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A diverse nation.

The United Kingdom is made up of England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man. There is a lot to see and do in the UK and its small size makes it a great destination to explore by car. Offering a mixture of ancient history and rolling countryside, the UK appeals to all ages.

Try skiing in the Cairngorms, or a spot of golf at St Andrews or one of the many courses throughout the UK. There are a huge variety of opportunities to go hiking; try visiting the Peak District or the Brecon Beacons in Wales. Northern Ireland plays host to a stunning landscape and the wonderful city of Belfast. Despite its compact size, the United Kingdom is one of the most culturally diverse places that you can visit.

UK Tourist Board: The official website for the UK Tourist Board – a useful resource for planning your trip to the UK.

Things to see and do

  • Explore the many gardens and countryside walks open to the public.
  • Visit one of the Royal Palaces which open their doors and gardens to the public.
  • Have a look around one of the many museums or galleries.
  • Visit Cambridge, made famous by its University, which is one of the oldest and most successful in the world. The medieval city centre is beautiful, with narrow, winding streets, the market square, little parks and gardens and many charming old buildings.
  • Stay in a cottage in Cornwall and enjoy the gorgeous countryside and coastline.
  • Go camping in the Lake District and enjoy outdoor pursuits such as hiking and cycling while taking in the stunning views of the lakes and rolling hills of the countryside.
  • Go on a city break in London and enjoy a day of sight-seeing in this historic city followed by a night at one of the West End theatres.
  • Visit Scotland and have fun exploring castles, Lochs and admire the spectacular scenery across the rugged peaks sweeping down to shimmering lochs, and lush woodland.
  • Climb Mount Snowdon or hike through the Brecon Beacons in Wales.
  • Spend some time in Belfast, a lively city with a great selection of bars, restaurants and historical monuments.

Festivals and events

  • Take a trip to Northern Ireland and enjoy the Saint Patrick’s Day festivities. (March)
  • Glastonbury Festival is a hugely popular music festival. (June)
  • The Trooping of the Colour military parade, attended by the Queen is the largest royal event of the year. (June)
  • The Wimbledon Tennis Championships are the most famous in the world. (June – July)
  • The Proms are the world’s best known celebration of classical music. (July - September)
  • Edinburgh Comedy Festival showcases the best comedy talent from across Scotland and Europe. (August)
  • Notting Hill Carnival is well known as Europe’s largest carnival, with twenty miles of coloured costumes, music and food covering the streets of London. (August)
  • At the Ottery Tar Barrels Festival, participants carry flaming barrels of tar through the streets of Devon. (November)

Time Difference

GMT +0

Tipping in the UK

  • It is not expected, especially by taxi drivers.
  • A service charge is not normally added to the bill; therefore it is acceptable to leave 10%.
  • That said if you are dining with a large party, usually in excess of eight or ten people, a service charge may be included. This will be highlighted on your bill or stated on the menu.
  • Hotels do not normally add a service charge to the bill however there are some that will, particularly more upmarket hotels. As such, it is advisable to check the bill before you decide what amount to tip. Again, 10% is acceptable.
  • It is acceptable to tip hotel staff a small amount if they have provided excellent service.
  • If you are in a bar or a nightclub it is not necessary to tip the bar staff, however when appropriate some may say keep the change or get yourself a drink with the change.
  • In the Channel Islands there is no VAT and a service charge is not normally added to the bill. Therefore, a tip of 10-12% is acceptable.