Planet Airlines; Travel and More

In this Destination Guide you will find information for : London and Edinburgh

Essential Country Information:

United Kingdom


♦Capital: London

♦Currency: Pound £

♦Time Zone: 0 GMT

♦Phone Code: +44


♦Best time to visit: March-November

♦Must eat: Fish&Chips, Cornish Pastry

♦Must drink: English Tea, Scottish Wiskey

♦Don't miss: An afternoon tea & Scones


Number of times visited: "Base Country"

Getting there and transportation: Most people travel to the UK by plane as the country is in fact an island. This said, you can also travel by train thanks to the EuroStar which connects Paris and Brussels to London by an underground tunnel under the English Chanel. For more info check EuroStar.
Flying to the UK is very accessible and the capital, London, is one of the most connected cities in the world! Thanks to frequent connections, and many destinations being able to fly direct to London around the globe. London is in fact one of the most popular destinations to fly to in the world, this is why you will find 5 airports around the city, serving the demand for air travel.
The most international and convenient airport to fly to is London Heathrow. Its accessible from most capitals around the globe, specially offering important links to many European destinations (Paris, Amsterdam, Madrid, Rome etc) and key routes such as New York, Beijing, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Singapore, Sydney, Auckland or Buenos Aires are all connected directly. Being only located 20 miles west of the city of London, Heathrow offers travellers the quickest route by metro into central London. From Heathrow you can also connect to most cities in the UK by coach, National Express is the company in-charge of this. Check how to travel from Heathrow to Central London here.

Gatwick is London's second main airport and again its an important gateway to the country as you can travel everywhere from it. Gatwick serves most European capitals and secondary cities. Leisure destinations are very popular from Gatwick (Spain,Greece,Turkey,Caribbean,and selected US destinations).Getting from Gatwick to the city centre is easy by train, a 30min ride to Victoria Station costing £12 for a one way ticket..A Cheaper option is buying in advance a ticket online at Easybus (cost between £2 and £10 one way).this mini-bus service will take you in Earl's Court (West Central London) where you can connect to the London Underground.

Other airports in the capital are Luton, Stansted and London City.They serve mostly European capitals, secondary and leisure destinations. Flights are cheaper at Luton and Stansted due to the distance away from the city centre (1.50 hours by bus) and for being served by low-cost airlines predominately.The cheapest way to get to Luton and Stansted is by Easybus. London City is located east of the city and connects directly by the DLR (Docklands Light Rail System) costing about £3 for a one way ticket into Central London within a 35 min ride.

Other Airports in the UK, popular by location and importance are Manchester (UK second largest City), Cardiff (Capital for Wales), Edinburgh (capital for Scotland), Birmingham, Leeds, East Midlands, Glasgow, Belfast (Northern Ireland) etc.. 

Travelling through the UK is quite easy thanks to the advance number of public transport options available in the country.To reach practically every town in the country a wide range of coaches are operated. National Express is the company which provides direct links from major cities, operating a fleet of modern air conditioned coaches equipped with WiFi, and toilet facilities on board. Cheap fares are often found if booking get in advance. For more info visit National Express.
Trains are also a very common used transport option in the UK, though fares are often much more expensive. For fares and timetables nationwide check this following link "The train line".

Weather and temperature: The UK islands are generally quite wet year round but depending a lot on the currents, you can also get very hot days and strong winds at times. Summer's are always more pleasant from May to September and the further north you go the milder it gets. Winter's can be around 10C, so nothing too extreme. But be ready for frozen mornings and the chance of the odd snow fall at times as well. 
Food and Drink:  Dishes range very differently depending on the region. However in a whole iconic cakes, sandwiches and stews all are famous from the United Kingdom. Of course tea is a national drink accompanied by scones. Another fine UK institution is breakfast, and although there are plenty of coffee shops selling US-style muffins and bagels, the full-on British breakfast (eggs, bacon, toast, tomatoes) served with a cuppa can be found in cafés or in pubs. Generally eating out in the United Kingdom is expensive, except for ethic restaurants/take aways and the more local fish&chips shops which are located all over the country. 
  • As for England, cooking has become very popular, with excellent restaurants in the capitals and beyond. The proof in the pudding. The use of local, seasonal ingredients has spread throughout the country from gastropubs in Yorkshire to fish restaurants in Cornwall.London and the larger cities offer every type of ethnic food imaginable, with Asian food such as Indian, Chinese and Thai being particularly popular and value for money.Where drink is concerned, both craft beer and gin are popular. English wine is growing in stature. Meanwhile, the English taste for real ale is as unquenchable as ever.
  • Scottish cuisine has a reputation for strong flavours and interesting ingredients. Inspiration comes from oats, whisky, salmon, Aberdeen Angus beef and game. Fish and chip shops are widespread. In Scotland’s cities, you’ll come across a huge assortment of international cuisine; Glasgow in particular is famed for its Italian restaurants and first-rate curry houses. As for drinks, Whiskeys are the king. 
  • Wales' gastronomic image is rising. Lamb is never off the menu for long. The coastline provides a great variety of fresh fish and shellfish: mullet and brown shrimps are common on the Gower peninsula, as well as cockles, whilst several producers have awards for their crab and smoked fish.
Specialities in the United Kingdom include:
 
Sunday roast, beef, lamb, pork or chicken, served with roast potatoes, veg, gravy and other accompaniments. Cream tea,scones, jam, butter, clotted or double cream and, of course, tea. Spotted dick, suet pudding with currants and raisins. Bakewell pudding, pastry base covered with jam, almond filling and topped with icing. Cheese, popular kinds include Cheddar, Wensleydale, Lancashire and Stilton.
Fish and chips,  battered and deep fried fish with chipped potatoes, widely found. Curry, the English have a passion for Indian and Bangladeshi food. In fact chicken tikka masala is considered the national dish. Full English breakfast, commonly a combination of bacon, sausage, egg, beans, mushrooms, black pudding, tomato and toast. Lancashire hotpot, A lamb and onion stew, slow-cooked and topped with sliced potatoes. Cornish pasty, crusted pastry filled with meat and vegetables. An iconic snack in the West Country.
As for drinks, alcoholic drinks are widely available in any pub, bar, restaurant and even theatres and operas. Having a glass of wine with your dinner or lunch is very popular and British love their drink after work. It's very common to flock to the pubs and bars after a long day at work and drink out with a pint glass whilst talking, smoking or watching sport events. Ales, Beers and Ciders are the most popular to drink. However cocktails are very well made and they are a common choice on the weekend with many bars specialising in their making. Whiskeys and Vodka is widely available and are a favourite amongst the younger crowds and not so young. 

Author's Comment:

The United Kingdom is my birth country.I have many memories attached to it's cities and surroundings. After a 20 year period living in Madrid I came back to London in 2007 for work and setting a new life. The United Kingdom offers a great opportunity to people like myself to expand horizons and gain independence, skills and maturity by living in a "foreign" country.
The UK, has a very distinct identity and its British people are renowned around the world for being polite, educated and refined. However the UK now has one of the highest immigration levels within Europe and many of its main cities are "coloured" in the different races, mixes and backgrounds that choose to live in the country. It's a true Multicultural experience, in which every citizen around the globe can be represented and found in the UK. Specifically in London.

The UK will also strike you for its medieval history, rich architecture, literature, and culture. It has many national parks, beautiful green scenery, low planes, dense forests and even snow peaked mountains where you can ski.
There is so much to see and do, so much to learn and so many cities where important history events took place that it would take a book to write it all.
However below you find all the basic info for the United Kingdom when visiting from abroad and the main cities I have travelled to.

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