THE UNITED KINGDOM
Official Language: English is the UK’s official language, but Welsh is spoken in parts of Wales and Gaelic in parts of Scotland.
Welcome to the kingdom known for its beautiful scenery, rich history and a culture second to none!
The UK is bustling, eccentric and unique destination in every sense of the word. It’s a place that’s symbolized by dry humor, high tea clichés, thrusting cities that share a map with the likes of the Snowdonia Peaks and a place where personalities are as diversified as the weather. With an amazing art scene, palatable politics and sensational sports, the United Kingdom is as modern as it is multicultural. The central focus point is and probably always will be England. London’s iconic for its skyline that sees a brilliant mix of medieval turrets and soaring steel marvels. The markets, museums, pubs and palaces are what draw the masses to this world class city; essentially it’s your best gateway to the UK.
The real treasures are to be found outside of the capital though, in urban centers like Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Here you’re bound to encounter richly engaging cities that bubble with tangible history, vibrant music and some of the most awe-inspiring natural landscapes you’ll ever encounter. From Belfast to Bath, Edinburgh to Liverpool, the United Kingdom is a destination best explored when you’ve got loads of time to explore the rich and diverse landscape that it encompasses. Just imagine…the Cornish Coast, Giant’s Causeway and the Lake District. Cultural associations made with everything and everyone including Henry VIII to the infamous Hogwarts, the Beatles and even Braveheart…the United Kingdom is a fascinating and intriguing world of wonders just waiting to be explored!
Highlights in Britain
England is one of the world’s most visited countries, and with good reason. England might be small but it’s very influential, and this country that forms part of the British Isles is bursting with tangible history, bustling cities and cultural traditions that you’re bound to fall in love with. With sights like old castles that dot the landscape and countryside institutions that date back to the Middle Ages, England has a little something on offer for everyone. There’s a lot to see and do and whether you choose to navigate it by public transport or with a self-drive tour, make sure that you’ve set out enough time to get to all there is to do.
As they say, if you’re tired of seeing London, you’re tired of life. From magical West End Musical to the famous red double decker busses, the heartbeat of Britain - London - has got it all. Think of it as the L.A and New York of Britain, a thriving coral reef of mankind, complete with the beautiful chimes of Big Ben in the background. Some of London’s top attractions include Stonehenge on the outskirts, The Shard with its viewing platform (Western Europe’s tallest building), Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, the Tower of London, Europe’s biggest Ferris wheel - The London Eye, and the ever-impressive London Zoo.
Guernsey might be merely half the size of Jersey, but boasts roughly twice the attractions that Jersey has. The island’s breathtaking cliffs to the south rise up roughly 270 feet and see thousands of tourists flocking here annually for the pristine landscape. Guernsey is also known as ‘The Gourmet Island’ which explains it amazing array of brilliant restaurants with their fine European cuisine on offer. Here’s what you can look forward to in Guernsey…
Alderney is the most northerly island in the Channel Islands, it also the least visited, the reason why not being hard to understand. The island is a mere 4 miles long and 1 mile wide, it’s treeless and has some of the most breathtaking sandy bays, indented cliffs and rugger tors in the area. You’ll find the minuscule St Anne here, a settlement that dates back to the 15th century and still has a distinctive French flair. The cobbled streets, tiny inns, cafés and shops are an old world attraction that takes you back to a time that got left behind. You can find the Two Sisters in Telegraph Bay as well as the uninhabited island of Burhou that is a modern day bird reserve and can only be reached by boat.
Herm lies just 3 miles northeast of St Peter’s Port, and sure it’s small (100 residents) but it’s a hotspot in the summer months with touristic feet measuring in at over 3,000 a day. The island boasts a hotel, a collection of old stone houses that now serve as holiday homes and it’s got a campsite. The main reason why tourists flock here is the great weather, tranquil natural landscape and the lovely Shell Beach with more than 200 different seashells than beach here.
The Channel Islands are located just 10 minutes off the coast of France and is where you’ll find the islands of Jersey, Guernsey Alderney, Sark and Herm to name but a few of them . You can get here by air from London and many other English cities plus if you’re traveling during the summer months you can catch the ferry from Weymouth, Portsmouth or Poole.
Also known as the “jewel of the Channel Islands” , Sark might be the smallest of the islands, but its surely very unique with its feudal system of government. You can catch a boat here from Guernsey and Jersey daily during the summer months, and you’ll arrive at La Maseline on the east of the island. The main settlement is La Collinette, and is where you’ll see the church, the manor house and a windmill on the landscape’s highest point. Roads and cars on Sark are few and far in between, but luckily points of interest can be reached by foot. Some highlights include a walk over to Little Sark which leads to Port Gorey and the famous rock pools called the Bath of Venus and the Pool of Adonis, which are both great for low tide bathing. Also make sure that you check out the Gouliot Caves with their sea anemones and coastal lifeforms that are visible during low tide. Head over to Dixcart Bay on the southeast side of the island if you’re looking for picturesque settings and great holiday accommodation, not to mention the Le Creux Derrible cave that can only be reached during low tide.
Highlights in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland, also known as Ulster is one of the best destinations in the world to visit, so this means that there’s a lot to see and do. While you’re in the UK, you can’t miss an opportunity to explore a taste of Leprechauns and Irish luck. There’s the mystical Giant’s Causeway that fall under the time tested attractions, and also the touristic newbies like the Belfast Titanic to name but a few of Ulster’s amazing attractions. From shopping to delectable restaurant fare, a fascinating history to a vibrant culture, Northern Ireland is sure to give you the warmest of welcomes. Most main attractions are based in and around Belfast (Northern Ireland’s Capital)…but here are your options!
The Causeway Coast
Once you’re done catching your breath after seeing Giant’s Causeway, you can make your way around the surrounding coastline with its beautiful beaches, dunes and the rolling waves at Portrush or Portstewart. They say that fortune favors the brave, so if you’re man enough take a dip in the ‘refreshing’ waters. A ten-minute drive west takes you through the village of Bushmills and to the medieval Dunluce Castle, which is virtually impossible to miss, perched atop the cliff edge. You should definitely also head east from Giant’s Causeway to see one of Ulster’s best sights, the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, and head down the valley to see the coastal village of Ballintoy. Take note that the vertiginous bridge joins to a tiny island where fishermen would catch salmon back in the day, twisting and turning along the way, so access it only if you dare, its free after all.
It’s best known for its columns of layered basalt, and as Ulster’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site, you’d be mad to miss out on seeing Giant’s Causeway. The landscape was formed some 60 million years ago by a volcanic eruption, but it’s a prime spot today, and as such has been listed as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty by UNESCO. The Lower, Middle and Upper Basalts were forged by 3 different periods of volcanic action, with the Middle Basalt forming the famed amphitheater of columns that are formed like hexagons. Legend has it that the columns were carved out by the giant Finn McCool who called this home before he traveled across the waters to Scotland for battle. There are a lot of folk lore stories that talk about the giant and his carvings, some myths being The Giant’s Boot, The Wishing Chair and The Giant’s Granny to name but a few. Either way, whether you choose to believe science or myth, the Giant’s Causeway can be found just outside of Belfast.
Ulster’s second city, Londonderry lies located between the River Foyle and the sea-lough with the same name. The city is better known as Derry and has been substantially reduced, mainly from its natural hinterland of Donegal, when Ireland was divided, but it’s still a very important port and industrial center. The surroundings are attractive to say the very least, and give tourists more than enough reason to pay a visit. Derry is a great base for exploring the nearby Inishowen Peninsula and Donegal, located in the Republic of Ireland.
The Glens of Antrim
The 9 Glens of Antrim on the interior of Ulster are just as noteworthy as the North Antrim of Ireland. From Ballycastle you can take a drive towards Larne by using the A2 coast road where you’ll pass the most serene lakes, tumbling waterfalls, forest trails and through some of the most breathtaking rolling hills to see the Glens. The ‘Queen of the Glens’ is Glenariff, and it’s also the most famous of the 9. You’ll pass Glendun Bridge along the way and might also want to stop at Ballypatrick Forest Park with its 10km loop drive around Carneighaneigh Mountain which is one of the most scenic drives around these parts.
The mile wide Menai Strait (spanned by the Menai Suspension Bridge) is what separates the Isle of Anglesey from mainland Wales. Once you’ve crossed the bridge you can explore the quaint fishing villages that lie scattered across the 100 or so miles of pretty coastline. Sure it’s got beautiful sandy beaches and landmarks like the South Stack Lighthouse, but the island’s great climate ensures day-trippers and campers love its pleasant atmosphere. You can also visit Holy Island, the smaller islet linked to Anglesey by a bridge, or there’s also the tiny Salt Island with its great views and birdwatching opportunities. Don’t forget about visiting the place with the world’s largest name for a great photo op; Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllandysiliogogogoch.
Head out on a 20 minute drive from Belfast to see the substantial town and port of Carrickfergus. The real reason you’ll want to go here is to see one of the best preserved medieval structures in all of Ireland, the imposing Carrickfergus Castle. It’s perched near the shore and all but dominates the town, and it’s a special treat for the kids to take a walk inside! Nearby you’ll find the Andre Jackson Centre, a reimagined ancestral home of the 7th president of America.
The Ulster Folk and Transport Museum
Just a 15 minute drive from Belfast’s city center takes you to the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum. This ‘living’ museum was designed to give you a peak at Ulster life 100 years ago, and it’s complete with rebuilt worker’s cottages, working farms, rural schools and village shops as they were way back when. There’s also a whopping 170 acres of parkland that you can explore, visitor guides demonstrating traditional crafts and steam locomotives that let you explore the Transport Museum. The Transport Museum is a real treat for the kids with its collection of electric trams, fire engines, motorbikes, vintage cars and horse drawn carriages. Make sure that you set aside an entire day for exploring these two amazing sites!
The Ards Peninsula
Just south of Bangor at Donaghadee you’ll find the start of the 32km long breathtaking Ards Peninsula. You can explore it via the roads that run along the Irish Sea coast to Ballywalter, winds past Ballyhalbert and Cloughy before it turns inland towards Portaferry. Make sure you see the stunning Mount Steward House and Gardens that date back to the 18th century while you’re near Ballywalter. Strangford Lough’s west shore is where you’ll find the resort of Killyleagh with its pretty Hilltop Castle overlooking the town. In the distance (and weather permitting) you’ll see the Mourne Moutains in the distance too. On the peninsula’s southwest tip you’ll find Portaferry, which can be reached via the ferry from Stangford or a drive around the west side of the peninsula along the shores of Strangford Lough.
A short distance from Manchester you’ll find a seriously remarkable daytrip destination; Conwy. With a castle, medieval architecture and shopping opportunities by the bucket load, Conwy is all you need it to be and more. Get out to the 13th century town walls if you want to have the best view of Conwy Castle and the River Conwy and then head over to the National Trust’s Aberconwy House, the only surviving 14th century house that was built inside the town walls. You might also want to swing by and see the Elizabethan Plas Mawr and the Smallest House in Great Britain.
The star-shaped building of Belfast, called the Titanic, represents the White Star Line and traces Belfast’s maritime history and honors the story of the real Titanic. With 9 interactive exhibitions, you can learn all you ever wanted to know about how the Titanic was built. You might also enjoy a guided tour around the slipway and dry-dock or pay a little extra and visit the SS Nomadic. It’s a world class attraction that boasts a restaurant, café and quaint gift shop for when you’re done exploring.
The Pembrokeshire Peninsula boasts some of Wales’ most dramatic coastline, jutting out like and old man’s chin into the Irish Sea. Everything you want and need to see can be discovered here by foot or yy car. There are historic castles and keeps like the Pembroke Castle, cathedrals like St David’s in St David Town, fishing harbors like Laugharne and old farm cottages, gypsy caravans and vintage railcars where visitors can just get away from life’s rush and enjoy the moment in the breathtaking landscape.
Highlights in Wales
Wales is the smallest of mainland Britain’s component countries, but it boasts more than enough wonderful reasons for you to visit. From the cosmopolitan Cardiff in the south to the abundance of attractions further afield, you’re bound to lose a piece of your heart here. One offer here over 400 castles and forts, some of the most breathtaking scenery and heritage railways in abundance. With the Welsh being some of the most easygoing people on earth, you’re bound to have a wonderful time in Wales.
Cardiff, the Wales capital, is a brilliant year-round destination, and although it might be pint-sized, it’s far from a one-trick pony! The city is loaded with bars, restaurants and craft breweries that’ll keep you hydrated and cheery, but it’s also a shopping mecca thanks to the likes of St David’s Shopping Centre, the abundance of boutiques, bookshops and cafés that line the snaking arcades of Cardiff. Some of the city’s most noteworthy attractions include the massive Millennium Stadium, the National Museum of Cardiff, Cardiff Bay, The Parks of Cardiff including Roath, Bute and Taff Park, Castle Coch, the beautiful Llandaff Cathedral and the most treasured landmark of Wales, the Penarth Pier.
Recon Beacons National Park
Encompassing one of Wales’ most beautiful landscapes, the Brecon Beacons National Park is a true hiker’s paradise bordered by 2 sets of Black Mountains. To the west you’ll find the source of the River Usk and to the east lays the mountain range famous for its wild ponies. The 520 square mile park boasts mountains that generally peak at 1,100 feet, many measuring in at more than 2,200 feet. The mountains are named after the red sandstone that causes them to resemble beacons of light that were used to warn invaders back in ancient times. The park comprises of an abundance of caves and waterfalls, with the most popular being Henryd Falls located at Coelbren.
Snowdonia is an iconic imagine most of us conjure up when we hear the word Wales. It’s a collection of mountains and hills that can be found in the Gwynedd County and comprises of 14 massive peaks soaring over 3,000 feet high. The most famous peak is Snowdon, measuring in at a staggering 3,546 feet high, but you can easily reach the summit by train. The area is an all-star in local legends, and it’s not hard to see why once you’re there. King Arthur’s legend has deep legacy in these parts, which is saying a lot. You’ll also find Snowdonia National Park here, very popular for its hiking and climbing opportunities. The park runs all the way to the Bala Lake, which leaves you with what seems to be an entire world to explore.
As Wales’ largest seaside resort town, Llandudno is also known as the ‘Queen of the Welsh Resorts’. You can find it on the north coast nestled between the Welsh mainland and the Great Orme Peninsula, a space uninhabited since the Stone Age. Llandudno’s promenade isn’t like the typical picture you would imagine; it has no seaside shops or cafés, but rather has an open seafront to ensure Victorian visitors had a more peaceful experience in historic times. The Great Orme boasts the best views of the towns and surrounds, and you can get there by using the Heritage Tramway.
Devil’s Bridge can be found 12 miles from the town of Aberystwyth, and it’s where you can explore the 3 bridges that span the Rheidol Gorge, the oldest of the trio dating back to the 11th century. You’ll also see the River Mynach that plunges 300 feet into the valley below and you can also follow the Falls Nature Trail to the bottom if you want. Jacob’s Ladder proves to be a long and sometimes slippery climb back up again, but the views are just too good not to do it. The nearby Hafod Estate can be found nearby and comprises of 200 acres of restored woodlands and 18th century gardens, once considered as Britain’s finest.
Caernarfon Castle was built as the seat of the 1st Prince of Wales during the 13th century, and it’s one of the largest in Wales. The castle occupies the site of an ancient Norman castle and is s massive (boasting 13 towers and 2 gates) that it’s recognized as one of the most impressive and best-preserved medieval fortresses in Europe. It dominates the waters of the River Seiont and the Menai Strait on the one side and is protected by a moat on the other side.
Highlights in Scotland
Yes, Scotland is the place that puts images of bag pipes, kilts and the Loch Ness Monster into your mind, but it’s also the place of lonely castles, the birthplace of golf, shaggy Highland cattle and some of the most magnificent scenery you’ll ever encounter. From the battlefields where clans fiercely fought to the castles that made the consolation prize, Scotland’s magnificent solitude with its beaches and romantic mountains to the deep glens and lochs, it’s a world just waiting to be explored, and it caters to travelers from all walks of life. Here’s what you can’t afford to miss…
The Royal and Ancient Golf Club
Located in St Andrew’s you’ll find the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, one of Scotland’s most popular touristic draws, and it’s a given since they really invented this game. The club dates back to 1750 and is recognized as the international golf ruling body. It’s regularly the host of the British Open with one of its 18-hole courses, but the most famous is the Old Course that runs along the rugged coast. The Old Clubhouse and the British Golf Museum are well worth visiting if you’re a golfer, as it shows you the history of ‘”home of golf” all the way back to the Middle Ages.
The Isle of Skye
The Isle of Skye is Scotland’s largest inner isle. It’s the place that the Vikings called “Skiiyo” or “Cloud Island”, and the heavy mist perfectly explains the name. Nature lovers might just lose their hearts amidst the mountain scenery and green valleys, the caves and the glens, the waterfalls and the pristine beaches. All of this can be found on an island a mere 50 miles long and 15 miles wide, all the more reason you should want to see it. The island is where you’ll find the remains of primeval oak forests, and abundance of wildlife, deep inlets and a number of quaint villages.
As the showcase capital of Scotland, Edinburgh has a distinct cosmopolitan atmosphere, but it’s also rich in cultural tradition, and its location makes it all the more magical. The city has been listed as a World City of Literature by UNESCO, and much of its center has been listed as a World Heritage Site thanks to its ability to capture the literary imagination. Make sure you see New Town, north of the castle, as well as the Old Town on the other hand with its tortuous alleys and distinct medieval feel. The fairytale castle - the Palace of Holyroodhouse - is another must see, as is the Holyrood Park showcasing a taste of wild Scotland. Edinburgh is also home to an array of fascinating museums like the National Gallery of Scotland, the National Museum of Scotland and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Leith, the city’s medieval port, is where you’ll want to head for a taste of Scottish life in full swing since it boasts numerous great bars and restaurants, its Edinburgh’s liveliest area.
Aye, Scotland’s most famous fortress be Edinburgh Castle. The massive castle has dominated the city’s skyline since the 13th century and is Scotland’s most popular national monument by far. The spectacular castle is perched atop a black basalt rock and offers visitors some of the most breathtaking views of city landmarks like the Royal Mile, Princes Street and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Cross the drawbridge over the old moat to gain entrance to the castle from Esplanade, and once inside you can be inspired by the ancient building’s tangible history that looms in the air.
Glasgow is a powerhouse for all things music, creative arts, theatre, design and innovative cuisine. On offer here is a wide expanse of impressive Victorian buildings with their red and blond sandstone, the beautiful Italianate palazzo facades, captivating Art Nouveau that screams Gaudi, all peacefully coexisting amid sociable locals that’ll show you what true Scottish hospitality looks like.
Loch Ness is where the infamous Loch Ness Monster is said to have lived for centuries, and the Loch Ness Exhibition seriously makes the legend look and feel true and the Drummadrochit Hotel. While you’re in the area don’t forget about Urquhart Castle that stands on a strip of land that juts into the loch. The 12th century castle is the center of countless myths, albeit it fell victim to a horrid fire roughly 500 years ago, but that’s part of its allure.
Just a short drive from Glasgow you’ll find Britain’s largest lake, the idyllic Loch Lomond, affectionately referred to as the ‘Queen of Scottish Lakes’. It might be popular amongst anglers hoping to hook some of the plentiful trout, salmon and whitefish, but the lake is also a major draw for hikers and watersport enthusiasts. The scenery is splendid to say the least, but for the best head up Ben Lomond with a boat. Once you’re done you can explore the stunning Argyll Countryside and Fort William. On the south end of the loch you’ll find Cameron House where you can savor the romance of a Scottish castle set among the lakeside air.
Isle of Arran
Also known as “Scotland in Miniature” the Ilse of Arran might be a mere 166 square miles in size, but it’s as close to a mirror image of the mainland as you’ll ever find. Its home to majestic mountains, moorland, sand beaches, wildlife, and castles, fishing harbors, golf and friendly people by the bucket load, there’s really no reason not to stop by. Getting here from Glasgow will just take roughly 30 minutes with the ferry ride. Highlights include Brodick Castle and Goat Fell Mountain among the other great sights.
Nestled between Edinburgh and Glasgow you’ll find Stirling, a town best known for the Battle of Bannockburn and the Battle of Stirling Bridge, where the legendary William Wallace was involved. Make sure you visit the impressive Bannockburn Heritage Centre to learn more about the history. You’ll find the majestic Wallace Monument between Stirling and the Bridge of Allan. The monument is a 246 step tower that boasts some of the best views of the landscape and houses several artifacts that are said to have belonged to William Wallace, Braveheart himself. Don’t forget to swing by and see Stirling Castle that sits atop a 250 foot high volcanic crag and dating back to the 12th century.
The Northern Highlands
Stretching all the way from Inverness to Thurso, the Northern Highlands are cut off from the rest of Scotland by the “Great Glen” Glen More. Glen More is an ancient fault line that was used to create the impressive Caledonian Canal that extends from Loch Linnhe to the Moray Firth. Much of the mountain region is uninhabited, which makes it great for hiking and trekking, but it’s also home to a collection of small towns and villages, the prettiest of them all being the coastal town of Dornoch. You’ll see John o‘Groats overlooking the Pentland Firth, one of the most photographed signposts in Scotland.
The Castle Trail
Since its home to 17 of the country’s best preserved and most dramatic castles, the Scotland Castle Trail is centered on Aberdeenshire. You can use the city of Aberdeen as your base for exploring fairy-tale like Crathes Castle, 13th century Drum Castle and the 15th century Craigievar Castle to name but a few of the great sights on offer. If you’re a castle fanatic of sorts, this trail comes highly recommended as it’s also one of the best ways to explore the Grampian Region’s mountains and dramatic coastlines.
The Burns Heritage Trail
The poet Robbie Burns is arguably Scotland’s favorite son, which is why he’s got a whole heritage route dedicated to him. The Burns Heritage Trail starts at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway near Ayr. Ayr also has a monument and gardens that commemorate his life and times. After Ayr the tour leads to Dumfries where you’ll find the Robert Burns House and nearby is the St. Michael’s Churchyard where you’ll find Burns’ final resting place.
Top Experiences in the UK
- Take the Canterbury History Trail
- Visit Glastonbury is you’re a King Arthur fan, where you can tour Glastonbury Abbey
- See the Big Ben and the Parliament Building en-route to the Westminster Abbey, where you can undertake the “super tour” to see the place where British Royals are crowned
- See London on a double-decker bus tour to see sights like the Covent Garden, the British Museum, and Buckingham Palace to name a few great attractions.
- Drive out the Exmoor and just get lost for a while in the stunning, dense forest
- Visit the “thin place” where earth is said to be a little closer to heaven according to Celtic religion, Iona.
- Visit the Giant’s Causeway
- Go ahead and buy something mysterious from the Smithfield market
- Experience the thrill of Barry’s Big Dipper
- Challenge your guts on the Carrick-a-Red Rope Bridge
- Visit the Titanic Experience
- Feast of the delectable foods at St George’s Market
- Visit the iconic Bushmills Distillery
- Walk the Wales Coast Path and explore parts like the Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Trial
- Visit the Mushroom Garden between Porthmadog and Beddgelert
- Visit the Hearst Castle / Disneyland resort of Portmeiron near Porthmadog on the North Coast of Wales
- Swim in the fairy pools - a.k.a the Isle of Skye
- Take a seaplane run by Loch Lomond Seaplanes where you will see the Isle of Bute and the Rothesay Castle
- Explore the pink sand beaches of the Angus Coast
- Visit the 5,000 year old village of Orkney
- Explore the Fingal’s Cave on the Isle of Staffa
- Cruise the Crinan Canal on a vintage steamship
- Stay over in Glengorm Castle on the Isle of Mull
- See a fire festival happening in Shetland
Best time to visit the UK
Tourists travel from June to August
Essentially, the UK is a year-round destination, but if you’re planning on spending a lot of time outdoors, then you need reliable weather, which would be during the summer months. June to August is the summer months and is known for bringing long and warm days.
Rain threats are never far away, even in the mid-summer sun, which means your sunscreen and raincoat needs to be packed as a combo. Autumn is when the UK is at its most beautiful which falls between September and November. The brown, red and pink hued landscapes are magnificent to see. From November through March is when Scotland and Northern England feels the brunt of winter, with snow occasionally blanketing the majority of the UK.
Did you know?
Once you step off the airplane you can take a British Airways shuttle service from London to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle to name but a few major destinations. You can also use Flybe (www.flybe.com) or easy Jet (www.easyjet.com) as great alternatives to BA.
The UK’s got ‘A’ Roads; these are trunk roads that link all major towns and cities within the UK with each other. Rural area roads are known as ‘B’ Roads, these are slow and winding, providing you with scenic beauty but they might be inaccessible during the winter months, especially in the upland areas. Take the M25 motorway and you can circle around London or get off at intersections like the M1, M3, M4, M10, M11 and M40. Want to leave England? Hop on the M4 from London to South Wales then. The A1 gets you to Scotland, the A68 leads to Edinburgh, the M6 to Carlisle and the A74 will take you to Glasgow. One you’re in Scotland, you’ll find that motorways link Edinburg, Glasgow and Perth with each other. Northern Ireland on the other hand has motorways that run from Belfast to Dungannon and from Belfast to Antrim. Tip: In the UK they drive on the LEFT hand side of the road, so keep that in mind if you plan to self-drive
Taxis are widely available in all the towns and cities in the UK. If you need to get somewhere just get a taxi at a taxi rank which are mostly found outside railway stations and city centers. All cities and towns in the UK have bus services that range from budget to luxurious. Underground railways can be found in Glasgow, Liverpool, London and Newcastle while the urban areas like Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester are well served by local trains. Tram services can be found in Manchester and Edinburgh.
BritRail has a range if passes on offer that gives unlimited travel to visitors from overseas. You can’t buy the pass once you’re in the UK though, so make sure you buy them ahead of time before you leave home. InterRail One-Country Pass is also well worth checking out for great travel deals in the UK and so is Railcards UK.
- If you aim to travel by train, get yourself a Railpass to save some money
- Petrol stations in the UK operate on a self-service basis, and they’re also located far and few in-between each other, so keep your tank full if you’re self-driving
- Most Bed & Breakfasts only take cash
- Always pack some good raingear, the weather is quite unpredictable
- Take bottled water with you when you’re out and about, the coffee, tea and soft drinks are expensive
- Keep in mind that villages don’t have banks and many small towns don’t accept credit cards.
- Scones with cream
- Tea time sandwiches, cake and a splendid cup of earl grey
- A British Breakfast - eggs, bacon, toast and tomatoes
- A traditional Scotch egg
- Fish and Chips
- Haggis, neep and tatties - a traditional savory pudding with Haggis (sheep’s offal) served with mashed potatoes and rutabaga
- Potato bread farl
- Ulster Fry- traditional breakfast
- Champ - mashed potatoes with butter and spring onions
- Steak and Guinness Pies
- Glamorgan Sausages - vegetarian sausages made with Caerphilly cheese and leeks, coated in a breading
- Welsh Cakes - small cakes fried and flavored with fruits and spices
- Welsh Rarebit - a posh take of cheese on toast
- Bara Brith - a traditional Welsh fruit loaf made with tea