Best time to visit
There’s no doubt, summer is best for visiting Britain and Ireland. Not only is the weather grand, (although still carry an umbrella, it can still be unpredictable!), but so is the atmosphere as people come out of their own hibernation keen to celebrate the sunshine and all things summer-y. Long days, late relaxed evenings and the sing-song of general celebration and nature blooming are hallmarks of a British and Irish summer. We challenge you not to love it!
Winter (Dec –Feb)
December and January are the wettest months in Britain and Ireland. Take a brolly, those gorgeous green hills aren’t green for no reason. Enjoy the Scottish festivals of Hogmanay and New Year’s Eve. The warmth you’ll experience at both will keep out the chill.
Spring (Mar – May)
March to May is a mix of sunny spells and sudden showers. Expect four seasons in a day - it’s highly likely the day may start rainy and end sunny, or vice versa.
Summer (June - Aug)
Glorious Summer! The season both countries wait nine months of the year for. Even at its warmest you won’t be breaking much of a sweat; temperatures over 25 degrees are almost considered a heat wave. June and July in particular are when there’s a hint of carefree warmth in the air, but without the crowds of August. (just watch for school holidays also in July).
Autumn (Sept – Nov)
It becomes quite cosy as the Winter chill sneakily slides back in. If visiting the countryside around Edinburgh in September, maybe leave the deer antlers at home – it’s hunting season.
Culture and customs
You’ll find the entire region welcoming and polite, yet each region has their own customs, from the traditional music of the Irish recounting tales of love, history and humour, to the physical displays of strapping Scotsmen (catch the log tossing in The Highland Games) to the love of tradition in England, each itinerary stop will bring to life a magical new discovery.
Electronics and devices
Britain and Ireland use 230 volts.
Health & safety
Consult your local doctor for general immunisations and visit http://smartraveller.gov.au
for current safety and travel information.
Language and useful phrases
Irish is the national language of Ireland, with English recognised as a second official language. But it doesn’t matter what they’re officially speaking, in any case the lilting, musical accent will carry you away. If looking for the bathroom, in Irish they’re called Leithris, with Fir for males and Mna for females. And if keen to try Guinness the local brew, just ask for a pint of Gat. Absolutely none of this is relevant in Britain, whose citizens sometimes look as quizzically at the Irish as the rest of the world. In Britain, expect to speak “Plain English!” Except it's not. The Brits have so much slang it could send you barmy (mad). And Scotland? Och aye, that’s a whole different dialect altogether.
Money and costs
Ireland and Britain are relatively expensive places to visit, with travel, food and accommodation costs higher than the EU average. Consider buying a cash passport (travel debit card) which eliminates bank withdrawal fees and on-the-spot conversions. Pre load it with currency before leaving home, so you have it readily to use once you reach your destination.
In this part of the world, adore the explore has never rung so true. Getting into the great outdoors is the best way to get a feel for the true roots of these lush green, centuries old countries. From endless views from the top of Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh to the mind-boggling Giant’s Causeway, pulling on those shoes and getting amongst it is the only way to go. Finished up with a slide of traditional Guiness Pie, of course.
Visas & Insurance
Visas are not required at all for members of EU or Schengen countries. Other nationalities may be restricted to stays under 90 days.