In the Country

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In this page: Eating Out | Getting Around | Time and Time Difference | Climate | Electrical Standards and Measurement Systems | Paying | Speaking | Emergency Numbers | Communications


Eating Out

Rules For Eating Out
Booking is recommended for top restaurants or if the party is larger than 4. In pubs, orders are taken at the bar, then brought to your table.
In restaurants, a service charge of 10 to 15 per cent is usual, which may be added to the bill, so a further tip is not required. There is no legal requirement to pay service charges added to bills and if the service has been unsatisfactory, the customer may deduct it.
Food Specialties
Examples of traditional (family) English dishes include: Full English breakfast, Bangers and mash (sausages and mashed potato), Fish and chips (battered fish and chipped potatoes), Shepherd's pie or Cottage pie (minced meat and mashed potato gratin), Cornish pasty (potato, meat and vegetables in pastry), Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, Bread and butter pudding, Apple pie, Treacle tart etc.
England is famous for its beer (dark ale, served draught in pubs) and cider, and Scotland for its whisky. The south of England produces a very small quantity of wine. There is a wide range of water, fruit juices and non-alcoholic drinks available.
Table Manners
UK table manners are similar to European table manners.

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Getting Around

Means of Transport Recommended in Town

Urban transport services
Transport for London (Underground)
Transport for London (buses)
Find an Itinerary
Subway Navigator
Taxi services
Transport for London (taxis and minicabs)

Transportation From Airport to City Centre:






Car Rental
Heathrow Airport 25 km / 15 miles £ 35-60 / 45-70 min £6.90/ 40-80 min £16.50 / 22 min Available
Gatwick Airport 45 km / 28 miles £ 23-60 / 60-90 min £8/ 60-90 min £17.80 / 30 min Available
London City Airport City - - - Available
Standsted Airport 65 km / 40 miles £ 60-100 / 75-120 min £12/ 120 min £8 / 47 min Available
Luton Airport 55 km / 35 miles £ 35-60 / 45-70 min £5-10 / 45-60 min £15.50 / 47 min Available

Travelling By Yourself

Car rental agencies
Real-time traffic conditions
The Automobile Association's live traffic reports.

Rules of the Road

National Roads Organizations
The Highway Code: the rules of the road for drivers and pedestrians.

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Time and Time Difference

Current Local Time
It is %T:%M %A In London
Summer Time
March to October.

Map of the Time Zone

Time zone

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Type of Climate
As an island, the UK has very variable weather. Extremes of temperature are rare but snow, hail, heavy rain and heat waves can occur. Average temperatures: January 2°C, June 22°C . Waterproof, warm clothing is advisable at all times, and is essential for any visits to upland areas. The best time to visit the UK is in the summer (June, July, August), but good weather cannot be guaranteed.
Hotel reservation websites
The Meteorological Office British Broadcasting Corporation - Weather Section

Average Annual Temperatures and Rainfall



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Electrical Standards and Measurement Systems

System of Measurement Used
Metric, except for roads where distances, speeds and size restrictions are still signed in Imperial units. Some consumer goods are labeled in both units.
Unit of Measurement of Temperature
Degrees Celsius, with degrees Fahrenheit often quoted in brackets.

Use our service Measurement Converter.

  • Voltage
230V (+10% / -6%)
  • Frequency
50 Hz
Type of Electric Socket
Type G (British 3-pin): BS 1363 (British 13 A/230-240 V 50 Hz earthed and fused).
Type of Telephone Socket
BT431A, see picture.
DVD Zoning
Zone 2

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Domestic Currency
British Pound
ISO Code
To Obtain Domestic Currency
The Pound Sterling (£) is divided into 100 pence.
Banknotes: 5, 10, 20 and 50 GBP; Coins: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 pence, 1 and 2 GBP.
Additional bank notes issued by Scottish banks (including 1 GBP notes) are legal tender in all parts of the UK, but may not be accepted for exchange outside the UK.
Possible Means of Payment
Credit, debit cards and traveller checques (preferably in GBP) are widely accepted. Cash can be obtained from the many ATMs available across the country.

To Find a Cash Machine Where You Need, Use the ATM locator


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Official Language
English. Welsh in Wales.
Other Languages Spoken
Scots and Scottish Gaelic in Scotland, Irish Gaelic in Northern Ireland
Business Language

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Emergency Numbers

Official UK emergency phone number 999
Official EU (and worldwide, via GSM) emergency phone number 112
Non-emergency health advice with NHS Direct 08 45 46 47
Gas leaks 0800 111 999
Non-emergency Police and Local authorities 101

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Telephone Codes
To Make a Call From the United Kingdom, Dial 00
To Make a Call to in the United Kingdom, Dial +44
Mobile Telephone Standards
International telephone standards GSM 900 and GSM1800. See Mobile-phones-uk.
National Mobile Phone Operators
O2, Orange, T-Mobile, Vodafone

Availability of Internet

Internet Suffix
National Internet Access Providers
The largest ones by subscriber size are: BT Retail, Virgin Media, Carphone Warehouse, Tiscali, Sky Broadband, Orange etc. See Ispreview.

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Latest Update: April 2024