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United Kingdom

Destination Guide

We couldn’t write a series of destination guides without including our home country. Although we may be biased, the UK really is one of the most beautiful countries that we have visited. For our readers around the world, the UK actually consists of four separate countries – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – which each have their own wonderfully unique cultures, cuisines and sights. In fact there is so much to see and do in the UK that it is impossible to cover it all in one short trip. We have lived here for most of our lives and we are still discovering new places to visit each year.

From the world-renowned capital of London, to the beautiful coastlines of Cornwall, Pembrokeshire and Fife, to the rugged countryside of the Yorkshire Dales and the Scottish Highlands. There really is something for everyone in the UK and we can’t get enough. In this destination guide we have given our exclusive top tips and highlights to help you make the most of your trip to the UK. For more in-depth advice and information check out our UK posts at the bottom of this guide.

Things to See and Do in the UK

Visit iconic sights in London like Buckingham Palace
Enjoy traditional fish and chips by the seaside
Head up to Scotland for the Edinburgh Fringe festival
See a show in London's West End
Explore the stunning Pembrokeshire coastline
Get lost in the countryside in the Yorkshire Dales
Settle in for afternoon tea at a luxury hotel
Marvel at the prehistoric monument at Stonehenge
Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge, London

Brighton

Seaside Bandstand, Brighton

What to Expect in the UK

Currency –  Pound Sterling.

Best time to visit – June to August for the best weather. However, the British weather can be very changeable even in the height of summer so it is always worth carrying an umbrella or a raincoat.

Accommodation – There are loads of places to stay in the UK to suit all budgets from luxury 5* hotels to cheap bed & breakfasts. If we’re looking for a base to visit family we tend to stay in a Premier Inn which is an affordable hotel chain with hotels across the UK. There are also a number of excellent yet affordable Airbnbs in the UK in great locations across the country.

Food – British food at its best is perfect for a cold winter’s day. It is hearty, filling and full of flavour. Think roast dinners in a country pub or fish and chips by the seaside. But Britain (and in particular London) has become a centre for some of the best food and cuisines the world has to offer and this means you can also find excellent options to suit your tastes. The UK is also pretty good and getting better for vegetarian and vegan travellers (again particularly in London).

Transport – Public transport is great in the UK (despite our commuting complaints). When we travel in the UK we tend to take the train. You can book ahead on thetrainline.com or find out more ahead of travelling on National Rail’s website. For travel inside London you can still pick up an Oyster Card but we would recommend using your contactless bank card instead as it is the same price and can be used on the tubes, buses and trains inside London. Just make sure you keep using the same card otherwise you may be charged twice and won’t benefit from the daily price caps! Taxis are generally quite expensive but Uber and other mobile taxi apps now cover most of the country.

London

How much will it cost me – the UK is a fairly expensive country to visit, particularly compared with some cheaper destinations in Eastern Europe. As always, it depends on where you go in the UK and what you are looking for. In London you are looking at in exceess of £200 for a four-star hotel per night at the weekend. A pint costs £5 and a meal for two will set you back around £70-£80. The further out you go the cheaper it gets but don’t expect a cheap trip away!

Clock Out Check In’s Top Tips

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Avoid the Tourists in London Don't be sucked in by tourist traps in London like Madame Tussauds and the London Dungeons. Get out and see the city properly at your own pace. If you're looking for something a bit different we would highly recommend Hidden City who offer fantastic treasure hunts through central London. Also check out TodayTix for cheap tickets for shows on the West End.
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Use Public Transport (or walk!) Traffic is terrible in London - so driving in the city centre or taking a taxi is a terrible idea. Instead use the buses or tubes for quick and easy travel in the capital. That said, once you are in Zone 1 a number of tube stations are actually within walking distance of each other. By walking you will find so many little streets you might otherwise have missed.
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Get out of London The UK has so much to offer that it would be a shame to spend your whole trip in London. There are so many excellent day trips from London - spend a day at the seaside in Brighton, visit the pre-historic monument at Stonehenge, visit the Roman baths in the city of Bath or take a stroll through the Cotswold countryside. If you're here for longer, why not spend part of your trip taking in the beautiful countryside in the Yorkshire Dales or travelling to Scotland.
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Eat, Drink and Be Merry London has so many wonderful restaurants, bars, cafes, coffee shops, pubs and street food markets that you will never get tired of heading out for dinner. For something a little different why not go for afternoon tea at one of London's amazing luxury hotels? We had the vegan afternoon tea at the Langham Hotel and it was exceptional.

When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life ; for there is in London all that life can afford.

Samuel Johnson

Ready to start planning?

We hope our destination guide has persuaded you to come and visit the UK. Check out the rest of our UK content for more inspiration and to start planning your dream trip to the UK. Whether it is a London city break or a trip to the Cornish coast – Clock Out Check In has got you covered!

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Alex is a solicitor at an international law firm based in London. He has always loved travelling and loves to eat like a local. His favourite destination is Peru where he spent a month travelling in 2009 with World Challenge.

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