Airline Travel tips for visitors to the UK
UK currency is Pounds Sterling (£). 100 pence = 1 pound. The notes that are in circulation are £5, £10, £20 and £50 (although the latter are not often encountered). The coins are 1p, 2p (copper coins), 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p (silver coloured coins), £1 (gold coloured coin) and £2 (gold/silver coloured coin). The coins and notes all bear the Queen's head on the front. The notes have a famous person from history on the back. Scottish banks issue their own notes, these are usually accepted in the rest of the UK but smaller shops may refuse them - best to use them up whilst you are still north of the border but don't worry if you have some left when you get into England.
The slang term in common usage for a pound sterling is 'Quid'.The £5 note is often called a 'fiver' and the £10 note is a 'tenner'. Banks are open weekdays, usually from 9.30 to 4.30. More and more banks are now opening on Saturday mornings, especially in the larger towns and cities. Most banks have cash dispensers situated outside, be vigilant when using these as criminals sometimes tamper with these to get hold of your card details, it is better to use the ones inside. If the machine looks as if the card slot has been damaged, be a little wary. The Euro is not in common use but some of the larger stores will accept them.
You probably do not need telling that in the UK, you drive on the left. If you are hiring a car, getting one with automatic transmission can be helpful if you are not used to driving right hand drive vehicles. UK cities suffer from the same problems as all major cities - too much traffic. Generally speaking, Public transport in cities is good, so you can avoid the problems of finding parking, which is difficult in all city centres. Check the parking regulations wherever you park on urban roads, there will usually be a plaque fixed to a post or lamp post telling you how long you can stay. Where you see yellow lines on the kerbs or at the edges of the road, especially the dreaded 'double yellows', go somewhere else, although the restrictions they indicate are sometimes lifted in the evenings (check nearby lamp posts for information). City centre car parks charge high prices for the privelidge of using them. London now charges motorists to take their cars into the centre. Beware of driving in bus lanes in cities, most just operate at peak traffic times, indicated on signs that are easily visible at the side of the road.
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