The language spoken in the United Kingdom is English. There are lots of regional dialects so it may be hard to understand people in some areas. So long as you are speaking english they should be able to understand you.
The currency in the United Kingdom is the pound sterling represented by the (£) symbol.
Calling the emergency services from any telephone is free, they can be reached by dialing 999. This number can put you through to any of the following emergency services.
- Fire Brigade
- Cost Guard
- Mountain Rescue
Most major hospitals have a 24-hour Accident and Emergency (A and E) department where you can turn up without making an appointment. You may have to wait, even if your injuries are serious, before being seen by a doctor or nurse. How long you wait will depend upon:
- how busy the department is
- the seriousness of other patients' conditions
- if your condition will get worse if left
In the United Kingdon we drive on the left hand side of the road. The speed limits for roads are:
- 30mph (48kmph) in built up areas
- 60mph (96kmph) on single carriageways
- 70mph (112kph) on dual carriageways & motorways
Adults, and children aged 14 years and over, MUST use a seat belt where fitted, when seated in cars, minibuses, buses and coaches. The drivers MUST ensure that children under 14 years of age in cars, vans and other goods vehicles use seat belts or an approved child restraint where required. If a child is under 1.35 metres (approx 4 ft 5 ins) tall, a baby seat, child seat, booster seat or booster cushion MUST be used suitable for the child's weight, and fitted to the manufacturer's instructions.
In the United Kingdom we have alot of roundabouts, it is essential that you understand the basic rules for getting around them.
- give priority to traffic approaching from your right
- watch out for vehicles already on the roundabout
For more information on negotiating roundabouts see the Highway Code
You MUST give way when someone has moved onto a crossing.
Alcohol and Drugs
You MUST NOT drive with a breath alcohol level higher than 35 µg /100ml or a blood alcohol level of more than 80 mg/100 ml.
You MUST NOT drive under the influence of drugs or medicine.
Using your Horn
Use only while your vehicle is moving and you need to warn other road users of your presence. Never sound your horn aggressively. You MUST NOT use your horn while stationary on the road or when driving in a built up area between the hours of 11.30 pm and 7.00 am, except when another vehicle poses a danger.
Mains power (line power) is 240v/50Hz AC. Appliances require a 3-pin(prong) plug, that connects to a socket(outlet). Its is advisable to bring a universal adaptor from your own country, normally available at airports.
The climate in the United Kingdom can often be wet and windy. The average temperature range for the summer months ranges from 15°C (59°F) to 25°C(77°F) and for the winter months the average temperatures range from -2°C (28°F) to 5°C (41°F).
Tap water in the United Kingdom is of a very high quality, and is suitable everywhere for drinking. The water is cleaned and filter at source, it is treated with chlorine and flouride.
Bars and Pubs
Pubs are normally open from 11am to 12pm. You have to be 18 years old to order a drink in a pub. When ordering drinks at the bar it is not common to tip the bar person. If you bump into someone and they spill their drink, you should offer to buy them another one. Pubs are quite strick about closing times, normally 10 minutes before closing time, the landlord will ring a bell and will ask if anyone would like last orders. Pub's are not allowed to serve drinks after closing time. You must stop drinking 20 minutes after closing time; if you have not left by this time, the pub landlord may ask you to leave. The traditional British beer (ale) is bitter and is normally servered at room temperature. You can order it in a pint or half-pint glass. All bars and pubs are now non smoking establishments.
Shops are normally open from 9am till 5:30pm Monday to Saturday, 10am till 4pm on Sundays.
Large supermarkets are normally open 24hrs.
Taxi / Cab
Only traditional London Taxis are licensed to stop when flagged down on the street. There is normally a starting charge of £2 to £3 and then it is around £1 a mile after that. It is common to add a 10% tip (gratuity) to a taxi fare. Do not use a cab if
- the driver appears to be under the influence of alcohol
- the driver does not seem to know the local area
- the vehicle seems to be too old for use as a cab
- the vehicle is in a state of disrepair
Restaurant or Cafe
To avoid disapointment pre-book restaurants. Asking for the bill, "May I have the bill, please?"
People normally only pay a tip in a restaurant or café when there is a waiter service. Adding 10% to a bill that does not already contain a service charge is normal. Do not leave a tip if the service or food is poor.
Passports and Visa's