England! A country full of history, castles, and legendary sites. Whether you want to enjoy the quiet countryside, quaint villages and its landscapes or live in the intense rhythms of its capital, England can fulfill every desire. Known for their black humour, their love of their homeland, but also their consistency in their obligations. In our full travel guide below you will find all the information you need for your first visit to England.
Table of Contents
- Information for the necessary travel documents, depending on your nationality and destination can be found here.
- The current voltage is 230V and the frequency is 50 Hz. Socket type G.
- The currency in England is the British pound sterling with an equivalency of: 1 € = 0,91 £ (GBP). In order to be informed about the latest changes in currency please visit: XE Currency Converter.
- It has quite a few mobile companies such as: Ο2, Vodafone, EE, Three and GiffGaff. You can buy a sim card for data upon arrival at the airport. If you travel often you could buy a surf roam sim. It is used for global internet with very low charges and for use in over 200 countries, including England. For more information check here.
- The religion is the Εnglish church. It is considered both Catholic and Reformed and is independent of the Roman Catholic Church. The British are protestants in their majority, followed by catholics and orthodox christians.
- The population is over 56 thousand inhabitants.
- London is the capital and the biggest city. Other important cities are Liverpool, Manchester and Brighton. England also owns around 100 islands.
- The official language is English.
- The English consume more tea per person than anywhere else in the world.
- England is a part of the United Kingdom and borders with Scotland and Wales.
People usually visit the well known, tourist city of London, which also has the most expensive accommodation than anywhere else in the country. In other cities and provinces rooms are cheaper. However, there is a huge variety of places to stay, suitable for every budget. Below we mention some characteristic examples:
Low budget: For the parsimonious traveller, who wants a cheap place to stay and doesn’t care about comfort and luxury you can choose a hostel. A typical room is around 21 GBP in London and Liverpool and goes up to 70 GBP. We are referring to dormitories with mixed beds, Wi-Fi, shared bathrooms and pretty close to the city center.
Mid budget: For rooms with a private bathroom, in close proximity to tourist sights, prices start from 80 GBP to 150 GBP. Mid class hotels have simple rooms or small suites, free Wi-Fi, restaurant and bar. In some hotels, depending also on the offers, a pool is included in the price.
High budget: Here we are referring to people who want a high quality, luxurious, all- facility accommodation. In this case room prices start at 160 GBP and obviously can go much higher than 800 GBP. These hotels are mostly in the center offering restaurants, spas, gyms, pools, and every other service which will make your stay pampered and unforgettable.
Regardless of the type of accommodation you choose, you had better choose to stay somewhere near the center. This will save you a lot of time and money in unnecessary transportation, when you could be doing something more useful.
British cuisine is not that popular, because they don’t seem to care so much what they eat, so long as they just get on with it and eat something. This attitude has led to widespread food chains of not such good quality food. However, there are some favourite dishes and customs which we will see below:
Fish and chips: A favourite with both the British and the tourists. A widely known dish which isn’t considered so much a home food as it is a street food. Large fish fillets, usually cod, are dipped in batter and fried. They are served with fried potatoes and tartar sauce or vinegar. The menu is full of different sauces with which you can accompany the fish.
English Breakfast: Another very well known dish is the English Breakfast. It is delicious, nutritious, and really a powerful start to the day. The classical version has bacon, sausages poached or fried eggs, mushrooms and baked tomatoes or baked beans in tomato sauce. Other versions include fried bread, jam and one’s favourite tea. It is as enjoyable as it sounds and gives you energy for the entire day. In fact, you might not find it necessary to have another meal for the rest of the day. Of course, if you are not going beagle hunting, or doing a hard day’s work, this breakfast might be a bit too much for your stomach.
Tea: This is a national beverage. Usually, tea is taken at four in the afternoon whereas others start their day with it and drink it throughout. Black tea is usually accompanied with milk and sugar and green tea, a popular alternative, is drunk with honey or lemon. The traditional way is to accompany tea with scones, butter and jam or cucumber sandwiches. Alternatively, they might accompany their tea with cake, biscuits or more healthy, organic desserts.
Trifle: One of the more popular English desserts. Made with rich, fresh cream, fresh fruit, and cake as a base. These ingredients are layered one on top of the other. The taste is topped with an accompanying wine or liquor.
Beef Wellington: A hefty chunk of beef wrapped in pastry and enriched with mushroom sauce. This dish was first created by the personal chef of Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington, who lived from 1769 to 1852 and remained famous in history as the “hero of Waterloo”. You will find this dish in the finer, more expensive British restaurants.
Fish pie: As we mentioned before the British love their food quick and easy. Another dish which is very easy to make is a fish pie. Usually they always use white fish, like cod, white sauce or melted cheddar. Some might add shrimps or boiled eggs to the pie which is then baked in the oven. Even though it is called a pie it has absolutely no pastry or crust whatsoever, but is covered by a layer of mashed potatoes.
Shepherd’s pie: This is a very traditional dish usually made with mutton or lamb and vegetables, topped with mashed potatoes and baked until well browned. Another pie with no dough.
Finally, if winter finds you along some part of England’s coastline, do not fail to taste the sea food. Winter is one of the best seasons to try seafood in England. You can find almost every variety of fish in the daily catch. From clams and oysters to sea bass and from mussels to mackerel, all fresh out of the sea.
Airplane: There are quite a few airports in England. However, some of them are quite far from London. (Heathrow and Gatwick are the closest; others like Luton are quite far).Therefore, apart from the ticket price, which isn’t so cheap, there is the added cost of transportation. Some choose to take the train and others the car (which is more economical and fast). Better take a look at the prices before choosing.
Train: It is the best means of transport between cities and towns. Central cities have a very good network. However, the cost isn’t so low. Indicatively, you can find tickets from Liverpool to London at 12 €, but in some cases the price may be as high as 91€. Prices differ according to each company, the distance and the time.
Underground: The London Underground is highly developed with a huge network of lines which will take you everywhere and anywhere. There is also a huge railway network connecting all towns and cities like Liverpool and Manchester and many others.
Buses: This is the cheapest means of transport from one town to another. Prices start at 8€ per person. The only disadvantage is the length of the trip. A typical route from London to Liverpool might take 3 hours by train whereas you will need 6 hours by bus.
Taxi: Used for transport within cities. They are divided in two categories. The traditional black cabs, as the British call them, albeit more colours have been added now, and private taxis. The former have a minimum charge of 3 GBP and can pick up passengers from the street, whereas the latter are only arranged by appointment.
Car: This is one of the best means of transport in the countryside. This way you are able to take as many routes or deviations down a pathway as you like, totally independently of anyone. In order to rent a car you must be 21 years old or over. Those who are 21 to 25 years old have to pay an extra cost of 35 GBP per day, which is pretty economical if you are a company of 4 people who want to explore various nooks and crannies off the beaten path.
Availability and prices of the biggest car rental companies can be found here.
Best thing to do in England
The memorable and imposing capital of England. The sights of the city are countless and famous all over the world. Tourists arrive from every corner of the planet to admire them. Some of the most well known ones are Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London and many others which we will mention further down. The only disadvantages of the city is the high cost of living and the frequent rain showers which might ruin your plans.
Some say it is the most beautiful town you will visit. This former fishing village is now a well known student town. The center is full of energy and positive vibes. Crowded shops, bars which attract people from various areas nearby. Brighton has a lively nightlife throughout the year, with live music concerts and theatrical plays. There you will also find the tallest mobile observatory in the world, British Airways i360, which opens in the summer, offering a 360ο view at 162 meters. Up there you will find many restaurants and bars to eat or enjoy a drink. Booking prices start at 14.85 GBP online. More information for facilities and prices here.
This city is southwest of England and 185 kilometers from London. It belongs to the world heritage sites of UNESCO. A city that combines history and attractions as well as wellbeing and complete relaxation.The city became a spa with the Latin name Aquae Sulis (“the waters of Sul”) in 60 AD when the Romans built baths and a temple in the valley of the River Avon, although the hot springs were known even before then. In addition to healing, the water from the springs is also used as drinking water, as it is said to be beneficial for various ailments. Apart from the Roman built baths it is also very pleasant to walk through the narrow streets, admiring the architecture. There you can see how the ancestors of the city used to “hang out”. More information on the facilities available and prices can be found here.
An English city which you can enjoy looking at from above. It is known for its hot air balloon rides. Choose the sunset or sunrise as your background and make your reservation accordingly. Every year the biggest hot air balloon festival is organised (International Bristol balloon fiesta) during which you can enjoy a magical sight of air balloons flying high up above the city. Finally, as it is one of the first cycling cities of the United Kingdom, and one of the friendliest cycling cities in Europe, you can visit the sights on two wheels.
This is the largest national park of England. A diamond of nature, as many have called it, and the homeland of the poets Wordsworth and Coleridge. In this district you will see many hilltops, crystal lakes, and vast valleys. If you like excursions in nature and other activities such as walking, hiking, mountain climbing, biking and canoeing, then this national park is the ideal place for you. After completing your activities you can relax drinking a pint of ale at one of the many quaint pubs around, or enjoy a traditional lunch and a glass of port in front of the cosy fire, if it’s winter. You may also spend the night at one of the many inns which have more or less remained the same architecturally, with their traditional, thatched roofs.
An important commercial, industrial and cultural center. Known for its eponymous football team and national football museum. This city has a youthful spirit and also has a rich history in the study of science, politics, art and athletics. In the Northern Quarter of Manchester you may view unique works of street art in every corner. The elegant Spinningfields is the financial center of the city, but also a popular destination for entertainment and shopping. Football fans shouldn’t miss the chance to watch Manchester United live at the Old Trafford or at least at a pub. It is fun to watch adrenalin and passion hitting the roof for the home team. For those who like space and the universe, they can visit the observatory Jodrell Bank. More information for tickets, schedules and projection programs look here.
At a distance of 2 hours from the capital you will be confronted with this imposing monument. It is considered one of the wonders of the world. There are many theories as to the way it was formed. However, up until today researchers and archaeologists haven’t managed to discover who built this megalithic monument. Some theories even involve extra terrestrials. Archaeologists believe it was used as a place of worship and as an astronomical observatory. Regarding the stones, which weigh up to 4 tons, it is well worth speculating as to how they managed to transfer them, thousands of years ago, from Wales (a distance longer than 220kms).
The largest port of northern England. Known as the homeland of the Beatles and the football team. It is misrepresented by its industrial reputation, because it is actually a lively, modern city. You can walk in the historical center of the town which has been entirely transformed into a commercial park. In Bold Street there are a lot of pubs and student shops bustling with life. You can walk along the beautiful harbour where you will also find the museum of the Beatles. Around the port you will also see many wandering musicians and singers lending their own unique note to the streets of Liverpool. Finally, football lovers can take a tour of Anfield (Liverpool football field). There they can watch a live football match, or from one of the pub screens, together with loud, drinking fans supporting their home team (What fun!).
Packing Tips & When to Go
Travel adapter: It would be a good idea to carry a travel adapter with you. Buy one that is suitable for all countries so you don’t have to get a different one each time.There is quite a variety for sale which are adaptable to every kind of socket.
Warm clothes: You should bring warm clothes along even if it’s summer as the temperature can fall quite low. A jacket, light coat or raincoat and a hoodie are always necessary.
Umbrella: Whether short or long lasting rain showers are always lurking around the corner in England. Always carry a small umbrella with you in case of sudden downpour, so your plans aren’t ruined.
Raincoat: Whatever the month of year, always take a raincoat with you to England. It goes hand in hand with the umbrella. Like we said rain showers are probable even during summer.
The best time to visit England is from March until June and from September until November. The spring months are lovely to enjoy without falling on the crowded, summer tourist period of July and August. Likewise in the autumn months you can purchase a cheaper ticket, avoid the Christmas bustle and enjoy the changing colour and falling of the leaves, and taste fresh, delicious Cox apples, especially if you are in the countryside.
Useful Sites & Apps
Nowadays, before or during travelling we always have some useful websites and apps which guide us towards the destinations we want according to our budgets. We have chosen certain websites and apps which have helped us a lot, or have been recommended a lot and have high grades. Apart from the really well known ones there are also a lot of lesser known ones which can assist you just as well. We offer you our proposals below:
With a plethora of choices, traveller grades, and a lot of offers for those who have booked many destinations, promo codes for you and your friends, discounts and many other advantages. Start booking to discover all the available options and offers. Check for available rooms and prices here.
With over one million properties all around the world, and always increasing, ideal for a low budget stay even in expensive areas. Furthermore, because you stay in people’s villas, houses or flats you are made to feel more at home by the host of each destination and the homely surroundings. Check available rooms here.
Registering here is free and easy. Every hotel on this platform will grant a free tenth night, so if you stay for ten nights the tenth night is free.
This is a very well known website for travellers with a lot of information. It is the largest travelling platform in the world where you can view thousands of reviews, opinions and recommendations as to where and how to travel, even for the most demanding traveller. Look, compare and then visit.
Whatever you need is a click away. Find the best offers from the best companies for trains, buses, planes and ships. Travel to Canada, the USA and Europe. We use it often when we are already abroad and want to visit a neighbouring country. Check available routes here.
The first website which every traveller always checks with. Direct, fast pricing and comparing of air tickets throughout the world. We love the filter “Towards any destination” which presents to us, in order of pricing, all the flights available to our chosen destination. The best solution for a last minute trip. Find your flights to England here.
A site which all adventurous travellers love as well as those who wish to visit museums and concerts. All the available activities and tours around the world gathered in a concise list. Read the reviews from each traveller well before booking your activities in order to avoid any misunderstandings with the organisers of each activity as to the days and times. We have tried it many times in America, Asia and Africa without any problems.
For car rentals at the lowest prices. Car service in over 150 countries, with many offers and support in over 12 languages and with any special requirements.
Here you will find last minute discounts on vacancies from hotels. This is an amazingly simple app and it doesn’t take long to book a room.You may search in each town for sights and maps. Furthermore, you can check the reviews and photos of other travellers in order to be sure about the reliability of each hotel. It also has a 24/7 customer service. If you’re stuck somewhere and you need a room desperately, this is the perfect app for you.
City Maps 2Go
Maps for travelling, hiking, mountain cycling and many other activities. A necessary app for every adventure, activity or touring abroad. You may only download one map per country, whereas it was possible to download two in the past. For an additional map you need to pay. Alternatively, as soon as you have looked at the information on a map you can delete it and then download a new one.
You can mark all the places of interest on the map you have downloaded. Whether they are sights, shops, or restaurants you can use the directions guide to get there. The great advantage to this app is that you don’t need to have internet connection although it might get stuck a few times. Nevertheless, it is quite a reliable and useful app.
More information for the necessary travel documents, depending on your nationality and destination can be found here.