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United Kingdom - Traveling

Contents extracted from the comprehensive atlas of international trade by Export Entreprises

Entry requirements

Visa: UK Border Agency
Diplomatic representations: Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Organizing your trip

Means of transport recommended in town

In cities, due to traffic congestion, the use of public transport (Underground or buses) is recommended.
Taxis are widely available. Taxis drivers are highly trained but they speak mostly English. Pedestrians are injured and even killed every year in accidents, forgetting that traffic drives on the left.  Extra care should be taken when crossing streets.
Maps of urban networks: Transport for London

Means of transport recommended in the rest of the country

The country has a good rail network. Intercity lines provide fast services between London and major cities, and there are services to the southeast, to the Midlands, north and south Wales and between Edinburgh and Glasgow. Some rural areas are less well served.
The National Rail network is now operated by train operating companies. Internal flights depart regularly to major cities.
Rail companies: Rail.co.uk
Airlines
Name Type Domestic flights International flights
British Airways Major Domestic Yes
Virgin Atlantic Major No Yes
Flybe Low cost Domestic Yes
Ryanair Low cost Domestic Yes
Easyjet Low cost Domestic Yes

Traveling by yourself

Recommendation: There is a good quality road and motorway network. Roads tend to be congested, particularly in the South. There are a lot of trucks on the roads; only the heaviest loads travel by rail. In London, avoid parking in the street, as parking spaces are reserved for those with a resident's permit.
Road maps: Multimap

Visiting

Different forms of tourism

Historical: Roman remains, castles, palaces, Stately Homes. Museums of our maritime heritage or the Industrial Revolution. The UK has a wealth of historic places to visit.
Cultural: Painting, literature, theatre and music. Prestigious and leading-edge museums, galleries and centers for arts and crafts.
Nature: 49 designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, 40 National Scenic Areas, 14 National Parks and an amazing 27 World Heritage Sites, 5 of which have World Heritage status due to their outstanding natural features. The landscape is very varied. Scotland and Wales are mountainous with Ben Nevis (Scotland) the highest peak in the UK and Snowdon the highest peak in Wales.
Religious: Many thousands of beautiful churches, abbeys and cathedrals spanning 13 centuries of history. They are found in every city, town and village, and most are open for visitors to enter and explore freely. Canterbury Cathedral is one of the UK 's top destinations.
Consult Visit Britain website.
Thermal: There are several spa towns in Britain, Bath Spa being a very popular destination because of its historic past (Roman remains).
Beach: Best areas are the South-East, the South-West, Wales, Norfolk, Northumberland and Scotland. Visit Goodbeachguide.
Winter sports: The natural snow resorts are in Scotland and all have invested heavily in recent years.
Outdoor activities: For a list of activities for all tastes, from walking, cycling, riding, golfing to sailing, visit Visitbritain.co.uk.
Shopping: Britain is a great place for specialty shopping, whether for souvenirs or luxury treats.
Tourism organizations: British Tourist Authority

Living conditions

Health and safety

Health precautions: No health or vaccination requirements. However, immigration officers can refer individuals to a doctor for a medical examination: someone visibly unwell, intending to remain for more than 6 months or coming from a country with a high rate of tuberculosis.
For further information on sanitary conditions: World Health Organization

Time difference and climate

Map of the time zone: London (GMT in summer and GMT+ 1 in winter)
Summer time period: March to October.
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.

Eating

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), Bread and butter pudding, Apple pie, Treacle tart etc.
Typical dishes are listed and pictured on Woodlands
Drinks: 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.

Speaking

Getting some knowledge: Useful English business phrases can be found at About.com
Free translation tools:
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