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  • United Kingdom

    United Kingdom travel guide

    Overview

    It may seem hard to believe that this small, cold, wet islandonce held dominion over three quarters of the globe. The pomp andcircumstance of previous centuries may have dwindled, and themonarchy takes almost daily batterings in the local press, yet theUnited Kingdom and its people remain fiercely proud, and the beautyand cultural wealth of the country would impress any visitor. Thepast century has seen a vast transformation as the UK has come toterms with its diminished role on the world stage, from colonialempire to a member of the EU, but the United Kingdom is still aworld leader in numerous ways and tops many a travel bucketlist.

    The United Kingdom is made up of England, Scotland, Wales, andNorthern Ireland, as well as some smaller islands, and thegeography sweeps from mountainous highlands, to green, pleasant,rolling countryside and vibrant cities. The country is jam-packedwith two millennia of heritage, so despite its seemingly smallsize, holidays in the UK of any length of time feel too short.

    London is the UK's biggest city, a fantastic and freneticmetropolis teeming with people of all races, creeds, and walks oflife. Here the old contrasts spectacularly with the new, offeringsome of the world's most famous sights and an unrivalled nightlife.The medieval cathedral cities, like York and Durham, reveal therich history of a bygone age, while the industrial cities ofLiverpool and Newcastle harbour an exciting nightlife. Edinburgh'sInternational Arts Festival draws talent from around the world toits ancient, picturesque streets.

    The United Kingdom continues to rank as one of the top touristdestinations in the world, steadily attracting more than 32 millionforeign visitors every year. This comparatively small island nationpacks a touristic punch completely disproportionate to its size andthe compact nature of the place, combined with excellent transportnetworks, makes it easy to get around for travellers.

    For tourists, England remains the most popular country in theUK, and the vast majority of travellers visiting England spend timein London; in fact, nine out of 10 of the United Kingdom's toptourist attractions can be found in the capital. These include theNational Gallery, St Paul's Cathedral, Tower of London, TateModern, Natural History Museum, Epping Forest, Science Museum and,topping the list, the incomparable British Museum. The only Top 10UK attraction that isn't in London is Brighton Pier, the landmarkfeature of the UK's most beloved seaside resort. Other much-visitedtourist attractions outside of London include Cornwall's EdenProject, Bath's Roman Baths, Canterbury Cathedral, Warwick Castle,the Lake District's Windermere Lake, and the iconic Stonehenge.

    The UK is blessed with ample natural beauty and is well suitedto walking holidays (the Lake District, the Scottish Highlands andWales are particularly beguiling for hikers), but when the infamousweather is not obliging happy hours can be spent soaking up culturein the world-famous museums, galleries, shops and theatres of theUnited Kingdom. Another big draw card is the surfeit of grandestates and old castles to be explored, conjuring up the worlds ofJane Austen and Shakespeare. For something more Dickensian, the UKis chock full of wonderful old pubs in which to while away therainy days.

    Phrase Book

    English Pronounciation

    The United Kingdom is positioned at the convergence between themoist maritime and dry continental air currents, which results inatmospheric instability and extremely unpredictable weather. Manytypes of weather can be experienced in one day and travellersshould go prepared, particularly as in most regions of the UK rainis possible at any time of year. Winters, between December andFebruary, are cold and wet with occasional snow, especially in thehigh-lying areas. Summers, between June and August, are generallywarm with frequent showers. Northern Ireland, Wales and the westernregions of England and Scotland enjoy the mildest temperatures, butare the wettest and windiest parts of the UK; the eastern regionsof England and Scotland are drier and cooler with more extremetemperatures. Generally speaking, southern regions are moretemperate and mild than northern regions. England enjoys thewarmest temperatures on average and is generally more sunny andless rainy than the rest of the UK. Scotland has the coldestweather and is also the wettest.

    The peak tourist season in the UK is summer, between June andAugust, but it is pleasant to visit any time between April andOctober. The winters are cold and sometimes snowy, but travellingout of season is cheaper and the winter months can be cosy andexciting, particularly over the festive season.

    Birmingham Airport
    Location: The airport is situated eight miles (12km) southeast ofBirmingham.
    Time: GMT (GMT +1 between the last Sunday in March andthe Saturday before the last Sunday in October).
    Transfer Between Terminals The two terminals are within easy walking distance of eachother.
    Getting to the city: Buses to the city centre and surrounds can be caught oppositethe airport at the Bus and Coach Terminus. Birmingham city centrecan also be reached via Birmingham International railway stationconnected to the airport by a free monorail system called theAir-Rail Link. Trains run from Birmingham International Station toBirmingham New Street Station and vice versa throughout the day butare less frequent in the evenings and on weekends. Uber, and othermobile app based taxi services are also available. For onwardtravel, Birmingham International Station is connected to over 100towns in and around the UK.
    Car Rental: Car rental companies include Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz andNational. All car hire booking desks are located within thearrivals lounge which can be found easily once throughsecurity.
    Airport Taxis: Taxis are available from outside passenger terminals and takeabout 15-20 minutes into Birmingham.
    Fascilities: There are banks, bureaux de change, shops, restaurants, businesslounges, play areas for kids, baby changing facilities and atourist information desk in the airport. Disabled facilities aregood; those with special needs should contact their airline inadvance.
    Parking The airport's 'drop and go' area is adjacent to the departuresterminal and is free for the first 30 minutes. Car parks 1, 2 and 3are best for short and medium-stay parking; they are located besidethe terminal building and charge per hour or per day. The long-stayparking garages are located next to the second roundabout alongAirport Way, a ten-minute walk from the terminal. There are regularshuttle-buses between the long stay parking lots and the terminal.Long-stay parking is free for the first 15 minutes.
    Bristol International Airport
    Location: The airport is situated eight miles (13km) southwest ofBristol city centre.
    Time: GMT (GMT +1 between the last Sunday in March andthe last Sunday in October).
    Getting to the city: Bristol Airport Flyer Express buses depart for the city centre(including the train station) around the clock, every ten minutesduring peak hours, and every 30 minutes off-peak. It costs around£7 for a one-way ticket. Taxis are also available outside theterminal. Uber, and other similar mobile app-based taxi servicesare also available.
    Car Rental: Car hire companies include Avis, Europcar, Hertz, and National,among others.
    Airport Taxis: Arrow Cars taxis are available all day and night at the airport,located outside the terminal building. Passengers can visit thebooking desk where they will be quoted a fixed fare and allocated ataxi. Payment can be made by card at the booking desk, or by cashto the driver.
    Fascilities: Facilities at Bristol Airport include a bureau de change, ATM,bars, restaurants, shops, an executive lounge, and touristinformation desk. Disabled facilities are good; those with specialneeds are advised to contact their airline in advance.
    Parking There is short and long-term car parking available. Spaces canbe pre-booked via the airport website. The short stay and pick upparking lot costs £1 for the first 20 minutes and £6 for the firsthour. The Silver Zone car park is the cheapest long-stay option, ifyou book online it can cost as little as £3.75 per day.
    Leeds Bradford International Airport
    Location: The airport is situated nine miles (14km) northwest ofLeeds.
    Time: GMT (GMT +1 between the last Sunday in March andthe last Sunday in October).
    Getting to the city: The bus services run frequently from the airport to Leeds andBradford city centre bus and rail stations. The bus services linkthe airport to Leeds City Rail Station, from where connections canbe made to all parts of the UK. Taxis and mobile app based taxiservices are also available.
    Car Rental: Avis, Europcar and Hertz are represented in InternationalArrivals.
    Airport Taxis: Arrow Cars are available from the airport taxi rank outside theterminal building.
    Fascilities: Facilities at the airport include banks, ATMs, bureaux de changeand a tourist information desk. There are also shops, bars andrestaurants. The Yorkshire Premier Lounge on the first floor of theDeparture Lounge offers a full bar service, complimentarynewspapers, high-speed wifi and telephones. Entry to the lounge isthrough membership or a once off entry fee of around £25. Disabledfacilities are good; those with special needs should contact theirairline in advance.
    Parking There is short- and long-term car parking available. Parking canbe booked in advance on the airport website. There is a courtesybus service between the long-stay car park and the terminalbuilding, operating 24 hours a day. Passengers should allow extratime to park and get to the terminal.
    Website: www.lbia.co.uk
    London City Airport
    Location: The airport is situated at the Royal Docks, 10 miles(16km) from the West End.
    Time: GMT (GMT +1 from last Sunday in March to Saturdaybefore last Sunday in October).
    Getting to the city: Docklands Light Railway (DLR) departs from London City Airportevery 8-15 minutes to Canning Town, Woolwich Arsenal and Bank.There are regular London buses from the airport to stationsthroughout London. Nearby National Rail stations are reached viathe Jubilee line from Canning Town (a seven-minute DLR journey).Licensed taxis (black cabs) are available outside the terminalbuilding, a taxi to the centre of London will take only 20 to 30minutes and cost roughly £30. Car rental desks are situated on theground floor. There are also chauffeur services available from QuayCars. Mobile app based taxi services, like Uber, are available, asis car sharing through the DriveNow app.
    Car Rental: Car rental desks are situated on the ground floor, rentalcompanies include Avis, Europcar and Hertz.
    Airport Taxis: Taxis from London City Airport can be hailed outside theArrivals Hall and a taxi to the centre of London will take only 20to 30 minutes and cost roughly £30. A taxi to Canary Wharf willcost £14.
    Fascilities: There are shops, bars and a restaurant at City Airport, otherfacilities include left luggage, a mother and baby room, touristinformation and business facilities including Internet and fax.There are also ATMs, a bureau de change and Internet facilities.The disabled facilities are good; those with special needs shouldideally inform their airline in advance.
    Parking Parking at London City Airport is located within easy walkingdistance of the terminal. Short-term parking starts at £3 for thefirst 10 minutes, £13 for up to an hour, £17 for two hours, £25 forfour hours, £53 for up to 12 hours and £61 per day. The long-termcar park is £23 for up to four hours and £53 per day. Credit cardfacilities are available.
    London Gatwick Airport
    Location: The airport is situated 28 miles (45km) south ofLondon.
    Time: GMT (GMT +1 from last Sunday in March to Saturdaybefore last Sunday in October).
    Transfer Between Terminals The two terminals are linked by the Inter Terminal Transit trainthat leaves every three minutes.
    Getting to the city: The easiest and quickest way into London from Gatwick is on theGatwick Express train, which takes 30 minutes to the centralVictoria railway station. Local buses call at both terminals andrun between Gatwick and key destinations including Crawley, Horley,Redhill and Horsham. Taxis are also available from the airport intotown, while coaches take passengers to destinations includingHeathrow, central London, Bristol and Brighton (ticket desks are inthe North and South Terminals). Car rental companies operate fromboth terminals. Taxis and mobile app based taxi services, likeUber, are also available.
    Car Rental: Car rental companies such as Avis, Budget, Europcar and Hertzoperate from both terminals.
    Airport Taxis: Taxis from Gatwick Airport are available outside the ArrivalsHall and a taxi to London city centre will take roughly an hour toan hour-and-a-half as this road can be very busy. Mobile app basedtaxi services, like Uber, are also available.
    Fascilities: Both terminals have shops, restaurants, bars, bureaux de change,ATMs, an Internet café, baby changing rooms and children's playareas. There are lounges in both terminals that offer multipleservices for both business and leisure, for a fee. In the SouthTerminal, there is a medical centre offering vaccinations and theRegus Express Business Lounge, featuring meeting rooms,refreshments, showers, a document station, high-speed internet anddistraction-free private work spaces. Disabled facilities at theairport are good; those who require special assistance shouldcontact their airline in advance.
    Parking Short-term and long-term parking is available and a free shuttleservices the parking areas farther away from the terminalbuilding.
    London Heathrow Airport
    Location: The airport is situated 15 miles (24km) west ofLondon.
    Time: GMT (GMT +1 from last Sunday in March to the lastSunday in October).
    Transfer Between Terminals Terminal 1 is no longer in use. Terminals 2 and 3 are withinwalking distance of each other, with an average walking time of 11minutes from one end to the other. Terminals 4 and 5 are connectedvia the free Heathrow Express train. Allow around 15 minutes forthe journey time between terminals.
    Getting to the city: The quickest way into London is on the Heathrow Express train,which leaves every 15 minutes for Paddington station, takes 15minutes, and costs £22 if booked online or at a ticket machine, or£27 on-board, if travelling during off-peak times. Paddington hasgood connections to the other London railway stations and all partsof London via the London Underground. Heathrow is also on thePiccadilly underground line, which takes passengers into centralLondon in around 50 minutes. The National Express coach serviceruns to central London and other towns and cities throughout theUK.
    Car Rental: Car rental options include Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz,National and Sixt.
    Airport Taxis: London's black taxis service Heathrow Airport; the journey timeto central London is around 30-60 minutes, depending on traffic.Taxis are metered, the fare from Heathrow Airport to Central Londonwill cost around £48-£90. Taxis are available from outside eachterminal.
    Fascilities: There are numerous shops, bars and restaurants, ATMs, currencyexchange facilities, left luggage facilities, pharmacies and postalservices in all terminals. A spa offering massages is located inTerminal 5. There are VIP Lounges in Terminals 2 and 3. There aremulti-faith prayer rooms in each terminal and St George's Chapel islocated close to the central bus station between Terminals 2 and 3.There are shower facilities located in Terminal 3.
    Parking Short-term parking is available adjacent to the airport. A freeshuttle service links the terminals and the long-term and businesscar parks. Valet parking is also available at all terminals.
    London Luton Airport
    Location: The airport is situated 32 miles (52km) northwest ofLondon.
    Time: GMT (GMT +1 from last Sunday in March to Saturdaybefore last Sunday in October).
    Getting to the city: Trains leave regularly to Kings Cross, Farringdon, CityThameslink, Blackfriars and London Bridge stations. Train journeysto central London take 20-25 minutes with providers such as EastMidlands Trains and First Capital Connect. Tickets can be boughtfrom the Onward Travel centre at the airport or online. LutonAirport Parkway Train Station is connected to the terminal by afree shuttle bus service. Green Line and National Express buses rundaily between the airport and central London. Taxis operate fromoutside the airport terminal 24-hours a day and car rental is alsoavailable.
    Car Rental: Car rental companies include Avis, Hertz, Europcar andNational.
    Airport Taxis: Taxis operate from Luton Airport 24-hours a day and can behailed outside the Arrivals Hall. A taxi to central London willcost around £80 and will take approximately 2 hours.
    Fascilities: Facilities at the airport include shops, bars, restaurants,bureaux de change, ATMs, a children's play area and baby changingrooms. Facilities for the disabled are good; those with specialneeds are advised to contact their airline or travel agent inadvance.
    Parking There is short-term parking next to the terminal. Long-term(valet) parking operates near the terminal - your car will be takenaway to another compound while you are away. Passengers who book inadvance via the airport website get discounted parking rates.
    London Stansted Airport
    Location: The airport is situated 34 miles (55km) northeast ofLondon.
    Time: GMT (GMT +1 from last Sunday in March to Saturdaybefore last Sunday in October).
    Getting to the city: The Stansted Express rail service operates between London'sLiverpool Street station and the airport, taking approximately 45minutes. There are also bus and coach services to Victoria CoachStation, Heathrow and Gatwick airports, among other London andnational destinations. The bus and coach station is opposite themain terminal entrance. Coach tickets are available from the ticketdesk in arrivals and at the station; a ticket to Victoria costsaround £10. Taxis are available outside the terminal building andcar rental is also available. Uber, and other mobile app based taxiservices are also available, although there have been licensingissues as of late.
    Car Rental: Car rental companies available at the airport include Avis,Budget, Europcar, Alamo, National, Enterprise and Hertz.
    Airport Taxis: Many taxi services are available, the Stansted Airportrecommended taxi service is 24x7, a reservation desk is located inthe international arrivals concourse. A taxi to central London fromStansted Airport will cost in the region of £100.
    Fascilities: There are a number of popular restaurants, shops and bars in theterminal, both before and after security. Other facilities includeATMs, a bureau de change and Internet cafe. There is a VIP loungefor travellers in the main departure lounge, which can be bookedvia the airport's website. There are also shower facilities at botharrivals and departures, with towels and access available for asmall fee at the airport information desk. There are multi-faithprayer rooms, accessible after security. Disabled facilities aregood; those with special needs should contact their airline ortravel agent in advance. Stansted is a smoke-free airport, andthere are no smoking facilities past security.
    Parking The short-term parking is located next to the terminal building.Long-term parking is further away and is linked to the airport by afree shuttle bus. The mid-stay parking lot is free for the firsthour, a five-minute courtesy bus ride from the terminal. Theairport also offers valet parking. Travellers who pre-book on theStansted Airport website receive discounted car parking.
    Manchester International Airport
    Location: The airport is situated 10 miles (17km) southwest ofManchester city centre.
    Time: GMT (GMT +1 from last Sunday in March to lastSunday in October).
    Transfer Between Terminals The Skylink travellator system links Terminals 1 and 2, while 1and 3 are linked by an external walkway.
    Getting to the city: There are regular trains between the airport and ManchesterPiccadilly railway station, which has connections to destinationsthroughout the UK. Buses service Manchester city centre as well asother local towns and cities. National Express operates coachservices to cities all over the UK. All buses, coaches and trainsleave from The Station, the airport's transport interchange that isconnected to all terminals by a covered walkway. Taxis areavailable outside all terminals.
    Car Rental: Car rental companies include Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz,National and Sixt.
    Airport Taxis: Taxis are available outside all terminals. Fares into Manchesterare determined by the meter, while other destinations may becharged at a flat rate.
    Fascilities: There are restaurants, shops and bars in all three terminals.Other facilities include ATMs, bureaux de change, and left luggage.Disabled facilities are good; those with special needs shouldinform their airline or travel agent in advance.
    Parking Short-term and long-term parking at Manchester InternationalAirport is available. It is a good idea to book parking in advancevia the airport's website in the peak summer season, as the carpark can be full.
    Newcastle International Airport
    Location: The airport is situated six miles (10km) from Newcastlecity centre.
    Time: GMT (GMT +1 from last Sunday in March to lastSunday in October).
    Getting to the city: The Metro system connects the airport to Newcastle CentralStation, and other parts of the city, leaving every few minutes.Buses also leave regularly for the Eldon Square Bus Concourse.
    Car Rental: Car hire companies represented at the airport include Avis,Europcar, Hertz and Interrent.
    Airport Taxis: Taxis are available outside the terminal.
    Fascilities: Newcastle Airport has shops, bars and restaurants. Otherfacilities include a bank, bureaux de change, ATMs, left luggage,baby care rooms, and a children's play area. Disabled facilitiesare good; those with special needs are advised to inform theirairline or travel agent in advance.
    Parking The short-stay and express parking lots are located directlyopposite the terminal. The medium-stay lot, just beyond, offers 15minutes free parking for picking up or dropping off passengers. Thelong-term lots are located furthest from the terminal and offer thecheapest daily and weekly rates. Discounted rates are available forbookings made via the airport website.
    Aberdeen International Airport
    Location: The airport is situated seven miles (11km) northwest ofAberdeen.
    Time: GMT (GMT +1 between last Sunday in March andSaturday before last Sunday in October).
    Getting to the city: Aberdeen and Inverness train services run from the local stationat Dyce, which is just a short taxi ride from the airport. The mainstation is in Aberdeen city centre and services all parts ofScotland and England. Regular bus services operate from the airportto Aberdeen city centre, and the journey takes roughly 30 minutes.Services are less frequent at weekends than on weekdays.
    Car Rental: Car hire companies represented at the airport include Avis,Europcar, Hertz and Alamo.
    Airport Taxis: Comcab taxis are available outside the terminal, where a taximarshal will assist you in finding a cab. Taxis can be pre-bookedvia the Comcab website and arranged at the Comcab booking office tothe right upon entry to the terminal. The journey to the citycentre takes approximately 25 minutes in light traffic, and costsroughly £15.
    Fascilities: Facilities include left luggage, a bureau de change, bars, aduty-free shop, business facilities, a children's play area, andseveral restaurants. The Northern Lights Executive Lounge islocated on the first floor past security and can be prebookedonline. Other airport lounges include the British Airways TerracesLounge and the Eastern Airways Lounge, which is located near Gate10. There are several restaurants and cafes around the airport.
    Parking There is short-term parking at Aberdeen International Airportwithin walking distance of the terminal. Long-term parking atAberdeen International Airport can be accessed by a free shuttlefrom the terminal.
    Edinburgh International Airport
    Location: The airport is eight miles (13km) west ofEdinburgh.
    Time: GMT (GMT +1 from last Sunday in March to the lastSunday in October).
    Getting to the city: Airlink 100 buses connect the airport and the city centre every10 minutes, from early morning until after midnight, and costaround £4.50 one way; the journey takes approximately 30 minutes.There are many alternative buses, including Night Bus N22 andService 21A, that run to the city centre via a couple of stops enroute. Stops for public buses are situated on the terminalforecourt road outside the main entrance.
    Car Rental: There is a car rental centre located next to the parking area,connected to the terminal by a covered walkway. Car rentalcompanies include Alamo, Avis, Europcar, Budget, Thrifty, Hertz,and National.
    Airport Taxis: The taxi ranks for airport taxis and city black cabs are outsidethe east end of the airport terminal. The drive to the city centretakes approximately 25 minutes.
    Fascilities: Facilities at the airport include ATMs, a bureau de change,shops, a pharmacy, wifi, a children's play area, baby change rooms,restaurants and bars. The Aspire Lounge is available to departingpassengers on the first floor past security; bookings can be madeonline via the airport's website.
    Parking A multilevel car park is located just across from the terminalbuilding. The long-term car park is a few minutes away; a courtesybus ferries passengers to the terminal.
    Glasgow Airport
    Location: The airport is located 11 miles (18km) west ofGlasgow.
    Time: GMT (GMT +1 from last Sunday in March to the lastSunday in October).
    Transfer Between Terminals A covered walkway connects the terminals.
    Getting to the city: Buses leave regularly for Glasgow, stopping off at the mainrailway and bus stations. The journey to the city centre takes 15to 20 minutes. There are also eight trains per hour from PaisleyGilmour Street Station to Glasgow Central Station, which is onemile (2km) from the airport and can be reached by taxi or byregular bus services.
    Car Rental: Car hire options at the airport include Avis, Europcar,National, Alamo, Hertz, Enterprise, Budget, and Dollar/Thrifty.
    Airport Taxis: Taxis are available 24 hours a day at the taxi rank opposite themain terminal. They are obligated to meter the journey.
    Fascilities: Facilities at Glasgow Airport include ATMs, a bureau de change,a post office, and many shops, bars and restaurants. Disabledfacilities are good; those with special needs are advised to informtheir airline or travel agent in advance. There is also amulti-faith prayer room.
    Parking Short-term parking is located near the terminal, chargingroughly £2 for ten minutes or £3 for twenty minutes. Long-termparking is also available. Parking can be booked in advance via theairport website.
    Rhoose Cardiff International Airport
    Location: The airport is located 12 miles (19km) southwest ofCardiff city centre.
    Time: GMT (GMT +1 from last Sunday in March to Saturdaybefore last Sunday in October).
    Getting to the city: The Cardiff Aiport Express bus service runs every 30 minutesduring the day, seven days a week. Journey time to Cardiff from theairport is approximately 35 minutes and the bus fare isapproximately £5 one way. A rail link also connects CardiffInternational Airport to Cardiff Central and Bridgend. Trains runeach direction every hour daily (every two hours on Sunday) withonward connections to other destinations on the rail network. Ashuttle connects the airport to the nearby train station in 10minutes, costing about £1.
    Car Rental: Enterprise, Europcar and Hertz are represented at theairport.
    Airport Taxis: Passengers can book a private taxi transfer with FlightLinkWales to and from Cardiff Airport.
    Fascilities: Facilities include a bureau de change, ATMs, baby changingfacilities, faxing and photocopying, game zones, duty-free shops,restaurants, cafes and bars. There are also facilities for disabledpassengers.
    Parking Short-term parking is right outside the terminal building andlong-term parking is farther away from the terminal but is servicedby a free shuttle. There is pre-booking available.
    Belfast International Airport
    Location: The airport is situated 14 miles (22km) northwest ofBelfast.
    Time: Local time is GMT (GMT +1 between the last Sundayin March and the Saturday before the last Sunday inOctober).
    Getting to the city: The Airport Express operates between the airport and the citycentre every 10 minutes from outside the terminal building, 24hours a day. The International Airport Taxi Company offer taxisoutside the right hand door of the airport exit lobby with a listof fares displayed in the exit hall of the terminal. The journeytakes around 25 minutes.
    Car Rental: Car rental companies include Avis, Budget, Hertz, and Nationaland can be found in the Arrivals hall.
    Airport Taxis: International Airport Taxi Company offer taxis outside the righthand door of the airport exit lobby with a list of fares displayedin the exit hall of the terminal. The journey takes around 25minutes.
    Fascilities: Facilities at the airport include bureaux de changes, ATMs,wifi, duty-free shopping, travel agent, business lounge,information desk, and a variety of shops and restaurants.Passengers with disabilities are well catered for.
    Parking There are three parking options at Belfast InternationalAirport: short-stay parking, the main car park, and long-stayparking. The pick-up and drop-off zones are also charged for,costing about £1 for a 10-minute stay.
    Birmingham-Shuttlesworth InternationalAirport
    Location: The airport is conveniently located about five miles(8km) from downtown Birmingham.
    Time: GMT -6 (GMT -5 from mid-March to the first Sundayin November).
    Getting to the city: Several shuttle companies, including Meteors Shuttle andBirmingham Door to Door, operate between the airport and the city,but reservations must be made prior to arrival. Taxi services areavailable 24 hours a day at ground level outside the baggage claimarea.
    Car Rental: Rental car counters are located at ground level near the section1B. Vendors include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Thrifty,Enterprise, National, and Hertz.
    Airport Taxis: Taxi services at Birmingham International are availablethroughout the day and evening on the ground level outside thebaggage claim area. Birmingham is serviced by the followingtaxi-cab companies: Ambassador Cab Company, American Cab Company,Award Cab Company, Birmingham Metro Cab Company, King Cab LLC,Progress House Taxi Cab, Silver Cab Company and Yellow Cab. Uber,and other app-based taxi services, are also available.
    Fascilities: Facilities at the airport include restaurants, bars, shops,currency exchange, wireless internet, kidzone play areas andtourist information. ATMs are available throughout the airport.Skycap services are available to assist disabled passengers.
    Parking The airport provides short-term parking at a rate of $1 per hourand $24 per day; medium-stay parking at a rate of $1 per hour and$12 per day; and long-term parking at a rate of $1 per hour and $10per day.
    Money:

    The currency is the British Pound (GBP), which is divided into100 pence. ATMs are available in almost all towns and Visa,MasterCard, and American Express are widely accepted; visitors withother cards should check with their credit card companies inadvance. Foreign currency can be exchanged at bureaux de change andlarge hotels, however better exchange rates are likely to be foundat banks.

    Language:

    English is the official language, though visitors will beastonished by the variety of regional accents.

    Electricity:

    The electrical current in the UK is 230 volts, 50Hz.Flat, three-pin plugs are standard.

    Entry Requirements:

    US travellers must hold a passport that is valid for theduration of their stay; a visa is not required for stays of up tosix months.

    Passports must be valid for at least the expected duration ofthe stay. No visa is required for stays of six months or less.

    Passports must be valid for at least six months after thedeparture date. No visa is required for stays of six months orless.

    South Africans require a valid passport and a visa for entry ortransit through the UK. South African temporary passports are notrecognised.

    Under the Common Travel Area agreement, citizens from the UK andIreland are not required to pass through passport control. They cantravel between both countries without a valid passport if they canprove they are a valid UK or Irish national.

    US travellers must hold a passport that is valid for theduration of their stay; a visa is not required for stays of up tosix months.

    New Zealand nationals must hold a valid passport, but no visa isrequired for stays of up to 6 months.

    Passport/Visa Note:Visa:

    If a visa is not required, travellers should hold a return oronward ticket, or proof of funds for the duration of stay.Passports must be valid for the period of intended stay in the UK;nationals of the EU require a passport valid on arrival. It ishighly recommended that passports have at least six months validityremaining after your intended date of departure from your traveldestination. Immigration officials often apply different rules tothose stated by travel agents and official sources. For visitorswho are visa exempt up to a maximum stay of 6 months, the period ofstay will be determined by the Immigration Officer on arrival.

    Travel Health:

    There are no specific health risks associated with travel to theUK and food and water can be considered safe. The British NationalHealth Service is excellent. A number of countries have reciprocalhealth agreements with the UK including Australia, New Zealand, andEU countries. Visitors from other countries (including Canada,South Africa, and the US) are advised to take out comprehensivemedical insurance.

    Tipping:

    Tips of 10 to 15 percent are expected in restaurants andupmarket hotels in the UK if a service charge hasn't been included.Hotel service staff receive an optional amount. Taxi drivers areusually given 10 to 15 percent of the fare. Tipping for otherservices is discretionary.

    Safety Information:

    It is generally safe to travel throughout the UK, althoughtravellers are advised to take special care of their personalbelongings in central London, where pick-pocketing is oftenreported and muggings are fairly common. Northern Ireland stilloccasionally experiences unrest in the form of protests and riots,but tourists are not targeted and so long as political marches areavoided there should be no risk.

    There is some risk of international terrorism in the UK andsecurity has been increased at transport hubs throughout thecountry; airports in particular have seen a serious heightening ofsecurity measures over recent years.

    Local Customs:

    Handshaking is customary when introduced to someone new. Smokingis banned in all enclosed public spaces, including pubs andrestaurants, and on public transport. The ban is also in effect inWales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. There is strict etiquette onescalators: stand on the right, walk on the left. Visitors may findLondoners more rushed and less friendly than Brits in other partsof the country, particularly on London transport, where touristsare generally the only people who talk.

    Business:

    The four countries of the United Kingdom, although culturallyand historically different, generally keep to the same practices inbusiness. Politeness and punctuality are key to good businessrelations, and initial meetings are often conducted formally andimpersonally, becoming more open and social as things progress.Business cards are exchanged at introductions. Dress is formal,with dark suits preferred. Business hours are generally 8am to 5pmMonday to Friday with an hour taken at lunch.

    The communication style can be difficult to adjust to: theBritish people respect politeness to a point that often obscurestheir ability to say exactly what they mean. As a result,travelling businessmen may need to learn to 'read between thelines' and to take cues from tone of voice and facial expression.Humour is also an integral part of the British system ofcommunication, and is used to diffuse a tense situation and tocultivate relationships. Never assume that an attempt at humourundermines a person's ability to do their job, or discredits theimportance they attach to a deal or negotiation. Furthermore, don'tbe fooled into thinking that the British propensity for irony andsarcasm equates with an informal work environment.

    During meetings, be tactful, avoid becoming emotional, andillustrate your experience with the subject at-hand. Performanceand initiative are looked upon favourably, whereas academicpretension is given far less credence. Meetings are often used asplatforms for debate, rather than moments of confirmation, so don'tbe surprised if not much progress is made. Be sure to respect andappeal to all parties involved, as the British have recently begunto take a far flatter approach to management and the responsibilityof decision-making. And if things go well, purchase a pint or twofor your clients or colleagues; though gifts are borderlineinappropriate, a round of drinks will rarely be refused.

    Communications:

    The international country dialling code for the UK is +44.Mobile phone coverage is extensive. Internet cafes are available inall major towns and cities, train stations, and airports. Wifi isalso widely available.

    Duty Free:

    When arriving from a non-EU country, travellers can bring thefollowing goods into the UK tax or duty free: 200 cigarettes, 100cigarillos, 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco, 4 litres of still tablewine, 16 litres of beer, 1 litre of spirits or strong liqueurs or 2litres of fortified wine, sparkling wine or other alcoholicbeverages of less than 22 per cent volume, £340 worth of all othergoods including perfume and souvenirs.

    When travelling from another EU country to the UK visitors donot have to pay tax or duty on goods purchased in said EU countryprovided tax was included in the purchase price, the items are forpersonal use and have been transported to the UK by the visitor,and do not exceed 3,200 cigarettes, 400 cigarillos, 200 cigars, 3kgof smoking tobacco, 110 litres of beer, 10 litres of spirits, 90litres of wine and 20 litres of fortified wine. Note that althoughGibraltar is part of the EU, it is outside the Community Customsterritory and allowances for outside the EU therefore apply. In thecase of Cyprus, only goods under the effective control of theGovernment of the Republic of Cyprus are treated as EU imports.

    Useful Contacts:

    United Kingdom Tourism Website: www.visitbritain.com

    United Kingdom Embassies:

    British Embassy, Washington DC, United States: +1 202 5886500.

    British High Commission, Ottawa, Canada: +1 613 237 1530.

    British High Commission, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 12 4217500.

    British High Commission, Canberra, Australia: +61 2 62706666.

    British Embassy, Dublin, Ireland: +353 1 205 3700.

    British High Commission, Wellington, New Zealand: +64 4 9242888.

    Foreign Embassies in United Kingdom :

    United States Embassy, London: +44 20 7499 9000.

    Canadian High Commission, London: +44 20 7004 6000.

    South African High Commission, London: +44 20 7451 7299.

    Australian High Commission, London: +44 20 7379 4334.

    Irish Embassy, London: +44 20 7235 2171.

    New Zealand High Commission, London: +44 20 7930 8422.

    United Kingdom Emergency Numbers : 999/112 (General)
    United Kingdom