Facts to Help You Prepare for Life in the United Kingdom
Moving to somewhere new like the UK is always an exciting chapter in anyone’s life.
To help you prepare for your new life, here are some fun facts about the living in the United Kingdom.
Facts About Living in the UK
Life In The UK
Travelling To The UK
- Heathrow is the busiest airport in the UK, with 72.3 million passengers. It accounts for 30% of all air passengers in Britain. There are 14 other major international airports across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland
- 624,000 people made the UK their home in 2014.
Top 5 Expat Destinations In The UK
- England, Scotland and Northern Ireland produce their own banknotes.
- The Bank of England regulates Scottish and Northern Ireland banknotes.
- Most retailers in England will accept Scottish and Northern Ireland notes. The Republic of Ireland is not part of the UK and it uses Euros. However, some retailers in tourist areas like central London will also accept Euros for payment.
- £1 = 100 pence and is sometimes called a “quid,” a £5 note is also called a “fiver”, and a £10 note is a “tenner.” Many people refer to £100 as a “tonne”
- Many small shops add a surcharge for card payments under the value of £10. Debit card payments made in person use a “Chip & PIN” system for added security. Non-bank ATMs charge up to £2 per transaction for dispensing money.
- Sunday trading laws in England restrict large retailers to opening for just six hours.
Driving On British Roads
- The first motorist caught speeding by police in the world was Walter Arnold in 1896.
- Speed limits are in miles per hour.
- 30 mph is the speed limit in towns and cities, 60 mph is the speed limit on single carriageways, and 70 mph is the speed limit for motorways and dual carriageways.
- EU nationals can drive any type of vehicle shown on their driving licence. Other expats can drive for 12 months without needing to apply for a UK licence. Unlike mainland Europe and the USA, the UK drives on the left.
- The first paved road in the world was in Nottingham, England back in 1902. Nowadays, the total road length in Great Britain is estimated to be 245.0 thousand miles.
- Minor roads make up 87% of total road length, with motorways and ‘A’ roads accounting for 1% and 12% respectively.
- Despite accounting for only 13% of road length in 2011, major roads (motorways and ‘A’ roads) accounted for 65% of road traffic.”
The London Underground
- In 1863, the world’s first underground subway system was built in London. The London Underground is colloquially known as “The Tube” because of the tube-shaped tunnels.
- There are 270 Tube stations in and around central London being used by 1.265 billion people every year. Waterloo is the busiest station with 89.4 million passengers per year.
- Hampstead is the deepest station at 58.5 metres below street level.
- You can save money by using an Oyster prepayment card or any contactless card on London’s transport network, including the Underground.
- There are an estimated 56,000 restaurants in the UK. According to the World’s 50 Best Restaurants competition, the UK’s best restaurant in 2014 was Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in London.
- A tip of 10% of the total bill is customary if you’ve received good service at a restaurant. The minimum wage is higher than in the USA, so tipping doesn’t make up the bulk of a waiter’s salary. You generally don’t need to tip for counter food or at pubs.
- Britain has an annual cheese-rolling competition at Coopers Hill, England. Yes, cheese-rolling.
- The average price for rental accommodation in London is £1,233 per month. The national average is £505 per month
- The average price for buying property in London is £509,000. The national average is £221,372 for a three-bedroom house.