England - Three Lions Crest

What you need to know about England

Time Zone Differences

England is seven hours ahead of Alberta. Unfortunately, it's quite common for jetlag to be worse when travelling west to east so, if possible, we recommend arriving a couple of days before the wedding to allow yourself enough time to adjust. We wouldn't want you falling asleep during the festivities and missing out on all the fun!

Weather

England has a temperate climate and the weather is much milder than that of Canada. Summer temperatures are generally between 15-25 degrees, but humidity can be quite high. We recommend checking Metcheck for up to date weather forecasts. Summer 2007 in England was unfortunately one of the wettest in history and while we're sincerely hoping 2008 is different, it might be wise to plan for all eventualities!

Currency

We use pounds and pence here in England. Coins are in £2, £1, 50p, 20p, 10p, 5p, 2p and 1p denominations, with notes (not bills!) in £50, £20, £10 and £5 denominations. Our friends Thor and Sarah visited England in October 2007 and they recommend changing your money in Canada for a better deal on the exchange rate. It's probably best to avoid £50 notes as they're not as widely accepted as the lower denominations are. If you do wish to change some money here, the Post Office will do that commission-free. Visit XE for current exchange rates between the pound and the dollar. As a rough guide, $1 = 50p. (Unfortunately, England isn't cheap!)

Measurements

Distances are measured in miles, not kilometres. As a rough guide, 1 mile = 1.6 km. Bristol is approximately 122 miles (196km) from London.

Voltage/Electricity

Voltage is 240 volts AC at 50HZ. Appliances generally use standard 3-pin square plugs and sockets. If you're bringing any electrical appliances with you that accept 240v (most laptop power adapters and high end hair straighteners do), we recommend buying a plug adaptor in Canada as it can be quite hard finding a North America > England adaptor over here. If your appliance only accepts 110v at 60HZ, you will need to purchase a voltage adaptor.

United Kingdom, Great Britain, England... What's All This Then?

With all these different names, no wonder some people get confused! To clarify, the United Kingdom consists of Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Great Britain collectively describes just Scotland, England and Wales. England is just England - the largest country within the UK! Get it? Good. To learn about this in more detail (including, confusingly, the additional category of "British Isles") you could always check out the Wikipedia page!

Side Note:

It might amuse you to learn that the entire UK has a land mass of 244,820 km² with a population of 60,587,300, whereas Alberta only has a population of 3,486,767 on a land mass of 661,848 km². No wonder we're so squashed over here!

An informative guide to England (that also offers explanations for many of the stereotypes normally associated with this country) can be found at WikiTravel