Travel in Britain
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How to get around the United Kingdom
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Getting round the United Kingdom
Independent travellers visiting the United Kingdom have plenty of ways of getting round the country. By air, by train, by bus and coach, by car, or by rental car - not to mention the other options, such as bisiting Britain on a bicycle, or even on foot.
Your choice will depend very much on where you want to go, what you want to see, how fast you want to get round, and how much you want to spend.
Round Britain by air.Unless you are travelling further north than Manchester or Liverpool, it does not make a lot of sense to travel by air, as distances in Britain are not too great. By the time you've reached a London airport, and gone through all the checkin process, you could be half way to Manchester already on a train.
Flying makes sense if you want to visit the far north of England or Scotland. There are airports in all major British cities, and plenty of cross-country flights operated by the low-cost airlines such as Ryanair, Easyjet or Flybe. The low-cost carriers do not use London's Heathrow airport, so if you want to connect to a domestic flight at LHR, book onwards on a British Airways internal flight.
Taking the trainThe British train network is fairly substantial, though not to the extent that it once was. Mainline train travel is quite expensive if you book last-minute, but there are plenty of cheap seats available if you book well in advance, or avoid peak travel periods. For more on this, see ► Rail travel in Britain.
Bus and coachWithin Britain's cities, there are plenty of bus services to help you get around. However note that in London "hopping on a bus" is an expensive way to see the city, unless you have a travel card. things are generally cheaper in other British cities.
A London travel card lets you use the buses and the underground. For more on this see ► Travel in London.
For travel between cities, there are plenty of express coach services, and rates are generally cheaper, sometimes much cheaper, than the train. The biggest operator is ► National Express
Road travel - DrivingThere's one thing that puts a lot of people off the idea of driving in Britain, and that is the fact that in Britain, cars drive on the left. That's fine if you're from Japan or Australia, for example, but less fine if you're from continental Europe or the Americas.
But driving on the left is not too difficult, and its something an experienced driver will get used to quite quickly. for more on this see ► Driving in Britain.
Car hireThere are plenty of opportunities for hiring a car in Britain : this can be done at any airport, or in city centre locations. About-Britain.com does not recommend hiring a car in the central area of London. For more on hiring a car in Britain, see ► Car Hire
Cycling and walkingBritain is well equipped in dedicated cycleways, and cycle-tourism is popular. For hikers, there are thousands of kilometres of marked walking trails, including some important long-distance routes such as the Pennine Way, up the centre of northern England, or the Coastal footpaths that follow a large part of the British coast.
For hiking opportunities near London, see ► Country walks near London
Text and photos copyright 2021 About-Britain.com
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|Driving in Britain|
|Taking the train in Britain|
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|Christmas in Britain|
|Food and eating in Britain|
|London for free|
|Getting round in London|
|Shopping in London|
|Country walks near London|
|Other major English cities|
|Oxford and Cambridge|
|England's coasts and seasides|
|The English countryside|
|The East of England|
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