BasicsTime: GMT (GMT +1, Apr - Oct)
Electricity: The electrical current in the UK is 240 volts, 50Hz. Flat, three-pin plugs are standard.
Money: The currency is the British Pound (GBP), which is divided into 100 pence. ATMs are available in almost all towns and Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are widely accepted; visitors with other cards should check with their credit card companies in advance. Foreign currency can be exchanged at bureaux de change and large hotels, however better exchange rates are likely to be found at banks.
Currency Exchange Rates
Language: English is the official language, though visitors will be astonished by the variety of regional accents.
Entry requirements for Americans: US travellers must hold a passport that is valid for the duration of their stay; a visa is not required for stays of up to six months.
Entry requirements for Canadians: Passports must be valid for at least the expected duration of the stay. No visa is required for stays of six months or less.
Entry requirements for Australians: Passports must be valid for at least six months after the departure date. No visa is required for stays of six months or less.
Entry requirements for South Africans: South Africans require a valid passport and a visa for entry or transit through the UK. South African temporary passports are not recognised.
Entry requirements for New Zealand nationals: New Zealand nationals must hold a valid passport, but no visa is required for stays of up to 6 months.
Passport/Visa Note: If a visa is not required, travellers should hold a return or onward ticket, or proof of funds for the duration of stay. Passports must be valid for the period of intended stay in the UK; nationals of the EU require a passport valid on arrival. It is highly recommended that passports have at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources. For visitors who are visa exempt up to a maximum stay of 6 months, the period of stay will be determined by the Immigration Officer on arrival.
Travel Health: There are no specific health risks associated with travel to the UK and food and water can be considered safe. The British National Health Service is excellent. A number of countries have reciprocal health agreements with the UK including Australia, New Zealand, and EU countries. Visitors from other countries (including Canada, South Africa, and the US) are advised to take out comprehensive medical insurance.
Tipping: Tips of 10 to 15 percent are expected in restaurants and upmarket hotels in the UK if a service charge hasn't been included. Hotel service staff receive an optional amount. Taxi drivers are usually given 10 to 15 percent of the fare. Tipping for other services is discretionary.
Bristol's climate is unpredictable, much like the rest of the United Kingdom. Situated in the southwest of the country and sheltered largely by Exmoor and the Mendip Hills, Bristol is in fact one of the UK's warmest cities.
Summers are usually sunny and warm, while winters are cold and wet. Summer days, however, can start out overcast and damp, clearing later. In summer, temperatures average between 53°F (12°C) and 71°F (22°C); and in winter, temperatures average between 37°F (3°C) and 48°F (9°C). Rain is possible in any season, but late-autumn and winter are the wettest seasons.
The best time to travel to Bristol is during the
summer (June to August) when it is usually warm and sunny. Winters
are wet, but comparatively mild temperature-wise. A good time to
plan a short break in Bristol is at the end of July when the
popular Harbour Festival takes place, one of the largest free
events in England with music on five stages, street theatre,
markets and a fireworks display.
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