ENGLAND TRAVEL GUIDE
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. As you’ll see in this England travel guide, 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!
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ENGLAND TRAVEL GUIDE: THE 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 in England. Go figure. ⇠ 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.
Obviously, always take standard safety precautions (don’t travel alone, don’t travel at night, don’t flash your wads of cash you baller you). For more information on England safety concerns, see this page and always pick up travel insurance before you go.
WHERE TO STAY IN ENGLAND
CITADINES TRAFALGAR SQUARE
During my five days in London, I stayed at the Citadines apartment-hotel at Trafalgar Square. I chose this hotel primarily because of the location–I could (and did) walk just about everywhere I wanted to go. Yes, even Buckingham Palace. Yes, even the Tower of London. Yes, even the Borough Market–and everything in between.
Besides the perfect location, the hotel was clean and stocked with everything I needed (the room itself was a suite with a kitchen), the staff was incredibly friendly and helpful, and the neighborhood was safe and filled with places to eat.
I would definitely recommend staying at the Citadines Trafalgar Square if you’re looking for a great hotel in an ideal location.
London isn’t the only awesome place to visit in England though.
The country may be small but it’s packing tourism destinations out the wazoo. After you decide where in England you want to visit,
And don’t forget, 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 GUIDE: RECOMMENDED TOURS
If you’re looking for day tours to various attractions in England, Viator is my go-to tour company. They’ve got tours for Stonehenge, Harry Potter, Downton Abbey, Oxford, and every single thing in between. Their tours include pickup and dropoff and head out all over England. Take a look at these suggestions:
➤ STONEHENGE, WINDSOR, AND BATH | This full day tour takes you out of the city and through the English countryside visiting Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, the city of Bath, and includes lunch at a local pub. Features hotel pickup and dropoff and includes your very own tour guide.
➤ WARNER BROS. STUDIO TOUR | If taking a Harry Potter studio tour is in your agenda (AS IT SHOULD BE), check out this tour. This tour includes pickup and dropoff in central London and a self-guided tour of the Warner Brothers studios outside London. Tickets for the Harry Potter studio tours sell out way in advance but you may be able to find some through Viator!
➤ BIG BUS TOUR | I LOVE these double-decker bus tours. Okay, so they seem super “touristy” but there’s a good reason for that–they’re awesome. You get the coolest views of the most popular places, get hop-on / hop-off transportation (so you don’t have to pay extra to get around), and you can learn so much through the narrated tours. I highly recommend.
ENGLAND TRAVEL GUIDE: PACKING ESSENTIALS
➤ ENGLAND GUIDEBOOK | I’m a big believer in travel guidebooks – they’re great for historical and background information, practical information like phone numbers, addresses, and opening and closing times, as well as restaurant recommendations and pretty pictures ’cause I’m a dainty little girl. Consider them your portable England travel guide.
Rough Guides and Fodor’s are my personal go-to brands but Lonely Planet has their own loyal followers as well. Note that most brands also have guidebooks specifically for London as well.
And if you’re interested in a different kind of guidebook, check out Culture Smart! Western Europe. Culture Smart! guidebooks focus less on hotel recommendations and more on getting you acquainted with the local customs and culture of your destination. I LOVE these guidebooks and find them to be 100% accurate..
Besides guidebooks, here are a few more things you’ll need for your trip to England –
and don’t forget to check out my full London packing post here.
Outlets in England follow the typical, two-pronged European style so if you plan on plugging in any of your American electronics while you’re in England, you’ll need one (or, let’s be real, several) of these. I always recommend the 6-pack: for your phone, your camera, your curling iron, and your friends’ too because you know they didn’t bring one.
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.)