Details on arriving into UK
The UK Border Agency will also assist you with queries regarding refund of VAT Value Added Tax) paid in the UK . Visitors from some countries may be entitled to a refund on some tax paid on goods purchased in Great Britain.
The United Kingdom is not a cheap place to come to, although there are bargains to be had if you search them out. Tourist attractions especially can be expensive, and the areas around them are seldom the best places to find value for money. Credit and debit cards are accepted almost everywhere, and are often requested as a means of deposit for car hire, hotel reservations, etc.
The currency is the Pound Sterling, shown by the symbol £. There are one hundred pence in the pound, and there are one and two pound coins, and five, ten, twenty, and fifty, pound notes.
There are different styles of notes in Scotland , and although all are officially acceptable anywhere in the UK , you may find the Scottish notes difficult to pass on south of the border.
In this modern competitive world, banks are opening increasingly longer hours. Most now open at 9am, Monday to Friday, and close around 4.30pm or 5pm. Saturday opening varies more, with those in bigger towns opening longer, and some smaller branches opening only until lunchtime.
If you are changing currency many travel agents and post offices also offer a comparable service, and open longer hours.
Prices are usually fixed, and bartering is not generally a feature of the British way of life.
Tips are discretionary, and mostly around 10% for things like taxi's, restaurants, and hotel service.
Shopping in the UK.
Eating and Drinking
Typical UK cuisine.
All of the UK is 240v power, using a plug with 3 rectangular pins. Conversion plugs are available in airports, ports, and larger chemist shops.
Sports and Leisure
The three main spectator sports in the UK are football (soccer), cricket, and rugby. Cricket is played in the summer months, when the other two traditionally are resting. Professional league games can be expensive, but attract big, loyal, and loud audiences. Cricket is more refined and the sport of gentlemen… or so they would have you believe.
In truth, most people who come from nations where cricket is not played understand little of the complex rules. If that is the case with you, then avoid the big games, and seek out one of the many Sunday afternoon village cricket matches that take place across England throughout the summer. The game will be just as captivating, but the scenery, company, and atmosphere far better.
Motor sport is also very popular, as are equestrian pastimes, and swimming. Sports facilities are widely available, and tourist boards local to where you are staying will be able to provide details on almost any you wish to try.
Fire, Police, Ambulance, Coastguard, and Mountain Rescue, can all be accessed through the UK-wide emergency number – 999.