By Briana Seftel
Getting around England is relatively easy, considering it isn't a very large country. When planning a trip to England, it's important to know how you want to travel, whether by car or train. Read up on England's transportation then start planning!
Public transportation is the most common way to get around major English cities. In London, the tube (underground) is a fast and efficient way to navigate the city. If you plan on being in the city more than a few days, purchasing an Oyster Card will save you money rather than buying individual tickets. Many cities have a combination of bus, train and tram.
Having your own car is the best way to see the more remote parts of England and the stunning countryside, but rental and gas prices can be more expensive than trains or buses. Keep in mind that cars in England travel on the left side of the road so the steering wheels are positioned on the right side of the vehicle. Most rental cars are manual, so be prepared to shift with your left hand or pay extra for an automatic. To get the best deals, do your research and book before you arrive in the UK.
Traveling by train in England and the rest of the UK is a popular way to see the country but can be confusing and expensive. About 20 different companies operate train services in England, while Network Rail is the official source for UK rail journeys. In general tickets bought in advance are cheaper.
A popular ticket choice is BritRail, which allows unlimited travel in England, Scotland, and Wales. Tickets are available only to non-UK residents and can be purchased up to six months in advance.
In Britain, a long-distance touring bus is called a "coach," and "buses" are taken for local transportation. An efficient and frequent express motorcoach network - run by National Express and other independent operators - links most of Britain's towns and cities. By far the cheapest bus company in England is Megabus, where fares start around £1.
There are two types of taxis in England: those with meters that can be hailed in the street; and minicabs, which are cheaper but can only be called by phone. Unlicensed minicabs operate in some cities.
In London, most taxis are the famous black cabs, which charge by distance and time and can be hailed in the street. If the yellow TAXI sign at the front is illuminated, the cab is available for hire.
In England, more and more people are choosing to travel by bike with the advent of bike share programs. Cities like Liverpool, Bristol and London all have these programs, with rentals starting at as little as £2. Renting a bike and riding around Hyde Park in London is a great way to see the city!