Travel in the country

Air connections Great Britain’s largest airline is British Airways, which offers long-haul flights in all directions. Virgin Airlines is the second largest airline that also offers numerous long-haul flights. Other airlines are BMI and Easy-Jet.

There are 471 airports of various sizes in the UK. The UK’s “flagship airport” is London Heathrow Airport, one of the busiest airports in the world. London Gatwick Airport and Manchester International Airport follow closely behind Heathrow Airport. Other airports of great importance for domestic and international flights are London Stansted Airport, the headquarters of the low-cost airline Ryanair, London Luton Airport, the headquarters of Easy-Jet and outside London, Birmingham International Airport, Cardiff International Airport, Glasgow International Airport and Belfast International Airport.

The UK rail network is one of the oldest in the world and consists of two networks: that of Great Britain, connected to Europe through the Channel Tunnel, opened in 1994, and the Northern Irish rail network, connected to Ireland. All in all, both networks cover 34,000 km, 40,000 bridges and 2,500 train stations. Like the British bus network, British rail transport is exclusively in the hands of private companies coordinated by the Network Rail organization. The largest railway companies are Virgin Trains, GNER, Connex and the First Group.

Britain’s bus network was largely privatized under the Transport Act of 1980. Northern Ireland is an exception, where the bus and train lines are still controlled by the state’s Translink.
Coach buses, mainly on the National Express line, provide long distance connections within the UK. Scottish Citylink/Megabus provide most of the coaches within Scotland. At the regional level there is a large number of bus providers that are also privately owned.

Britain has three underground networks. The best known and largest is London’s Tube, Europe’s oldest underground network. In addition, London has the Docklands Light Railway, which is connected to the underground network and connects central London with the Docklands financial district and the Greenwich Peninsula. Outside of London there is the Glasgow Underground and the Tyne & Wear Metro.
Some time ago the “Oystercard” was introduced in London to pay for travel fares. The Oystercard is a chip card that can be loaded with monthly cards and cash to enable fast, cashless travel on public transport. The price difference to conventionally purchased travel tickets is so great that it is worthwhile to inquire about the Oystercard even for a short vacation.

Tram Tram
connections were common and popular in Britain at the turn of the 19th century and the 20th century. However, due to the increase in cars, the network was largely dismantled in the 1950s. In recent years, however, the tram has seen a renaissance, and tram networks are back in Manchester, Sheffield, Midlands, Croyden and Nottingham.

Ferry connections
Before the opening of the Channel Tunnel and the start of air traffic, entry into England was only possible by water. UK’s main port cities are Aberdeen, Belfast, Bristol, Cardiff, Dover Glasgow, Hull, Liverpool, Manchester, Plymouth, Portsmouth and Tyne. Passenger ferries operate internationally to nearby countries such as France, Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands. In Great Britain, for example, ferry lines connect Scotland with Northern Ireland and Southhampton with the Isle of Wight.

When driving a taxi, a distinction must be made between the official “Black Cabs” and the mostly smaller taxi companies “Minicabs”, which are completely normal private cars. Black Cabs are a lot more expensive compared to the minicabs. There is a surcharge at night. Be careful with the minicabs: you should always set the price beforehand and order the taxi directly from the company by telephone. You should never intercept a minicab from the street, as there are many illegal minicab drivers who are traveling without a license.

cars Rental cars can easily be booked from all major car rental companies, locally or from Germany.

The road network in Great Britain comprised around 395,000 km in 2017, of which 3,500 km were motorways.
Northern Ireland’s road network covers a total of 24,900 km. The maximum speed on the UK’s motorways is 113 km/h (70 miles per hour). Tolls, as often found in Europe, are unusual in Great Britain, with the exception of some bridges in England (e.g. Severn) or the M6 ​​motorway, which splits into the toll-free M6 and the toll-free M6 before Liverpool and again after around 40 km comes together.
In 2002 the ‘Congestion Charge’ was introduced in London. The fee is charged to motorists driving in the “Congestion Zone” in central London. The fee, currently (2006) £ 8, is charged to encourage motorists to use alternative transport options to get to central London. At the same time, traffic jams and smog from exhaust gases are avoided and travel times within the city center are shorter.

Traffic rules

The UK still does not use the metric system in many areas. For example, the distances are given in miles or yards and the speeds in miles/h. An English mile is 1.609 km and a yard is 3 feet (0.914 m).
To avoid trouble with the police or even the courts, drivers should strictly adhere to the traffic regulations in force in the country. Regardless of the information given here, it is advisable to obtain more detailed information from ADAC, AvD or the British Transport Organization AAA.
The penalty fee for exceeding the maximum speed by 50 km/h is, for example, up to € 5,600.

Top speeds

  • Urban: In built-up areas there is a speed limit of 30 miles/h = 48 km / h
  • Country roads: There is a speed limit of 60 miles/h = 96 km/h on country roads
  • Motorways: There is a speed limit of 70 miles/h = 112 km/h on motorways and 4-lane country roads separated by a median

In addition, it goes without saying that you must pay attention to the current local speed limits, which are indicated by traffic signs.

Special regulations
In Great Britain, left-hand traffic applies.
Great Britain is not part of the Schengen area. In this respect, regular controls take place at its borders.

alcohol limit In Great Britain there is a blood alcohol limit of 0.8.

International license plate

The UK international license plate is:


Great Britain: Tourist Offices

Great Britain Tourist Office
Responsible for Germany, Austria, Switzerland
VisitBritain – British National Tourist Board
Dorotheenstr. 54
10117 Berlin
Tel: 0049 – (0) 30 – 315 7190

Visit Britain
1 Palace Street
London, SW1E 5HE
Tel: 0044 – (0) 207 – 578 1000

Northern Ireland Tourism Board
St. Anne’s Court
59 North Street
Belfast BT1 1NB
Tel: 0044 – (0) 28 – 9023122

Scotland`s National Tourism Board
PO Box 121
Livingston, EH54 8AF
Tel: 0044 – (0) 1506 – 832121

Wales Tourist Board
Brunel House
First and 10th Floor
2 Fitzalan Road
Cardiff CF24 0UY
Tel: 0044 – (0) 2920 – 499909

Britain has three underground networks

U.K. Transport and Arrival
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