OVERVIEW OF ENGLAND
One of the most well-known cities in the world, London, is the capital of the country of England, the largest part of the United Kingdom. England is the home of so many things we know so well: the Beatles, Harry Potter, the Royal Family, and words we use when we think we’re being funny like “Cheerio!”, “Jolly good”, and “‘Ello Gov’nah!”
It’s where we catch the train to Hogwarts and eat scones until we can’t fit into our cute little red phone booths anymore. It’s where we ride double-decker buses with Mary Poppins and low-key stalk David Beckham while he enjoys afternoon tea with the rest of the Spice Girls.
It’s also quaint cottages in the Cotswalds, the mystery of Stonehenge, and pints upon pints of ale after walking our corgis. It’s where you eat crisps instead of chips and chips instead of fries and baked beans for breakfast and I can’t wait to be back in jolly old England!
ENGLAND TRAVEL BASICS
CURRENCY | British pounds (Check out xe.com for the most up-to-date currency conversion–they have a mobile app too!)
TIME ZONE | England not only falls under the GMT time zone, it’s also the home of it. The Greenwich Royal Observatory is home to the Prime Meridian, i.e. the spot where all time zones begin. All of England is five hours ahead of the Eastern time zone.
VISA / PASSPORT REQUIREMENTS | If you’re planning to spend less than 90 days in England/the Schengen area, you can get by using just your U.S. passport–no Visa required. (Except for all those scones you’re planning on buying, ba-dum-tshh!) However, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date you leave the Schengen area. It’s weird; don’t ask.
LANGUAGE(S) SPOKEN | English is the primary language spoken. ⇠ Hallelujah!
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO LOOK OUT FOR? | As with almost all of Europe, pick-pockets are probably your biggest safety concern though I’ve personally never experienced anything in England that warrants mentioning.
Regardless of what I’ve experienced, always be on guard, travel smart, and consider picking up travel insurance before you go.
WHERE TO STAY IN ENGLAND
Why not start by reading some hotel reviews on Tripadvisor?
Then when you’re ready, book your hotel room on Booking.com (my go-to booking site, I mean, it’s right there in the name…).
- Book a hotel room in London
- Book a hotel room in Oxford
- Book a hotel room in Bath
- Book a hotel room in Manchester
- Or just use this handy widget ⇣⇣⇣
Additionally, there’s always Airbnb and I can help you save $40 on your first Airbnb stay. Just click here to activate the no-strings discount and shop away!
ENGLAND TRAVEL ESSENTIALS
European plug adapter | If you plan on plugging anything in while you’re in England, you’ll need one (or, let’s be real, several) of these.
England guidebook | My choices would be:
- The Rough Guide to England
- Fodor’s Essential England
- Lonely Planet England
- Rick Steves England
Anti-Theft Crossbody Purse | I have no petty crime to report from my time in England but, nevertheless, I travel with a pick-pocket-proof purse. This one features slash-proof material, locking zippers, RFID blocking, and straps you can attach to your chair, bench, etc.
All the Harry Potter movies | If you’re traveling around England (and especially in London), Harry Potter is going to make an appearance in some way, shape, or form. If you haven’t been schooled yet, get on it! If you’re familiar, you’ll wanna catch up. (I know, I know–the books are always better. But with the movies you can actually see London and more of the places you’ll be visiting.)
MY POSTS ON ENGLAND
For my first trip to London I packed in as much as I could into five great days. You’ve got museums, great restaurants, Harry Potter and more Harry Potter, afternoon tea, a day trip to Greenwich and the Prime Meridian, all the popular tourist sites, and SO MUCH MORE. This itinerary covers all the things you’ll want to see and do during your first trip to London.
Visiting the Harry Potter film studios outside London is a MUST for any Harry Potter fan. It’s a quick and easy trip out to Leavesden where you can visit all the sets from the movies and see all the props, costumes, and more. This post tells you all about it–what to see, how to get there, and some important dos and don’ts.
When visiting England, you must experience afternoon tea. So I sought out the coolest one I could find: a Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory-themed afternoon tea in London. This one has all the loveliness of a traditional afternoon tea, but with an adorable theme wherever possible. Check it all out here!
This post helps you pack for your upcoming trip to England (in the winter) and keeps it as real as possible. Forget what you’ve seen on Pinterest and Instagram–that shit ain’t real. Real travelers don’t dress like that. Check out this post to see what you *actually* need to bring/wear/and buy.
But first, Pin me ⇣