• Green landscape and hearty grub

    The United Kingdom comprises England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Island.

    It's easy to see why the UK is an ever-popular destination for Aussie travellers. With vast, green landscapes, historic sites, pub grub and a similar culture to our own – what’s not to love?

    Read on for some ideas for your trip to the UK.

  • Facts

    • The UK is the home of Greenwich Mean Time
    • The population is 64 million
    • The main religion is Christianity
    • 87% of the population is Caucasian
    • At its peak, the British Empire occupied over a quarter of the Earth's land mass

Travel tips

Top 6 cities in the UK

  • London: You can’t visit the UK without going to the capital. The largest city in the UK, London has something for everyone – food, theatre, history, pubs, parks and more.
  • Manchester: Home to the famous premier league football team, Manchester also has a proud history in science, politics, music, arts and sport.
  • Edinburgh: Edinburgh, in Scotland, is renowned for the 12th century castle that dominates the city’s skyline on Castle Rock. Blending the old and new, from the medieval old town to The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Edinburgh is a city that delights.
  • Glasgow: Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city – a centre for manufacturing and trade as well as a multicultural centre for museums, culture, museums, galleries, and festivals.
  • Cardiff: Cardiff is the capital city of Wales, offering historical attractions, entertainment and shopping, while juxtaposing cutting-edge architecture against historic buildings. The city is home to Cardiff Castle, and also has a new waterfront at Cardiff Bay.
  • Belfast: Dubbed the Lonely Planet’s best place to visit in 2018, Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland. With fantastic eateries, cool pubs and plenty of shopping, you’ll never run out of things to do.

Top 6 castles

Most people will stop by Buckingham Palace in London, Queen Elizabeth II’s main residence, but what about the other castles throughout England, Scotland and Wales? There are hundreds of castles and fortifications across the countryside – ranging from ruins to stately homes with manicured gardens – some of which date back to the Iron Age.

Best travel experiences

  • Check out a sports game

    Many in the UK are football (or soccer) crazy, with the Premier League being England’s number one football league. There are 20 Premier League football grounds in England and you can sample a game at one of the stadiums located throughout England.

    If soccer isn’t your thing, other options include a tennis match at Wimbledon, a golf tournament at St Andrews, a rugby game at Twickenham, or a cricket game at Lords in London. Just make sure you cheer on the Aussies!

  • Take a Monopoly tour

    What do Trafalgar Square, Elephant and Castle, Fenchurch Street and Park Lane have in common? Not only are they all locations in London, but they also appear on the Monopoly board.

    If you’re keen to roam London by food, mark the 22 street and four train stations from the famous game and start walking – who knows what else you might discover?

  • Go to a festival

    The UK is home to a range of famous music, rock and pop festivals, including Glastonbury, Bestival, and the Isle of Wight Festival. These usually take place from June to September and draw in all demographics.

    If you can’t make it to a festival, take a look at The Beatles Museum in Liverpool, or the home of Oasis (Manchester) or Radiohead (Abingdon).

  • Ride in a London taxi

    The drivers of London black cabs are considered to be the best in the world, having to pass a test called The Knowledge, which involves memorising every street and important building in central London.

    This means that when you hop into a taxi, you can just say the name of your destination, and they will do the rest.

Famous foods

Britain is home to a number of traditional foods that everyone should try once, including:

  • Cornish pasties: Short-crust pastry filled with meat and vegetables that is then baked – the perfect portable meal, and originally from Cornwall.
  • Haggis: Haggis is a savoury pudding from Scotland made from sheep’s heart, liver, lungs and other ingredients.
  • Black Pudding: Another Scotland treat, black pudding is a type of blood sausage that features pig’s blood.
  • Bacon Butty: This is an English Bacon sandwich laced with tomato ketchup or HP brown sauce.
  • Lamb Cawl: This is a traditional Welsh lamb stew.
  • Dulse: From Ireland, this dried seaweed can be used as a snack or seasoning, and has now found its place as a superfood.

Staying safe

The UK is generally a safe destination for Aussie travellers, particularly since we don’t have the language barrier. However, it does pay to be prepared, and the best way to prepare for your journey is to organise travel insurance before you go.

  • In your hotel

    Most UK hotels will provide information to ensure your safety as a guest – either in the room or on their website. This might include information on fire escapes, the location of smoke detectors, how to use the safe and more.

  • Out on the town

    Be careful when using ATMs and when entering your PIN. If you suspect that an ATM has been tampered with, use another one.

    At night, stay in well-lit areas and avoid waiting alone at bus stops or train stations. Better yet, pre-book a minicab or private hire vehicle that is run by a licensed operator.

  • Sports hooliganism

    UK sports fans have a reputation for extreme behaviour at matches, particularly football matches. For this reason, some venues and cities have restrictions on wearing team colours because it incites over the top behaviour, so do your research before you go.

  • Your belongings

    As on any trip, don’t leave bags, cameras, smartphones or any other valuables unattended, particularly in tourist areas. Beyond the risks of petty theft, unattended baggage can trigger security alerts as the UK is very vigilant to threats of terrorism. You can check terrorism alert levels at smarttravller.gov.au before you travel to the UK.

RACV Travel Insurance, choose from our comprehensive range of travel insurance plans

RACV Club Member? Discover our reciprocal clubs in the UK

Reciprocal clubs in England

  • City University Club, London
  • East India Club, London
  • Hurlingham Club, London
  • National Liberal Club, London
  • Naval and Military Club, London
  • Norfolk Club, Norwich
  • Phyllis Court Club, Oxfordshire
  • RAC Country Club, Surrey
  • Royal Air Force Club, London

 

  • Royal Automobile Club, London
  • Royal Naval Club and Royal Albert Yacht Club, Hampshire
  • Royal Over-Seas League, London
  • Sloane Club, Chelsea
  • St James's Hotel and Club, London
  • Stoke Park Club, Buckinhamshire
  • The Lansdowne Club, London
  • The Naval Club, London
  • The Nottingham Club, Nottingham

Scotland reciprocal clubs:

  • Royal Northern & University Club, Aberdeen
  • Roayl Over-Seas League, Edinburgh
  • Royal Scots Club, Edinburgh
  • Western Club, Glasgow

DISCOVER MORE

Access to Reciprocal Clubs is an exclusive benefit for RACV Club members and is not available to Service members, i.e. those who hold Emergency Roadside Assistance or members that hold Insurance. To find out more about joining the RACV Club, please click here.

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