Before travelling to the UK

Before traveling to the UK

Many travelers have either been to some part of the UK, or they plan to visit here in the future. We are not just saying this because it is our home country, but we would highly recommend coming to the UK should it be for a short holiday, working holiday visa, or looking to come and live here. There is so much to see and do, and in our opinion, London is one of the top places to visit. Not only is London full of so much history, and culture but so does the rest of the country.The UK is a small island with 4 countries which become part of the UK. The largest area of mass being England, then Wales, Scotland and lastly Northern Ireland. With London being the capital city of the UK, why not start here and then fan out to the neighbouring towns and villages, as you never know what you could miss out on!
The UK also isn’t just for foreigners, but residents of the UK love to travel to visit another part of the country, I know I did when I was younger, and our parents would take us on a short holiday to the south-east coast, so for me I have some great memories of travel in the UK.

Stonehenge UK

When to travel

The first thing that needs to be considered when travelling to any country, is when you would like to travel and at what time of year. In the UK we have 4 seasons, Winter, spring, summer and autumn. The weather can be variable depending on the time of year you plan on visiting.

Elizabeth Tower, (Big Ben) London, UK

Weather

Winter

Winters are generally mild and wet, with the occasional very cold spell. Snow is not frequent, however, this year we did experience some snow. The UK doesn’t experience much snow compared to some countries in Europe and other parts of the world, as a result, the UK comes to a standstill as soon as a snowflake falls. The temperatures in the winter can go as low as -3 or -4 degrees Celsius and the highest can be around 8 degrees Celsius.

Spring

Spring is generally a little bit warmer, with some showers or rain. So always bring an umbrella and a jacket as it can be so unpredictable. The temperatures this time of year can still be quite low at approximately 5 degrees Celsius but can go as high as 23 degrees Celsius.

Eastbourne, UK

Summer

The summer months are warm with less rain, but in the evenings the temperatures can drop down so can becomes quite cool. The temperatures at this time of year can reach as high as 33 degrees Celsius (this is not very frequent, but in previous years we have had weather reach these levels) but can get as low as 15 degrees Celsius.

Autumn

Many people think that autumn is the most beautiful time of year, with all the leaves turning from green to brown before falling to the ground. The weathers in autumn are very similar to spring, as the temperatures drop again as the UK approach winter. The temperatures are approximately between 5 degrees Celsius as the lowest and approximately 15 degrees as the highest.

Bodiam Castle in UK

We would, therefore, suggest the best time to come is around spring and autumn for cooler temperatures, tourism is quieter and much cheaper, or visiting in the summer you will have the better weather conditions because of the warmer weathers but it tends to be a lot busier and more expensive. During school holidays, prices are doubled. Winter is still an option as it is quieter and cheaper yet the weather is colder and darker.

Booking the tickets

There are many online websites or travel agents around the world to book your flights and accommodation to the UK. There is one thing to consider when booking the flights and accommodation and this is which airport to land at. There are 5 main airports around the London area and many other smaller airports up and down the country. You will need to think about where you would like to travel in the UK and which would be the more appropriate airport to land at. We have used British Airways previously and would highly recommend them, and they do cover long haul and short haul flights. However, British Airways is more expensive as this is not a budget airline. we have also used Ryanair to take us too Europe and they are ok for a budget airline. You may even have your own countries airline which will provide flights to the UK. The biggest airport and deals with the most amount of passengers is Heathrow Airport. Heathrow Airport is just on the outskirts of central London and is easily assessable via the underground service, which takes you into central London. So this could be your starting point, before heading off to other parts of the country.

The only airports we have flown out of the UK from is Heathrow Airport, Gatwick Airport, and Stansted.

Here are the links to some airlines which covers the UK
British Airways – click hereVirgin Atlantic – click hereRyanair – click here
You don’t have to fly into the UK, there are a ferry services departure points in Europe, there is the Eurostar and many more. If using a ferry service, then you can board as a foot passenger, or take your vehicle and drive in the UK.
Please note, if driving in the UK, they drive on the left-hand side of the road. We also have different rules when driving in the UK, is if you are looking to drive I would highly recommend reviewing the highway code.

Health

When travelling to the UK, you shouldn’t need any form of injections or immunisation, however you may find you need booster injections, so it might be worth speaking to your doctor or nurse for further advise. We would also recommend seeking your medical practitioner at least 6 weeks prior to your trip, in which they will check your records and advise you if you should need any form of immunisation. The UK has no known risk of disease such as malaria etc, but again as mentioned depending on where you are travelling from, you may need some boosters

Visa

You are required to obtain a visa to travel to the UK if you are outside of the European Union, or from certain countries which allows travel under 90 days visa-free. A working holiday visa is only available to certain countries with this agreement, such as Australia and New Zealanders etc. To apply for a visa to the UK then please follow this link, to find out more information, and if you are eligible for a visa to the UK.

Money

The currency in the UK is the British Pound £. Some countries in Europe use the Euro, so bear in mind that you will need to exchange your currency to the British pound £. Exchanging the currency can be done outside of the UK but also within the UK. All banks and building societies have cash machines, in which you can withdraw cash in UK pounds £ only.

Packing

The typical UK weather is so unpredictable, one minute it could be really hot and humid, and then within a minute, this will change to feeling cold. So, therefore, it is always advisable to bring cooler clothing to keep you cool, but always bring a jumper or a jacket in case that weather changes. The other thing to consider is taking an umbrella with you, it’s perfect protecting you from the sun, but even better if that weather changes and the rain sets in, we know from experience that we wouldn’t want to be out in the rain with no umbrella.

If you plan to travel during the winter, we would highly recommend warm clothing and a jacket, a woolly hat, scarf and gloves.

During spring and autumn, wearing a jumper should suffice yet carrying a jacket is advisable, along with an umbrella.

In the summertime, it gets quite warm, so wearing cooler clothing such as shorts, a dress and a shirt is a must, but just bring something warm as the evenings can cool considerably.

I hope to enjoy your visit to the UK, and if you need any further help or assistance in visiting the UK, check out our other blogs, or contact us.

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