The land of the English, with history and heritage stamped in every corner, England is the home of the Royal empire and continues to bring in tourists from around the world. With its historic charm and a complex gamut of sub-cultures within the boundaries, the country is a fascinating one for visitors with a diverse set of expectations.
In this journey into the English land, we roamed around the country from the base in the capital city, mostly in the wide network of fast trains.
Capital of England and home to the Royal Empire, bestowed with some of the historical landmarks and museums, London is a art and history enthusiast’s paradise. Read an excerpt of our experience in London.
Things to Know
Visa situation – For US and EU Citizens, you won’t need a visa but for others requiring British visas, the procedure is simplistic. Most visitor visas are of 6 months validity and in most cases you need to go through a bio-metric test along with the application.
Currency – For all of UK (England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland), Pound (GBP) is the accepted currency. The bills in different countries are slightly different (e.g. Scottish pound and English pound), but all have the same value and denominations.
Food – Food is typically expensive in the cities, but Indian and Asian food can be found cheaper. Lunch can range from GBP 6 -8 to GBP 25 if you are in a sit-down restaurant. Fish and Chips are fairly common and is cheap albeit unhealthy. You can find the famous English pubs in pretty much every nook and cranny, and it is a great experience to watch a English Premier League soccer match with the locals.
Transportation – National rail service is fairly expensive, though if you plan to use it for a month or so, it is a good idea to buy a frequent user ticket to save some bucks. Peak hour travel is 5 to 6 times more expensive than non-peak. Also booking a day in advance for a non-peak hour ticket will save you hundreds of pounds. Virgin and other rail service is extremely reliable, but expensive. Bus options are there but definitely slower and unreliable.
For travel within London, the subway (Underground) is by far the most convenient because of the heavy traffic. Although for some stations (like Bond Street), the time taken to get to your platform can take 15-20 minutes sometimes. These days, with Uber, the fares are lower than standard black cabs which can be flagged down, but still for distances longer than 30 minutes, underground is a better option. Also, buy an Oyster Card for travel within London; this will save close to 50% on your transportation.