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The Secrets to Successfully Exploring British Cities 

If you’re taking a trip to Britain, you’ve probably already decided where you want to visit: the inspiration behind Hogwarts; the homes of the Royal Family; the glittering city of London; and the birthplaces of the greats like Shakespeare, The Beatles, and Charles Darwin. However, you should bear in mind that there’s so much more to Britain than what the guidebooks tell you. Yes, the castles are jaw-dropping and the rolling hills in the countryside beautiful, but you need to know more than just where to visit and when. If you want to make the most of a trip to the gorgeous island, use the advice below.  

Learn the social etiquette

British culture is famous the world over. From Doctor Who to Harry Potter, people get a glimpse into Britain’s social ways and means through TV shows, films, music and books. While you might be ready for the dry sense of humor and sarcasm, you might not be prepared for some of the more subtle aspects. Some of the most important pieces of etiquette to be aware of are: don’t queue jump; don’t stop in the middle of sidewalks in busy cities; always say “please” and “thank you”; and if you’re in London – always let people off the Tube before getting on! British people are a really friendly bunch: they’ll always be happy to help you out and give you tips – but manners are important to them. There’s no barging past people on sidewalks without saying “excuse me” first. However, when it comes to tipping, it’s not as extreme as in the US: serving staff are paid higher wages, and it’s usual to tip around 10 percent of what your meal cost. If you can stick with these tips, you’ll be fine.

Get the hang of transport

Britain is quite a small country. If you’re coming from places like Australia or America, you’ll probably be surprised by how fast you can get everywhere by driving. However, you’ll also be surprised by how tricky it is to get a car around the country. From one-way streets through narrow villages, to cities with miles of traffic jams, you’ll need to know the insider tricks before driving in Britain. Google Maps will help with the navigation, AA’s traffic planner will help you avoid the long tailbacks, and when it comes to finding somewhere to park yourparkingspace.co.uk has made parking a breeze. Simply book a parking space in the city or town you want to visit, and you won’t need to worry about squeezing into small spaces or parallel parking in the middle of city centers.

Take in more than the tourist traps

Ever wonder why you don’t see any British tourists at Buckingham Palace or on the London Eye? It’s because they know where to go to get the best from a city. They know hidden places that will tell you and show you much more about this country than guidebooks will. You can find some secret gems at timeout.com – and while some of them might be quite tricky to get to, the journey will be more than worth it once you arrive. While the gilded gates of Britain’s tourist attractions are worth visiting, you’ll get to know the country even better by exploring places off the beaten track. 

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