Useful Information About the UK
The UK is made up of Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) and Northern Ireland, and is one of the 27 member states of the European Union (EU).
The Capital cities of UK
London – England
Edinburgh – Scotland
Cardiff – Wales
Belfast – Northern Ireland
UK Population approximately 60.6 million
Northern Ireland 1,733,000
English, Welsh, Scottish, Gaelic.
Christianity - 71%,
No particular religion – 23%
Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam and Sikhism – 6%
Head of State - Queen Elizabeth
Head of Government - Prime Minister David Cameron
Great Britain Pound (GBP) £
29 October – 26 March: Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)
25 March – 29 October: UTC + 1
Winter: Up to -10°C
Summer: Highs of up to 30°C
Units of Measurement
Voltage is 240 volts AC at 50HZ
Distance and speed: Measured in Miles and Miles per hour
Bank holidays are a public holiday in the UK (Christmas day, Boxing day and New Years day, spring and summer bank holiday plus several over the Easter period )
England and Wales – 9 permanent bank holidays
Northern Ireland – 10 permanent bank holidays
Scotland – Statutory bank holidays across Scotland
In the UK drivers keep to the left hand side of the road
An A road with one number after it (A1) is a main trunk road. Supplementary A roads can have 2 to 3 numbers after the letter and these routes are slightly less important.
These are local routes which carry less traffic than an A road.
C, D and U Roads
These are roads and lanes which carry less traffic than a B road.
Heathrow is the world's busiest airport, and Britain's largest, with 67 million passengers a year passing through its doors. Heathrow airport is situated 15 miles west of London and has planes departing to 170 destinations. Heathrow is the primary hub of British airways, Virgin and BMI, with over 90 other airlines using the airport.
Gatwick airport is the UK's second largest airport. Located 29 miles south of London in Crawley, West Sussex. Gatwick airport sends planes to about 200 destinations and over 34 million passengers arrive in the UK through this airport. As charter airlines do not operate from Heathrow, Gatwick serves as a base for airlines including First Choice Airways, Thomas Cook Airlines and Thomsonfly.
There are numerous other airports throughout the UK (see map) with many operating chartered flights. A Charter airline generally transports tourists to popular holiday destinations and the flights are part of a package holiday deal, which includes accommodation and transfers. Charter airlines usually fly to destinations that do not have any scheduled services, usually to smaller airports.
The following smaller airports also offer international destinations: Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry, Doncaster, Durham Tees Valley airport, East Midlands (Nottingham), Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Humberside, Leeds, Liverpool, Luton, Manchester, Masnton airport (Kent) Newcastle, Norwich, Prestwick, Southampton, Southend and Stansted.
Restaurants and Reservation
Good restaurants in the UK will usually be very busy on a Friday and Saturday night and so booking a table is advised. The most popular time for bookings is between 8pm and 9pm. You can book either by visiting the restaurant in person or by telephone. All restaurants in the UK are now non smoking areas, and so if you are a smoker, you may want to enquire if there is a smoking area or anywhere to smoke after your meal.
Tipping is not a big custom in the UK but there are certain situations where it is regarded polite to do so. Restaurants are a prime example. Some restaurants will include a 12.5% service charge on the bill. If they do not, then it is up to your discretion to decide how much to tip. A good guide is 10% to 15% but for a large party, a more generous tip is usually given.
The UK is a leading trading power and a financial centre. Agriculture is an important industry and highly efficient. Primary energy, like coal and oil, are major contributors to the economy, but services such as banking and insurance are the greatest contributors.
The UK has the sixth-largest economy in the world, the second-largest economy in the European Union and is a major international trading power. A highly developed, diversified, market-based economy with extensive social welfare services provides most residents with a high standard of living.The United Kingdom’s economy continues to recover from turmoil in the financial markets. Extraordinary monetary policy measures, including very low interest rates (0.5%) and a quantitative easing program, remain in place. Despite this, domestic demand remains weak and unemployment has yet to return to pre-recession levels, standing at 7.7% in April 2011. However, the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government that took power in May 2010 has initiated a 5-year austerity program, which aims to lower the U.K.’s budget deficit from over 11% of GDP in 2010 to near 1% by 2015.
London is a global leader in emissions trading, a center for Islamic banking, and home to the Alternative Investment Market (AIM).