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United Kingdom Travel Guides

The Basics:


Electricity

The electrical current in the UK is 230 volts, 50Hz. Flat three-pin plugs are standard.

Language

English is the official language, though visitors will be astonished by the variety of regional accents.

Tipping

Tips of 10 to 15% are expected in restaurants and upmarket hotels in the UK if a service charge hasn't been included. Hotel service staff receive an optional amount. Taxi drivers are usually given 10 to 15% of the fare. Other services are discretionary.

Safety Information

It is generally safe to travel throughout the UK, although travellers are advised to take special care of their personal belongings in central London, where pick-pocketing is often reported. There is a risk of international terrorism and security has been increased at transport hubs throughout the country. Security at all UK airports has been tightened and increased restrictions on hand luggage have been introduced.

Local Customs

Handshaking is customary when introduced to someone new. Smoking is banned in all enclosed public spaces, including pubs and restaurants, and on public transport. The ban is also in effect in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. There is a strict etiquette on escalators - stand on the right, walk on the left. Visitors will find Londoners more rushed and less friendly than Brits in other parts of the country, particularly on London transport where tourists are generally the only people who talk.

Business

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Communications

The international country dialling code for UK is +44. The outgoing code is 00, or 048 for Northern Ireland, followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 001 for the United States). There are a wide range of city/area codes in use. Mobile phones work throughout the country; the network operators use GSM 1800 networks, which may not be compatible with some dual-band US cell phones. Internet cafes are available in major towns and cities, train stations and airports.

Duty Free

When arriving from a non-EU country, travellers can bring the following goods into the UK tax or duty free: 200 cigarettes, 100 cigarillos, 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco, 4 litres of still table wine, 16 litres of beer, 1 litre of spirits or strong liqueurs or 2 litres of fortified wine, sparkling wine or other alcoholic beverages of less than 22 per cent volume, £340 worth of all other goods including perfume and souvenirs. When travelling from another EU country to the UK visitors do not have to pay tax or duty on goods purchased in said EU country provided tax was included in the purchase price, the items are for personal use and have been transported to the UK by the visitor, and do not exceed 3200 cigarettes, 400 cigarillos, 200 cigars, 3 kg of smoking tobacco, 110 litres of beer, 10 litres of spirits, 90 litres of wine and 20 litres of fortified wine. Note that although Gibraltar is part of the EU, it is outside the Community Customs territory and allowances for outside the EU therefore apply. In the case of Cyprus, only goods under the effective control of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus are treated as EU imports.


Luxury Hotels in United Kingdom >

Best United Kingdom Hotel Rates

The Athenaeum

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Sanderson

Book early and save 15% from 423.51 USD *

Copthorne Hotel Manchester

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Hilton Cardiff Hotel

from 104.11 USD *

Cadogan London

from 319.04 USD *

London Syon Park

from 331.61 USD *

Jumeirah Lowndes

from 359.23 USD *

The Berkeley

from 419.79 USD *
See All Specials For United Kingdom Luxury Hotels >

* Lowest nightly rate based on select dates. Please click on hotel for details.

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