This section provides practical information for people travelling to the UK.
When to come to the UK
The high season runs from April until October, when most attractions are open. During school holidays (most of July and August) quality accommodation anywhere in the UK should be booked well in advance. London and the major cities don’t really have a tourist season as such, which makes them an excellent destination in the autumn and winter months (September – March).
The British climate is notoriously unpredictable. Very generally, May to September are the warmest months (in particular July and August), but you can expect rain at any time of the year, even in high summer. So, you’ll need to come prepared. Click here to visit the Met Office website for weather forecast information.
The official language is English, which is spoken throughout the country. In Wales, especially in the northern part, Welsh is widely spoken and in Scotland, Gaelic is spoken by a small percentage of the population.
Visa regulations are subject to change, so check with your local British embassy before leaving. Everyone needs a passport to enter the UK. The Foreign Office’s website www.fco.gov.uk provides details of British immigration and visa requirements.
Mobile/cell phones are a convenient way to keep in touch while you are travelling, but international calls can be expensive. Know what questions to ask about international roaming so you can get the best deal from your service provider and avoid coming home to an unexpectedly large bill. We advise you to pre-programme into your mobile the phone number of The Bed and Breakfast Club and your B&B host. For more detailed information on telephone numbers and using your mobile phone in the UK use this link.
The British Currency is the pound sterling (£), divided into 100 pence (p). Click here to perform currency and foreign exchange calculations using live, mid-market rates.
Travellers cheques offer protection from theft, so are safer than carrying cash, but are rarely used in England, as credit/debit cards and ATMs have become the method of choice. If you prefer travellers cheques, note that they are rarely accepted for purchases (except at large hotels), so for cash you’ll still need to go to a bank or bureau.
Tipping in Britain is at the customer’s discretion. In a restaurant you should leave a tip of 10-15% if you are satisfied with the service. If the bill already includes a service charge, you do not need to add a further tip. Tipping is not normal in pubs or bars. Taxi drivers expect a tip, usually around 10%.
New Year’s Day (1st January); Easter (March/April) Good Friday and Easter Monday; May Day Bank Holidays (first and last Mondays of May); August Bank Holiday (last Monday in August); Christmas Day (25th December); and Boxing Day (26th December).