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Travel / UK
Organise a holiday within the UK
Planning travel
Places to visit
Tourist offices
  Guidebooks / maps
  National holidays
  Holidays with children
  Disabled visitors
Related pages:
Accommodation (find somewhere to stay while travelling)
  Transport (plan how you will travel)
Europe (travel to Europe from the UK)


This page will help you to find information you need to decide where and when to go for a daytrip, weekend break or longer holiday in the United Kingdom.
To plan your transport, see: Travel/Transport. To find and book accommodation, see: Travel/Accommodation.

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A London sightseeing bus
This section contains information about finding tourist information or places to stay. The transport section contains useful information about travelling in London (Travel/Transport/London), travelling around the UK by train (Travel/Transport/Train), travelling by coach (Travel/Transport/Coach) or travelling by car (Travel/Transport/Car).

Some special travel passes have to be bought before arriving in the UK.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) provide information on British visa requirements for visitors/tourists at the UK Visas site: Choose Application forms from the top menu, scroll down the page to the Guidance Notes section and then click on Visitors (INF 2).

London Pass
A pass (for between 1 and 7 days) giving entry to attractions in London and travel on public transport, plus a guidebook and discount offers. Ideal for energetic tourists.
A similar pass is available for York

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The cheapest type of travel is to make a day trip. Bus or train tickets are often cheaper if you return on the same day, and you do not have to pay extra for accommodation. To find interesting places to visit or special events in your area, visit the websites of your tourist board and visit your nearest Tourist Information Centre (for details of these, see below). Local bus or coach companies may organise day-trips.

Travelling as a part of a group is often cheaper than travelling by yourself. If you are studying at a language school or university, find out if they organise trips which you can join.
International Friends organise tours in the UK which start in London or Cambridge: Travel/Tours/Company/InternationalFriends
In London, international students can join the Travel Club run by International Student House:

There is a useful set of links to British attractions, organised by region, at:

The National Trust look after some beautiful countryside and houses:
See also the National Trust for Scotland:
The following organisations run many of the historic sites in the UK:
England: English Heritage:
(in 2003: 25% discount on entry charges for students with ISIC cards)
Scotland: Historic Scotland:
Wales: Cadw:

If you like visiting gardens and flower shows, see the Royal Horticultural Society's site:
Flower shows and other events are listed at:

There are many areas of beautiful landscapes in the UK (forests, fields, hills, mountains, lakes, rivers and coastlines). For England and Wales, see the website of the Council for National Parks:, for Scotland see the Scottish Natural Heritage site:

If you are interested in travelling to the seaside, information about many UK beaches is contained in the Good Beach Guide: There are some sandy beaches, but many are shingle (a mixture of sand and stones) or pebbles (small stones). Swimming is possible in summer, but the water is quite cold and the tides can be strong.

Coast & Countryside
Author: James Parry
Publisher: National Trust
Date: April 2000
The National Trust Handbook: 2003
Publisher: The National Trust
Date: March 2003

"Time Out" Weekend Breaks from London
Author: Jonathan Cox
Publisher: Penguin Books
Date: November 2001

The National Trust Handbook: 2004
Publisher: The National Trust
Date: March 2004

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For details of special events in the UK, contact the tourist office for the town or area. You can also find out information from the website of the local BBC region (go to: and enter a postcode or a town's name), or you can search for events at the site:

There are details of many events in the Ideas/Events section of this website, and photo pages for some events in the Ideas/Album section.

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Contact the British government's tourist organisations. They can provide information on subjects such as accommodation, special events, sightseeing and travel:

Northern Ireland:

Contact the Tourist Information Centre in the area where you wish to travel; to find these using a map see:, or to find them using the name of a town see:

If you are in London and want to travel in the UK, consider visiting the Britain & London Visitor Centre at 1 Regent Street (in the southern part of the road, also known as Lower Regent Street; leave exit 3 at Piccadilly Circus underground station; map), or the Scottish Tourist Board at 19 Cockspur Street (nearest tube: Charing Cross or Piccadilly Circus; map).

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You may be able to find good advice on travelling cheaply using a travel guide written for young people; for example:
Rough Guides: (you can buy guidebooks for England, London, Devon & Cornwall, Lake District, Wales, Scotland, Scottish Highlands and Islands)
Lonely Planet: (you can buy guidebooks for Britain, London, Scotland, Edinburgh)
Let's Go: (you can buy guidebooks for Britain & Ireland, London, Ireland)
A wide range of travel books are sold by Stanfords:
Many useful books for UK travel are produced by . These guides are illustrated with many pictures.


Online street maps are available from Multimap: and Streetmap:
A wide range of maps are sold by Stanfords:, including detailed Ordnance survey maps covering all parts of the country.

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Note that the busiest times for travel are in the summer (July and August) and around the times of national holidays (known as bank holidays in the UK). At these busy times there may be special timetables or restrictions on the sale of cheap tickets. It may be wise to book early and to get a seat reservation. On bank holidays, buses and trains usually run a Sunday service, but there may be no service at all on Christmas Day. The regular UK bank holidays are as follows (when these days occur on a Saturday or Sunday, the holiday is moved to the start of the next week):

New Year's Day: 1 January (2 January is also a holiday in Scotland)
Good Friday / Easter Monday: Friday (Good Friday) and the following Monday (Easter Monday), sometime between late March and the end of April
Mayday Bank Holiday: the first Monday in May
May Bank Holiday: the last Monday in May
Summer Bank Holiday: the last Monday in August (the first Monday in Scotland)
Christmas Day / Boxing Day: 25 December / 26 December

Be careful also at times of special festivals. For example, transport and accommodation in Edinburgh is very busy around the times of the Edinburgh International Festival (in August) and for the New Year's Hogmanay celebrations (31st December and 1st January).

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Below are some guides which will help you to plan holidays or days out with children:

London for Children Guide
Publisher: Time Out Magazine
Date: May 2002
Short Breaks from London (Take the Kids)
Author: Joseph Fullman
Publisher: Cadogan Guides
Date: March 2002
Take the Kids: England
Author: Joseph Fullman
Publisher: Cadogan Guides
Date: July 2001
The Family Welcome Guide
Authors: Jill Foster, Malcolm Hamer
Publisher: Poolside Publishing
Date: December 1999

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If you are disabled, you can enjoy visiting the UK, but it may be easier if you organise your accommodation and visits in advance. New buildings and transport are often designed to be accessible for people who are in a wheelchair, blind or have some other disability, and old buildings are being adapted where that is possible. Some large parks and gardens provide special vehicles to enable disabled people to enjoy them.

Holiday Care is a charity which produces holiday and travel information to people with disabilities: They produce a publication called Accessible Britain which lists accommodation and tourist attractions which are accessible for people using a wheelchair (this can be ordered from their website, and sent to any country). Information for certain regions of the UK is available on their website (for a list of their publications, see:

All of London's black cabs (licensed taxis) can carry a person in a wheelchair and provide ramps. This can be a conveneint way to travel from Heathrow Airport to central London, or to travel around London. See: Travel/Transport/Taxi. Further information about travelling in London is shown in the page: Travel/Transport/London. For the diary of Akemi, a Japanese lady in a whelchair who visited London as a tourist, see: Ideas/Diary/Akemi.

The National Trust (which looks after many historic houses and gardens which are open to visitors) produce a brochure each year called "Information for Visitors with Disabilities". Some properties have a powered four-wheeled vehicle which can be used free (you should telephone the property before you go there to book this). For information about the National Trust, see: Travel/UK. Four-wheeled vehicles are also available in some parks.

Toilets for disabled people are available in many locations, but are sometimes locked for security reasons. Keys are provided under the National Key Scheme (NKS); you may wish to purchase a key from the RADAR website:

Access in London
Author: Gordon Couch
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Date: June 2003

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British history: Britain/History
British regional foods: Britain/Food/Products
Travelling by train: Travel/Transport/Train
Travelling by coach: Travel/Transport/Coach
Travelling by aeroplane: Travel/Transport/Air

Home page: Home

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