Made up of four countries (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), the UK is split into two main islands and collectively is home to several of the most interesting and geographically diverse areas in Europe. With mountains, beaches, lakes, forests, buzzing cities and quaint villages - the UK offers variety and character hard to find in any other European country.


The main language is English, although London is considered one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse cities in the world, with over 300 different tongues spoken in schools. Areas of Wales (particularly in the north), are keen to revive the Old Welsh language, and Gaelic can be heard in pockets of the Scottish Highlands.


The currency in the UK is the Pound Sterling. In September 2015, there were 1.36 Euros to £1 and 1.53 US dollars to £1.


The south east of the UK tends to be the warmest and driest region, whereas the north and the west are cooler and have more rainfall - particularly Scotland and Northern Ireland.

There is quite a variation with the weather in the UK, but they are not often extremes. A typical summer would see temperatures between 18'C - 25'C, although in recent years, 30'C+ has been noted!

Snow is common in the winter in the Highlands of Scotland and the hilly areas of the rest of the UK. Although it can feel as though showers of rain are never far away, previous summer heatwaves over the years caused the government to issue draught warnings.


The UK has a huge variety of different landscapes and cities to offer visitors. There is something for everyone, from the beautiful lakes and rolling fields of the Lake District, the rugged craggy coastline of Northern Ireland, the stunning serene scenery of The Highlands, to the unspoiled hilly countryside of Wales - not to mention the hustle and bustle of the UK's historic but innovative capital cities, London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.

A visit to should include a visit to all the main attractions (Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square, the London Eye, Westminster, and Covent Garden), but England has a lot more to offer than simply its capital. Other English destinations worth a visit include the country's second city, and the major cities of Manchester, Bath, Oxford and York. These are just a few cities which are proud to display their rich history alongside new developments in architecture.

To truly explore what the rural mainland has to offer, head for the 10% of England and Wales which has been awarded National Park status, including the Lake District, Peak District, Norfolk Broads and New Forest.

In the south west of England, the beaches of the West Country boast stunning views and peaceful walks. St Ives, Torquay and Bournemouth are a few of the popular coastal resorts, and Cornwall in particular is popular with surfers. Explore the Cotswolds and you will find peaceful villages, deserted paths and thatched cottages.

For a steeper walk, pack a pair of walking boots and lose yourself in one of the two National Parks in Scotland - Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, and the Cairngorms. The Brecon Beacons in South Wales also offer several climbs for all standards of walker and Snowdonia has more to offer than the famous mountain - the surrounding coastline boasts a host of pretty village and resorts including Llandudno, Colwyn Bay and Bangor.

Across the Irish Sea, a trip to Northern Ireland should include a visit to Belfast (don't miss Belfast Castle, the City Hall and the stunning and serene Botanical Gardens). For a taste of the breathtaking local scenery, head for a stroll in the Cave Hill Country Park. Neighbouring County Antrim boasts the World Heritage Site, the Giant's Causeway, and County Down has Ireland's beautiful Mourne Mountains.


The UK's capital cities are the places to head for the ultimate shopping experience. London, for instance, rivals Paris and New York as one of the best shopping cities in the world. The city has over 40,000 shops. Cardiff's arcades offer a more unique shopping experience, and Edinburgh and Belfast both have a fine array of shops on offer - particularly for the fashion follower.

Birmingham and Manchester also have excellent shopping facilities. Birmingham's impressive Bullring shopping centre, and Manchester's local Trafford Centre bring all the big chain stores under one roof.

For more unique shops, try the old quarters of large cities like Edinburgh, or ancient quaint cities such as Chester, York or Bath. Markets should not be overlooked - they are often the best place to pick up a bargain.


Most large UK cities offer a selection of evening entertainment, from comedy nights to jazz music. The main cities are also home to world famous nightclubs. Birmingham has Gatecrasher, Liverpool has Cream, London has Fabric and KOKO, Sheffield has Forward and Northern Ireland has Shine, to name but a few! Most cities in the UK have clubs to suit a variety of tastes and a host of bars which are open until the early hours.


In the UK, vehicles drive on the left side of the road. Anyone over the age of 17 can drive, provided they hold a valid licence. For more information, please visit the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency's website.

Distances are measured in miles, as opposed to the European preference for kilometres.

The legal limit of alcohol for drivers is 80 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood (drink drive information and penalties).

A vehicle must not park where there are double yellow lines, or stop or park on a motorway or hard shoulder except for in an emergency. The details of parking restrictions can be complicated - the precise rules are set out in the Highway Code.

Food and Drink

To truly experience the diverse taste of the UK, head for areas which are renowned for certain cuisine. For instance, London's Brick Lane and Manchester's Rusholme are famous for their curries. You should not leave the Lake District until you have tried a Cumberland sausage, Yorkshire until you have tasted its famous pudding, or seaside towns like Blackpool or Brighton until you have sampled the local fish and chips. Don't forget Cornwall's pasties and clotted cream - not necessarily together!

Scotland is famous for its black pudding and haggis (acquired tastes!), Ireland for its tripe and drisheen, and Wales for its lamb, Welsh cakes and hot pot.

Scotland is the proud home of countless whisky distilleries, and Guinness is, of course, synonymous with Ireland. Local pubs are the best places to try local tipple - some can boast a whole range of ales and bitters, which are brewed nearby.

If you are still in doubt, head to London - a massive 22% of restaurants in Britain are in the city, and the number of drinking holes is ever increasing.

Tourist Information

A useful and detailed internet guide on the attractions and areas of the United Kingdom can be found at the official website

For more general information on the UK, see

Tourist Information centres can be found in all major towns and cities.

All car hire locations in United Kingdom