UNITED KINGDOM TRAVEL GUIDE

United Kingdom Travel Guide

United Kingdom travel guide

The United Kingdom is located on an island in the north-west of the European Union. It consists of four countries, each with varying levels of powers: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The capital city of the United Kingdom is London, which is also the most visited city in the world (and for good reason, may I add). Other popular destinations in the UK are Cornwall, Wales, The Cotswolds, The Lake District and Schotland. The United Kingdom is much loved for it’s dainty cottages, rolling hills, green landscape and true British culture (tea anyone?!). It’s a must visit destination if you’re into beautiful architecture, nature and culture. In the UK English is spoken everywhere as it is the national language, but you’ll find many different dialects and accents, and you’ll find Welsh, Scottish and Irish are also spoken in the three countries outside of England.

Places I’ve visited in the United Kingdom:

London

London is the capital city of the UK, and also the most visited city on earth. It’s not hard to see why: London’s got something for everyone. From architecture to culture to food to fashion to street art to nightlife to family fun… London really is a world class city.

Manchester

Manchester is one of the largest cities in the United Kingdom, very well known for its pub culture and footballclub Manchester United. It’s a great place to spend a day, hence I wrote a blogpost about it:

How to spend a day in Manchester

Cardiff

Cardiff is the capital city of Wales. It is a very sporty city, with both football and rugby playing a big part in the country. The city has a great shopping area and a wonderful castle and is also a great destination for those looking for a night out.

Oxford

One of the two world famous university towns. It’s actually quite small, and half a day in the town will be plenty of time to explore. The views from the gorgeous university and church buildings are spectacular.

Cambridge

The other of the two university towns, and Oxfords biggest rival. Cambridge is a fair bit bigger than Oxford, so there is more to do. Don’t miss one of the boat trips to see the universities from the water. There’s nothing like it.

Stonehenge

If you haven’t learned about Stonehenge in school, I dare to say you probably never went there. I know I’ve been fascinated by the age old monument for as long as I can remember. A visit is really rather impressive.

Bath

The gorgeous Bath was a real surprise for me, when visiting. The grand Victorian buildings, the Roman Baths, the church: I couldn’t quite get enough. I recommend everyone visiting Bath, as it’s possibly the most English place you’ll ever visit.

Brighton

The popular beach town is a well liked getaway for Londoners looking to escape to the beach. But the town has much more on offer, with it’s cute city centre full of quirky shops and lovely café’s. The vibe here is artistic and relaxed, so you’re bound to feel at home.

Newcastle

I fully expected to hate Newcastle on my first visit there, as it’s a harbor city with quite an industrial past, but I really couldn’t. It was such a charming, bustling, upcoming city that I just HAD to be charmed by it. It’s museums, vintage cinema and great shopping and restaurants make for a perfect weekend escape.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh is the London of Scotland, despite not actually being the capital (that would be Glasgow). It is grand, majestic, breathtaking, mysterious and beautiful. Find out about the amazing medieval history, marvel at the buildings and visit one of the many, many museums for a taste of this fantastic city.

Travel Guide: 12 things to see in Edinburgh

Belfast

The capital of Northern Ireland is a rough gem, that is turning into a diamond. The city is full of colorful street art, amazing pubs and restaurants. The Titanic legacy is well maintained, and the people are some of the nicest I’ve ever met.

Northern Irish Coast

If you’re looking for the most spectacular stretch of coast in Europe, you may have to go to Northern Ireland, en drive the Causeway Road. I was blown away by the rough, dramatic cliffs, the spectacular sights and how sunny it was (!?). Bits of Game of Thrones are filmed here, and it’s not strange to see why.

How to explore the Causeway Coastal Route in 1 day

Other beautiful places to visit in The United Kingdom: 56 dreamy destinations in the UK.

United Kingdom Travel Guide

United Kingdom climate

The United Kingdom has a temperate maritime climate. In the north there is an annual rainfall of 1,600mm while in the south it is half of that. Did you know there’s actually more rainfall in Rome than in Londen? So the stereotype that it always rains in London really isn’t true (something I’ve noticed since moving here too!). The coldest months are December, January and February while the highest temperatures occur in July and August. The weather in the UK is quite unpredictable, as it’s known to change in an instant, and locals joke they see all four seasons in a day.

Temperature United Kingdom in January

January is the coldest month for visiting the United Kingdom, with average temperatures around 1-7 degrees celsius. Expect to find the highest temperatures in London, and the lowest in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Always bring a small umbrella!

Temperature United Kingdom in February

February is another cold month for visiting the UK, with average temperatures around 1-7 degrees celsius. Expect to find the highest temperatures in London, and the lowest in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Don’t forget to bring a small umbrella!

Temperature United Kingdom in March

March is that month where you’re secretly hoping it’s going to be good, but it never really is. It’s a slightly warmer month to visit the UK, with temperatures between 3-10 degrees celcius. Again the highest temperatures are to be found in London, and the lowest in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Probably still a smart idea to bring that small umbrella!

Temperature United Kingdom in April

If you’re lucky, April can be a pretty good month to visit the UK, with plenty of sunny days. Temperatures vary between 4 and 12 degrees, with occasional warmer days. The highest temperatures are to be found in London, and the lowest in Scotland and Northern Ireland. I learned it’s definitely still smart to always keep that little umbrella in my purse.

Temperature United Kingdom in May

May generally is a lovely month to visit the United Kingdom. It can be chilly now and then, but mostly it’s sunny. In London you’ll be able to bring your summer jacket, in Scotland it might be smarter to bring something warmer. Temperatures vary between 7 and 16 degrees.

Temperature United Kingdom in June

June is a fantastic month to visit the UK. It is almost always lovely weather. Temperatures range between  10 and 19 degrees, which is perfect if you’re bringing a summer coat. London is the warmest place in the UK, Scotland and Northern Ireland the coldest.

Temperature United Kingdom in July

The summer months are historically some of the warmest to travel the UK. In July temperatures vary between 12 and 21 degrees. It’s also known to shoot up higher than that. Again: London is the warmest place, with Scotland and Northern Ireland being the coldest bits of the United Kingdom.

Temperature United Kingdom in August

August is one the warmest months to visit the United Kingdom, with temperatures ranging from 12 to 21 degrees. Be sure to wrestle the locals for a spot on a beach, or do as London locals do: picknick in a park. Expect to find the highest temperatures in London, and the lowest in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Temperature United Kingdom in September

September is generally a great month to visit the United Kingdom, as the weather is still quite warm, but it’s not as busy as it can be in summer months, as everyone is back to work. Temperatures range between 10 and 18 degrees. London will have some of the highest temperatures, whereas Scotland and Northern Ireland are quite cold.

Temperature United Kingdom in October

October, although chillier, is still a good month to visit the UK. Temperatures range between 7 and 14 degrees. London will be the warmest, whereas Scotland and Northern Ireland are quite cold. This is the perfect time to go to the forest and see it turn into a sea of yellow and orange leafs.

Temperature United Kingdom in November

November is a pretty cold month to visit the United Kingdom. Temperature varies between 4 and 10 degrees, with the highest temperatures found in London, and the coldest temperatures found in the north of the country. Bring a coat and scarf!

Temperature United Kingdom in December

December is a cold, but charming month to visit the United Kingdom. If you’re lucky you may encounter snow, although the chances aren’t that high. Temperatures range from 2 degrees to 7 degrees celsius. Definitely be sure to visit London with it’s shiny Christmas decorations, or go to Scotland or Ireland to have a higher chance of wintery weather.

United Kingdom currency & tipping

The United Kingdom uses the Great British Pound (GBP) as currency. Check the current exchange rate here. Tipping is not necessary in the UK, as everyone is paid a decent salary. However, if you enjoyed the service in the restaurant/pub/hotel/taxi you’re always free to tip, or tell them to ‘keep the change’.

United Kingdom Travel Guide

How much does traveling United Kingdom cost?

The UK is one of the most expensive countries in the world to travel. For my own calculations I calculated  if you’re a budget conscious traveler (simple pub dinners, one glass of alcohol a day, rental car, no super expensive musicals etc) you should be able to get by with £100 a day. London is generally 20-25% more expensive than the rest of the country, Northern Ireland will be a bit cheaper.

Is traveling in the United Kingdom safe?

The United Kingdom is a very safe country to visit. I’ve lived there for six months and have never felt unsafe. Use common sense when traveling in public transport or in pubs as to not get your stuff stolen. Despite there being a heightened terrorism threat, I would not in any way be fazed by this. There’s no way you can control those events, so it makes no sense to be influenced by them. Just keep an eye on the news for any developments regarding safety in the UK.

How to get to the United Kingdom?

The UK has a few major airports. The best places to fly into from abroad are London (Gatwick or Heathrow), Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle and Belfast. You can get one way flights from the US for as low as $225. Alternatively, you can take the ferry from mainland Europe, from The Netherlands, Belgium and France. My favorite company for this is DFDS Seaways.

United Kingdom Travel Guide

How to travel around the United Kingdom?

The best way to travel around the UK is to rent a car. This gives you the freedom to explore the country on your own schedule. Just remember to drive on the left side of the road. If you don’t want to travel, a great way to get around the country is via train. Trains have the reputation of being expensive, but this isn’t true if you book ahead of time. One of my personal favorite ways to travel is by bus. Eurolines has a very extensive network across all of Europe.

What is the best accommodation in United Kingdom?

My favorite forms of accommodation in the UK are hotels. To make sure I always find the cheapest deals on hotels I like to use Hotelscombined, as it gives you a great overview of prices on different booking sites. I also really enjoy staying with Airbnb, where you can easily get a studio or apartment with a kitchen for the price of a hotel room. If you’ve never stayed with Airbnb before, here’s a discount code you can use!

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