Picture-perfect and packed with history, England is a delightful country to explore. From its rolling green hills to its beautiful coastlines, the country is small, making it easy to get around to see its many magnificent tourist attractions.
It’s capital, London, is a cosmopolitan, buzzing city with over 2,000 years of history, evident in familiar landmarks such as the iconic Big Ben clock tower and Westminster Abbey. Outside of London, there’s the picturesque countryside, home to many national treasures including Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, the stunning coastal town of Bath, the Cotswolds, Leeds, The Lake District and the university towns of Oxford and Cambridge. The people are warm and friendly, and the pubs are a fabulous opportunity to meet the locals and see how they live. And the food is glorious, especially the dairy products – you haven’t lived till you’ve enjoyed a scone with clotted cream!
Why visit England
- In England, tradition and modern technology live happily together.
- History is everywhere, found in castles, old villages and in Stonehenge.
- Afternoon tea is an art form and a tradition – not to be missed.
- England’s breathtaking coastline includes Cornwall’s beautiful beaches and the famous White Cliffs of Dover.
- The Lake District’s unsurpassed beauty must be seen to be believed.
- English football, cricket, tennis and rugby are all legendary – and great sports to watch live.
This extraordinary, beautiful little country is where tradition is very much a part of everyday life, creativity is a given, and education is revered. Let Thompsons Holidays put together an unforgettable trip to England for you, your partner, the family or a group of friends. Browse our fantastic selection of holiday packages to England and book now.
With so much to do and see, England really delivers the goods when it comes to holiday packages. See the sights that tell the story of England’s fascinating history and heritage, discover the beauty of the countryside, the charm of little villages and the excitement of busy cities. Explore the windswept glory of Dartmoor, experience Yorkshire hospitality in York and explore Cornwall’s 12th-century Norman castle.
History aside, there are countless shops and restaurants wherever you go, quaint pubs where you can enjoy a pint of beer and chat to the locals, familiar sights to see that you’ve yearned to visit and exciting attractions, like the London Eye, just begging to be added to your bucket list.
Things to do in England
- Visit Stradford-Upon-Avon, the 16th-century birthplace of Shakespeare.
- Immerse yourself in the history of England’s oldest and most famous university cities, Oxford and Cambridge.
- Enjoy spectacular 360-degree views of London from Western Europe’s tallest building, The Shard.
- Explore some of England’s beautiful castles, in Windsor, Leeds and the Cotswolds.
- See the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace.
- Discover the ancient site of Stonehenge.
- Visit Liverpool, the hometown of the Beatles.
- Take a cruise in the Lake District.
- Travel to see the famous White Cliffs of Dover.
- Visit Canterbury Cathedral.
Explore this fascinating country on a tour with Thompsons Holidays. Browse our packages below and get in touch with us to arrange your unforgettable English holiday.
When is the best time to visit?
- England is a popular year-round destination with mild summers and cold winters.
Getting there & getting around
- There are frequent direct flights from South Africa to London.
- The flight duration from Johannesburg to London is 11 hours and 30 minutes.
- English cities have excellent public transport systems including subways, taxis, buses and trams.
- Towns in outlying areas may have less sophisticated transport infrastructure – it depends where you are going.
Do I need a visa?
- South African passport holders require a UK visa to enter England and Great Britain.
- Passports should be valid for at least 6 months after travel and have blank pages.
What time is it?
- England is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). During the winter months England is 2 hours behind South Africa and in the summer (last Sunday in March to the last Saturday in October), 1 hour behind South Africa.
- The official currency is the British Pound Sterling (£), subdivided into 100 pence.
- Credit and debit cards are widely accepted & ATMs are very prevalent.
- Some small establishments may not accept cards or have a minimum spend, so always check before making a purchase.
- Tipping is an accepted custom. It’s customary to leave 10 – 15% of the bill when dining out.
- Food is quite expensive in England.
Languages & phrases
- English is the official language.
Culture & religion
- Christianity is the main religion, practised by the Church of England (Anglican).
- It is safe to drink tap water in England. Bottled water is also readily available.
- Vaccinations are not currently required but do check with your travel clinic before you go.
- England enjoys mild summers. Even so, it’s always best to pack a lightweight rain jacket.
- The winters can be very cold – and wet! Be sure to bring along some rain gear if you're travelling during the winter.
- Comfortable walking shoes.
- Sunscreen, lip balm, hat and sunglasses for summer holidays.
- Camera (or just use your phone).
- Travel adaptor. For the UK, the plug type has three rectangular pins in a triangular pattern. The United Kingdom operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.
- Support the local economy by supporting local markets.
- Always have a map (or app) on hand, especially when travelling at night.
- Be safety conscious: don’t display cash or valuables. Leave jewellery and expensive watches at home.
- Keep your belongings safe – use the hotel safe for passports and valuables.
- Contact the Thompsons Holidays 24-hour care line to assist.