Travelling to the UK and in the UK

Before leaving for the UK:

Before leaving for the UK you will need to check if you have all the required documents with you to enter the country:

  • If you are from Switzerland or from one of the EEA (European Economic Area) countries make sure your passport or national identity card is valid for the whole of your stay
  • If you are not from an EEA country you must have a valid passport and you may also need a visa to enter the UK
  • If you are travelling with children you may have to prove the relationship between yourself and any children travelling with you. You can do it for example with a birth certificate, a marriage certificate or a letter from the child’s parent giving permission for the child to travel with you

You should know that your details will be sent to the Border Force electronically by your carrier before your travel.

Entering the UK

First of all at the UK port or airport your passport or identity card will be checked. If you are travelling together with somebody you have to go to the border control together. At border control you have to remove your sunglasses, hats and have your passports ready, out of any holders.

If you are from an EU/EEA country you can use a separated channel which is usually faster than the normal one. You can also use the electronic passport control if your passport has a chip on it.

If you are not from an EU/EEA country you should fill a landing card that will be provided by you carrier before arrival.

Hopefully everything will be all right at the border control but if for some reason you’re refused entry they will tell you in writing what happened and what you have to do. They may also want to check your baggage, in that situation you must co-operate.

Travelling in the UK

By plane

There are more than 50 airports in the United Kingdom and a lot of domestic flights are operated by airlines like Flybe, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic or Ryanair. Almost all parts of the UK is connected with London and sometimes it is easier to travel by plane in the country than by any other vehicles.

By train

The railways in the UK are quiet good and popular. There are more companies operating on the rails, if you want to find the cheapest options don’t forget to visit the website of the Trainline. For some years Virgin started to operate express trains on the following routes that is a very good option to people who don’t like the flights:

  • Manchester-London
  • Edinburgh-London
  • Glasgow-London
  • Blackpool-London
  • Liverpool-London
  • Holyhead-London
  • Shrewsbury-London

By coach and bus

The public transportation in the cities means usually travelling by bus. The buses usually have only one door at the front that every passenger should use. You can buy your ticket either in advance in shop or from the bus driver. Make sure you have the exact amount with you as they don’t have any change on the bus.

There are also coaches on the road that offer connections from one point to another, often including special tours to historical places.

Here is a list of bus companies you can trust for sure: Lothian Buses, Megabus, National Express, easyBus, First.

By taxi

If you are new in a city with a lot of luggage it is maybe easier to take a taxi however it is quite expensive depending on where do you want to go.

By car

If you like driving you should know that people in the UK drive on the left side instead of on the right as in most of the countries in the world (left-hand traffic). If you have a driving licence from another country you can usually drive with it but it might be safer if you take some practical classes before you go on the main roads.