The UK from afar: What NOT to expect

It would be fair to say that the UK has plenty of stereotypes associated with it from other countries. Despite this, it’s a hugely popular place to visit, with some of the best tourist attractions in the world.

However, when traveling from afar, you might be greeted with more than your fair share of surprises. Through today’s article, we will take a look at some of these surprises in more detail, so you can have a better idea of what a trip to the UK might entail and how it differs to most destinations.

Surprise #1 – Your healthcare won’t be covered

There’s a lot spoken about the NHS and the healthcare it provides. Sure, there are some negative headlines surrounding the service, but let’s not forget that it’s streets ahead of a lot of other countries around the world.

However, as a tourist, this is something that you most probably can’t tap into. You’ll need to make your own healthcare provisions, and this would be especially advised, should you have a pre-existing condition. Be sure to get your insurance in advance when travelling with high blood pressure or any other condition, otherwise you may find yourself in a tricky situation, should the unexpected occur.

Surprise #2 – You can’t shop until you sleep

This next point is more of a cultural surprise. Visit most places around the world and you can literally shop until you sleep. Granted, there might be siestas thrown into the middle of the day, but the shopping hours tend to fly late into the night and this obviously opens plenty of opportunities for things to do.

Well, in the UK, this doesn’t tend to happen. The weather means that siestas aren’t a thing, while most shops in a lot of cities will close their doors at the very latest of 6pm. Of course, London might stretch this a touch longer, but don’t bank on it.

Surprise #3 – The same rules apply for dining

This can be another surprise for visitors, and one they need to schedule their trip around. Heading to a restaurant in another country at 10pm might be completely normal, but this is the time where things start to quieten down in the UK. In fact, some won’t even entertain new customers after this time.

Ultimately, late dinners aren’t possible. The peak times for eating tend to be around 8pm and if you happen to be in a touristic area, make sure you book as it can get busy.

Surprise #4 – You don’t have to pay for all of your attractions

One of the nice surprises about visiting the UK is that it isn’t quite as expensive as some of the travel brochures might depict. Sure, it has its moments, but let’s turn our attention to attractions for the time being.

Specifically, the vast majority of museums in the country are completely free to enter. Considering how prestigious some of these are, this is quite significant.

If you span your net to other attractions, it’s generally really easy to find 2-4-1 vouchers so you should rarely pay the full advertised price.

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