My England

Climate,Currency,Time Difference,Customs Regulations,Transport and Baggage Claim

PART III: UK Arrival

• Climate, Currency, Time Difference
• Customs Regulations
• Baggage Claim
• Transport Between Airport & Town
• Alien Registration
• Jet Lag

Living and working in the UK / UK Arrival:


• About the United Kingdom
• UK Statistics
• UK History
• UK Monarchy


• Travel Readiness Checklist
• Hand Baggage Guidelines
• Immigration Check
• Medical/ Accident Insurance


• Climate, Currency, Time Difference
• Customs Regulations
• Baggage Claim
• Transport Between Airport & Town
• Alien Registration
• Jet Lag

• Business Hours
• Opening Of Bank Accounts In UK
• Accommodation
• Public Transportation
• Driving In UK
• Telephone & Postal System
• Food Education Health Care
• Etiquette in the UK
• Shoplifting
• Punctuality in UK PART V: EMERGENCY:
• Passport and Visa related issues
• Useful Phone numbers
• List of important offices in UK PART VI: USEFUL INFORMATION ABOUT UK:
• British Society And Britons
• Entertainment & Cultural Facilities
• Movies & Museums
• Sports
• London


The United Kingdom is made up of the countries of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Western Europe, islands including the northern one-sixth of the island of Ireland between the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea, northwest of France.


Britain an island country and the surrounding sea gives a varied climate. It is mild, temperate & subject to frequent changes. It can be sunny one day and rainy the next. As there is such a variable climate changing from day to day, it is difficult to predict the weather.

Rain is fairly well distributed but in general March-June are the driest & September-January are the wettest. This means that it is mild with temperatures not much lower than 0ºC in winter and not much higher than 32ºC in summer. July is normally the warmest month. February is the coldest month.


There are four seasons
o Spring – March to May
o Summer – June to August
o Autumn (Known as fall in the US) – September to November
o Winter – December to February

Whatever the season, the British weather is liable to change from day to day, so if you are wondering what to pack, a good idea is to bring layers, a waterproof coat or jacket, and an umbrella.

Most days in summer are warm but evenings can be cool. In spring and autumn there can be very warm days but equally, there can be very cold ones too. Winter sees Britain’s shortest and coldest days (about seven to eight hours of daylight) but these can be crisp 18 Living & Working in the UK and bright.

Remember there can also often be quite differences in temperatures between Scotland and Southern England. The chart below gives the average monthly temperatures and rainfall for the whole country.


The currency in the UK is the pound sterling (£), with 100 pence in a pound. Notes are in denominations of £5, £10, £20, and £50, in varying colors and sizes. Coins are 1p and 2p (copper- colored); 5p, 10p, 20p and 50p (silver-colored); £1 (gold-colored); and £2 (silver- and gold-colored). It is not available as a paper pound.

With Euro Currency the current equivalent is:
1EUR (Euro) = 0.63 GBP (British Pounds) – (This keeps fluctuating)

OR 1 GBP= 1.46 EUR

With US $ Currency the current equivalent is:
1 USD (US $) = 0.56 GBP – (This keeps fluctuating)

OR 1 GBP = 1.7890 US $

Rupee Equivalent

1 GBP = 81.94 INR (Indian Rupee) – (This keeps fluctuating)
OR 1 Euro = 55.72 INR (Indian Rupee)
OR 1 US $ = 45.88 INR (Indian Rupee)

Currency exchange is available at banks, airports and in bureaux de change. ATMs are widely available. You will probably get the best exchange rates for your Traveller’s Cheques at banks or at a Thomas Cook Centre.

Places with the longest working hours offer the worst rates. Beware of Cheque-points & other high commission bureaus-de-change. The exchange offices usually offer the best rates but may charge a higher commission. Most places exchange paper currency only, not coins.

Credit & Debit Cards

Visa and MasterCard are the most widely accepted credit cards. American Express and Diner’s Club cards can also be used in many places, but you may have difficulty using them in smaller shops and restaurants and in smaller towns. Note that some establishments may charge you a small fee for using your credit card.

Traveler’s Cheques:

Accepted throughout England and Ireland. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, you are advised to take Travellers Cheques in Euros, Pounds Sterling
or US Dollars.


International flights to London arrive at either Heathrow Airport or at Gatwick Airport or at Stansted Airport.

Custom Regulations

At Heathrow Airport the guideline is that if you’re arriving on an international flight, and have checked baggage, you will come through Customs about forty minutes after your plane lands. Be prepared to have your luggage searched or X-rayed. At departure, you are advised to check-in two hours before for intercontinental flights. Take this advice seriously as Heathrow can become very congested at times.


You will be given a De-embarkation Form before you land at the place of your destination.

There could be questions regarding the items that you are carrying, e.g. whether it exceeds the duty-free limits or whether you are carrying any vegetable products or any perishable products

Enter your organization’s – UK office Tel. No./address as your contact no./address.


Show your passport, immigration form, and work permit.

Answer questions asked by the immigration officers respectfully, confidently and to the point. Do keep eye on what the officer writes down and politely correct him if you think anything is wrong.
Request the immigration officer for multiple entry permits.


If any of your checked-in baggage is damaged or missing, make a complaint in writing before you leave the airport. Also, lodge a police complaint.

The Airport Authorities make every effort to ensure that the safe delivery of your baggage coincides with your arrival at the destination airport! In the rare an event that your baggage is damaged, lost or delayed during a flight, however, you must advise a member of the ground handling staff at the airport of arrival immediately.

Baggage Claim

• If it is lost or damaged by an authority, a transport company or hotel you must report the details of the loss or damage to them in writing and get written confirmation
• If your baggage is lost or stolen, you must take all reasonable steps to get it back
• You must be able to prove your ownership and the value of lost or stolen items. Failure to do so may affect your claim
• If after five days your luggage has not been restored to you, you must complete and return a Baggage Inventory Form

Prohibited and Restricted Items – What you should not carry The following dangerous articles are not permitted in baggage whether cabin or hold baggage:

• Gas cylinders. Deeply refrigerated flammable, non-flammable, and poisonous gases such as butane, oxygen, propane, and aqualung cylinders. Includes butane gas (eg for use with heated hair appliances)
camping gas, and chef’s blow torches.

• Flammable liquids and solids such as lighter or heater fuels, paint, and matches (except one box of matches or one cigarette lighter as provided below).

• Poisons, such as insecticides, weed killers, arsenic, and cyanide.

• Radioactive material, oxidizing materials, and organic peroxides such as bleaches and fiberglass repair kits.

• Firearms and explosives. Handguns, automatic weapons, munitions, ammunitions including blank cartridges, pistol caps, fireworks, flares, smoke canisters, and crackers.

• Infectious substances such as bacteria and viruses.

• Corrosives such as mercury, acids, alkalis, and wet-cell batteries.


Don’t hesitate to ask for help from airport support staff/police if the need arises

Beware of touts / un-authorized personnel Don’t panic if the person coming to pick you up is not there.

In the UK, no change is returned to the Public phones. It is advisable to buy a 2 or 3-pound British Telecom Phone Card from one of the counters in the Arrivals area.


If you have only manageable luggage, you may be able to make the move conveniently on public transport.

The Airport Shuttle is the fastest and most a convenient way for an individual passenger to arrive in London.

From Heathrow to reach London

The least expensive route into London is Piccadilly Line on the Underground (London’s Subway System), which runs from all the four terminals every 4 to 8 minutes. The 40 minute trip in the Tube costs around £4 one way.

Heathrow Express is the new, fast rail link from the airport to Paddington Station in London, which reaches in 15 min. A one-way ticket costs £ 12 for standard class and is not covered by the Travel Card scheme.

London Transport (Tel: 020/7222-1234) runs a 2-bus service from the airport, each cost about £ 6 one way.
Cars & taxis drive into London on M4. The fare is about £ 40 plus tip. It may take more than an hour, depending upon traffic to reach the city.

From Gatwick

Fast, nonstop Gatwick Express trains leave from Victoria Station every 15 min, from 5:30 a.m. to 12:50 a.m., then hourly between 1:30 a.m. and 4:30 a.m.
The 30-min trip costs around £ 10 one-way. A frequent local train also runs all night.

Cars & Taxis drive into London on M4. The taxi fare is around £85, plus trip.

From Stansted

The Stansted Sky train to Liverpool Street Station runs every half hour & costs
around £11 one-way.

Tired? Nauseous? Just flown across more than four time zones? Feelings of disorientation are not just due to sleep deprivation, or even the thin air (less
pressure at 8,000 feet) but may well have something to do with melatonin, a hormone produced by the brain to set the body clock.

Synthetic melatonin, available from health food shops and pharmacies in the UK, can eliminate jet lags. But what is generally agreed is that long journeys should start with a good night’s sleep.

But what else can be done on the journey?

Sleep with eyeshades

Use earplugs to minimize the effect of pressure changes.

Boots sell an upmarket version with a ceramic filter to allow air to seep in while protecting the inner ear

Eat lightly & drink plenty of water before and during the flight

Avoid excessive alcohol

Get a good night’s sleep on arrival. This can be difficult if welcoming hosts insist on celebrating your arrival, but from the experience, this is the most the effective part of any strategy.

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