Walking Holidays In England - Destination Guide
England, Great Britain or the United Kingdom (UK)?
The words England and Britain are often used interchangeably to mean the same place but this is incorrect. England is just one country in Great Britain - the other two are Scotland and Wales. You may also hear the term United Kingdom or ‘UK’ used, which also includes Northern Ireland. Together, they are one nation - the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
No vaccinations are required for entry into Britain. All citizens of the EU are entitled to free medical treatment under the National Health Service (NHS). If you are travelling from outside the EU you will receive free treatment from the Accident and Emergency Unit, but not if you are admitted into hospital or receive treatment at a general doctors surgery. Consequently health insurance is highly recommended.
Most shops, hotels and restaurants accept all major debit and credit cards, although you should always carry a bit of cash on you, particularly when visiting more rural areas or when using small businesses. You will also find an ATM in most small towns.
Tipping is expected in most cafés and restaurants but not mandatory. Anything between 5% and 15%, depending on the quality of service is acceptable. It is not necessary to tip bar staff as you will usually order and collect your drinks at the bar.
Internet and Phone coverage
Whilst phone and internet coverage in England is generally good, you should be aware that in more rural areas you may have limited coverage. Bearing this in mind, it is best to plan ahead and not rely on having access to calls when you are out and about. In towns and villages there will generally be phone reception but not always mobile internet. It is increasingly common to have free wi-fi in cafes, hotels and B&Bs but not guaranteed.
Celtic Trails will arrange necessary transfers for yourself and your luggage for the duration of the walk. This is included in the price of the holiday, but does not include transport to the start of the walk. We are very happy to arrange private transfer to the start of your walk at an additional cost. Alternatively, there are the following options:
Train: England has an excellent train network and it is the most popular form of public transport because it is comfortable, safe and fast. It is also suitable for travelling on with large pieces of luggage. The train network covers all cities and many towns, but it's worth getting a firmer idea of train timetables and routes in England prior to your visit. If you would like advice on which is the nearest train station to the start/end of your walk please get in touch. Train tickets can be bought on the National Rail website or at the train station on the day.
Coach: Coach travel is often one of the most affordable ways of making long journeys across the UK (but not necessarily the quickest). National Express and Megabus are the main long distance coach companies in the UK. Tickets for long distance coach journeys should always be bought in advance from the respective company website.
Bus: Buses (generally smaller than coaches) are used across the UK for shorter journeys. There are thousands of bus routes and you will find a service running through almost every town in England. Tickets are generally bought from the bus drive upon boarding the bus. Search here for bus timetables in England. If you are at all unsure, we are very happy to offer advice on bus routes.
Taxi: Travelling by taxi is not cheap but it is the most convenient way of travelling if you only have a small number of journeys to make. Taxi journeys should always be booked in advance unless you are in a major city. Celtic Trails are very happy to provide you with the numbers of local, trustworthy taxi companies and also to book a taxi if enough notice is given.
Car: If you plan to drive to the start of your walking holiday, please let us know as we can provide advice on where to leave your car whilst walking.
Citizens of the EU are free to visit the UK for any length of time with just their passports, whilst those from the USA, Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand can visit for 6 months with just their passports. Those from other countries will need to look into Visas. Once you have arrived in England, you are free to cross the borders of Scotland and Wales without having your documents checked again.
Great Books For Great Walks: Essential reads for walking in… England