UK travel guide: The United Kingdom can be visited in any season although spring offers a special appeal with flowering in the gardens and the light reflecting in the countryside. Spring is the perfect time to explore towns across the Channel, while pub crawls take on a special charm on winter evenings.
The UK enjoys an oceanic climate with high humidity and frequent rains brought by winds from the sea. The temperature is, however, relatively mild in winter thanks to the presence of the Gulf Stream. The thermometer rarely drops below 0 ° C during this season. In summer, the freshness remains permanent except in the east of the country where the sun brings light and heat.
English is the official language.
44% are Anglican, 5% Presbyterian, and 10% Catholic.
As of July 9, 2014, passengers in the United Kingdom, arriving or departing, will not be able to carry discharged electronic devices in the cabin.
Four-legged companions are exempt from quarantine if they wear a microchip under the skin, are vaccinated against rabies, take a blood test 6 months before departure and an anti-parasite treatment when leaving (24 h at 48 hours before).
In England, the currency is the pound sterling. Credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, and American Express) are widely accepted, and cash machines allow you to make withdrawals. Cash and traveler’s checks in euros are easily exchanged. Bank opening hours: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.
If the pound sterling is accepted throughout the United Kingdom, it should be noted that Scotland, the Channel Islands, and Northern Ireland issue their own currency, at par with the pound sterling. This currency, whether it is the Scottish, Jersey, Guernsey, or Northern Irish pound, is not exchangeable outside the United Kingdom. So check the nature of the tickets you have left before leaving the country.
No vaccine is required, but make sure you have your current immunizations up to date. Bring your European health insurance card (provided by your social security fund) which allows you to be taken care of on-site.
240 V. The sockets are 3-prong. An adapter (for UK plugs) is therefore essential.
Ah, how good these British people are!
It is also necessary to adapt to these manners of gentlemen so as not to perfect our reputation abroad. In London, for example, we queue in front of monuments and we let people get off public transport in peace, without getting impatient.
The British are much attached to traditions, as evidenced of course by the monarchy, charities, or the many ceremonies that span the centuries.
The Christmas tradition is more celebrated. The magic of the end of the year, especially in London but also in the countryside, has nothing to envy in Paris. The inhabitants decorate and light up their houses, receive Christmas carols on their doorsteps, choirs performing traditional Christmas carols, and send a multitude of greeting cards to their acquaintances.
The British also devote two public holidays to it. December 26 is Boxing Day. The origins of this day are not clear; it may be traced back to the time when traders received cash or gifts in boxes as a sign of thanks for the past year of work.
Today, the tradition is rather to make the sales! In the United Kingdom, we have a lot of fun on April 1, celebrated with dignity, for example at the workplace. We play a prank on the other then we shout “April fool!” In Scotland, this day is called “Hunt-the-Gowk Day”.
The Scots preserve many traditions. Tartan is a Scottish fabric, which can be found on the kilt, whose pattern and colors are characteristic of a clan. Add to this the art of the bagpipe and the traditional costume of the kilt with its accessories (purse, badges, knife, among others). On January 25 in Scotland, Burn’s Day honors the poet Robert Burns. The Haggis is served, accompanied by the recitation of one of his poems.
In Wales, the eisteddfod used to bring together bards, minstrels, and singers. Today it is a festival that combines the traditional with the modern. Northern Ireland, for its part, is a bit divided, but we will still celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day. Dress in green and shamrocks to celebrate this tradition with dignity!
British gastronomy is not really famous in the world. However, there are many typical dishes that visitors must taste, fresh products in the markets, and multicultural and varied gastronomy in the capital.
Some of the classics, which may not be the most popular with the British, are often found on restaurant menus: shepherd’s pie, roast beef served with roasted potatoes, English pot au feu with beef or lamb, roast lamb, and mint sauce, a roast lamb topped with a sauce concocted with mint, sugar, and vinegar.
On the dessert side: The United Kingdom is home to the crumble, the Christmas pudding, the jelly that is not to everyone’s taste, or the delicious apple pie.
The British offer few kinds of cheese but we still appreciate the cheddar.
All regions have their specialty. In Wales, local recipes are popular, such as Welsh rarebit, a slice of toast covered in melted cheddar, the unpronounceable Tatws Pum Munud, topped with smoked bacon, potatoes, onions, and broth, or again the Welsh lamb casserole.
In Scotland, the national dish is haggis, the stuffed sheep’s stomach. In Northern Ireland, the ingredients that feed the dishes are often mutton and potatoes. The Ulster Fry is a very filling breakfast with sausage, eggs, bacon, and bread. In the south of England, you simply eat good fish and chips on a stroll by the sea.
The typical day in the United Kingdom goes like this: a salty breakfast followed by a light meal at noon, a snack even, then it’s time for tea time, with a cup of tea and a cloud of milk, and in the evening we eat early, sometimes even around 6 pm!
Arriving in London by train
Since November 14, 2007, the Eurostar terminal in London is no longer Waterloo (south shore) but Saint-Pancras (north shore). Connected to 6 underground lines, this terminal provides easy access to all parts of London. In addition, thanks to this change of station, the journey time from Paris to London is reduced to 2h15.
Price of the metro
If you stopover several days in the capital, prefer the Visitor Card (3 days) or the Oyster Card (7 days) because the price of the metro ticket per unit is restrictive (£ 4). By comparison, a single bus ticket costs £ 2.
The main cities are served by air from London. The rail network is extensive, and several coach companies cover the entire territory. Traveling by bus costs on average two times less than by train. To rent a car, the national license is sufficient. Driving is on the left, and speed limits are expressed in miles, with a maximum of 30 mph (or 48 km / h) in built-up areas, 60 mph (or 97 km / h) on the road, and 70 mph (or 113 km / h) on motorways.
If you are traveling to England with your own car, remember to bring your driving license, identity card or passport, vehicle papers, a European accident report, breakdown and accident coverage, as well as your insurance certificate. To rent a vehicle, the national license is sufficient. Note that you should carefully compare the rates offered by the agencies, but also pay attention to additional charges. It is also best to bring your GPS for a road trip across the country, as this bonus can quickly increase the cost of the rental.
Driving is on the left, traffic on roundabouts follows clockwise, and speed limits are expressed in miles, with a maximum of 30 mph (48 km / h) in built-up areas, only 20 mph (i.e. 32 km / h) near schools, 60 mph (i.e. 97 km / h) on the road and 70 mph (i.e. 113 km / h) on the highway. Before leaving, familiarize yourself with the road signs. Also learn about the behavior to adopt on the road, the basic rules of decorum. And of course, the belt is mandatory!