It’s funny how when you have always lived somewhere, you just take some things for granted. Like the fact that I grew up around the corner from a thousand year old Cathedral…no big deal! Or the fact that in the UK, we just don’t really tip.
Now that I have been living away for 15 years (wow – that time has flown by!) and I have a Canadian husband, I can truly appreciate the nuances of the UK.
Here are my top 10 tips for when you visit the UK!
- The railway network is a fab way to see the UK, relatively inexpensive if you travel off-peak, kids under 5 are free, and it goes almost everywhere. Also, save even more money by purchasing rail pass.
- Don’t forget that cars drive on the left side of the road, so look RIGHT before you step off the curb 😉
- Sidewalks are called the pavement or street, the street is called the road.
- If you hold a US or Canadian driver’s license, you don’t need to get an international drivers license to drive in the UK
- It’s pretty tough to find an automatic car, and you’ll probably pay more.
- Bathrooms are bathrooms, I.e. with a bath or a shower 😉 If you ask where the bathroom is in a restaurant or pub, you might get some weird looks! Look for signs for the toilet, WC or loo.
- Tax is included in purchases already, makes it much easier when you’re budgeting your pounds in the shop!
- Electric voltage is 240v (US is 120v), and is tri-prong. You’ll need a special adapter, and be cautious about using electrical items that don’t have a built in converter (laptops are usually fine). Things I have blown up in the UK….hair driers, sound machines, breast pumps…learn from my mistakes 😉
- If you want an inexpensive but delicious lunch, try local bakeries, delis, meat markets, green grocers etc. A lot of the chain shops also have meal deals – sandwich, crisps (chips) and a drink for £3. Bargain!
- Cars take priority in the UK, so when you’re crossing the road, they will rarely stop for you, unless you’re on a zebra crossing (crosswalk) or at traffic lights with a green man (walk sign). Cross elsewhere at your own risk!