BARE FACTS: ENGLAND
VISA WHAT NOTS
Most tourists coming to visit the UK won't need a travel visa to enter, some of these include any one holding a EU, Australia and American passport. Since Brexit has passed this could change in the new few years as England has a significant illegal immigration problem. Work visas are becoming a little harder to obtain.
Typical of Europe, the UK had fantastic transport links and if booked in advance, it can be extremely cost effective. Major train lines will get you to all the main towns and cities while buses will get you to all the spots in between. Megabus and National Express are budget friendly and reliable, they both have insane early bird sales.
England has a long and fruitful history which has made it world famous for lots of important things. The Royal family is perhaps the most watched worldwide and there is always some tabloid worthy gossip surrounding them. Don't forget the English produced Shakespeare, endless Pop music celebrities, the EPL and cozy English pubs.
GRASMERE, LAKES DISTRICT
Hidden away in the picturesque Lakes District is the little town of Grasmere. It might feel like you've stepped inside a Beatrix Potter novel mainly because she lived in a neighboring town. The town is small but offers plenty of nice spots to do some shopping or have some lunch. Make sure you visit the world famous Grasmere Gingerbread, labelled as "The World's Best Gingerbread", we tried it and vote that it is.
England has no shortage of cute coastal towns to visit but with it's prime harbour position there's no secret as to why Penzance is a crowd favourite. With rich history, well preserved architecture and the famous Cornish Pasties it's a fun place to explore. Enjoy wandering the steep streets of this town and finish everything off with a drink at the pub.
If you're headed to England then it's important that you make the stop to it's big and bustling city, London. London has it all from famous architecture, happening food scene, galleries, museums and of course the West End's theater spectaculars. London is extremely multicultural and made up of plenty of different neighborhoods, each with their own unique attractions. One of the best things is that a lot of the sights are completely free to see.
HYDE PARK EXECUTIVE APARTMENTS, LONDON
Hyde Park Executive Suites are quite possible London's best kept secret. At just over $100 a night for a room, en suite and kitchen, it's a great deal. Rooms were spacious and clean however ask for one above ground level, as with all UK accommodation anything under ground gets very dank. Close to two Tube stations on two separate lines, it's literally a tourists dream. Only downside was wifi can only be accessed in the lobby.
SANDY DREAMS, WEYMOUTH
The UK has a reputation for great B & B service and Sandy Dreams was out first encounter. There was nothing we could fault, every detail was thought of from bottled water, fluffy robes, tea and coffee and a well thought out local guide. The highlight is the amazing continental AND full cooked breakfast. For just over $100 AUD it was good value for two people.
ARTIST RESIDENCE BOUTIQUE, PENZANCE
Just when you thought Penzance couldn't get any cuter, a stay in the Artist Residence makes the whole trip complete. Each room is uniquely decorated and comfortable with all home comforts. For about $100 per night you'll enjoy tea, coffee, locally sourced toiletries, free wifi and breakfast. There is a cafe downstairs for extra treats.
£50-£70 A DAY
Most hostels are about £15- £20 a night which will be the biggest cost however quality has dramatically improved in the past few years. Super markets often do a £5 meal deal that will get you a sandwich, drink and snack. Stock up on cheap pre made food and cook in the hostel. Walk everywhere in the city and only tube or bus when going across city. Take advantage of cheap and free site seeing and only spend money on the things you really want to do.
A LIL SWAGGER
£80-£100 A DAY
With a little extra cash you can afford a mix of groceries and cheap local restaurants and cafes, throw in a pub meal and a pint. Saver money by walking but cut a bit of time by grabbing tubes for longer trips. Treat yourself a little extra sight seeing and maybe sneak in a West End play over your stay. You'll still need to utilize hostel rooms but consider a private if you're with a friend.
£ 150 A DAY
London has a lot of very wealthy people living within the city and the options for opulence are never ending. Splash out on a hotel room if you're after some more luxury or save those pound for tasty English pub meals or a few drinks at one of London's many trendy bars. See a few more museums, shows and take some tours with more wiggle room in your budget.
For about £5 you can usually find a meal deal from most of the big supermarkets. They're a backpacking budget saver and will fill you up for lunch. Most deals have a sandwich or salad option plus a drink and a snack. Tesco and Sainsbury offer this option and are easily located all over the city. Stock up on cheap baked goods for breakfast and ready made meals that can be heated up later.
Being a European city, plenty of London's restaurants offer prix fixe menus which are usually valid during lunch or early dinner hours. Menu is set and usually includes the option of a main and the choice of a starter or dessert, some places even include a soft drink. Check out chain restaurants such as Vapianos, Spaghetti House, Rouge Cafe, Pizza Express and Strada for budget options.
For £30 you can start to explore some of London's really great restaurants and experience some truly memorable dining experiences. For a great dining experience try Gauchos restaurants, well known for their tasty steaks and carnivorous offerings. You should be able to enjoy a main, sides and a glass of wine or two.
BANGERS AND MASH
A simple yet staple dish from England, Bangers and Mash is a old time favourite. Literally sausages and mashed potato, the dish only has a few elements but when it's done right it can change your whole day around. There are a few places soley dedicated to serving varieties of Bangers and Mash but you'll usually find a decent serving at the local pub. Served with gravy and peas, it's a filling and comforting meal.
The traditional Sunday roast is a big part of English culture so it makes sense that they made the perfect accompaniment to go with it, Yorkshire puddings. Made from flour, eggs and milk, this dish was originally served as a first course designed to fill up diners so they wouldn't eat as much expensive meat. Covered in gravy and perfectly golden we don't see why you'd want any other courses after one of these.
Pronounced Pay-sti, this pastry delight originated from the Cornwall coast and has become a firm favourite. This baked pastry is filled with meat and vegetables on a half of a shortcrust pastry circle, it's then folded and crimped to hold in the goodness while it's baked until golden. The quest for finding the perfect Cornish Pasty has become a holy grail for fans of this tasty pastry.
England gets dark, gloomy and cold when winter hits but it doesn't mean you shouldn't visit. Low prices, no lines and the city is done up with Christmas lights. Seaside towns are extra romantic during a rugged winter.
MAR,MAY, SEP, OCT
Spring and the tail end of Summer are great times to go to England. You'll get plenty of nice days, a great atmosphere and lots of events taking place. Prices will be more affordable and attractions won't be unbearable.
The UK is filled with tourists when the sun is shining and the parks are green and in full bloom. Enjoy picture perfect weather but pay the price with peak season rates and long lines for attractions.
England uses the 'pound' (GBP) as their currency and the denominations are in 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1 and £2. Pound also come in note denominations of £5, £10, £20 and £50 and can also be referred to as quid
The English aren't overly affectionate so most greetings are a polite handshake or a brief kiss on the cheek hello or goodbye. The more European English often will go for two kisses, one on each cheek.
Under the Metropolitan Police Act 1839, it is illegal to shake or beat a carpet or rug in the street, however doormats are fine, so long as it's before 8 am. It's also illegal to keep slaughter cattle in the street. You know, just in case you were planning on it.