Posts for United Kingdom Category

Things You Need to Know About Future Travel to the UK & Europe

Europe, United Kingdom - Ross French - February 10, 2021

Travel to the UK

There have been some big changes in Europe and the UK recently. If you happen to live anywhere on that continent, you will know exactly what we’re talking about. But for everyone else, here’s a quick catch up, in case you missed the news.

As of January 2021, the UK is officially no longer part of the European Union or EU. You might have heard the term ‘Brexit’ being thrown around, as in ‘Britain’s Exit’ from the EU. Not Europe – the UK is still geographically part of the European continent. But politically, it has left a union made up of 26 other nations.

This change in the relationship between the UK and this big gang of other European nations has all sorts of practical implications for people wanting to travel, work and do business between Britain and the EU – some big, some minor. Mostly, these changes affect British and EU citizens. But there are also a few knock-on effects worth raising for anyone from the rest of the world planning on doing any traveling around Europe (post-COVID pandemic, of course).

From a traveler’s point of view, one of the great things about the EU is the relaxed or open borders that exist between member states. So if you land in, say, France, you have complete freedom to go explore Spain, Italy, Germany, the Czech Republic and every other EU country without being stopped and quizzed at every border.

This is particularly beneficial if you are planning to hang around in Europe long enough to need a visa – especially if you plan to work while you are there – or if you happen to be from a country that requires a visa to enter the EU full stop. It’s a case of presenting all of your paperwork once on entry, and that’s it. No more long waits to have your credentials checked as you move from country to country.

Now, it should be pointed out that the UK never signed up to the full ‘open borders’ policy, known as the Schengen Area, that the other 26 states agreed to. That means you’ve always had to go through border control traveling back and forth between the UK and the rest of the EU.

But even so, because of the shared visa arrangements, it was very easy (and common) to use the UK as a hub for some long-term travel across the rest of Europe. That is still going to be possible, of course. But there are likely to be added complications.

New visa rules

We’re still in the early stages of what travel to a non-EU Britain looks like (and no one is doing much traveling right now, anyway). But the UK will start to roll out its own visa rules and arrangements at some point and you will need to be up to speed with both to travel between the UK and Europe.

For example, from 2022 the EU is launching a paid-for electronic entry authorization system similar to the ESTA in the United States. This will not grant you permission to travel to the UK. Another important change for long-term travelers is that an EU work visa will not give you the right to pick up a job in the UK. You might have to think more carefully about where you want to base yourself for the majority of the trip.

Other possible changes are to things like travel insurance. Instead of buying a single policy for travel anywhere in Europe, you might find certain providers start to make exemptions and require you to purchase UK-only policies if you want to head there.

This is because the EU, for example, has very clear and consumer-friendly rules on things like flight and package holiday refunds that no longer apply to UK companies, which changes the game for insurance companies in terms of paying out for cancellations.

Given the risk of having your travel plans trashed by COVID-19 lockdowns and ever-changing rules from one place to the next, it’s definitely a good idea to get the right type of cancellation cover wherever you are traveling to.

To find out more, visit Avanti Travel Insurance.

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A Complete Guide to Places to Visit in Wales

Wales - Ross French - January 24, 2021

Places to visit in wales

Wales is one of the most picturesque component countries of mainland Britain. There are uncountable reasons for a traveler to want to come to Wales. Surreal castles, cozy lanes, all make Wales a must-visit place for all the fellow travelers.

At present, travel is a bit restricted due to the pandemic situation. However, with passing time, things are returning to normalcy. The travel restriction is still existing. After the vaccine is in place, it is expected to ease up. But travelers need to plan their trip beforehand. Wales has been one of the most popular destinations.

Wales has more than 400 castles to explore. Innumerable castles and gardens all around, heritage trains and the culture and people of Wales make the country so beautiful. There are many places to visit in Wales. Here is a complete guide to what to do in Wales. Continue Reading

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5 Places to Enjoy A Budget Vacation in the UK

Travel Tips, United Kingdom - Ross French - July 17, 2018

They say if you want to enjoy a good vacation, you should make a rough draft, and then double the budget and halve the time. Heartbreaking, is it not? Nevertheless, the idea of a budget vacation is always attractive, especially when you are just starting out in life. And while you may not think of Britain as an inexpensive tourist destination, we are here to burst that myth for you. Let’s talk about five great places in the United Kingdom and help you find a cheap break to go on for you next vacation.

1. York

This charming city in northern England is everything you would imagine of an English town. Filled with medieval castles built around an intersection of two rivers, York used to be England’s passage to Scotland. You can stay at decent bed and breakfast places around the King’s College for mere £20 a night. Food is cheap too, and we suggest you try the local specialties like chips and steak at Cafe No.8 Bistro.

2. Bath

Located less than a hundred miles from London, this city oozes culture. It is a World Heritage Site, and that is obvious when you take the city tour (Bath has two for one city tours, great for your budget trip). The city is dotted with museums and theatres. Lodging is cheap as this is a university town, and you can get a dorm room for as little as £30 a night. If you are travelling in a group, getting a farmhouse B&B is just as cheap per person. There are also many eateries in Bath where you can eat for under £10 a meal.

3. Belfast

If you do not live in the UK, visiting Belfast is a must for an Irish experience. This city has excellent places to shop cheap, delicious cuisine and its own unique place in history. Have coffee and enjoy modern architecture for breakfast at City Hall or go to the medieval Belfast Castle. There are plenty of great fast food options and healthier options around the city where you can eat for £5-8 a meal.

4. Dorset

This south-west coastal English town is a hidden gem. It has been named an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty by the government, and for good reason. The cliffs of Dorset along the English Channel are full of fossils and are reputedly as old as dinosaurs. Dorset offers the perfect getaway for nature lovers, and you can book four-star hotels offering as low a tariff as £20/night some parts of the year.

5. Liverpool

The only real city on our list, Liverpool is a must-see if you are a Beatles (or football) fan. And for all the city’s culture and beautiful architecture, it is still cheap to stay at (unlike London). You can find cottages for £80 a night that house as many as seven. Also, Liverpool’s pubs are the cheapest, so, if you are a party person, your vacation just got a lot of fun.

These places are definitely magical, and with the right planning, you can have the best British experience at a fraction of the expected cost. Time to pack your bags and start making your bookings then!

Quick tip: You can save some additional money on communication services by buying an international prepaid SIM card.

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SPEND A QUIET, RELAXING VACATION IN ROBIN HOOD’S BAY

England - Ross French - November 10, 2017

Located on the coast of North Yorkshire, the small fishing village of Robin Hood’s Bay is a perfect place if you want to spend your vacation away from the hustle and bustle of touristy locations. The village is situated in a cleft between two cliffs, giving the place a striking look. The cliffs tower over a cluster of former fishing cottages, which go on till the edge of the sea. The beautiful location creates a beautiful place which is a perfect getaway for anyone in search of breathtaking scenery and unusual architecture. The raw and elemental coastline of Yorkshire will surely take your breath away, as you spend your leisurely days at this pristine location. Here are some of the things that you can do during your stay in Robin Hood’s Bay besides enjoying the raw nature and untouched beauty, to turn your holiday into a memorable experience.

Enjoy a leisurely day at Robin Hood’s Bay Beach

The Robin Hood’s Bay Beach is not your everyday beach decorated with deckchairs and beach umbrellas. Instead, the beach here is much more untouched, pristine and unadulterated. Accessible during the low tide, the beach here is full of seashells and beach rock pools. You can enjoy a relaxing day walking on the beach, collecting some seashells, have ice cream from the beacon farm and chase crabs. It is truly a different kind of beach experience, and you will surely fall in love with this beach.

Explore the archaeological remains of Alum Works

This industrial archaeological remains located on the Yorkshire Coast was the spot used for producing liquor from 1650-1860, which was then used in dyeing and tanning leather. You can take part in various hands-on activities and exhibitions at the site to explore the local geology and the wildlife. You can also visit the nearby Coastal Centre in Ravenscar village, where you can find out more about the 11 miles of beautiful coastline, which is taken care of and protected by the National Trust.

Visit Farsyde Riding Centre

The Farsyde Riding Centre is the perfect place for anyone who wants to enjoy the beautiful coastal scenery of the countryside while riding on a horse. Riders of any skill set can come here and enjoy this spectacular experience. If you are a capable rider, you can enjoy a ride along the beach, moors and the scenic former railway to Scarborough. Novice riders can enjoy a ride on more modest paths along this former railpath which climbs gradually towards Ravenscar while enjoying some breathtaking views of the bay.

Go whale watching

Whale watching is one of the biggest kept secrets of the coast of Yorkshire. The North Sea, just off Whitby, holds a rich variety of beautiful marine life just under its surface. And during the late summer and autumn months, huge groups of herring migrate to these waters. This huge shoals of herring, in turn, attracts a lot of sharks, birds, seals, white-beaked and bottle-nosed dolphins, Minke, humpback, sei and fin whales. You will get the opportunity of spotting all of these beautiful creatures and much more if you go on a whale watching tour while you are in Robin Hood’s Bay.

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TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN LONDON

England, United Kingdom - Ross French - September 16, 2017

Activities in London

Situated in the Thames Valley of South-East England, the bustling city of London is home to over 8 million people. Apart from being the capital of UK, London had been an important educational, business and cultural center for hundreds of years. The history of London dates back to Bronze Age, however, the city started thriving after the Romans withdrew in the 5th century. With its age old history, heavy dosage of literature, medieval architectures and a strong sense of culture, taking a trip to London is an absolute must when you are traveling to the UK. Apart from indulging in the various tourist attractions in London or sightseeing in London, people also flock over to this city during the winter holidays to take part in the extravagant Christmas or New Year celebrations in London. Here’s a list of the top 10 among the hundreds of must-do activities in London.

1. London Tower Bridge

Visiting the iconic London Bridge, the picture of which has been etched in our minds since our childhood, is an intricate part of sightseeing in London. The bridge is also an important reminder of London’s expansion during the era of Industrial Revolution.

2. Big Ben at the Houses of Parliament

The Houses of Parliament is an extravagant and well-known structure by itself. However, the world famous clock named Big Ben is truly another one of the most iconic tourist attractions in London known across the globe. Taking a tour just to see this gigantic clock towering over the city is one of the must do activities in London.

3. Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace is perhaps the most famous palace in the whole world. Most of your sightseeing in London will consist of these type of iconic buildings and monuments which you have known by your heart. The official residence of Queen Elizabeth, the Buckingham Palace is another one of the most popular tourist attractions in London, offering tours of its staterooms and gardens.

4. Kensington Palace

Located near the Buckingham Palace, the Kensington Palace is another one of the tourist attractions in London, and it is open to public year-round. This stylish royal palace was the home of Princess Diana and Prince Charles, and a visit to the refurbished Palace is one of the must do activities in London.

5. Royal Parks of London

Once reserved as private hunting grounds for the Royal Family, these beautiful lands full of greenery and lakes are open for everyone to enjoy. Many of the eight Royal Parks are located in the Central London close to the Royal Palaces and monuments. Spending a relaxing day in one of them is one of the must do activities in London.

6. The London Eye

Riding the London Eye is another one of the must do activities in London. This 500 feet tall Ferris wheel is the most popular paid-for tourist attractions in London. The views of the whole city that you can get from the top is truly an incredible vista.

7. The London Dungeon

If you had enough of the beautiful, royal side of London, then visit the London Dungeon to learn about the 2000 years of London’s gruesome history. Torture was quite popular during the old ages, especially in Old England. A trip to “the world’s most chillingly famous horror attraction” is surely one of the must do activities in London.

8. Globe Theatre

The Globe Theatre is an integral part of London’s history and culture and is closely associated with William Shakespeare. A trip to this tourist attraction in London is a must for every Shakespeare lover.

9. St Paul’s Cathedral

Visiting the St Paul’s Cathedral to see its world famous dome must be a part of your sightseeing in London. You will get to see some of the most beautiful stone carvings and mosaics. Climb the Whispering Gallery or the Stone Gallery or the Golden Gallery to enjoy some breathtaking views of the city of London.

10. Trafalgar Square

Visiting the Trafalgar Square is one of the must do activities in London if you want to get a feel of what this great city really about. Considered as the center of London, it is a great place to people watch, see some famous monuments and just hang out for some time.

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