United Kingdom


A Visitor’s Guide To The United Kingdom

The islands that make up the United Kingdom are located just a short distance off the north west coast of mainland Europe, and have a diverse territory ranging from the low lying South East up to the highlands of Scotland and North Wales. Having once been a colonial power controlling one of the largest empires in history, today the country has been reduced to a few smaller territories around the world, but still plays an important role in European politics. As well as being famous for having a constitutional monarchy headed by Queen Elizabeth II, the United Kingdom also has several distinct regions, namely Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England.

The US State Department advises that visiting the United Kingdom is generally quite safe, but that visitors should avoid any demonstrations that can sometimes become violent, and to remain vigilant as the country is a target for international terrorists. Northern Ireland was once the location for a heated struggle with dissident republicans, but is now a safe area of the country to visit.

Top Sights To Enjoy In The United Kingdom

London – The vibrant capital city is a sightseer’s dream, with landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and spectacular views from the London Eye all being very popular, while there is also a thriving night life with popular theaters in the West End and a range of cultural attractions.

Stonehenge – This amazing set of standing stones set in South West England is believed to date from at least four thousand years ago, with the mystery and importance of the site still being marked by the druids who often gather at the site.

The Giant’s Causeway – This spectacular landscape on the County Antrim coast in Northern Ireland is very angular and looks almost man made, but is in fact the result of an ancient volcanic eruption, leading to a lovely series of basalt columns, including the Chimney Stones that rise high in the air.

Edinburgh – A combination of historic sites and thriving culture makes the Scottish capital a wonderful place to visit, with the Edinburgh Festival in the summer and the Hogmanay events in the New Year drawing thousands to celebrate every year.

The Lake District – The beautiful scenery of this part of Northern England makes this a wonderful area to visit, with stunning lakes nestled among lovely hills, with hiking and water sports among the activities on offer in this part of the world.

Snowdonia – Just a few hours from some of the main cities in England visitors can be exploring the remote and beautiful mountains of North Wales, with climbing Mount Snowdon a popular activity, while exciting ridge walks, rock climbing and canyoning are among the activities on offer.

Loch Ness – Many people who travel to this large Scottish lake are drawn by the legend of Nessie, a large underwater animal that is said to live in the waters of the loch, while there are also the ruins of Urquhart Castle on the shores of the lake to explore.

Manchester – This vibrant city was once at the heart of the industrial revolution in the country, but now it is a cosmopolitan city with a thriving music scene including many venues offering live music, while it also has two successful football clubs regularly competing on an European stage.

The White Cliffs Of Dover – For those who are arriving in the country from France, the chalk cliffs that face out on to the English channel are an iconic sight, and in some places rise to over a hundred meters above the sea.

Bath – Located in the south west of the country, this charming city was established by the Roman occupiers in the first century as a spa town, and today it is a lovely place to visit with a distinctive architecture built from the buttery yellow Bath stone.

Where To Stay In The United Kingdom

London

Berjaya Eden Park London Hotel – This historic hotel has been serving guests in the city for over a century and a half, offering stylish, traditional accommodation with attractive spacious rooms, located in the Hyde Park area within easy reach of some of the city’s most popular sights.

Charlotte Guest House – Located in the pleasant suburb of Hampstead, this guest house offers rooms that are competitively priced and comfortable while also having great transport links to the city center.

Edinburgh

The Grassmarket Hotel – This quirky and interesting hotel has taken an alternative approach to decorating their pleasant comfortable rooms, while the bathrooms are stunning, and the hotel’s location is an ideal base from which to explore the city.

Cairn Hotel – Occupying a good location at the heart of the New Town area of Edinburgh, guests at this hotel have comfortable and nicely furnished rooms that are simple and well priced, along with modern features such as a flat screen television and wireless internet.

Manchester

Atrium by Bridgestreet Hotel – This hotel is situated in an attractive red brick building right in the city center, offering luxury serviced apartments with spacious bedrooms and attractive bathrooms that have been decorated in a modern style.

Citi Park Hotel – As the name suggests this hotel is located near a large park in North Manchester, and offers well priced rooms that are simple and comfortable, in a location near the transport links into the city center.

Bath

Parade Park Guest House – Situated in a traditional building built from the local Bath Stone, this hotel offers classically decorated rooms with access to a nice bathroom, while being in a location near some of the city’s most popular sights.

Brooks Guesthouse – Enjoying a great location near some of Bath’s most popular attractions, this guest house offers visitors stylish and welcoming accommodation, with tastefully designed rooms and lovely modern bathrooms.

British Cuisine

British food generally includes simple dishes that make the most of the food produced in the country, although there are also several regional dishes on offer, and the country also has a history of taking the influences of migrants to create new dishes such as the Chicken Tikka Masala curry. One of the most traditional meals in the country is the Sunday Roast, when a joint of meat, usually beef, pork or lamb is roasted and served with a variety of vegetables, gravy, and often a fluffy Yorkshire Pudding too. Fast food is also an important part of the British culture, and particularly for those visiting the coastal areas of the country, enjoying a portion of Fish and Chips is a simple and tasty meal.

Currency And Visa

The United Kingdom decided against joining the Euro when the currency was created, and currently uses the British Pound, which is also referred to as ‘Sterling’ by many people. Those looking to exchange their US Dollars will usually have to pay around 1.62 Dollars for every Pound. Visitors from the United States will not usually need to apply for a visa unless they plan to work in the country, or they intend to stay for over six months.

Further Reading

As well as being a popular destination, London has also been the setting for several movies that have gone on to achieve international success, and this article looks at some of the locations for these movies. This article looks at some of the cultural reasons why the United Kingdom is such a popular destination for travelers. However, getting to the country can often be a little bit of a challenge, with the main point of arrival for many international visitors being Heathrow Airport, which gets a scathing review here.