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England: Your complete travel guide

Looking for information on England? We have put together this comprehensive guide including interesting facts, things to know before visiting, our blog posts, YouTube videos, and recommended places to visit. Learn about England's rich history and culture, from its iconic landmarks like Arundel Castle and Stonehenge to the famous Whitby Abbey. Discover the best places to see in major cities. Plan your itinerary with us; you'll have everything you need for the perfect trip to England.

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Introduction to England

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Here are a few interesting facts about England that may surprise you!

 England is the largest and most populous country within the United Kingdom, occupying the southern and central part of the island of Great Britain. The population today stands at just over 56 million people, with 9.6 million living in the capital. The total population of the UK itself is just shy of 70 million.

The city of London is not only the capital of England, but is also one of the world's leading financial centers.

England is known for its rich history and has numerous historic landmarks, the most famous being Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument and UNESCO World Heritage site.

The English language originated in England and has become one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. What many people do not know is that French was the official language of England for about 300 years, from 1066 till 1362. When William the Conqueror, a Norman-French speaking duke, invaded England in 1066, he brought with him a large number of French-speaking nobles and administrators. These people settled in England and began to use French as the language of government, law, and culture.

Over time, English and French began to mix together, and a new language, Middle English, emerged. Middle English was heavily influenced by French, and many French words and phrases were incorporated into the language (how many can you spot?). By the 14th century, English had become the dominant language in England, and French had largely disappeared from everyday use.

England is famous for its royal family, perhaps the most famous of all being Queen Elizabeth II, who began her reign as monarch in 1952. She sadly passed on September 8th, 2022, making her the longest-serving head of state in British history at an incredible 70 years.

✓ King Charles III is the current monarch, becoming the oldest new King in history at 74 years old. Owing to a tradition started by the party-mad King George II in 1748, he has 2 birthdays. He was born in November, when the weather is typically not good, and so also celebrates in June, when the sun is out!

The Industrial Revolution, which marked a significant shift in manufacturing and technology, began in England in the late 18th century, transforming the country into a major industrial power.

Football (soccer in North America) is England's most popular sport and is considered the birthplace of modern football. The Football Association, the world's oldest football governing body, was founded in England in 1863.

England is home to several renowned universities, including the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge, which are consistently ranked among the top universities globally. Only 8 years behind the University of Bologna in Italy (1088), they are the 2nd and 3rd oldest in the world, with Oxford having been founded in 1096, and Cambridge in 1209.

Traditional English cuisine includes iconic dishes such chicken tikka masala (curry), fish and chips, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, and the full English breakfast, consisting of eggs, bacon, sausages, beans, and toast.

England has a diverse cultural scene and has produced many influential figures in literature, such as William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and J.K. Rowling.

The London Underground, commonly known as the Tube, is the oldest underground railway network in the world, dating back to 1863. It currently spans over 250 miles (400 km), is the 4th largest in the world, and serves millions of passengers each day. Prior to the Covid pandemic, passenger levels hit a record 1.36billion (2019).

England has a temperate maritime climate, with mild winters and relatively cool summers. However, the weather can be highly changeable, and it is often said that "if you don't like the weather in England, just wait five minutes." It is also renowned for experiencing a lot of rain and dark clouds throughout the year.

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Things to know when visiting England

Things to know when visiting England

Here are a few stats and tips that we picked up in our time here. Let us know if there is anything we should add!

Total Population: 56.5 million | Capital City: London (9.6 million)

Currency: Pound Sterling (GBP) | Driving: Left Side

Measurement Standard: Metric (km)

✓ Entry requirements:

The entry requirements for England vary depending on your nationality, purpose of travel, and length of stay. However, there are some general requirements that all visitors must meet.

Passport: You must have a valid passport that is at least six months old on the day of your departure from England.
Visa: If you are not a citizen of a visa-exempt country, you will need to apply for a visa before you travel to England. You can apply for a visa online or at a British embassy or consulate.
Travel insurance: You are required to have travel insurance that covers medical expenses, repatriation, and cancellation.
Proof of funds: You must have enough money to cover your expenses while you are in England.
Return or onward ticket: You must have a return or onward ticket to your next destination.
If you are traveling to England for a short stay, you may also need to provide the following information:

Accommodation booking: You must have a confirmed booking for accommodation in England.
Itinerary: You must have a detailed itinerary of your trip, including dates and places of travel.
Purpose of visit: You must state the purpose of your visit to England.
If you are traveling to England for a long stay, you may also need to provide the following information:

Proof of employment: If you are traveling to England for work, you must provide proof of employment.
Letter of invitation: If you are traveling to England to visit friends or family, you must provide a letter of invitation from your friend or family member.

It is important to note that these are just the general requirements for entry into England. The specific requirements may vary depending on your nationality, purpose of travel, and length of stay. It is always best to check with the British embassy or consulate in your country for the most up-to-date information.


When you arrive at the airport, you will be asked a number of questions by immigration officials. Be prepared to answer these questions honestly and in a clear and concise manner. When you are interacting with officials, it is important to be respectful and polite. This will help to ensure that your entry into England is smooth and uneventful.

✓ Currency:

The currency used in England is the British Pound Sterling (GBP). England seems to be well on its way to becoming a cashess society, with contactless credit and debit cards accepted pretty much anywhere. You can even tap your bank card directly on most buses and the London Underground, and most taxis now have card readers too! Convert your currency here.

✓ Sunday Trading:

Sunday trading hour restrictions in England are governed by the Sunday Trading Act 1994. The Act allows large shops (over 280 sqm) to open for six consecutive hours on Sundays between 10am and 6pm only. However, there are a number of exceptions to this rule, including:

  • Shops must close on Easter Sunday and Christmas Day.

  • Shops must close on Good Friday if they are located within two miles of a church.

Small shops (under 280 square meters) are not subject to any Sunday trading restrictions. This means that they can open for any number of hours on Sundays, including 24 hours a day.

✓ Transportation:

England has one of the most extensive public transport networks in the world, including trains, buses, and the London Underground. Consider getting an Oyster card or use contactless payment for convenient travel in London.


✓ Driving:

If you choose to drive, be aware of traffic and speed cameras (and driving on the left). The UK's roads are home to around 7,000 speed cameras – the fourth highest amount in the world, beaten only by Russia, Italy, and Brazil. In 2022, over 1.74 million people were convicted of road offenses via the army of cameras. All drivers are required to have an International Driving Licence, and insurance, by law. 

✓ Health & Safety:

England has a high standard of healthcare, which is free, but it's recommended to have travel insurance that covers medical emergencies. It's also advisable to follow basic safety precautions, such as being aware of your surroundings and keeping an eye on your belongings in crowded areas. 

✓ Tipping:

Tipping is not customary in England but is always well received. In restaurants, if you would like to leave a tip, 10-15% tip is ok, but always check to see if there is already a service charge. In bars and cafes, rounding up the bill is appreciated, but again, not expected.

✓ Connectivity:

Wi-Fi is widely available in hotels, cafes, and public spaces, but it may require registration or have limited usage. Consider purchasing a local SIM card or using a portable Wi-Fi device for continuous connectivity. The top mobile carriers are EE, O2 & Vodafone.

✓ Customs and etiquette:

The British are known for their love of queuing (standing in line). Respect the queue and wait for your turn, whether it's at a bus stop, ticket counter, or attraction. Brits also highly value manners and general politeness, so not saying please and thank you is generally frowned upon. Another tip is to be careful not to interupt! This is a big no no in England. 

✓ Cuisine:

English cuisine is a diverse and delicious mix of traditional and modern dishes. It has been influenced by many different cultures over the centuries, including British, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, European (mainly French) and Indian. This has resulted in a wide variety of dishes that are both delicious and unique. Some of the most popular English dishes include Chicken Tikka Masala (curry), Full English breakfast, fish and chips, shepherd's pie, Yorkshire pudding, Cornish pasty, trifle, scones, and Victoria sponge cake. If you are looking for a taste of England, be sure to try some of these classic dishes. You won't be disappointed!

Heritage sites:

England is home to numerous heritage sites, such as castles, cathedrals, and historic houses. Some of these require an entry fee, so consider purchasing a heritage pass with the National Trust or English Heritage if you plan to visit multiple sites. There are over 400 heritage sites in England, including:

  • World Heritage Sites: England has 19 World Heritage Sites, including Stonehenge, the Tower of London, and Bath.

  • National Heritage List for England: The National Heritage List for England is a list of over 40,000 buildings, structures, and archaeological sites that are considered to be of national importance.

  • English Heritage: English Heritage is a government agency that is responsible for protecting and preserving England's heritage.

  • National Trust: The National Trust is a private organization that is responsible for protecting and preserving over 500 historic properties in England.

These sites represent a wide range of England's history and culture, from prehistoric monuments to medieval castles to Victorian industrial sites. They offer a fascinating glimpse into the past and are a great way to learn about England's rich history.


The weather in England can be unpredictable, so it's advisable to pack layers and be prepared for changes in temperature and rainfall. As we say in England, always have a 'brolly' (umbrealla!) to hand. Unless of course you like getting wet!

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