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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.
With the 'staycation' still booming, holidays in England are growing in popularity every day and when you delve a little deeper into its beautiful countryside, you'll soon discover why people keep coming back to visit. England maybe small compared to other countries within Europe but it packs a lot to make it a worthy destination to take a holiday. With such a diverse range of cultures, traditions, cities and landscapes on offer, you'll be booking another tour of England just to fit it all in!
With a host of exciting destinations literally on the doorstep, tours of England offer great value for money and a multitude of experiences to entertain the whole family. Must admit though, if you're looking for somewhere with reliable weather, England tours may not be the ideal solution as you can never tell what Mother Nature will throw at you so wherever you visit, do make sure you have that umbrella and waterproof jacket to hand!
You can't visit England without experiencing the capital city, London that showcased to the world the Olympics, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the wedding of William and Kate but this is just the tip of the iceberg as there are so many other wonderful places to explore. If you're watching the pennies, museums are great as the majority do not require an admission fee so take your pick from the Natural History Museum, Science Museum, British Museum and the Victoria and Albert to name but a few. You can also wander endlessly around many of the city's open spaces, Regents Park, Hyde Park and St James' Park are just a few that you should visit during your time here. Take in a West End theatre Show, join a sightseeing tour by coach or shop till you drop – the opportunities are endless in London.
Whilst on your tour of England, a number of regional cities deserve a visit from you such as Manchester. The city is not only home to two of the greatest football clubs in the world but it was also the scene of the Commonwealth Games in 2002. Almost everyone knows that Liverpool is home to The Beatles but it was also awarded the City of Culture in 2008. Another city to feature on your England holiday checklist is York which has a beautiful Minster to admire and Betty's Tea Rooms for traditional English Afternoon Tea but the city will also be the starting point for the 2014 Tour de France.
For those of you looking for an element of culture, visit the university cities of Cambridge and Oxford where medieval architecture, cobbled streets and punting on The Thames will definitely surround you in a sense of Englishness. England also has a number of traditions that may appear crazy to some but it's what makes this country unique so for some sheer eccentricity on you tour, visit Gloucestershire for the annual cheese-rolling contest (May) or watch the locals in Totnes (mid to late August) running furiously down the streets after an orange!
One things for certain due to the variety available in England you are going to be hard-pressed in nailing a tour itinerary. Do you head up North to the beautiful Yorkshire Dales or the stunning scenery in the Lake District? Should you head to the West where you'll find rugged coastlines and picturesque coves in Cornwall and Devon? Or do you head to the South where traditional seaside resorts combine with the Garden of England? With all this choice on your doorstep, no wonder England is one of the most popular destinations in the world for a holiday!
To help you have an enjoyable holiday in England, 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 travelling 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.. 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.
In most cases, when travelling between the UK, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, an official form of identification such as a Driver's License will be ok. However, some airlines will insist you show a passport so do 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.
To find out more about visiting England, check out their official tourism website at visitengland.com
When visiting England there are many great things to see and do on your doorstep. Here is just a sample of the great things on offer:
The Tower of London
Located on the banks of the River Thames in the heart of London. This spectacular castle was built in 1078 by William the Conqueror and was used as a Royal Residence for famous monarchs like Elizabeth I. It was also used to hold prisoners, most recently Ronnie and Reggie Kray in 1952. Now open to the public as a museum, delve into London's Royal history and visit the new Crown Jewels Exhibition which opened in 2012.
Embark on a journey to the top of the 'Blackpool Tower Eye', enjoy a 4D film about Blackpool and the local area before being taken to the viewing platform. The enclosed area of the platform has a glass floor providing panoramic views of Blackpool – don't look down if you're not that keen on heights!
This open-air theatre is constructed on rocks which jut out to sea on the coast of Cornwall. Between June and September, weather depending, there are around 17 productions performed by companies from around the UK. It is also open for visitors when there are no performances, where you can learn more about the remarkable story of Rowena Cade, the creator of this remarkable seafront theatre.
Thought to be one of the greatest Norman buildings in England, the cathedral is adored by many for its spectacular architecture dominating the skyline high above the River Wear. Along with the Castle, the Cathedral was one of Britain's first world heritage sites and has been more recently seen in the 'Harry Potter' film series as 'Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry'.