Great Britain is a country located in northwest Europe, but it is also an island that is the ninth-largest in the world. Great Britain is known by the administrative name of the United Kingdom. It includes the countries of England, Scotland and Wales under this administration. Northern Ireland is also part of the United Kingdom but is not located in Great Britain. The largest city in Great Britain is London, and the largest ethnic group is White British at 86 percent. English is mainly spoken in Great Britain with Welsh and Scottish Gaelic also being spoken in some places.
Great Britain has a maritime climate with little temperature variation between the seasons. Rain and cloudy days are a common occurrence here. Popular tourist attractions include the Canterbury Cathedral, Big Ben in London, the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace and Stonehenge among many others.
Destinations in Great Britain
So far we have only met a small part of the beautiful country.
The seaside resort of Brighton is located on the south coast of England in the county of Sussex. The largest seaside resort in England attracts visitors with a beautiful wide beach and historic pier.
London, the capital of the United Kingdom and England, lies on the River Thames. The city is one of the most important cities in the world.
In the English county of Wiltshire lies the small town of Salisbury. From London, a Salisbury day trip is a wonderful change.
One of the many mysteries of mankind is Stonehenge near Amesbury in England. A mystical and magical place that attracts many visitors.
West of London, in the county of Berkshire, lies the twin town of Windsor and Eton. A day trip to Windsor and Eton is a good idea during a visit to London.
Travel information about Great Britain
There are regular flights from German airports to the five international airports in the Greater London area. In addition, there are connections to Manchaster and Birmingham.
Some low-cost airlines also fly to smaller airports throughout the country.
The Eurostar connects Brussels with London through the Channel Tunnel. This is one of the fastest rail connections to the island.
Within the country, you can explore the island with the InterRail or BritRail pass.
Destinations in Great Britain can be reached by long-distance bus from many major German cities.
If you want to drive your own car from mainland Europe to the United Kingdom, you have two options: through the tunnel or by ferry.
The Eurotunnel is 50 kilometers long and is used by railroads. PWKs and trucks are transported on car carriers. The trip takes about 35 minutes and should be booked in advance.
Somewhat cheaper is the ferry that runs between Calais and Dover. There are several ferry companies that offer regular trips. The crossing takes about 1.5h and again the ticket should be booked in advance to avoid waiting.
Other ferries run from Hoek van Holland to Harwich and from Zeebrugge in Belgium to Kingston upon Hull.
There are numerous ships operating between the mainland and the UK. Many of them sail across the English Channel. Among others, there are connections between Dunkerque (Dunkirk), Calais or Boulogne-sur-Mer and Dover.
Coming from Germany, one can make good use of the Dutch ferry connections. for example, the overnight connections between Ijmuiden near Asterdam and Newcastle upon Tyne and between Rotterdam and Hull, as well as a fast ferry between Hoek van Holland (near Rotterdam) and Harwich.
To enter the UK, citizens of EU member states, the EEA (Norway and Iceland) or Switzerland will need a valid passport, national identity card or similar identity documents until the end of September 2021. From October 1, 2021, due to Brexit, entry is only possible with a passport.
Tourists from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, USA, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and South Africa can enter visa-free for up to 180 days per calendar year.
Foreigners, which since Brexit also include citizens of the European Union, require a visa if they wish to work in the United Kingdom.
On the way in …
The different destinations in Great Britain can be easily reached by bus and train. The network is dense. As a rule, a bus ride is cheaper than a train ride.
In the UK, driving is on the left and there are some special traffic rules. For example, you will sometimes find one or two yellow lines on the side of the road. One line means restricted stopping, two lines absolute stopping. There is no “right before left” rule. The right of way is marked with a sign or ground markings.
Distances are given in miles (1 mi = 1.609 km) and speeds in miles per hour (mph).
For speeds, unless otherwise indicated, the following applies:
- 30 mph (48 km/h) in built-up areas
- 60 mph (96 km/h) outside built-up areas on roads without structural separation (single carriageway)
- 70 mph (112 km/h) on freeways and dual carriageways
ATTENTION!!! Look right – look right!
Due to the left-hand traffic you have to adjust your line of sight when crossing roads!
English pedestrian crossings are marked with black and white poles and a flashing spherical yellow lamp.
Roads in the United Kingdom are toll-free with a few exceptions.
There are some exceptions:
a section of the M6 around Birmingham (“M6 toll”)
some complex bridge and tunnel constructions in England and Wales
Payment can be made locally at toll booths, cash or credit card.
A different rule applies to theDartford Crossing, the subject extension of the London ring road. This is subject to tolls, but with no on-site payment option. Payment of the Dart Charge is made in advance or, at the latest, on the following day of use online, by cell phone (UK sim cards only), by cash deposit at a number of stores, or by means of subscription solutions.
Best time to travel
Great Britain is wet and cold, especially in the winter months, and snowfall can occur in the mountains. Then, from April to September, the weather is mild throughout the country, with rain all year round.
The official language is English. Additionally, Welsh and Gaelic are spoken in Great Britain. Welsh has been an official language in Wales since 1993.
The pound sterling (also British pound) is the official currency of Great Britain, including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
The currency symbol £ is placed in front of the monetary amount
In most restaurants, a service charge is included in the bill. Then the tip should be less than 15%. If there is no service charge, a 15% tip is customary.
In pubs or bars, tipping is unusual.
In the UK it is quite normal to tip cab drivers and it is customary to round up the fare to the nearest pound. If the driver helps with the luggage, the tip should be higher.
In hotels, it is customary to tip the porters about 2 pounds. Otherwise, it is at the discretion of the guest to give the staff a tip.
You want to travel to Great Britain – then you need a travel adapter. The country uses type D, G and M plugs, which are not compatible with the sockets in Germany.