Important Information about United Kingdom

Phone

In the UK, both telephone and Internet communications are developed. For a minute of a telephone conversation with Moscow, you need to pay about 2 pounds. The main Russian mobile operators have roaming in the country (GSM 900/1800 communication range), but it will be cheaper to use a pay phone. In addition, on weekdays from 18.00 to 6.00 there are benefits (on weekends – around the clock). Phone cards can be obtained in shops and kiosks with tobacco products.

Access to the World Wide Web can be obtained by visiting one of the many Internet cafes, or using specially equipped kiosks that can be found at train stations and airports. Hotels also offer Internet access.

In addition, Wi-Fi access points are ubiquitous in the country. Thus, the City of London is equipped with 127 such points.

Phones to which you can call in emergency situations:
999 – police, fire department, ambulance (free of charge);
142 – London help desk.

Shopping

In the capital of England, the most purchased goods among tourists are porcelain and glassware, books, pipes in the style of Sherlock Holmes, handbags, bracelets and watches, as well as the famous English tea with bergamot, jasmine and other additives. Selfridges Department Store and John Lewis Partnership on Oxford Street are popular.
As for Scotland, this country is known for its sheep wool products (plaids, sweaters, etc.), as well as for the excellent Glenfiddich Scotch malt whiskey, which is aged in oak barrels until a golden hue is formed. They buy the famous kilt skirts, bagpipes, jewelry with Celtic symbols and crafts made from deer antlers. See liuxers for United Kingdom customs and traditions.

It is worth remembering that all goods purchased by a tourist in the UK are subject to VAT at a rate of 17.5%. If the value of a thing exceeds one hundred pounds, then when leaving the country, 11% of the price of the goods is returned to the buyer. To return, you need to take the appropriate receipt from the store.

Tips

If the service fee is not included in the bill immediately, a tip is left in the amount of about 10-15% of the bill. In a hotel bar or cafe, you are supposed to leave small coins. Giving a tip to a taxi driver is considered a sign of “good manners”, although this is not necessary. A hotel maid can be encouraged with 10-20 pounds a week, and a porter – 50-75 pence. In pubs, tips are not left at all.

Accommodation

In the UK you can always find many hotels of various types and all levels. It should be borne in mind that meals (breakfast) are not always included in the price.
More and more tourists prefer to stay in rural hotels with their special charm and not too high prices, much lower than in the city. In addition, the B&B (bed and breakfast) system is popular: residents of private houses in tourist areas and on the outskirts rent rooms to guests of the country for a while. The middle option is to stay in guesthouses.
Please note that many hotels require a deposit upon check-in. So, in 4-star London hotels, it is 50 pounds on a card or 100 in cash. The money is returned to the guest upon checkout.

Currency

The national currency is the pound sterling, which is divided into 100 pence, although old coin names such as “guinea”, “shilling” or “penny” are still common. In circulation are banknotes in denominations of 50, 20, 10, 5, 2, 1 pounds, as well as coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 pence and 1 pound.
It is worth noting that Scotland prints its own money (a pound out of 100 pence), which is equivalent to English, but is not convertible and does not circulate outside the UK. The island of Guernsey also has its own currency – the Alderney pound, again consisting of 100 pence. It does not circulate in the UK, being used mainly in the Channel Islands.
Currency exchange can be done in banks, the opening hours of which are from 9.30 to 15.30 on weekdays (the largest banks do not close until 17.30). This is also done by currency exchange offices, which often work around the clock. It is worth remembering that you need a passport to exchange cash.
Credit cards and traveler’s checks of the world’s leading payment systems are widely used in the country. There are a huge number of ATMs in the UK, but it is more reliable to use them in institutions, and not on the street.

The shops

From Monday to Friday, shops are open from 9.00-9.30 to 17.30-18.00. In especially large shopping centers and central stores of cities, the working day is extended until 20.00. On Saturday, shops are open only until 12.00, and on Sunday, many do not open at all, and those that work close no later than 17.00.

Transport

The United Kingdom has reached a very high level of rail development. Trains run almost anywhere in the country. A wide choice of routes, types of cars, travel cards, etc. is provided. Between major cities within the country, you can move through the domestic airline system. Various discounts facilitate multiple trips.
Tourists who prefer to travel by car should remember that traffic in the country is left-handed, and speed limits are 60-100 km / h outside settlements, 40-60 km / h in cities and 100-120 km / h on highways.
Everyone sitting in the car must be fastened. It is also forbidden to talk on a cell phone while driving. For violation of the above, as well as a number of other rules, the policeman can issue a decent fine. Only drivers at least 23 years old and with at least one year of driving experience are eligible to rent a car.

Electricity

The mains voltage is 220 V., 50 Hz. Electrical plugs and sockets are different from Russian ones (three-pin, grounded). You can ask for an adapter for sockets at the reception, or you can buy it yourself. True, in the bathroom you can sometimes find a “European” outlet for an electric razor.

Time

UK time zone: GMT+0 (-3 hours from Moscow).

Important Information about United Kingdom