ENGLAND SOLO TRAVEL
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO! ENGLAND TRAVEL GUIDE 2023
PLAN AND BOOK YOUR ENGLAND SOLO TRAVEL
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WELCOME TO ENGLAND!
Hi! I’m Gwen, and my passion is using my 28 years of solo global travel and sustainability knowledge and experience to help the solo over 50’s be and stay adventurous through solo travel with their eco-friendly, responsible travel foot forward. Here is my guide to solo travel in England from my travel in England so you can book and realize your England solo travel. What are you waiting for?
ENGLAND: DID YOU KNOW?
England – “Land of the Angles” – is part of the United Kingdom with Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, which collectively hold 33 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Stonehenge, the Tower of London, Palace of Westminster, and Canterbury Cathedral, to name a few.
England is also home to Big Ben, tea, fish and chips, beer (or bitter), Pimms, bobbies, the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Elton John (and countless other amazing bands and musicians), over 1500 castles including Windsor Castle, cricket, William Shakespeare, J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K Rowling, an average of 106 days of rain a year, black cabs and red double-decker buses, cheese rolling (you heard me), Sir Isaac Newton, Buckingham Palace, Hadrian’s Wall, the white Cliffs of Dover, over 53,000 pubs, driving on the left side of the road, the beautiful Lake District, Bath, Yorkshire, and a world class city and capital, London.
Languages in England
The official language is English (of course).
England is a western society shaped from its long-standing contribution in historical events. Hailing from the Anglo-Saxons since the 5th century, the Kingdom of England was not established until 1707 when it merged with the Kingdom of Scotland. England’s monarchs have reigned since the 9th century but today England has a constitutional monarchy with the monarch as head of state and a democratically-elected Parliament overseeing government and all political decisions.
Today’s English are well diversified among conservative and liberal views. Overall, the government believes in teaching its children “British values”, which consist of, “democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs”.
British children, and in all of the U.K., are legally required to attend primary and secondary education or until the age of 16. Higher education, known as “university” (or “uni” for short), only takes 3 years to obtain a bachelor’s degree, of which approximately 30% of Brits hold.
The British have much pride in their global contributions in the fields of architecture, art, literature, law, medicine, science, philosophy, theater, cinema, and music.The British enjoy a state-funded health care system (National Health Service or NHS), which is free – paid through payroll taxes – and guarantees health care for all.
Brought by the Roman Empire, Christianity has been the main religion in England since the 7th century. The Church of England (Protestant) was established in 1536 with the split from the Roman Catholic Church. Today, however, more than half of British people do not claim to be religious and the government has recently been cutting public funding to churches.
England’s metropolitan areas host a diverse set of immigrants who have helped diversify the cuisine available. Still, traditional English meals are found aplenty, which include roast meats and gravy, cottage and Shepherd’s pie, fish and chips, toad in the hole (sausages baked in batter), bangers and mash, Cornish pasties, and Yorkshire pudding.
Fried chicken has made a recent rise in popularity. A typical English breakfast is served bacon, sausages, egg, baked beans, black pudding, fried toast, hash browns, mushrooms and egg.
Don’t forget tea time. A “cuppa” is traditionally observed as a meal time between 2 – 4pm), and typically served with sandwiches, mini cakes, and Cream Tea (scone, strawberry jam and clotted cream).
The British also love to partake in a pint of beer (“bitter” and lagers), or drink cider, Pimms, gin, and ginger beer, to name a few. If you like beer, try out some of England’s microbrews.
Popular Activities in England
The Brits love their sport, not to mention are responsible for helping establish the standardization for many games like cricket, field hockey, lawn tennis, rugby, table tennis, football (soccer), badminton and thoroughbred horse racing.
It’s football and cricket, however, that originated in England – both worldwide sports. Football was first established in 1857 making England having the world’s oldest football club in the world.
In addition to sports, the British also enjoy relaxing or socializing by watching TV, listening to music or the radio, shopping, hobbies, going to live music shows or the cinema, gardening, reading, dining out or going to the pubs. Weekends are mostly devoted to spending time with family.
Best Beer and Brewery Tours in England
ENGLAND TRAVEL PLANNING
England uses the Pound sterling (GBP or £) – exchange rates are usually not favorable for U.S. citizens. Check throughout your travel planning phase on any exchange rate changes.
Tipping in England
Traveling in a new country is easier when you know the country’s tipping etiquette in advance as each country has its own rules. That said, country rules and norms can shift, so here is an international tipping resource for over 70 countries to use as a general guideline that I have found is constantly updated.
What’s not on there is how to tip a concierge, beauty salons or spas, travel or tour guides, etc. For these extras, it is acceptable to tip 10% at minimum. Remember, tipping is for good service only.
Additionally, you should always tip in the local currency (if tipping in cash), and do not be offended if your tip is refused as it may not be the norm. I feel it’s always better to offer a tip for good service than not, unless I know it will be considered offensive, like in Japan.
It’s a complete bummer to spend time and money on the holiday of a lifetime only to show up at a key attraction, or try to access travel or banking resources, only to find them closed due to a national or local holiday.
Therefore, a key activity to do in your early England vacation planning stage is to know the local and national holidays in England.
ENGLAND TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS
Travel Documents for England
From the U.S., you will need a valid passport with an expiration date greater than 3 months (6 months if traveling on to some countries) from your return date to the U.S. It is advised to always check the U.S. State Department in advance of traveling to the United Kingdom for pertinent, up-to-date England travel advisories and information. If you are not from the U.S., please check your government’s website.
At this time (February 2023), a travel visa is not required for U.S. citizens who travel in the United Kingdom 90 days or less and within a 180-day period. However, the United Kingdom is planning to rollout an Electronic Travel Authorisation visa waiver (“ETA”), similar to the Schengen’s European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETAIS) visa waiver (the “ETAIS”).
The ETA rollout is targeted for 2025. You can check now on countries allowed to participate in the U.K. ETA visa waiver program, and watch for U.K. visa waiver updates here on CORR Travel.
Choose from Top Travel Document Holders
Vaccinations for England
There are normally no vaccinations required for England. The U.S. State Department provides up-to-date required vaccination information for traveling to England. It is advised to always check for any United Kingdom travel restrictions and required vaccinations during your planning stage and again before you leave.
ENGLAND TRAVEL ESSENTIALS
Electronics for England
Want to use your 110V electronics while traveling around England? England’s voltage is 230V, and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. If you do not already have electronics (hair dryer, clippers, curling iron, etc.) made for England’s voltage, you will need to bring a voltage converter to use your electronics. Below are top-rated power converters for you to compare and buy.
Choose the Converter That’s Right For You
Most smartphones, tablets, laptops, cameras and similar electronics don’t require a converter (double-check your device(s) before you leave home), but you will still need a plug adapter.
Traveling to England, Type G adapters will fit England’s electronic outlets. I recommend bringing at least 2 adapters. I do not recommend using those single adapters for 100+ countries. They have been known to break and/or cause a power short.
Be prepared before you visit England. Bring a solid, reliable, and grounded power adapter to safely charge your electronics in England. Below are top-rated U.S. (Type A and B) to England power adapter options, from the only brand I travel with, for you to compare and buy.
Choose the England Adapter That’s Right for You
Type G Adapters
If you are going to another country in addition to your trip to England, check this international travel adapter guide to make sure you’re prepared.
Cyber Security While Traveling
Having a virtual private network (VPN) service and portable WiFi is always a good idea to not just stay connected, but stay connected securely in your hotel and all public spaces, like airports, train stations, and restaurants.
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CITY GUIDES & ITINERARIES
It has been many years since I was in the following English destination. If revisit this destination in England, it will be updated. The more I travel in England, the more that gets added to this England Travel Guide.
Until then, here are my recommended things to do in London (from what I’ve already enjoyed or would do when I revisit).
Best First Time in London Things to Do
Best Day Trips from London
HOW TO BOOK ENGLAND TRAVEL
It’s important to book the top three travel necessities early: flights, accommodations and ground transportation.
Cheap Flights to England
With the ever-growing demand for airline tickets to England, flights book quicker these days. Find cheap flights to England now.
Don’t Wait to Book Your Flight to England
Places to Stay in England
Second in importance to buying airline tickets to England is finding the best place to stay in England for your solo travel to England. Develop your England travel itinerary now and find the best accommodations in England to knock one more item off your England travel planning list.
Find the Best Solo Travel Accommodations in England
Getting Around England
There are also taxis, of course, and you can easily find a rental car if that better suits your England solo travel itinerary.
Find the Best Deals on England Rental Cars
Things to Do in England
Here are some more of the top things to do in England to book for your solo England trip.
Best Food Tours in England
ENGLAND ECO-TRAVEL IDEAS
There are ways to reduce your eco and carbon footprint through air travel, accommodations, tours, and activities in England. To help avoid greenwashing businesses, here are some eco-friendly or sustainable travel (also called responsible travel) tips and resources, you can use to book your travel.
Air Travel Tips
Skyscanner provides a ‘Greener flights’ filter highlighting flights that emit less CO2.
Purchase carbon offsets through your airline or through a third party, like MyClimate.org, Carbonfund.org, or terrapass. Carbon offsetting allows you to buy a certificate to reduce carbon emissions, a major contributor to climate change, which in turn contribute community projects across countries to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The best eco-friendly forms of ground transportation in England are public transportation, walking, or renting a bicycle or electric scooter. They are also apt to cost less than other ground transportation.
Explore England Bike and Electric Scooter Rentals
When booking a rideshare in England, select the Bolt Green or Uber Green options instead of a traditional rideshare to support the use of electric cars and carpooling for cleaner transportation in England.
Look for accommodations with the following self and third-party assessed certifications when you book:
Green Globe – Green Globe certifies hotels, resorts, conference centers, transportation, attractions, tour operators, and other tourism businesses globally on sustainable operations and management. Look for England Green Global members.
Green Key Global is an internationally recognized environmental certification for the lodging and meetings industries, including hotels and hostels, campsites and holiday parks, restaurants and attractions in 65 countries. Search for Green Key awarded sites.
Living Building Challenge – if you want to stay in a true, sustainable building, find one certified by the Living Building Challenge. LBC’s certification directory shows all project types globally. Hopefully they will put in a filter soon to allow searching by hotels or hospitality type.
LEED Certified – the USGBC’s LEED Certified label on buildings, like many of the Marriott’s hotels, are those that have verifiably employed multiple and varying green building strategies to improve human and environmental health. Search the LEED directory for England certifications.
GSTC Certified – the Global Sustainable Tourism Council provides global standards for sustainable travel and tourism, as well as international accreditation for sustainable tourism Certification Bodies. Booking sites that offer GSTC certified sustainable are bookdifferent, EcoHotels, and Transat.
Another way to find an establishments implementing eco-friendly or sustainable practices, certified or not, is through Booking.com in which you’ll need to find and review each establishment’s ‘Sustainable Initiatives’ within the booking process. Starting 2022, however, you’ll be able to filter searches for accommodations with the Travel Sustainable badge.
Find Your Travel Sustainable Stay in England
Eco-Friendly Things To Do
England has ecotourism ideas available to explore for your next vacation.
Top Eco Friendly Activities in England
There are more ways to do your part for the planet in your responsible travel, like bringing sustainable and eco-friendly products to protect England’s environment.
ENGLAND TRAVEL SAFETY
Before You Go
Always consult your government’s England travel advisory for your England travel destination in the beginning travel planning phase and up to your departure date.
Buy England travel insurance and international medical insurance for your England solo travel to protect yourself and cover for emergencies.
Safety in England
Overall, England and other UK countries are considered a safe place to visit. London has, unfortunately, been subject to terrorist events and the U.S. State Department does note this on its site, so it is wise to keep informed for travel planning purposes.
Larger cities, like London, may also have its instances of theft or pickpocketing, especially in popular tourist areas or particular neighborhoods, so be wise with your belongings while you’re out and about and taking pictures.
In addition to a helpful site, SafeAround, here are my standard tips for solo and female solo travelers:
- always carry photo ID with you; if you don’t want your passport on you at all times, at least carry a copy of it.
- always be “street wise”.
- always be aware of your surroundings, especially if you feel the need to imbibe or feel the need to “let loose” – you’re on vacation so have fun!
- never leave your food or drink unattended.
- keep your belongs on your person, or at least in your view in close proximity, at all times.
- be open to meeting and talking with new people – that is where a lot of the travel experience lies – but be careful on how you divulge personal information.
- research places in advance, if possible, so you know what to expect (i.e., “have a familiar view” – I like to Google the street view of new addresses I’m going to first).
- if something, someone or someplace makes you feel uncomfortable, go with your gut – leave.
ENGLAND BUDGET TRAVEL TIPS
Best Time to Visit England
Like other countries in Europe, England’s high tourist season, and most expensive time, is the summer (late June to August). Brits normally take their vacations in July and August, so the resorts are crowded during these months. London is pricier to visit than other cities in England, so consider traveling the countryside for less expensive travel.
Crowds are not as heavy in England in the mid-season April to May and September to October, and prices in these months are lower than the summer season but considered best in September and October.
The least expensive time to go to England would be November to March. For overall best weather and prices, try booking well in advance for September and October.
Staying in hostels could save you a lot of money on accommodations in England, especially if you stay in a dorm-style room. Save more money by booking well in advance.
Many England hostels also offer private rooms, which I choose from time to time. Private rooms in hostels could possibly be cheaper than hotels in England – it depends on where you stay and how far in advance you reserve.
Don’t overlook exploring hostels in England if you’re on a budget.
Reserve Your England Hostel
Best Time to Book Travel
Ready to book your England solo travel? The sooner you book your reservations, the more you’re likely to save money and get the best flight, accommodation, and rental car choices and deals.
Don’t miss out and find the best England flight deals. The best time to book travel is now. Bundling flight, hotel and/or transportation reservations may even save you more money on your trip to England.
Do You Know What England Flights and Hotels Cost? Check to See
After meeting my mate from New Zealand, I’ve popped over to London to visit her while she had a work visa (lucky Kiwi’s). While there I was fortunate enough to see Richie Havens for the first time when he played at the Jazz Café – that was nice. London has much history and I’d love to revisit.
On my list, besides a revisit to London are Bath (I’m a huge Jane Austen fan), Kent, Cornwall, Devon, and Somerset , then northward to the Lake District and Yorkshire before heading into Scotland. Wales is also on the list. Ok, let’s be honest – I would love to just get lost in the U.K. Wouldn’t you? England also has some good music festivals happening, like the Glastonbury Festival and Isle of Wight Festival. Perhaps I’ll add one of these to my list. Stay tuned.