A family holiday in England is as much about Big Ben, double-decker buses and afternoon tea as it is about standing stones, rights of way and royalty. Start a trip in London, England's cosmopolitan capital, and let the kids plan the visit. Photograph the great clock known as Big Ben. Journey round the world at the British Museum. Take an open-top bus tour. Ride the London Eye. See the Changing of the Guard. Eat curry and fish and chips. Enjoy afternoon tea. Travel beyond the big city and explore the country poetically known as Albion. Visit Windsor Castle. Reward tolerant tots with a day at Legoland. See the cathedral town of Canterbury. Stroll the streets of Oxford. Experience offbeat Brighton. Take to the trail in the Cotswolds or West Country - Devon, Summerset and Cornwall. Track time from Stonehenge to Bath. Traveling with literary teens? Chart the Hardy Trail from Dorchester to Weymouth. Immerse yourself in Shakespeare in Stratford-upon-Avon. Read Wordsworth out loud in the Lake District. Follow in the footsteps of Sherlock Holmes. Discover Dickens' London and the London of Oscar Wilde.
England is a global transport hub that is easy to reach by plane, train and ferry. There are near 50 airfields in England and London alone has five airports - Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton and London City. Moreover, low cost airlines have made it cheap and easy to fly to England from Ireland and the continent. The Channel Tunnel, also known as the Chunnel, connects England with France and Belgium. Ferry services link England to Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland and Denmark. The English bus and train systems are fully integrated with those in Scotland and Wales. Family Travel Tips: European airfare consolidators, such as Momondo, are oftentimes more competitive than their American-based competitors for flights within Europe. Traveling to London? The tube and train are the cheapest and most convenient ways to reach central London from area airports.
England is well-served by roads, rails and airports but getting around comes with a steep price tag. The well-developed rail system serves cities, towns and hamlets yet can be a truly expensive means of transport. Flexibility and advance booking are key to finding discounted train tickets. Long distance buses, called coaches, are the best budget option but the slowest way to tour England. Car travel provides the greatest independence however, it's the most expensive way to move about. What's more, driving is on the left and cars are right hand drive. Taxis are readily available in the principal cities. Public transport, both bus and subway, makes getting round England's capital both quick and easy. The London Underground, often referred to as the Tube, serves greater London. Double-decker buses crisscross the city and are much cheaper than the underground. Family Travel Tips: England is not part of the Eurorail program; it has its own rail pass plan. Children aged 10 and under ride free on London buses when traveling with an adult. A 1-day Travelcard pays for itself in two tube rides and offers a greater savings than the Visitor Oyster Card for visits of three days or less.
A valid national identity card is required for citizens of EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Switzerland and Norway. A passport, valid for the length of stay, is required for all other travelers. A visa is not required for tourist stays of up to 90 days.
The climate in England is temperate marine and the weather is variable and unpredictable. The average annual temperature range in London is 20° C (36° F). The warmest months are July and August with an average high temperature of 22° C or 72° F. The coldest months are January and February with an average low of 2° C or 36° F. June has 17 days with precipitation; January has 21. The south coast is driest; the Lake District the wettest. Don't leave home without a raincoat and umbrella. Plan to dress in layers whether traveling in June or January.
Dining out in the UK is largely an adult experience. Few high-end restaurants have child seats, only a small minority welcome young children. Thus eating out with tots, whether or not they shriek and squirm, largely means pizza, burgers and fish and chips.
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