Note: Details in the relevant section of the different parts of the country.
Traveling by plane
British Airways (BA) flies several times a day to destinations including Belfast, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester. The following airlines also offer domestic UK flights: KLM Cityhopper (WA), easyJet (EZY) and Ryanair (FR).
Air Travel Note
British Airways passengers on all domestic flights can only check in online or at the airport kiosks. Check-in at the counter is not possible.
London – Aberdeen: 1 hour 25 minutes; London – Belfast: 1 hour 5 minutes; London – Edinburgh: 1 hour 20 minutes; London – Glasgow: 1 hour 15 minutes; London – Birmingham: 50 minutes; London – Jersey: 55 mins; London – Manchester: 50 mins; London – Newcastle: 1 hr 5 mins
Traveling by car/bus
Numerous long-distance roads (“A”-roads) connect all cities. B-roads in rural areas are slow; at higher altitudes they are sometimes impassable in winter. Motorways lead from London to all parts of the country. The M25 ring road encircles central London, where a congestion charge is levied on certain vehicles Monday to Friday from 7am to 6pm. The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) applies to the city and Greater London area, which is framed by the South Circular and North Circular Roads. Transport of London can be used to determine which vehicles are affected. Affected vehicles must be registered in good time before entering the ULEZ because the processing time for registration can take up to 10 days. There are also good east-west and north-south connections in central (the Midlands) and the north of England. The M4 motorway runs from London to South Wales. To get to Scotland, take the M6 from Liverpool to Carlisle and from there take the A74 to Glasgow. Edinburgh can be reached via the A1 and the A68. Information on driving in the UK is provided by the automobile associations: Automobile Association (AA) and RAC Motoring Services. Further information can be found under the relevant headings for the individual parts of the country. Toll is applicable to a section of the M6 motorway north of Birmingham, Payable for some bridges and tunnels, Greater London and central Durham. When driving into central London, a so-called congestion fee is due. Petrol stations: There are petrol stations everywhere in the cities; in rural areas the density is much lower. Petrol stations on the motorways often operate around the clock. Charging stations for e-cars can be used via the Pod Point Open Charge app. UKH2Mobility provides information about the nearest hydrogen filling station.
Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic
Condition of the roads
With the exception of the well-developed motorways, the roads are often very winding, but are generally in good condition. On the coast and in the mountainous regions there are many single-lane roads with special turning points.
The UK road system is divided into: – Motorways, marked with an M and a number; – A roads for important main traffic axes, similar to the German federal roads; – B roads for country roads between smaller towns; – C, D and U roads, which are of minor importance and have little traffic.
There are usually branches of car rental companies in all major cities. The driver must be at least 21 years old (may vary depending on vehicle category) and have held a driver’s license for at least one year. Drivers under the age of 25 often pay an additional young driver fee. Some car rental companies have a maximum age of 69 years.
Taxis are usually metered. When there are free taxis in the cities, “For Hire” lights up on the roof. There are taxi ranks at main train stations and other central locations in the cities; Reservations can be made via Traintaxi. In London you can call a taxi on +44 (20) 72 72 02 72. Surcharges apply at weekends, official holidays, at night and for luggage. A 10% tip is customary. In large cities, the mostly cheaper mini cabs, private taxis without a taximeter, are also available, the fares of which are calculated according to the miles traveled. Mini Cabs can only be ordered by telephone or at the Mini Cab office itself. It is advisable to agree on the price before the trip.
London has a public cycle hire system with a variety of docking stations across London offering 24-hour bike hire; the first half hour is free.
There is a bus station in every major city. Victoria Coach Station, the main bus station for long-distance coaches in London, is about 1 km from Victoria Station. National Express is the largest long-distance bus company serving a variety of cities. The buses offer access to onboard entertainment with the free VUER app. The Skimmer Pass allows unlimited travel on National Express buses within the UK for a choice of 7, 14 or 28 days. Scottish Citylink bus users can travel for less with the Scotland Explorer Pass and Discount Cards. Timetables and ticketing at Scottish Citylink Coaches Ltd. Intercity buses in regional traffic:
– left-hand traffic. – General obligation to wear seat belts and child seats / suitable child restraint system for children up to 12 years of age or under a height of 135 cm. – Alcohol limit: 0.8 ‰, in Scotland 0.5 ‰. – Ban on smoking in vehicles in England, Wales and Scotland when children under 18 are traveling. – Right before left also applies in roundabouts. – Horns may not be honked between 11:30 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. in built-up areas. – Mobile phones must not be used while driving. In Northern Ireland, using a hands-free kit during an accident is detrimental. – Headlights must either be adjusted for left-hand traffic or masked, so as not to dazzle oncoming traffic (stickers available from the ADAC shop or at larger petrol stations). Parking: Double yellow stripes on the side of the road mean ‘absolute no parking’, a single yellow stripe means ‘restricted parking’. In London, red stripes at the edge of the road also indicate an ‘absolute no stopping’; such markings are often towed away within a very short time. Speed limits: Within built-up areas: 50 km/h (30 M/h); Outside built-up areas: 100 km/h (60 M/h), buses and vehicles with trailers 80 km/h (50 M/h); On motorways and dual carriageways: 110 km/h (70 M/h).
The ADAC foreign emergency call offers ADAC members and holders of ADAC foreign health and accident insurance comprehensive assistance in the event of vehicle breakdowns, traffic accidents, loss of documents and money, and medical emergencies. The emergency number is available 24/7, Tel. +49-89 22 22 22. ADAC partner clubs are The Automobile Association (AA), Tel. +44-87 05 44 88 66 and RAC Motoring Services, Tel. +44 1922 43 70 00.
The national driver’s license is sufficient, the international driver’s license is also accepted; Vehicle papers must be carried. The international insurance card for motor transport must always be carried with you.
Traveling in the city
There are regular buses in all cities. There are also underground trains in London, Newcastle, Liverpool and Glasgow (2 lines). Light rail also operates in Glasgow, Cardiff, Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham. There is also a tram in Manchester and Sheffield.
Locally on the way by train
The rail network of Great Britain is operated by more than twenty different private railway companies and also offers connections to small towns and villages. BritRail products can be purchased online, from DB or from DB licensed travel agencies. InterCity trains connect London with all major cities. There are also good connections to the South East and North of England, South Wales and between Edinburgh and Glasgow. Despite the extensive regional route network, rural areas are sometimes difficult to reach (eg the north coast of the western counties, parts of East Anglia, North Yorkshire and Northumberland, North Wales, Northern Ireland and southern and northern Scotland). Motorail trains operate on many routes. Southeastern’s High Speed 1 (HS1) line runs between London and the Eurotunnel. The train shuttles between the Eurotunnel, Ashford, Ebbsfleet, Stratford and London St Pancras. Travel time etween Ashford and St Pancras is 26 minutes and between Stratford and St Pancras just 7 minutes. Timetable information is available online from National Rail or BritRail.
The Interrail One Country Pass and the Interrail Global Pass are no longer valid in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Interail and Eurail tickets are only valid on Eurostar trains from the continent to St Pancras station in London. Unlimited travel in England, Wales and Scotland is possible with BritRail Passes. Passes can be used for travel of 2 (Europe only), 3 (other countries only), 4, 8 or 15 days within a month or for consecutive 2, 3, 4, 8, 15 or 22 days or for 1 month to be purchased. BritRail Passes are valid for travel on National Rail. Discounts are available for children, young people and seniors. There are different passports which are only available outside the UK and must therefore be ordered in advance of travel. Passes to choose from include: – BritRail Spirit of Scotland Pass – BritRail Central Scotland Pass – BritRail England Pass – BritRail London Plus Pass – BritRail Southwest Pass – BritRail Euro GB Pass – BritRail M Pass – Explore Wales Pass. For more information on passes and how to order, contact BritRail and VisitBritain. The London Travelcard is valid for unlimited use of all public transport in Greater London and is issued for either 1 or 7 days. Children up to the age of 10 travel for free; from 11-15 at a reduced rate. The London Travelcard is available from VisitBritain.
Traveling by ship
For details, see the relevant section for each part of the country.