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United Kingdom Travel Answers

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jan 25, 2017
A Big "High Five".  (4 Answers)

Yes I know this is not a travel question but I put it here deliberately. Please don't move it to miscellaneous as it's aimed specifically at all the people who follow or have helped out in the UK Travel forums.

Of the top 30 Travel Forum Gurus here on VT, 5 are from the UK. That's 1 in 6. For a relatively small nation far outnumbered by the rest of the world that's quite amazing.

Not withstanding all the other international members who have helped out with invaluable information about the United Kingdom. Well done and thank you everyone.

It's now time to delete the direct link to UK Visa rules in my browser, probably one of the most asked questions ever on VT and enjoy my virtual retirement.

A big "High Five" to everyone for making this the best travel forum in the world.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jan 23, 2017
18 days. England, Scotland or Ireland?  (22 Answers)

Hi. I'm planning to travel by myself on my 26th birthday in May. I want to spend approx 18 days to visit UK. I am not into big cities and more interested with beautiful relaxing scenery (castles, mountains, lakes). I am planning to fly into London and spend maybe 2-3 days just to see the big ben and other touristy area then off to somewhere relaxing. Do you think I can visit both Scotland and Ireland in this timeframe? If not, which of the two would you recommend in terms of beautiful scenery? Also, would it be better if I hire a car and drive or take public transportation? Thanks in advance! :)

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jan 02, 2017
where do would i clear costoms  (3 Answers)

Flying from South Africa to landing in London then on to Scotland on British Airways where would i clear costoms

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Dec 27, 2016
Northumberland or Kent?  (12 Answers)

We're taking an 8 day trip to England and I have one free day to choose between two options. We'll either be doing a tour at the beginning of the trip, from Edinburgh to Alnswick Castle, the Holy Island, and the Northumberland coast - OR we can do a one day tour from London to Kent, Leeds, and Dover. I'd been interested in Northumberland and the Holy Island as I have a Scandinavian heritage and also have traced lines back to the Northumberland area, and have also heard about the beautiful, remote landscape. However, this tour will be a lot of time spent scenic driving. The other tour will be rushed, but allow me to see Kent, Leeds Castle, with a stop at the cliffs of Dover. Which would you suggest?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Dec 05, 2016
What is the best prepaid sim card for travelers in London and Scotland  (6 Answers)

I'm going to London and Scotland next week for 2 weeks, and I need the prepaid sim card that supported 3G/4G internet data, actually I need the most for data / internet. Does anyone can help me which one is the best prepaid sim card for internet data with good coverage during my stay in London and Scotland (Edinburgh, Hihgland and Isle of Skye)? Can I get it at the Heathrow airport or any recommended shop that I can buy for that prepaid sim card? Thanks.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Nov 21, 2016
Best Christmas Market in the UK  (13 Answers)


My girlfriend is coming to visit me for Christmas and she is keen to visit a Christmas market and drink mulled wine. I would love some advice as to which is the best in Britain. We will visit the one in Cambridge, as that is where I am based, but otherwise we are fairly flexible as to where we go; we are also going to south Wales and maybe Devon. I have heard Birmingham does a pretty good one.

Please could you give me your recommendations for Christmas markets, and if possible let me know when they are open?

Thanks very much!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Nov 19, 2016
Which best location to stay in London that is safe and convenient for first comer tourist?  (18 Answers)


I'm planning to go to London and Scotland for 2 weeks, I have booked some hotels for our staying in London in St. Pancras when we arrive on our first 3 days in London, then we are heading to Scotland for couple days, and then will be back again to London. So I need to find a hotel that location is in central and safe for tourist, yet convenient (close to train / tube station or some attractions place) is there any recommended area that I should stay for couple days?

Is greenwich area is quite good and strategic? or should I book for some other area that is more central and convenient for us since we're first time in London. And if possible, could you please give us some hotel options (4 stars hotel) that will meet our need?

Thank you.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Sep 16, 2016
Best way from Edinburgh to Ft William  (11 Answers)

Hey all
I will be in Edinburgh next week and I am really interested in riding the Jacobite in Ft William. When I google the travel time to drive it says 2.5 to 3 hrs, but is saying it's more like 4 hours. The first train leaves at 10:15ish so I need to be there by then. Need to figure out what time to leave. I will be traveling on a Sunday so hopefully the traffic won't be much of an issue? I see that A9 has speed does that work? We don't have those in US yet. Can anyone please give me an accurate travel time? Is it 2.5 to 3 or 4 hours? at 0600 an hour is huge!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Aug 28, 2016
3 questions on long-walks and spur of moment decisions.  (7 Answers)

1) Anyone out there been crazy enough to do the LEJOG (Land's End to John O'Groats / End-to-End) walk or others similar and what are your top tips?

2) What are the top tips on finding over-night accommodations day-to-day rather than planning ahead?

And 3) What's the best way to buy a train or bus ticket the day of w/o going broke?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Aug 28, 2016
visa to uk  (10 Answers)

hello im applying for my husband to come and visit me next few months and i wanted to know about a letter of invitation
can anyone help me about this if they know about inviting someone to visit thanks

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Aug 27, 2016
Are Euros still accepted  (19 Answers)

The recent vote changed things in terms of currency for the UK. Sometimes those kinds of changes take awhile to fully take place. We will be in the UK from Sept. 10-15 and are wondering if the change has already happened or if Euros will still be accepted for our trip dates. Also, what are the tipping procedures in the UK (restaurants, cabs, hotels, etc.).
Thank you

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jul 27, 2016
Travel destinations in Winter  (7 Answers)

Hey! My family and I are thinking about travelling to UK/Europe in January. We are seasonal workers so winter is the only time we can travel. I'm looking for some suggestions on a winter suggestive itinerary. We aren't really winter sports people, so that doesn't really matter to us. We could be travelling up to 6 weeks and could like to check out a few places but not jump around every few days. We'd like to see Germany at least. Can anyone give me a suggestion on a nice cost effective journey through UK/Europe - thanks so much!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jul 10, 2016
parking Leeds/Bradford airport  (1 Answer)

Where would it be best to park at Leeds Bradford airport for 7 nights. The long stay or medium stay car park. Would prefer to walk to terminal. Many thanks Denise

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 11, 2016
Open wi-fi/navigation around the UK  (9 Answers)

Backpacking in the UK next month. Normally I use my phone for navigation but data packages are expensive and I don't know what the wi-fi is like. Any advice would be great!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Apr 30, 2016
London 3 days  (6 Answers)


This is a follow up to my earlier query.

We are 9 people (75 yr old father, 47, 46, 45, 42, 19 yr old adults, 15, 13, 12 yr old children.), from India.

We plan to travel to UK in June 2016. Our arrival at London will be on 4th June morning (Gatwick) and departure on 11th night.

By help from you all (MartinK and others a BIG thanks), we have been able to make a decent itinerary of our 1st portion (Gatwick to Inverness).

Now we reach London from Inverness (via Easyjet) at night on 8th June 2016. We take our minibus and go to hotel for the night.

On 11th June morning we again have a minibus at our disposal for tour and drop off at Gatwick by around 19.30 or so for our fright back (21.45 departure).

Now I would be grateful if you could again guide us on how to go about the 3 days of sightseeing in London (9th, 10th, 11th June).

for 9th and 10th June, should we use a private minibus or use public transport/Octopus? This has more to do with convenience than just being cheaper or costlier, keeping in mind my father's age.

Should we buy a London Pass for convenience and economy? If yes, 2 or 3 days?. What all should we do, as this is a 1st visit for most of us.

We plan to stay in Blackfriars area, or Hyde Park area.

Thanks a lot in advance :-)

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Apr 15, 2016
London to Scotland trip by road  (12 Answers)


This is a follow up to my earlier query.

We are 9 people (75 yr old father, 47, 46, 45, 42, 19 yr old adults, 15, 13, 12 yr old children.), from India.
We plan to travel to UK in June 2016. Our arrival at London will be on 4th June morning (Gatwick) and departure on 11th night.

We plan to Hire a minibus with driver/guide to pick us up from Gatwick to take us to Scotland and around as per the itinerary.

A tentative route we have planned is:

4th June. Gatwick to Manchester (or nearby for the night stay). via Oxford, Stafford on Avon (maybe). Night where? Manchester?

5th June Manchester to Edinburgh via Lake District National Park. Night Edinburgh

6th June Edinburgh sight seeing, evening to Glasgow, night in Glasgow

7th June Glasgow to Inverness via Loch Lomond, Bridge of Orchy, Fort William, Loch Ness. Night Inverness.

8th June Inverness and around. Night flight Easyjet (20.55 departure) to London LUTON--booked. Night London.

9th June London.

10th June London

11th June London. Night flight back to India (from Gatwick).

Now I would be grateful if you all could guide us as to the places to see enroute on all segments.

Will it be advisable to continue with the same minibus & driver (from Gatwick to Inverness), or change minibus in Edinburgh for more local knowledgeable person?

Will it be advisable to use a minibus in London for the 3 days we have there?

How do we transfer from Luton to London Hotel, late night?

Thanks a lot in advance. This I think will be my 4th trip planned with the help of you all (without travel agents). It is amazing as to the guidance and insights I am able to receive from this forum.:-)

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Mar 24, 2016
Medieval Villages  (27 Answers)

I was wondering, as I am contemplating a return in the foreseeable future, if there are any medieval villages, authentic or re-created, one can visit? And if recreated, would there be folk dressed in period attire working as docents?

I am aware that the abodes dwelled in by the peasantry are likely no more due to the materials used, larger, more important structures like manors may still exist.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Mar 13, 2016
Travelling with expired passport!  (5 Answers)

I'm in a tricky situation. I'm German but I've been living in the UK for over 3 years. I recently went to London to get my passport renewed but due to some really stupid bureaucracy (a document that they had mentioned as a requirement on their website) the embassy sent me away and I had to book a new appointment. So now my passport has expired (last week) and I won't be able to get my new one till end of April.
I really urgently want to go to Germany though in about 1-2 weeks' time and I've been trying to find information about whether there is any way of doing so with an expired passport.
It seems like on the German side of the border I might get accepted with my expired passport (), however, as I'd be flying from the UK to Germany and back I've been wondering whether the airline would let me fly and also if I would get through the checks at the British airport on my way out and, especially on my way back in?

Has anyone got any useful information on this or knows somewhere official where I could find out more about this asap?

P.S. I do have a German ID card, but that expired way over a year ago, as I didn't know until recently that I could renew it while living abroad. So my only valid photo "IDs" are my German driving license and my NUS extra student card.

I would be very grateful for any advice!


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Mar 13, 2016
Tamfu R. Fobi - Planning a Trip to UK  (5 Answers)


I am Tamfu R. Fobi and i live in US. I am planning a trip to UK. Just need a overview from where should i start the trip. Which should be the first state to visit in?Any guidance would be helpful.

Tamfu R. Fobi

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Mar 12, 2016
UK / Scotland / Dublin  (8 Answers)

This is the iterenary that we are consideing:

We are a group of 9, incl 1 senior citizen 75 yr old. Arrive at London Gatwick airport at 7.20 am on 4th June. Should be out by 9.00 am I presume.

Now, we need a 9-12 seater comfortable minibus (Mercedese/Toyota or similar) with driver (cum guide if possible) for our tour across UK/Scotland.

Day 1 (4th June) Saturday.  Pick up from Gatwick and drive to York with stops / detours to Cambridge and others en route. Night in York.

Day 2 (5th June) Sunday. Explore York, then to Edinburgh with stops / detours en route (maybe a side trip to Castle Howard or the Yorkshire Moors). Explore Edinburgh. Night Edinburgh.

Day 3 (6th June) Monday morning explore Edinburgh. Afternoon leave for Perth, Pitlochry to Inverness and stay overnight Inverness.

Day 4 (7th June) Tuesday, explore area. Leave for Glasgow via the Great Glen, Loch Ness and Glencoe. Night Glasgow.

Day 5 (8th June) Wednesday. Early morning drop to airport for flight to Dublin.

Similar minibus transport in Dublin. Pickup from airport. Roam the city (What to do?). Night in hotel.

9th June early morning, drop to airport for flight to London.

Now for the London portion we again need a similar minibus.

Day 6 (9th June) Thursday, morning pickup from London City airport at about 8.30 am. Tour the city for the day.

Day 7 (10th June) Friday, morning pick up from hotel and tour city for the day.

Day 8 (11th June) Saturday, morning pickup from the hotel and tour city. Drop at Gatwick airport by 7 pm.

Is this workable? Hectic but doable?

Also is minibus advised for London?



Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Mar 11, 2016
Gatwick to Edinburgh  (8 Answers)

We are 9 people.

Arrive at Gatwick by emirates flught at 7.20 am.

Can we take the 9 am British Airways flight to Edinburgh from Gatwick?

Otherwise there is a 12 noon Easyjet flight from Stansted. Which would you suggest.

How to get to Stansted?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Mar 08, 2016
London and Scotland  (17 Answers)


We are 9 people (75 yr old father, 47, 46, 45, 42, 19 yr old adults, 15, 13, 12 yr old children.), from India.

We plan to travel to UK in June 2016. Our arrival at London will be on 4th June and departure on 11th night or 12th morning.

We would prefer to go to the Scottish area immediately, and reach back London by around 8th night so it gives us 3 days around London.

Is this workable? How do we organise this?

Where to go in Scotland (Edinburgh, Lake District, Whisky Distillery??).

Please Help.


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jan 28, 2016
London/Dublin/Belfast  (13 Answers)

Hi, I´m starting to plan my trip for this June, i´m not sure yet about my destination as haven´t bought my air tkts yet. I´m considering London - 5 days then Dublin+Belfast 3 or 4 days(?) . My initial questions: Should I rent a car in Dublin to explore around and drive to Belfast? Is it enough time to have a look at these two cities? Where is it better to look for accommodations? Thanks, your inputs will help me to start!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jan 24, 2016
Camper van around Ireland to Scotland to Wales to London  (20 Answers)

We are spending 3 months travelling around Europe and finishing in the UK. We will be arriving in Dublin in November and was hoping to hire a camper van to drive around Ireland, catch the ferry to Scotland, drive around Scotland and down through Wales finishing in London; where we will be staying for 6 nights. We arrive in Dublin on the 7/11 and need to arrive in London on the 18/11. Our travel agent has said they can't offer any camper van deals as we are to young. We are 23 and 24. I have found that spaceships allows us to pick up in Dublin and drop off in London, is okay with renting to 23yo and is auto and is the cheapest company (almost half the price of wicked). But I can't find many reviews about spaceships, has anyone rented from them before in the UK? Also do you think this is possible given our time restraints? We thought we would probably see more if we were driving around as opposed to staying a couple of nights here and there in cities. TIA

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Dec 20, 2015
Two-week trip between Wales, Western England, and London?  (13 Answers)


Title says it all: We intend to take a ferry from the continent and start our journey in Plymouth, visit Wales and Western England, and somehow end in London before going home:

We'll bring folding bikes so we can combine cycling with train and bus, when needed.

Besides the Cotswolds between Gloucester and Bristol, what must-see areas would you recommend?

Thank you.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Nov 30, 2015
Last Night At Ther Proms 2016 Sept  (19 Answers)

What are the chances that we get tickets ( 2) to The LN at The Proms , Prince Albert Hall.
A return trip to the UK has moved up into the top ten destinations.
We are only really interested in hearing three songs, "Jerusalem", "I Vow to You My Country", and "Rule Brittannia " with Sarah Connelly, providing the live entertainment.
External venues look impressive but vacating 200,000 people from such a venue is not that appealing.
The next option is Northern Spain.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Oct 09, 2015
Northern Lights in UK  (2 Answers)

- there were news about Northern lights that was visible from UK and that is going to appear again in the coming weeks. Can anyone suggest what is the best place to see with good travel access from London?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Sep 27, 2015
Budget flights from India  (2 Answers)

We (4 adults and 2 kids) are looking for budget flights to UK (London) from India preferably from New Delhi. What are the good options. We are in no hurry, can book in advance. No problem, if we get connecting flights.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Sep 25, 2015
What's the best way to get around the United Kingdom?  (12 Answers)

Hi! A friend and I are planning a two and a half week trip to the UK for graduation in May. We're flying in and out of London. Our plan is to go to at least Cardiff, Endiburgh, Glasgow, Belfast, and Dublin. What would be the best way to get from city to city? Also, if anyone has any must sees or even any other towns that you think we should hit up during out trip that would also be really helpful! Thanks!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Sep 16, 2015
Pine Lake resort near Lancaster  (5 Answers)

What is the Pine Lake resort, north of Lancaster, like for a couple to stay at for a week (or less) in (chilly) October please?

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