Depending on your nationality, you’ll either:
- have to apply for a Standard Visitor visa before you travel to the UK
- be able to visit the UK for up to 6 months without needing a visa
A Standard Visitor visa costs £100 for up to 6 months. The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel.
Safety in England
England is considered a safe country and it ranks 33rd on the peace safety index. England is safe for all travellers including solo tourists or women only. People are friendly and happy to help so don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it. Locals are usually polite and some may even spark conversation, curious to know more about you.
There are some instances when you will want to be more vigilant, especially in popular tourist destinations. Those are the areas where you might see pickpocketing, purse or phone snatching or some scamming. There are some areas in England which are not safe for locals or tourists. These are mainly residential estates in some parts of the country and as a tourist, you won't need to go there.
England is safe at night as well, but of course, as with any destination, always pay attention to your surroundings and exercise common sense. As a solo female traveller, don't walk alone at night outside the touristy areas. Get a cab if needed. If using public transport at night, make sure there's enough people around you.
Don’t venture away from the hiking trails in the mountains, as those were created for your safety. If you intend to sleep in a tent, check the weather forecast and avoid flood areas. Generally, wild camping without the landowner’s permission is illegal in England. To wild camp you first need to ask the landowner’s permission first.
Do not leave your valuables in plain sight or at a visible place in a locked car. Remember to lock the car when exiting the vehicle.
How to get around
England has a good infrastructure, but the best way to get around is by car. You can rely on the public transport, but some train journeys will be fairly expensive.
By car - Renting a car is your best option if you intend to visit places outside the main cities. You will be able to access more off the grid hidden gems and tourist attractions that are not as well connected by public transport. This will save you time so you can spend more enjoying the attractions. Roads are well maintained in England but remember that you'll need to drive on the left hand side on the road here. This may be more difficult for newer drivers or those with less experience. Something else to consider is that many rural roads are very narrow, which may seem difficult for inexperienced drivers.
Generally, drivers are polite and you'll notice that when people give way or wait for you to pass, they greet one another with one hand as a way of saying thank you.
In addition to required documents, motorists are also required by law to carry the following items when driving to avoid fines:
- Reflective jackets (mandatory to carry in your vehicle and wear if walking on the road or hard shoulder in the event of emergency or breakdown)
- Warning triangle (compulsory in every vehicle with more than two wheels)
- Fire extinguisher (compulsory in all vehicles)
- First aid kit (compulsory in all vehicles)
Note that parking is not cheap in England. In cities, you'll have to use dedicated car parks that can cost quite a bit of money. So make sure to take this into account when travelling by car.
Train - Trains in England are a reliable way of getting around. Trains are usually quite expensive in England and prices vary depending on the time of your travel. It's best to plan well in advance and purchase your tickets as soon as you know your itinerary.
Buses - Buses are everywhere in England, and a prominent form of public transport in major cities as well as small villages. Buses are cheaper than trains and connect even the most remote parts of the country. Purchase a ticket from the bus driver directly. You can pay cash or card on board. Simply tell the driver the destination and they will calculate the fare for you.
Flights - There are national flying routes linking major cities. However, flights can be fairly expensive as you'll mostly fly with national carriers.
Taxi - Taxis are very popular in major cities. There's Uber and other similar apps available in most major cities. In London you'll have the iconic black cabs. Taxis are an expensive form of transportation in England.