Many UK residents and visitors alike take full advantage of a hire car to travel the UK’s wide network of roads and motorways to visit sites of outstanding beauty, historical and archaeological interest. Some UK residents even prefer to use a rental car, rather than go to the expense of keeping and maintaining there own vehicle, with all the inherent risks involved, and visitors coming for the Olympic Games, will likely stay a bit longer, in order to visit places only read about, or of ancestral interest to them.
Whatever the reason, you can be sure of getting an up to date model of the vehicle of their choice. There is very little need for a 4 wheel drive vehicle here, unless you are a mother with a 14 year old child, who has to travel one and a half miles to school. Speed signs here are all in mph, you drive on the left hand side of the road, and you keep to a speed limit of 30 mph, or less on urban roads, approaching school entrances this will be reduced, so pay heed to traffic signs, suburban and open roads have a limit of 50 mph, and motorways a limit of 70 mph. Seatbelts are compulsory for everyone and children under 12 have to be suitably restrained, with a seatbelt or a child seat.
The drink/drive law is very strictly enforced here, and if your blood alcohol % is more than 0.05 you will be prosecuted, as this is just about the contents of one glass of wine, so best advice is never to drink and drive. There is an excellent system of motorways here, most of them toll free, so travelling along them, except for rush hours (variable) you will find that you can cover great distances, in relatively short periods of time, but should you begin to tire there are ample rest spots along the motorways. I trust your visit will be a pleasant one, and you return soon to visit Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
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The United Kingdom in defined by its colourful multi-cultural cities, picture postcard villages and beautiful countryside but it is the country’s fascinating history and traditions that are the main attraction for visitors. Each of the UK’s nine regions has its own distinct character. In the heart of the country are the Cotswolds with rolling hills and charming villages. Shropshire and Herefordshire along the border of England and Wales are renowned for outstanding restaurants and locally grown food while Worcestershire is noted for its splendid historic churches. In the north of the country, the city of York is a delightful city with historic buildings, a grand cathedral and interesting museums. Lovers of the countryside can explore the inspiring landscape of the Yorkshire Dales, dine in traditional pubs, and visitor local country fairs.
London is renowned for its shopping and as a leader of fashion. Visitors can shop ‘til they drop on Bond Street and Oxford Street where they will also find the world famous Harrods, and discover bustling markets in Notting Hill and Camden Town. The live music scene in London is unrivalled and there are over 400 venues. There are also fantastic pubs and an array of places to eat, from ‘greasy spoon’ cafes, to chic bistros and Michelin star restaurants.
Other highlights in the city include the London Eye. The world’s largest observation wheel provides amazing views across the city and the landmarks of London. Lovers of art should visit the Tate Modern. The gallery’s collection includes international modern art from 1900 to the present day and is housed in the former Bankside Power Station beside the River Thames. It features 60,000 items including works by Bacon, Dali, Hockney, Kandinsky, Picasso, and many more.
The UK has four seasons. An overcoat and warm clothing are needed for late autumn, winter and early spring. A visa is issued for short stays in the UK. For non-Europeans, visas are issued in advance by UK embassies abroad.
London’s fascinating history can be found at Tower of London where the Crown Jewels are on display. The incredible Natural History Museum should also be on all city itineraries. Theatre lovers should head for the West End where they can see award-winning plays and shows, and enjoy nearby pubs, clubs and restaurants in Soho and Chinatown. The Royal Academy of Arts and the Serpentine Gallery are also in this area. Of course London is not all big city hustle and bustle, a peaceful afternoon can be spent in one of many beautiful parks including Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.
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