Skip to navigation Skip to content
United Kingdom
Don’t forget your brolly…

From Stonehenge and the Jurassic Coast to The Shard and Dublin’s revitalised Docklands; from sailing on the Norfolk Broads to hiking in the Highlands, cream teas in the Cotswolds or literary trails in the Lake District… the British Isles offer an incredible diversity of landscapes and experiences.

Stay and Relax Carbis Bay Apartments QQQQ

Carbis Bay is a beautiful sandy cove in a sheltered position near the pretty seaside town of St Ives. Ideal for the more independent traveller, these bright, modern apartments are built into the hillside behind the Carbis Bay Hotel and are equipped with everything you need for an enjoyable holiday.

Stay and Relax Carbis Bay QQQQ

Take time out to explore the picturesque Cornish coast or just relax and enjoy the views from the spa at this family-run hotel close to charming St. Ives.

Indulge in a variety of treatments while you relax amid the glorious parkland of this Georgian estate.

Indulge in a variety of treatments while you relax in this modern retreat surrounded by water.

Indulge in a variety of treatments at Champney's flagship spa while you relax in this stately home in the Chilterns.

Indulge in a variety of treatments while you relax at this secluded lakeside spa.

Stay and Relax Cornwall Hotel Lodges QQQQ

Like a small hamlet on the edge of The Cornwall Estate, these stylish lodges are clad in sustainably-sourced cedar wood and natural slate, while the panoramic windows and balcony provide sweeping views.

Stay and Relax Cornwall Hotel and Spa QQQQ

This stylish spa hotel lies on the Cornish Riviera, where dramatic cliffs, pristine beaches and sheltered coves encircle a landscape of wild moorlands dotted with country inns and cycle trails.

Enjoy a stay in South Gloucestershire’s glorious Cotswolds near the charming town of Wotton-Under-Edge.

Stay and Relax The Royal Hotel QQQ

Welcome to Tarka country, a land of rolling hills and wooded valleys bordering the River Torridge. In the historic port of Bideford, the Saga award-winning Royal Hotel overlooks the 15th-century bridge, famed for its 24 unequal arches.

Stay and Relax Stradey Park Hotel QQQQ

Explore the stunning and romantic west coast of Wales.

Stay and Explore New Forest Discovery QQQ

Explore southern England's hidden gem. Age-old forest, sun-dappled clearings and rolling heaths – there's a wealth of beautiful scenery for you to discover.

Language

English -

English is generally spoken in England, although being a cultural melting pot it is possible you will also hear Polish, Punjabi, Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati, Arabic, French, Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish, Tamil, Turkish, Italian, Somali, Lithuanian, German and Romanian.

There are also many regional dialects, including Cockney in London, Geordie in Newcastle, Scouse in Liverpool and West Country in the, er, West Country. Additionally, there’s Welsh English and Scottish English.

Tipping

Leaving around 10% of the bill is normal in British restaurants where a service charge has not been added to the bill. Taxi drivers also expect a small tip, especially in London.

Population and size

The population is 63 million, slightly less than France’s 65 million.

At 24,2900 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is half the size of Spain.

Currency

Pound -

Despite being part of the European Union, Britain has resisted adoption of the Euro and still retains Sterling as its currency.

Culture

The United Kingdom is proud of its multi-cultural society, so you’ll find a diverse mix of cultural influences. Each country has its own set of customs and national pride.

Britain is, of course, a cultural superpower and has given the world:

  • Chaucer
  • Shakespeare
  • Mr Darcy
  • Oscar Wilde
  • Heartbeat
  • Susan Boyle
  • The Beatles
  • Tom Jones
  • Aled Jones
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber
  • nursery rhymes
  • Christmas carols
  • Winston Churchill
  • roast dinners
  • fish and chips
  • Led Zeppelin
  • Charlie Chaplin
  • Britain’s Got Talent
  • Tommy Cooper
  • John Constable
  • Bobby Moore
  • the BBC
  • Sean Connery
  • The Krankies
  • Helen Mirren
  • Judi Dench
  • James Bond
  • Harry Potter
  • Wallace and Gromit
  • Rudyard Kipling
  • Mr Kipling
  • Bridget Jones
  • Andy Murray
  • Alan Partridge

Phrases

Travellers to London may wish to brush up on their Cockney rhyming slang…

Baked bean – Queen

Ache and pain – rain

Near and far – bar

Bees and honey – money

Currant bun – sun

Dog and bone – phone

Bob Hope – soap

Hank Marvin – starving

Ruby Murray – curry

Scotch mist – drunk

Timezone

Clocks read the same in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands.

Electricity

Mains voltage is 230 volts AC (50 cycles) and sockets take 13-amp plugs with three rectangular pins.

Climate

Brits are obsessed with the weather – but when it changes as often as it does it’s not surprising!

Climates are influenced by the Atlantic, so regions closest to the Atlantic Ocean, such as Northern Ireland, Wales and the western areas of England and Scotland will be milder, and experience wetter and windier weather.

To the east the climate is drier and cooler. There is a north/south divide when it comes to weather, with the south enjoying generally warmer temperatures, thanks to the continental tropical air mass from the European mainland.

Health

There are no serious health threats to people holidaying in the UK, although it has been known for women to catch a slight cold and men suffer from the male equivalent, a condition known as ‘man-flu’.

Passports and visas

You can enter the UK with either a valid passport or national identity card issued by a EEA (European Economic Area) country.

Travellers from other countries must have a valid passport for the duration of their stay and will require a visa.

Smoking

Smoking is banned in all enclosed public places and if you are caught you can expect a minimum of six months in the Tower of London.

Flight time

Flying is a great time-saving alternative to road or rail when travelling around Britain, and aeroplanes are particularly useful if you want to reach the more remote parts of Scotland and the Channel Islands.

For instance, it takes just one-and-a-half hours to fly from Gatwick to Inverness, a journey of 468 miles.