Its a little known fact that while Gatwick, Heathrow,
Luton and Stansted all call themselves a London airport, none are
actually within London. Originally London was any area with a London
postcode which none of the above have. However in modern times London is
taken as any area within the M25 motorway which places Heathrow Airport
alone within Greater London.
UK, GB ABBREVIATIONS - EXPLANATION
This is an
abbreviation of United Kingdom. The United Kingdom is itself a shortened
form of the more correct term United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Northern Ireland. Only Northern Ireland is part of the UK while Southern
Ireland is totally sovereign in its own right.
This is an abbreviation of Great Britain. Great Britain is
the three mainland countries of Wales, Scotland and England. Wales and
Scotland do not share a border while England shares a border with both
Wales and Scotland. The three together form an island entirely
surrounded by sea. Northern Ireland is across the Irish Sea and not part
of Great Britain, it does not share any borders with Great Britain.
Local Taxes in the UK are called VAT. This stands for value added tax and is charged at the rate of
20%. It is charged on most goods and services (including hotel accommodation). This can often be reclaimed on goods if you can show you live, and are taking the goods, abroad.
Don't forget in the UK cars drive on the left with the driver on the right hand side of the car. This is in common with places such as Gibraltar and Australia but out of step with most of the world.
On the 1st of July 2007 the UK brought in a law making it
illegal to smoke in a public place or workplace. Many people have been confused as to how this affect hotels. Well the law only applies
to the public areas such as lobby, restaurant, bar etc. Hotels still can and do offer smoking and no-smoking rooms. However in response
to a desire by many travellers for smoke free hotels more and more hotels are in fact going all no-smoking. This is their choice and nothing
to with the change in the law.
On the 1st of June 2008 a ban was introduced to prevent the drinking of alcohol on London public transport system.
You may be surprised that this was even allowed in the first place. The ban covers drinking from, or carrying, open containers of alcohol on the Tube,
London buses, Docklands Light Railway and tram services.
Nearest beach resorts to London are at Southend-on-sea and Westcliffe (36.3 miles) in Essex to the South East of England. At Brighton (47 miles) on the South Coast of the UK in Sussex and Clacton-on-sea (60 miles) again to the south east. Their are many smaller beaches but these are the main resorts.