Five airports mean you can fly into London from most international terminals. If you’re arriving from Europe, no-frills airlines like Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) and easyJet (www.easyjet.co.uk) offer cheap flights. Also see Eurostar and the ferry for alternatives. Other major airports in the country are Manchester and Birmingham and an increasing number of low-cost airlines fly into Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport.
See TNT’s travel deals pages for a range of options
British Airways (www.ba.com), British Midland (www.flybmi.com), Ryanair and easyJet are the main domestic carriers, but in such a small country it’s often quicker to take a bus, coach or train. Megabus (www.megabus.com) offer low-cost bus routes around the country and the UK’s largest scheduled coach company is the National Express (www.nationalexpress.co.uk). The train services (www.nationalrail.co.uk), though still expensive, are slowly improving, with the lines from King’s Cross to Newcastle, and Euston to Carlisle particularly efficient. Book in advance to make the most of Saver tickets. If you’re under 25, it’s worth getting a Young Person’s Railcard; they cost £20 and will save you a third on most journeys.
The cheapest way to stay overnight in England is to camp, though generally only advisable in summer. Hostel accommodation is growing, independently and via the Youth Hostel Association (YHA). Another budget option during summer is university halls of residence. B&Bs can be reasonably priced and often hilariously twee, and even the best hotels offer good deals if you book ahead. Make advance reservations whenever possible, particularly in summer when visiting tourist hotspots.
See TNT’s accommodation section for options
Australians, New Zealanders and South Africans can visit England for up to six months but you’re not allowed to work. If you want to stay longer or work, you’ll need a working holidaymaker’s visa. This allows you to stay for two years, and work for a maximum of 12 months. Apply for this before you leave through your local British embassy. You need to be aged 17-30, getting a working holidaymaker visa for the first time and able to support yourself financially.
See www.ukvisas.gov.uk, and also TNT’s online guide, UK Visas, at www.tntmagazine.com/guides
Currencies & cost
The pound sterling (£) breaks down into 100 pence. At the time of writing, £1 was A$2.33, NZ$2.55 and ZAR14.01. In general, England is an expensive place to travel, though prices tend to fall the further you get from London. A pint costs about £3 in the capital and £2.20 in the heart of the Lake District. Most places will accept Visa and other major credit cards (sometimes with a charge) but pubs and small businesses may ask you to spend a minimum of £5/£10 before they will process your card.
Health & safety
Citizens of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa can get free emergency healthcare from the National Health Service (NHS) at hospitals, general practitioners (GPs) and dentists, though there’s always a £6.85 charge for prescriptions. Those here for the long-term will be still be covered by the NHS for less serious cases if you register with your local GP. NHS Direct (0845-4647; www.nhs.uk) will help you find a local NHS-registered doctor. Remember to take out travel insurance.
TNT Magazine is published every Monday and can be found in distribution bins around the city. See www.tntmagazine.com/distribution; Daily newspapers include: The Guardian (www. guardian.co.uk); The Times (www. timesonline.co.uk); The Independent (www. independent.co.uk); The Daily Telegraph (www. telegraph.co.uk); The Sun (www.thesun.co.uk); The Daily Mail (www.dailymail.co.uk). TimeOut magazine is published in London. Then, of course, there is the BBC (www.bbc.co.uk).