Travel tips for first-time visitors to the UK

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The UK is a fabulous place to visit for travellers from around the globe, but once here, it can be daunting attempting to get to grips with the culture and breadth of outstanding sights to see and attractions to explore in this wonderful nation.

As a result, visitors can sometimes feel a little overwhelmed, but don’t be flustered; help is at hand. Here we offer an array of top tips to make any trip to the UK as simple as possible. From booking the best hotels to arranging travel and finding the best places to eat, here is all the information you’ll need to have a fantastic time:

1/ Plan your itinerary in advance

It always pays to be prepared and this is doubly the case whenever planning a trip abroad.

Take the time to properly identify all aspects of your visit to the UK, ranging from how you will get there (flight times, carriers, prices, etc) through to accommodation and even the sights you wish to see during your stay.

By being on the ball in terms of planning ahead, this means visitors can spend more time actually doing the things they came for and experiencing the many delights of the UK, rather than wasting time organising and planning aspects of their trip that could have been completed in advance.

2/ Pack wet weather gear

It might say it’s going to be sunny, but the weatherman lies! The UK has a (deserved) reputation for being damp and rainy, so it always pays for visitors to be prepared for the occasional downpour.

Pack wet weather gear, including a coat and umbrella, as even on the hottest days of the year, there is always the chance of rain – ask any Brit, they’ll tell you the same!

3/ Bring plenty of money

It’s not the cheapest of places to visit on Earth, so remember to bring plenty of spending money when planning a visit to the UK.

Sterling remains one of the strongest currencies and so visitors need to remember that fact when deciding how much they are likely to spend during their stay. There are some great places to visit that are free though, so be on the lookout for cut-price deals and free attractions to keep the costs to a minimum.

4/ See the sights and soak up the history

With a rich and vibrant heritage to draw upon, visitors to the UK can be assured there will always be an attraction or local delight that can furnish them with some interesting history.

From the earliest Druid inhabitants of these storied isles (Stonehenge, anyone?) through to some of the best architectural and historic attractions to be found in the UK’s largest cities, there is always a tale to hear around every corner.

5/ Bring a map (or at least find an app)

The UK may not be the biggest country, but it certainly is one of the most densely populated. Also, with the winding streets and haphazard layout of many towns and cities, it always pays to have a map on hand.

Visitors needn’t invest huge sums in an old school map though, as there are now plenty of apps available for handheld devices that can do just as good a job. These apps also offer the added benefit of highlighting to the user where they currently are, making the processing of reaching their desired destination that much simpler.

6/ Invest in an Oyster card

For anyone planning a trip to London, one of the best pieces of advice is to invest in an Oyster Card.

This small card can make travelling on public transport so much easier, as it can be pre-loaded with fares to make getting in and out Underground stations all the more straightforward, through to even being use on the city’s bus network.

7/ Research, research, research

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, research is key to a great holiday in the UK.

Visitors might be surprised simply by the wealth of attractions that are available to them, often to be found in some of the most unlikely places. Therefore, taking the time to thoroughly research a destination before arrival can lead to some fantastic experiences that they might otherwise have missed.

8/ Try a range of cuisines

British cuisine has received a bad press in recent years, but all that has now changed and the UK can rightly claim to offer some of the best restaurants and places to eat in the whole world.

Add to that the fact that the multicultural nature of many areas means there is always something delicious to be found wherever visitors might go.

Enjoy some local and traditional dishes that have been passed down through the generations, or alternatively try some of the best dishes from cultures from around the world – we’d recommend a curry, any day of the week!

9/ Hire a car

A fantastic way to get about when planning a visit to the UK is to hire a car.

Taking to the roads is a great way to have the flexibility to head exactly where you want to, while driving also enables visitors to stop off during their journey and experience their local surroundings in a way that fixed public simply transport doesn’t allow.

10/ Train travel is cheaper

For anyone who prefers not to drive during their time in the UK, worry not, as the public transport is both efficient and affordable.

Trains are a great way to get from A to B for those heading on a long-haul expedition to see the country’s many sights, while the larger towns and cities often have Tube or tram networks that are equally able to get visitors to their desired destination with the minimum of fuss and bother.

There is also always the bus – a great way for visitors to see the many local sights during their time on their way to their final destination.

11/ Book in advance

The UK is one of the most popular tourism destinations in the world, so you can bet your bottom dollar that many of the attractions you would like to see will be busy.

It’s therefore prudent for travellers to arrange a booking for anything they would to do during their time in the UK in advance. It is also a process that is now easier than ever, with many places offering online booking and contact numbers.

12/ Do as the locals do

Finally, one of the best pieces of advice to any visitor to the UK is to simply talk to the locals.

You’ll find that most people are warm and welcoming to guests from overseas and they can even furnish you with some local insight into the best sights to see, areas to explore and places to eat.

Brits are a gregarious and friendly bunch, so don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation, as you never know where it might lead you.

So, there you have it. By following this simple advice, travellers to the UK can rest assured that they’ll not get lost or be short of exciting things to see and do during their stay. Bon voyage!

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