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Tipping: 10 to 12% is usual for hotels with 10 to 15% being usual for restaurants. In each case, it is not necessarily added to the bill. If a service charge has already been added, no further tip is required.
England coach holidays just wouldn't be the same without exploring its very heart where you will really discover what makes the country tick. Unsurprisingly, the Heart of England and Midlands is very easy to get to with excellent access from all corners of the UK. Birmingham in particular has undergone some substantial renovations making it the cultural scene to be seen at. International airports such as Birmingham and Coventry make it easy for visitors from across the world to embark on their escorted tour to England's heart.
The Heart of England consists of several UK counties all offering a wide variety of things to see and do. Fans of Shakespeare will particularly love Heart of England tours as they will take you to his birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon where you can see the Holy Trinity Church where he worshipped and Anne Hathaway's Cottage where the two sweethearts romanced before they married. Venture a little deeper into the Heart and you'll discover rural Herefordshire where coach tours will take you to quintessentially English villages brimming with black and white timbered buildings and a plethora of orchards to whet your appetite for the county's famous ciders.
Amazing walking trails, a fascinating cathedral and the famous Porcelain Works can be found on coach trips to Worcestershire, whose capital city amidst beautiful Tudor and Georgian buildings is overflowing with tales of the English Civil War. Visit Shrewsbury in Shropshire and you'll come face to face with architecture and tales from Tudor times. Shrewsbury is a lovely Tudor town located within the horseshoe bend of the River Severn and is the birthplace of Charles Darwin who discovered the theory of evolution. No visit to Shropshire would be complete without visiting the home of the Industrial Revolution at Ironbridge Gorge where Abraham Darby III stunned the world with the first iron bridge ever to be constructed in 1779 where it remains as the county's tourist showpiece. If you're fascinated by the Industrial Revolution and would like to find out more, take a coach tour to Black Country, an area covering the Midlands, where metalworking was extremely important during the 1830s.
Birmingham, a favourite destination in The Midlands for chocolate lovers, is home to Cadburys Bournville a fabulous visitor attraction where you can find out how chocolate is made and maybe sample some. The city also has the Jewellery Quarter dating back 250 years where over 500 jewellery businesses are still in operation. Birmingham is also famous for some of the best curry houses in the UK which is perfect if you don't want to travel to India for a meal!
Tours to the Heart of England and Midlands typically include; return coach travel throughout (except self-drive), accommodation in a good standard hotel, meals and a variety of included or optional excursions so you can really see the best of the resort you're visiting.
To help you have an enjoyable holiday in the Heart of England and the Midlands, take a look at these useful tips and advice provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO):
Health and Travel Insurance
Local Laws and Customs
Health and Travel Insurance
British Citizens are advised by some of our tour operators to have travel insurance before going on a tour or holiday, even if it happens to be in your country of residence. As a British citizen, you will be entitled to free emergency health care on the NHS.
If you are visiting England from outside the United Kingdom and fall ill or are involved in an accident and are from any member of the European Economic Area or Switzerland, you can obtain free or reduced cost treatment with The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Comprehensive travel insurance is advised for all other nationals planning on visiting England.
If you need to contact the emergency services whilst in England simply dial 999 or 112 to ask for an ambulance.
Most destinations are generally trouble-free, however as with all places that you are not familiar with, keep an eye on your belongings and if necessary lock them away somewhere safe back at your hotel if possible. Keep an eye on everyone in your party and do not go off with people you do not know. Buy your own drinks and keep sight of them at all times. Be aware of your surroundings and don't venture off on your own.
Local Laws and Customs
Queuing is a British Institution - jump a queue at your own risk!
Drug offences will carry penalties in the UK, so avoid getting involved with anything whilst in England. Please note the narcotic plant Khat/Qat is legal in the UK, but is not in a majority of other countries so never try to export this when leaving the UK.
If you are visiting from outside of the United Kingdom, it is wise to check customs requirements before you travel. If you are planning to bring alcohol, tobacco or souvenirs into the country, you need to be familiar with the UK's custom laws. For those people coming to the UK from the EU, you are allowed to bring an unlimited amount of most goods for your own use without paying tax or duty.
However, if you are travelling to the UK from outside of the EU, you are given an allowance of how much alcohol, tobacco, perfume, souvenirs and other goods. If you go above this allowance you may have to pay tax or duty. It is worth checking the HM Revenues and Customs website before you travel.
When travelling between the UK, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man in most cases an official form of identification such as a Driver's License will be ok. However, some airlines will insist you show a passport so check before you travel.
If you are travelling to England from Australia, Canada or the USA, you must have a valid passport for at least three months beyond the length of your stay. EU nationals need to have either a valid passport or identity card.
Visas for the UK are not required by those travelling from Australia, Canada, USA or EU for stays of up to six months.
Any other nationality looking to visit the UK must contact the local embassy to check visa requirements.
For further information about the Heart of England and Midlands, you can visit the official tourist board website at visitheartofengland.com
When visiting the Heart of England and the Midlands there are many great things to see and do on your doorstep. Here is just a sample of the great things on offer:
When visiting the Heart of England why not visit Stoke-on-Trent the 'Ceramic Capital of the World'. Discover why the bottle kilns, which shaped this areas skyline throughout the industrial era, made this part of the country the pottery centre of England. If you fancy something different, you could always take a trip to Alton Towers.
Known around the world as the birthplace of William Shakespeare, this town still possesses its Elizabethan charm. See the sights which shaped William Shakespeare's life, from his birthplace to his wife, Anne Hathaway's cottage. Get a real taste of Olde England by wandering the endless streets and exploring something different around every corner.
This county town in Shropshire lies on the River Severn. Famous for being a historic market town, Shrewsbury is full of landmarks to explore when visiting. The town retains its medieval street pattern and has many narrow passages and streets. Be sure to visit Shrewsbury Castle, Shrewsbury Abbey and the four famous churches that make up its skyline.
This beautiful cathedral city is well worth a visit if you are in the Heart of England and the Midlands. With a spectacular Cathedral, that towers over the city, it is well worth exploring the Cathedral and the surrounding Quarter. Lincoln Castle also dominates the skyline and a great attraction to see. Another fascinating sight is the 16th Century High Bridge which crosses the River Witham, and is the oldest bridge of its kind in the UK.