Backpacking in London or the UK? Here Are Some Vital Things You Need to Know
The UK is one of the most coveted tourist destinations in the world primarily because it is where London is located. In fact, the majority of people who wants to visit the UK, actually associate it with the capital.
Well, there’s more to the UK than what you’ll read in books or see in the telly and London happens to be one of them.
Ready to go backpacking in London and the rest of the UK?
This article provides you the essential information you need to make the most of your trip.
- UK travel visa
- Getting around
- Cost of backpacking in the UK
- Best times to visit
- Best places to visit
- Backpacking routes
- Things to do
Backpacking in the UK: Travel Visa
Whether or not you will need a travel visa will depend on your country of origin.
If you come from a country outside of the European Union (EU), you will need a Schengen visa that will allow you to travel to all the countries within the Schengen zone for a total of 90 days.
A Schengen visa will cost you approximately £60 and approximately £35 for children 6 to 12 years of age if you are travelling with one. Children younger than 6 years old will get a visa for free.
It is also highly recommended that you get travel insurance for a stress-free trip. You’ll never know what will happen along the way, and it’s best to be financially prepared for anything.
In the event that you wish to travel to other countries other than the UK, be sure to check their respective travel and migration requirements before you do. Procedures for visa application varies from one country to another.
Backpacking in the UK: Getting Around London
There are trains, buses, and cabs that will take you in and around the UK. Public transport can be straightforward but others can be complex and difficult.
Transportation costs also range from expensive to outrageously expensive. A better alternative would be to rent a car so you will be able to go around whenever and wherever you want.
Just be prepared for heavy traffic, especially on motorways where busy times run all day. It is best to add an extra hour or two during your trips so as not to miss any appointments if you have any.
If you want to spend your entire trip within London alone, expect the transport situation to be the same with the rest of the UK. Most outsiders find the transport system quite intimidating and needs some getting used to. Getting lost is a high probability. But that’s what makes backpacking around London more exciting.
Cost of Backpacking in the UK: London
Since Brexit, the value of the pound has decreased, making this the best time to visit the UK. Still, expect prices to be more expensive in the south than in the north.
In London and the surrounding area, expect to pay about £1.50 to £2 more for accommodation, tours, and food and drinks than if you were to get them in Wales, Scotland, or the Northern Island.
If you want to save on backpacking cost, you should limit the number of times you eat out. You can also stay in hostels where you can cook in the kitchen. Since buying food in supermarkets are more inexpensive, you will be able to save more if you cook your own meals.
Drinking tends to be expensive in the UK, more so in London. Look for student nights to enjoy significantly cheaper drinks.
Backpacking in the UK: Weather
The weather in the UK is completely unpredictable and, some would say, funny enough to play a joke on you. It can go from sunny to rainy in an instant and you can’t rely on the season to give you the kind of day you expect. In fact, it can rain for three days in a row during the summer.
However, when the weather does brighten up or the sun decides to grace you with its presence, you’ll see just how breath-taking London and the rest of the UK is.
But don’t let the unpredictability of the weather dampen your day. Rain or shine, those tourist attractions you want to explore will welcome you with open arms.
Backpacking in the UK: Best Times to Visit
Even when it would rain for days during the summertime, it remains the best time to visit London and the rest of the UK. Rain would let up at some point and you will have an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful outdoors.
Travelling during autumn or winter is also a good idea because the UK would be quieter. Good being the operative word because of the weather and the fact that prices won’t go down during these times.
Just to be safe, always include a jacket and cold-weather clothes in your packing list.
Backpacking in the UK: Best Places to Visit
In the UK, there is no shortage of places to visit, including London and its many tourist attractions, such as famous landmarks, grand museums and galleries, and beautiful parks.
If you want to see more of the UK, some of the most interesting cities that you must visit are Belfast, Chester, Edinburgh, Lake District, Liverpool, Manchester, and the Highlands.
When in London, make sure to take a ride of The London Eye to get a bird’s eye view of the entire city. Then, head out to the Buckingham Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral, Trafalgar Square, and the Tower of London.
You should also check out Hyde Park and the nearby Kensington Gardens, Regent’s Park, and the St James Park.
Backpacking Routes in the UK: London
One of the best ways to explore the rest of the UK from London is to take the London to Edinburgh backpacking route where you get to see Liverpool, the Lake District, and Scotland along the way.
Another option is Scotland’s Route 66 or North Coast 500 that will take you from Inverness to the West Coast.
Then, there’s the North West to North Wales backpacking route that starts from either Liverpool or Manchester and ends at Anglesey. Along the way, you will find the Snowdonia National Park and many historic and beautiful cities.
Backpacking in the UK: Things to Do in London
In London and the rest of the UK, there are plenty of things to do, but two of the must-dos are hiking and football.
With plenty of hiking trails that offer beautiful scenery, exploring this part of the world on foot would be memorable.
If you’re a crazy fan of football, you have not been to London and the UK if you don’t go and watch the Premier League. And even if you aren’t a fan, watching a game or two is one way to immerse in the UK culture, considering that football is a huge part of it.
With this information on hand, time to put it to good use. Start working on your London or UK itinerary right away.