts  

  • Tea is the key! It’s the UK’s national pastime. So never say no when you’re offered a cup.
  • Politeness and manners are innate traits of the brits so don’t shy away from using please and thank you.
  • Talking about the weather is always welcome.
  • Don’t push or jump the queue. 
  • Stand/walk on the right, and drive on the left.
  • Don’t mimic the accents. Familiarising with the local phrases, the names of the cities and counties is a great way of getting your pronunciation right. 
  • Last but not the least, don’t use sarcasm. They literally invented it.