Explore Travel

What you should know before travelling to the UK from Australia

Photo by Shutterstock.
Photo by Shutterstock.

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Travelling to the UK from Australia can be overwhelming, especially if you have never been before. You must find the best places to buy British pounds, organise accommodation, and check if you need a visa.

Doing all this can leave you feeling stressed instead of looking forward to your next adventure.

That is where we come in to take some of the pressure off!

Today's guide walks you through what you need to know before travelling to the UK from Australia, including the visa process and how to get around the country.

Do I need a visa to travel to the UK?

A visa is optional to travel to the UK if you visit as a tourist for less than six months. However, if you plan to work during your trip or want to extend it, you will need to consult the UK Home Office.

They will provide you with up-to-date information regarding visa applications and can help you with any queries you might have.

Of course, this is subject to change, and you should check the requirements before booking your flight. You will likely be questioned by the UK Border Force on arrival to the UK, regardless of whether you need a visa or not.

This is not likely to be a long process, and you will be asked standard questions, including the length of your stay and the reason for your visit. Sometimes, you might be asked to provide proof of accommodation during your stay or the details of your return flight.

What to consider before travelling to the UK from Australia

Several things to consider before travelling to the UK will help ensure that your trip runs as smoothly as possible. We have outlined them below for you.

There are four nations

The United Kingdom consists of four countries: England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. As a tourist, you can travel freely through these, enjoying their different cultures and landmarks.

English is commonly spoken across the four nations, but you will also hear the traditional languages spoken in parts of Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, along with dual languages printed on their signs.

Public transportation

Public transport can be spotty, depending on where you are in the UK.

Most major cities, like London, Cardiff, Liverpool, and Edinburgh have trains, buses, and trams that run regularly, connecting you to other parts of the country.

In rural areas, trains and buses are less regular, and hiring a car will allow you to easily travel across the country.

Trains and buses are currently experiencing strikes, which are impacting service. You can use mobile apps, like National Rail, to check live updates on trains and plan your journeys.

Travel insurance

When booking your trip to the UK, you should organise travel insurance. This will cover you should anything go wrong during your trip.

The UK has an excellent health service, but it comes at a cost for visitors, so be sure to avoid any unnecessary bills.

We recommend using a travel insurance comparison site to find the best price. Make sure to book the insurance at the time you book your trip to ensure you are protected should you need to cancel or re-arrange the trip.

Unpredictable weather

The weather will be unpredictable regardless of when you arrive in the UK. Knowing what clothes to pack can be tricky, from surprise showers to sudden heat waves.

We recommend light layers that you can add or remove as the weather changes. The southern part of the UK, including London, Brighton, and the coast, is typically warmer than the northern parts of England and Scotland.

The unpredictable weather adds to the UK experience, but you must come prepared. Pack an umbrella, lightweight waterproof jacket, and layers of tops and jumpers no matter the time of year.

In the winter, you will want a thicker coat and waterproof boots, while dresses and shorts can be added to a summer wardrobe.

Free museums

There are many free museums and cultural sights to enjoy, allowing you to enjoy affordable day trips. However, National Trust parks can be expensive to visit.

Family tickets will reduce the price, but we recommend booking your entry online to spread the cost of your trips.

Final thoughts

While you don't need a visa for most visits to the UK, you need to consider some factors, including the weather and spotty public transportation.

A little research and some time planning your journey around the UK will allow you to experience different cultures and see as many sights as possible.

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