Information to help your vacation run smoothly
Please let us know which airport you will be arriving at. Manchester or Birmingham are the most convenient.
East Midlands Airport (EMA)is the closest to us, limited number of flights from/to New York.
Birmingham (BHX) is the next closest with flights from various US cities
Manchester International, (MAN) about an hour and a half away, arrivals from the US are frequent here
Next is London Heathrow (LHR) and London Stanstead (STN)
Finally London Gatwick (LGW)
An overnight flight is best arriving early the next morning to minimise jet lag. Try to sleep on the plane. The next day (your first day in England), you will be very tired, but keep going and do not nap. Go to bed early that night and you should feel fine the next day.
You may wish to spend some time in London, as most visitors do, either before or after your vacation with us. We would recommend a short stay as it is a fascinating place; however, it can be expensive, busy and quite tiring. We suggest you read up about tips on rail travel, the tube (subway) and buses before you come. For example the railways can be expensive, depending when you travel and if you book your ticket in advance.
Come prepared for any sort of weather in England and a wide variety of temperatures. Just as sunny intervals can happen at any time so can showers, a lightweight water proof coat is useful. Dress in layers so that you can add or subtract as needed to be comfortable. Even if the day starts off well it’s likely that the temperature will change. A folding umbrella may be an idea but we do have an adequate supply should they be needed!
If you wish to bring any electrical appliances, be aware that the electrical current in England is 240V and the cycle is 50Hz and you will need a converter if you have appliances that don’t accept this voltage. Square three-pin plugs are standard.
If you have a mobile phone, signals are generally very good throughout England apart from the more remote countryside areas. Expect your signal to drop if you are travelling. Reception at Bridge Hill House is good.
Credit cards are accepted in most places. Visa and Mastercard are the most widely accepted. American Express cards are accepted in fewer establishments. Credit cards with a Chip and PIN have become nearly compulsory. One thing to keep in mind is that some establishments and shops will only allow cards to be used (including debit cards) over £5 or £10. Also check your credit card charges for foreign currency transactions some charge extra. ATM’s are plentiful. Value Added Tax (VAT) is 20%. Added to sales and services, it is included in prices posted or quoted.
Tipping is not usually an issue, when in restaurants a service charge could be included on menu prices but is most likely to be added at the end. If service isn’t included it is generally accepted to leave a tip which is about 10%, check the bill before handing over any extra.
Smoking is prohibited in all public buildings now in England. Some establishments provide smoking areas outdoors. Bridge Hill House operates a no smoking policy. Tap water from restaurants, bars and homes is very safe to drink throughout England.
We would advise you take out adequate health and travel insurance just as you would travelling anywhere in the world. In England all nationalities receive free emergency treatment at NHS hospitals. Pharmacies will give advice on minor ailments; these are on many high streets and in supermarkets.
Hopefully this information is useful to you but we understand that you may have many other questions, just email and ask, we will be happy to help. Remember, we aim to make your vacation effortless.