For a person traveling to the UK, it is important to carry a complete set of documents that are necessary to cross border control and check into a hotel without any problems: a foreign passport with a pre-opened visa to the UK, a voucher for services and a hotel (or proof of paid hotel accommodation), international insurance policy and air ticket. Please note that check-in at the airport usually starts 2 hours before departure and ends 45 minutes before departure.
State of Great Britain (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland): location. According to thesciencetutor.org, the British Isles are located between the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean and are divided by two countries that are independent states, namely the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (since 1927) and the Republic of Ireland.
Great Britain is a geographical term referring to an island that contains the territories of England, Wales and Scotland. Great Britain was a Kingdom only from 1707 to 1800. The name itself comes from the Latin word “Britannia” – “big” and was introduced to define Little Britain “Little Britain” – the French province of Brittany.
The historical provinces of this state – the Kingdom of England, Scotland, Ireland and the Principality of Wales, once, being independent and now have retained their individual culture and name.
England – the majority of the population of Great Britain (more than 80%) lives in the territory of England, which exists for a very short time, but is predominant in relation to the entire territory of Great Britain.
Wales is an area that does not even have its official status, but is no less important, since it is it that determines the jurisdiction of the English courts.
UK: United Kingdom. Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a union that determines the concept and official name of the whole country “The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”. The UK is probably the only country in the world where the average citizen has no idea that the country’s legal name actually sounds different.
Great Britain: United Kingdom and the Isles. The United Kingdom includes in addition three more components that have never been part of England, Wales, Scotland or Ireland and are not part of Great Britain, but over which the queen is a sovereign ruler – the Isle of Man, Crown Lands, Fr. Jersey. The British Isles is the second geographical term that refers to all the islands adjacent to Great Britain and Ireland.
Great Britain: state system. Parliamentary democracy (constitutional monarchy with an unwritten constitution).
At the head of the state is the monarch (Queen Elizabeth II since 1952).
Area: 242514 km²
53.7% of England
5.6% Northern Ireland
UK: population. 62 million 300 thousand people of which 90% are “White British” (English, Scots, Welsh and Irish).
State language: English.
UK: capital. London is the capital of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the largest city in the European Union. The population of London is 8.4 million people.
UK: language. English is the official language throughout the country.
United Kingdom: visa. A visa to the UK for Ukrainians is issued at the British Consulate in person, submitting an application form, a package of documents and biometric data. As for the price of a visa to the UK, it will cost from 87 pounds. A UK tourist visa is valid for up to 30 days. Terms of registration – on average from 15 days to 3 months. It is also possible to apply for a multivisa to Britain from six months to 5 years.
Great Britain: features of customs control. Permitted import without additional payment: up to 200 cigarettes, up to 50 cigars or 250 grams of tobacco, up to two liters of alcohol not stronger than 22 degrees and up to a liter of alcoholic beverages with a strength of 22+ degrees. It is recommended to import souvenirs and gifts in the amount not exceeding 28 pounds. It is strictly forbidden to import animals, birds, bird eggs and plants. Regarding medicines, they are limited to personal needs and it is better to take care of having a doctor’s prescription for medicines before going through customs.
Great Britain: climate. The weather in the UK is not particularly hot, in winter the temperature generally does not fall below +5, and in summer the degrees rarely rise above +21. The best months to travel to the UK are from April to September.
UK: time. Between the capitals of Ukraine and the UK, the time difference is minus 2 hours.
Great Britain: money and banks. In the UK, the usual decimal system of monetary calculation is used. 100 pence equals one pound sterling. In use are coins in denominations of 1.2, 5.10, 20, 50 pence and 1 pound sterling, as well as paper notes of 5,10,20 and 50 pounds sterling.
Working hours of financial institutions and banks: from 9.00 to 16.30 on weekdays. Large banks are usually open until 17.30 on weekdays and on Saturday mornings.
You can exchange foreign currency at exchange offices and banks.
Great Britain: telephone communication. If you need to call London from Ukraine, you need to dial 8-10-44 and the London number without a leading zero. Calls to local, long distance and international numbers can be made from the hotel and the famous red street telephones. Any calls to the hotel are subject to an additional charge. Public pay phones are paid in 20p coins or by calling card. Eastern Europe phone cards will help you to significantly save on telephone conversations with Ukraine, both from a payphone, a mobile phone or a hotel.
UK: electricity. In the network of England, the voltage is – 240 watts. In order to use the brought electrical appliances, you will have to take a special adapter from the administrator on bail. Before using the outlet, you must turn on the special switch, which is located near the outlet itself.
UK: dress etiquette. There are no rules and requirements for the clothes of tourists in the UK.
UK: transport. The most popular form of transport in London is the Underground and the world-famous double-decker buses. In those areas of the city where there is no subway, land-based electric trains are used. The city also has a tram line and a suspension railway, which is located in the business part of the city. The fare depends on which fare zones you have to cross. In total, there are 6 tariff zones in London. The most expensive is the 1st zone. In order to travel in this zone on the metro, you will need to pay £3.00 for a one-way ticket, and £1.50 if it is a bus. If you often need to use public transport, it is advisable to purchase a weekly ticket for the bus and metro. Such a Travelcard can be found at the box office at any metro station. The cost of such a travel card for 1-2 zones will be £22. You should be especially careful when traveling by metro, as the lines often branch out to different parts of the city. That’s why, attention must be paid to the final destination of the train. London transport starts from 5.30 in the morning and ends at 12.30 at night. There are also night buses on the main routes. On weekends, transport operates from 7.00 am to 12.00 am.
United Kingdom: Taxi. On the streets of London, you can easily catch the legendary “Black Cab”. If a yellow sign is lit on the roof of the taxi, then the taxi is free. You can also use taxi services by ordering a car at the hotel at the right time. Taxi payment is according to the counter. It is customary to leave a tip of about 10% of the fare.
UK: shopping. – Marks & Spencer, Safeway, Summerfield, Sainsbury are the largest supermarket chains in London. They have their stores in all parts of the city. Shops from 8 am to 9 pm on weekdays and until 5-6 pm on weekends.
Oxford Street, Regent Street and Knightsbridge are the most famous shopping streets in all of London. Shops are open from 9-10 am to 7-8 pm. Boutiques and shops of popular design firms are located
on New Bond Street and Kings Road.
Great Britain: restaurants and pubs. English restaurants and pubs start their work, as a rule, from 12 noon until 23.00-01.00 at night.
UK: tips. It is customary to leave 10-15% tips in hotels, restaurants and taxis.
UK: public holidays. The most revered and popular holidays in the UK are:
- Christmas 25.12 (on the eve – many Christmas markets);
- European New Year 1.01;
- St. Patrick’s Day – 17.03. A holiday when absolutely everyone should wear at least one green element of the wardrobe. Especially brightly (with parades, festivals, music, dances and a sea of beer) is celebrated in Ireland, since Patrick is the patron saint of this particular country;
- The Queen’s Birthday on April 21 and the Monarch’s Birthday (more commonly celebrated on the second or third Saturday of June);
- Halloween 31.11.
Some sporting events and festivals in the UK will be interesting for tourists:
- whiskey festival in Scotland from 1 to 3 May;
- the Wimbledon tennis tournament in June;
- cultural festival Eisteddfod in Wels (early June);
- the largest cultural, theatrical and musical Fringe festival, which is held in Edinburgh in August.