The UK has many dichotomies - London is very expensive. It is difficult to find any decent accommodation lower than GBP 120 in the heart of the city. As one moves towards the suburbs, things get more reasonable but accommodations closer to tube stations are distinctly more expensive than those maybe 700-800 metres from the tube station. However, Lake District is distinctly cheaper. Good apartment rental is available at GBP 60-70 per night for a couple.Even the sight seeing is costly and one should consider buying the London Pass or if coming by train, the 2-for-1 vouchers which can be used in many of the London sight seeing destinations.
Use the extensive tube networkand buses and one can save tons of money on travel as compared to cabs. UK has an extensive and efficient train network. However, unlike other countries where there is only one company offering train services, in UK, there are multiple train operators while the infrastructure is owned by the State. Ticket prices vary but if you are well planned, you can save a good amount of money. Prefer the Bed & Breakfasts over hotels in the countryside for an authentic English experience for much cheaper. Expect to pay between GBP 60-80 per night for 2 including a heart English breakfast for most B&Bs. Inside Lake District, one should expect to drive. Taxis are very expensive. However, Scotland is very expensive. Accommodation, food, travel - everything is more expensive. Flights if booked in advance are reasonable. As the English drive on the left hand side of the road, Indian travelers may even consider renting a car and driving on the excellent English roads. In general, UK is compact and it does not take too long getting from one place to the other and driving is generally a great experience except maybe a few stretches int he Scottish Highlands.
Not much of a concern. Most of the relatively unsafe areas are unlikely to be frequented by tourists. The Lake District and Scotland are safe at all points. However, tourist friendliness reduces as one goes more north in the country.
What to expect:
Anything a traveller likes - history, culture, nature, relaxation, beaches, technology, shopping etc.
Travel Infrastructure: 4.0/5
Tourist Friendliness : 3.5/5
English Spoken : 5.0/5
Money's worth : 4.0/5
Minimum 3 - 5 days: London
Off the Beaten Path:
6-8 days: Add Stratford-upon Avon - the birthplace of William Shakespeare and a traditional English town
8-10 days:Add Lake District - Choose from Windermere, Ambleside, Kendal
12-14 days:Add Edinburgh - the capital of Scotland and a city known for its architecture and life
14-16 days: Add Isle of Skye - for excellent scenery and landscape
16-18 days:Add Bath - for the Roman spas just a couple of hours west of London and Stonehenge
18-20 days:Add Isle of Wight
20-22 days:Add Inverness, Aberdeen
The United Kingdom is actually an aggregation of four different countries – England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, basically separate islands off the continental Europe. The UK was the former ruler of the world and the impact of the English imperialism can still be seen in various facets of life.
The gateway to the United Kingdom is the city of London, the capital of England, deep in the south of the country. London is undoubtedly the finest city in Europe. It is an incredible city - difficult to express in words but long after you would be done with your European trip, it is your experience of London which you would first want to share with anyone you know. The city also houses the Royal British family - the Queen and its entire family. London's grandeur gets to any traveler but the city provides a large number of experiences - history, arts, culture, music, culinary - almost anything. London has probably the World's best museums and unmatched grandeur. Just an experience of the change of guards at Buckingham Palace is exhilerating. Complete your visit with the Westminster Abbey, the Windsor Castle, have a better look at London from either the London Eye or the Shard, spend time at the London Bridge, see the Kohinoor Diamond in the Tower of London. For the sports enthusiast - the Lord's - Mecca of cricket, the Wimbledon - Mecca of Lawn Tennis and the Wembley Football club. Samuel Johnson had once said "A person tired of London is tired of life". Most people use their trip to London as a starting point to head south - into continental Europe, mostly by the Eurostar to Paris or Brussels. Team Europe Unexplored strongly argues that a trip to London should be the launchpad to head north - deep into the English countryside - into old England.
A must trip is that to Stratford-Upon-Avon, the birthplace of Shakespeare in the county of Warwick, just a couple of hours away in train from London. This little town embodies the England of yore and also a must do for the Shakespeare enthusiasts. Shakespearean plays such as "Hamlet" are still performed here every day. Lake District, about three-four hours by train north of London is another must-do for the numerous lakes that inundate the region. This place has plenty of little towns - Windermere, Ambleside, Kendal in Cumbria district. Also, it offers the perfect relaxation experience as well as the gateway into Scotland, only an hour from here. This is where one should experience the old English lifestyle - have heavy breakfast in a Bed & Breakfast, go cycling, do boating, go camping or hiking.
From here, go north again - into Scotland. Head straight into Edinburgh - the capital of Scotland, again about two hours from Windermere in train. Edinburgh is an underrated city and for years has lived under the comparison of London. But Edinburgh is fantastic in its own right. Want more of Scotland - drive around the east coast passing typical Scottish towns like Perth, Dundee, Aberdeen on the way as well as the Scottish Highlands right up to Inverness. This is an excellent drive which offers a deeper insight into the Scottish Highlands. Just a short drive from Inverness, where one can visit the Loch Ness - the sea monster that no one has seen yet but stories of whom have been passed on from generations. Want a still bigger bite of Scotland - then drive further west to the west coast where one can visit the Isle of Skye for excellent scenery and landscapes. Isle of Skye is also an excellent destination for wildlife watching. Then drive all the way back on the west coast passing by Wales and Bath - the city of the Roman spas - back into London. Alternatively, one can take the Caledonian Sleeper train from Inverness - and head back to London in an overnight journey!