Travel in the UK

Great Britain’s “green and pleasant land” is a world recognised site of ancient history, housed side by side with exciting and modern tourist attractions; its turbulent history has been marked by the Romans, the Normans, the rise of its own empire and two devastating world wars, leaving a rich and exciting cultural experience well worth travelling for.

To this end travel in the UK can seem like a difficult task as, despite being smaller than some states, there can be so much to see within a relatively short space of time. However, my own experience has shown that planning and a good understanding of how the country works can make travel in the UK stress-free and easy, allowing you to have the time to see whatever you want to see.

Travel is all too often a nightmare; kids in the back asking “are we there yet?” or wanting to go to the toilet, getting lost on unknown roads (a bigger problem due to the layout of many British towns) and missing the turn to your destination. If this is a worry for you, don’t worry! Britain’s railway system, despite the complaint of many locals, allows for easy and reliable travel from one end of the country to the other, stopping at 99% of the places in between!

There are railway stations in the centre of many large British towns, and most airports offer shuttle bus services from the terminal to the station, allowing you to quickly travel from A to B without the stress of a hire car on unfamiliar road; it is quite possible (though very time consuming) to get a train from London to Edinburgh, quite literally taking you from one end of the UK to the other.

As a side note, the London Underground, or “tube,” is the British equivalent of the American subway; for obvious reasons of avoiding poor traffic, it is a good way to get around the city, with stations stopping near all of the main attractions. For a slightly more expensive alternative that provides a greater chance to experience the flavour of London, a ride in one of the distinctive London Taxi’s is a nice way to get around the city; my own experience with “Cabbie” drivers usually makes for an enjoyable trip, usually providing lively conversation and plenty of banter about local events.

Obviously expecting to experience all the UK has to offer in a single day is wildly unrealistic, surely it’s better to plan your time wisely and enjoy a leisurely journey around the British Isles?

You might be in the UK to watch the 2012 Olympics, to then expect a visit to Hadrian’s Wall in the North would be impossible? The point is, that your choice of hotels should be strategic and can make or break your journey around the UK; nobody wants to come home after an eventful day to a small room and a hard bed? In fact some of the lesser known, more boutique, hotel’s offer an exquisite slice of British life during your stay.

It is not uncommon to see the country homes and castles of the former British nobility converted into spa resorts and large, beautiful, hotels that ooze British charm! Likewise, in towns and cities, “Bed&Breakfasts” (easily found on sites such as hotels.com) give the traveller an intimate and comfortable place to stay for one night, along with the trademark English fried breakfast to wake up to. The site is also great to find some hotels.com discount codes

As I said earlier, the most important part of travelling around the UK is planning; make sure you have an awareness of the trains to take if you are using the railway system, or have a current map of the motorways (the UK version of a freeway) so you can travel as stress free as possible. Likewise with hotels, do your research to find a comfortable and usefully located place to spend the night. Planning in advance will allow you to save money, and make sure that when you do travel to the UK, you can really experience all this beautiful country has to offer!

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