United Kingdom flag vs map

United Kingdom Shopping, Culinary, and Accommodation




Popular souvenirs are black tea, bitter orange marmalade and sweets such as Scottish shortbread or sugar-sweet fudge, which is offered in many different variations, such as with chocolate, vanilla or Baileys. Of course, you can also find typical souvenirs such as mugs, pens or magnets, most of which depict members of the royal family or the Union Jack. Shopping in the UK ranges from small independent shops in the smaller towns to huge shopping centers on the outskirts of the big cities. Flea markets take place regularly in all larger towns, the most famous is the Portobello Road Market, which takes place every Saturday in the London district of Notting Hill. London is a shopping mecca, ringed by huge malls like Westfield and Bluewater, where the big and well-known brands can be found. In the city itself there are neighborhoods with specialties; e.g. For example, in Notting Hill you will find all sorts of shops selling knick-knacks and costume jewellery, but also plenty of antiques, while there are numerous bookshops on Charing Cross Road and in the area around the British Museum. London’s most famous shopping street is Oxford Street, which draws the crowds with well-known fashion labels such as Top Shop and Urban Outfitters. The city of Leeds is a major shopper’s paradise in northern England, famous for its luxury department store Harvey Nichols, while Manchester is home to cool and trendy fashion boutiques and music shops. Edinburgh also has excellent shopping opportunities: the magnificent George Street, with its breathtaking view of the castle, invites you to stroll and the district of Grassmarket offers an alternative shopping experience with its many small shops.

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Opening hours

Normally Mon-Fri 0900-1730 (larger shops also open Wed-Fri until 2000), Sat 0900-1300. Many smaller shops (corner shops) are also open longer. Some supermarkets are open 24 hours but must be closed from Sun 4pm to Mon 8am. Different opening hours apply to shops in the main business centers such as London or Edinburgh, as well as in the holiday resorts.



Home to theatrical greats such as Olivier, Gielgud and of course Shakespeare, Britain has a wealth of cultural entertainment to offer. Almost all major cities have at least one theater, with London, Stratford and Edinburgh becoming well-known centers for the performing arts. Annually in August, the Edinburgh Art Festival takes place across the city with numerous comedy, theater and literary events. The famous London theater district stretches from the South Bank to the West End and is home to all sorts of theaters and musical houses. Cinema has made a comeback in recent years and most cities now have at least one multiplex and independent cinema. Red carpets are rolled out almost weekly in London’s Leicester Square for star-studded film premieres. Cities like Manchester and Newcastle have a good reputation for their club scenes. Major live events featuring internationally renowned artists are regularly held across the country, with some of the most notable venues including The Junction in Cambridge, the Phones 4u Arena (formerly MEN Arena) in Manchester and London’s O2 Arena (formerly the Millennium Dome). Those who prefer to spend the evening a little quieter will find a cozy pub in every larger town, where food is often served in addition to beer. The popular pub quizzes (pub quizzes) are regularly held in many pubs,



Legendary cakes, delicious sandwiches and hearty stews are served in Britain. You should definitely try the usual cup of tea in the afternoon, which you can also enjoy with a piece of cake. On special occasions, this ritual becomes a full-blown tea party, with three-tier etageres of sandwiches, cakes and pastries being served. Another popular habit in the UK is breakfast. Although there are many coffee shops that sell American-style muffins and bagels, you can find the typical British breakfast (eggs, bacon, toast, tomatoes) with a cuppa in cafés, affectionately known as greasy spoons, and in pubs that are open until mid-morning (Cup of tea). UK chefs such as Gordon Ramsey and Jamie Oliver are internationally renowned and respected. The fine and experimental cuisine can be found in most cities – but usually at a rather high price.

Useful information

In British restaurants, you always order at the counter and pay immediately. Draft beer is ordered in pint (0.57 l) or half pint (0.28 l) glasses. You take turns going to the bar; if it’s your turn, you order – and pay – for the round. Until a few years ago there was still a curfew. Shortly before the police hour, a bell was rung for the first time (last orders = last order), a few minutes later for the second time (time = time to drink up and go home). However, the curfew in UK pubs has been history since 24 November 2005. Pub keepers are now allowed to be open 24 hours a day in the kingdom and do not have to ring in the last round at 11 p.m.


Hotel bills often include 10-12% for service. Baggage porters at the hotel are charged around £1. Otherwise, the restaurant staff and hairdressers expect 10-15%. Round up in the taxi. There is no legal obligation to pay a service charge; If you are dissatisfied with the service, you can theoretically deduct the surcharge from your bill. It should be remembered, however, that staff rely on tips to supplement low wages. Tipping is not customary in bars and pubs. However, you can invite the bartender for a drink.

Regional drinks

Tea (tea with milk) is the national drink. A hotel is considered particularly posh if it offers early morning tea (a wake-up call with a cup of tea).

Minimum age for consumption of alcoholic beverages

In the UK, you can drink beer and wine from the age of 16 and spirits from the age of 18. In restaurants and pubs, alcohol may not be served or sold to young people under the age of 18.



In all big cities, especially in London, hotels are quite expensive. Further information can be found under the relevant headings for the individual parts of the country. Information from the British Hospitality Association, Queens House, 55-56 Lincolns Inn Fields, GB-London WC2A 3BH. (Tel: (020) 74 04 77 44. Internet: www.bha.org.uk).


There are campsites all over the country. Tents and caravans can also be rented. Some of the campsite facilities are rather basic, but some have children’s playgrounds and sports fields, common areas, cafeterias, shops and telephones.

Other accommodation options

The standard varies greatly, ranging from the simplest accommodation for cyclists and hikers to modern motels and hotels for families and groups. Accommodation is relatively cheap. Information from the Youth Hostel Association for England and Wales, Trevelyan House, Dimple Road, Matlock, Derbyshire DE4 3YH. (Tel: (01629) 59 26 00. Internet: www.yha.org.uk). Venuemasters (Internet: http://www.venuemasters.co.uk/) is a UK-wide association of over 90 university bodies operating as Group accommodation can be booked as well for conferences.



56.8% Anglicans, 15% other Christians (Catholics, Presbyterians, Methodists, Free Churches), Muslim, Hindu and Jewish minorities.

Social Rules of Conduct

Approach: At the first introduction, you shake hands and say “Nice to meet you” or, more formally, “How do you do”. Acquaintances greet each other with “Hello”, “Hi” or more formally with “Good morning/afternoon/evening”. Hosts look forward to chocolates or a bottle of wine. The meal begins after all guests have been served. Anyone who accidentally bumps into a passer-by in the subway or on the street, or even just stands in the way, politely apologizes with “Sorry”; a request for information is introduced with “Excuse me”. Queuing is still an institution in Britain, queue jumping and pushing are frowned upon. Clothing: Casual attire is acceptable, but smarter attire is often expected in nightclubs and restaurants. In some discotheques, jeans and trainers are not welcome, other nightclubs have different dress codes depending on the clientèle. In Public: Topless is permitted on some beaches and tolerated in some public parks. Smoking: In the UK, smoking is banned in enclosed public spaces, including all workplaces, theatres, restaurants, pubs and clubs. Smoking is also prohibited on buses, the underground and underground stations as well as on public transport. Smoking is also prohibited in the car if there are minors in the vehicle. Tipping: Unless a service charge is already included in the restaurant bill, a tip of 15% is customary. Taxi drivers and other service providers such as chambermaids and porters also appreciate tips. Taxis usually round up, if only so the driver doesn’t have to go through the trouble of looking for change in coins. In licensed taxis from the airport to London 10% is common.


Best travel time

Temperate climate, humid and warm in summer, wet and cool in winter. Due to the island location, the weather is very changeable. The west coast and higher elevations receive the most rain, the north coast is colder and stormier and northern England and Scotland experience the coldest winters. The South East is sunnier and warmer than the rest of Britain. Coastal resorts get very crowded in summer. The best time to travel is in the spring months of April and May and in the autumn months of September to November, when the leaves turn brown, red and yellow in the sun.

Country data

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Area (sq km)



67,886,011 (Source: homosociety)

Population density (per square km)


Population statistics year


Member of the EU


Main emergency number


United Kingdom flag vs map