If you’re getting ready for a trip to London, there are certain things that they do differently across the pond. Here’s 5 things you need to know!
Did you know that around 30 million overseas tourists visit London each year? This makes it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
This is why a trip to London can be a once in a lifetime experience and something you’ll never forget. You’ll be walking the same streets that famous monarchs and even Shakespeare himself have walked on.
You’ll be able to see and go inside buildings that can be over 1,000 years old, and taste authentic British food. Trust us; it’s better than you think.
But there are a few things you need to know first to get the most out of your vacation.
In this article, we’re going to share with you some things you should know before heading off on your adventure. Take note of them, and they’ll make your experience even better.
Read on for more information.
1. They Drive on the Left
If this is your first trip to London or Great Britain, you may not know this at all.
It’s common to hear Americans say that the British drive on the wrong side of the road and vice-versa. But it’s worth being aware that they drive on the left-hand side in Britain, just in case you are going to rent a car.
So ensure you’re confident in driving on the opposite side. If you have never done so before, it may be worth going out of London and getting some practice on quiet country roads first. Or forget about getting a car, and use public transport instead.
After all, London is like most busy cities and traffic is heavy, meaning you’ll likely spend a long time in the car getting from point a to b. You should also know that Brits love roundabouts, and you’ll come across plenty while driving.
2. Queuing Is a Big Deal
When Britain formed its empire, it took a lot of its customs with it and implemented them around the world. One of these was queuing. While we do queue up in America, Brits can sometimes take it to another level and have unwritten rules about queuing which you should know.
For example, it’s worth noting that in a pub or bar, it’s common to let others be served first who you know have been waiting longer, even if the barman asks you first. Bar staff often don’t realize who should be next, so customers usually self govern themselves.
When people walk up and jump ahead of everyone, it can cause arguments. So take on board this London travel tip and be aware of queuing.
3. Take a Travel Adaptor
Britain has different plug sockets compared to America and much of the world.
Make sure you get the correct adaptor for all of your appliances. They have three holes in the socket that are spaced out like a triangle.
If you forget to take one, don’t worry. They’re sold in shops at the airport and in supermarkets around London. Your hotel will likely sell them as well.
4. If You Go to a Soccer Match, Sit in the Right Stand
Soccer, or Football as Brits call it, is a big deal. The English are said to have invented modern soccer and given it to the world. Now it’s played all around the globe and is the most popular sport on Earth.
You may be tempted to experience an English soccer match for yourself, and in London, you’re spoilt for choice in who to watch.
Unlike in America, where most American cities have one or two teams max, London consists of dozens. The biggest clubs are Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, and West Ham, who all play in the Premier League.
They have some of the world’s biggest stars playing for them and are popular with tourists.
But if you do decide to attend a game, you should be aware of a few things. Brits are passionate about the teams they support and will even fight over them.
In the ’70s and ’80s, England had a major soccer hooligan problem. This consisted of large groups from opposing teams fighting and sometimes rioting.
While this is a rare occurrence today, you still have to be careful when attending certain matches, especially London derbies. Choose to sit in the home supporters’ end of the ground, preferably the family section.
Wear either home team colors or stay neutral. Stay away from brands like Lacoste and Stone Island as these are associated with hooligan groups.
Finally, do not cheer for the opposition team as this can cause tension.
If you stick to these rules, you will have an enjoyable experience. We recommend watching Tottenham, Arsenal, or West Ham as they have three of the best stadiums in Britain.
5. Go to a Pub Especially on a Sunday
Brits are famed for loving pubs, and it’s a strong part of their culture.
Pubs are excellent meeting places for friends and family, and it’s common to spend hours in them. You can play pub games like darts and pool, watch live sports, and even enjoy a friendly pub quiz.
But it’s worth going to a pub on a Sunday. Most pubs will serve a traditional Sunday roast dinner, which is a long-standing tradition in Britain.
Sunday roasts are like a thanksgiving dinner, in that it consists of meat and lots of vegetables. This is something that has been enjoyed in Britain for centuries and is a great experience for a visitor.
Don’t worry if you’re vegetarian or vegan, as most pubs offer meatless options.
Do you tip in London? It’s not compulsory or expected that you tip at the end of a meal, but it’s always welcome by staff. Some restaurants will add a service charge, but if you’re not happy with the service, ask for it to be removed.
Finally, if you’re traveling with a lot of bags and are worried about storage, don’t be. Search luggage storage near me for great, cost-effective solutions to keep your belongings safe.
Planning Your Trip to London
We hope you have enjoyed our article and have learned a few things before you set off on your trip to London.
As you can see, there are some differences across the pond, especially in terms of driving, so plan ahead. We hope you have a wonderful time and soak up the exciting things London has to offer.
Why not check out the rest of our blog for more great travel and lifestyle information?