Exploring England - Tips For First-Time Visitors

Exploring EnglandExploring England
Exploring EnglandExploring England

Exploring England - Tips For First-Time Visitors

England is an intriguing holiday destination at any time of the year. If you have never visited, you may be surprised how divers a country it is, from the grandiose, sparsely populated hills of Northumberland to vibrant, frenetic London, from lonely moorland to chic galleries.

When to Visit

English weather has a reputation that is far worse than it deserves. Yes, it can be damp and grey; yes, it can change quickly. But it can also be sunny, bright and, at the height of summer, surprisingly balmy. The temperature is pleasant for being out and about from April until October. Summer, especially July and August, are the busiest as far as visitor numbers are concerned. There are fewer visitors during the winter and many attractions, such as stately homes and castles, are closed. City breaks, however, can be more rewarding in the winter, with plays, concerts, museum and art exhibitions.

Before You Travel

  • If you need a visa to enter Britain, apply early, as a delayed visa could mean that you have to cancel your trip.
  • Britain has been free of rabies for many years, and all import and export of animals is strictly controlled. You must not bring animals into Britain, unless they have been vaccinated and been issued with an animal health passport.
  • You should have travel and medical insurance for your trip. While in the country, you are covered for free emergency treatment, but all other treatment has to be paid for. (This does not apply if you are a citizen of the European Union or a country with which Britain has a reciprocal health-care arrangement)
  • Check with your mobile phone provider that your phone will work in Britain.
  • Electrical appliances in Britain use a three-pin plug, so you may need an adaptor to use any electrical items you bring with you. Electricity is supplied at 240V, 50Hz.

Getting Around

The cheapest way to get around England is by coach. National Express and Megabus are two coach companies that cover routes all across the country at reasonable rates.

Train fares vary widely, depending on the route, operator and time travelled. If you can be flexible, you can obtain good fares. Train fares can be even cheaper if you book up to 7 days in advance.

England's road network is extensive and car hire firms have offices at all major ports, airports and many large stations. And if you fancy travelling in style you can even hire a luxury limousine and chauffeur to whisk you from place to place.

Where to Stay

Britain has accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets, from swanky top-class hotels to cosy country cottages. If you're touring hotels, guest houses or Bed & Breakfasts may be just the ticket for you. But if you want to explore one area of the country in more detail, then it may prove more cost effective to rent a holiday home or cottage.

What to Do

You won't be bored in England!

With its amazing history, fine buildings, stunning countryside, long coastline and buzzing towns there's something for you to do whatever your inclination. Sightseeing, shopping, hiking, fishing, golf, cycling and boating are all popular and widely available. But England also has space for quiet contemplation and the pursuit of extreme sports. Find the closest tourist information office and see how many wonderful things to do are on offer!

With a passion for all things England, Sue Marchant publishes http://www.essentially-england.com , the website for lovers of English history and food. The site offers travel tips, traditional recipes, tours, reviews and the quirkier bits of England's history. For regular travel updates, money saving tips and tasty seasonal recipes you can also subscribe to Essentially England's newsletter, http://www.essentially-england.com/essentially-england-news.html

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Exploring England