British/England laws

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  • Hi there,


    I've been chosen to go to England(near to London) this October, and I'm so happy about it. Now, I'm interested in getting know about how I need to behave to remain polite and what I'm allowed to do there and what I must not do.


    In October, I'm going to be 16 years old, so are there any rules that are subjecting to my age?


    (Please correct my grammar mistakes, I want to improve my English as good as possible as fast as possible)


    Regards

    Jens

    German, with different opinions.


    Please correct my spelling and grammar mistakes ;)

  • Hi Jens. I guess the major legal issues will be about the consumption of alcohol. Most pubs and restaurants, etc. allow young people to be in their venues most of the time. There may be specific age entry limits later in the evenings so you need to be aware of these. Under 14's are not permitted to be at the bar.


    On consumption of alcohol, this may be purchased by adults (18+) for (16+) when accompanied by same.


    AFAIK social interaction has generally the same rules as in Germany. We're not a "touchy feely" nation like the Italians (for example)


    Otherwise please enjoy your visit to our country. :) (Your English is much better than my German ^^)

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

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  • Hi Jens,


    I think Heero has covered the main ones for your age.


    London, like any other world city, is a cosmopolitan city not particularly known for its politeness or patience these days. People are busy and in a rush, so if you do get the chance, try to get out of London if you can to see more of the "real" country, especially some of the smaller cities, towns and villages.


    That said, Londoners are actually pretty friendly, so do ask someone if you get lost or need some help with something. If you don't a response from someone, just try someone else or go into a shop and ask there. The police are usually helpful too, so ask them, but don't ask commuters/workers during the morning and evening rush hours, they'll ignore you.


    In some areas of the country, you do still find traditional British values and customs like waiting in queues for the bus, or not using your mobile phone in the theatre or cinema, but London is pretty much do whatever you want, or whatever you can get away with, but try to stay in queues and don't use your phone in cinemas etc, even if others are.


    If you need to ask someone a question or bump into someone by mistake say "excuse me." Always use please and thank you.


    A few points specifically for London, especially the Tube (London's metro network):


    Avoid the tube doing the rush "hours" which tend to last a lot longer than a hour! The tube network is busy all day, but especially bad between 7-10am and 4-7pm.


    Don't stare at people on tubes, trains or buses.


    When using escalators, stand on the right - many tourists do not know this and generally get shouted out. If you want to walk up/down the escalators, use the left hand side.


    To use London's transport, you'll probably be given a oyster card (an electronic card) or paper ticket. Always have this ready to hand when you approach the ticket barriers. Londoners get irritated when people block the barriers trying to find their tickets.


    In shops, have your money ready to pay for goods before you approach the checkout tills. Like the above point, Londoners are always in a rush and don't like to wait.


    Most British police are unarmed, but in London, many police are armed. Don't touch them, or stand in their way and this applies to the guards (soldiers) guarding the various palaces in London.


    British guards are trained not to react if people pull silly faces in front of them, or touch them, but increasingly tourists take this too far and provoke the guards into reacting, so that they can upload these reactions onto youtube. Never touch them or stand in their way, or take the piss out of them. Do not ask armed police or guards to have your picture taken with them, or those with dogs.


    If you go into a restaurant and its quiet, then be quiet yourself and don't talk loudly, but if its noisy, no need to speak quietly!:)


    Student groups tend to go into places like Pizza Hut to eat where they can choose from a "eat all you can" lunch buffet menu for £7.50 which fills them up for the day. You can have as much pizza and salad as your stomach can take! At other times or for other menu items, students get a 20% discount if you have a student ID card with you. Students get discounts off many restaurants, events and tourist places, so check first where you get the best deals.


    London is fantastic place to visit from Georgian squares to the new skyscrapers of the City and Canary Wharf. The best time to see the skyscrapers in the City is on a Sunday as the streets are empty. Canary Wharf is busy all the time and the shops there are all underground in a vast shopping mall, good place to head to on a rainy day! The Cross Rail station at Canary Wharf has a great indoor garden on its terrace and there is always free and paid entertainment at Canary Wharf. There's free entertainment everyday in London, check out Covent Garden where you'll normally find a band or comedy show, as but one example.


    You could easily spend a day just visiting the British Museum alone. If you get the time, try to visit at least one of London's museums if you can. It would take about two weeks to see them all! They are all free to enter.


    Fancy a live political debate, head to the Houses of Parliament and they do great tours for student groups. The London Eye and The Shard are very popular with tourists, but expensive, there are better options....;)


    if you fancy a free view of London from up high check out the Walkie Talkie skyscraper at 20 Fenchurch Street, you will need to book in advance, but it costs nothing and the views are fantastic. But there are many other free options, including one the tourists don't know about! It's a shopping centre called One New Change. It's by St Paul's Cathedral. Go in there, go into the lifts to the roof and get some of the best and free views of London. Superb at dusk for taking sunset pictures of London and its sights like The Shard!


    Tourists love Madame Tussauds and The Tower of London, but fancy a bit of Shakespeare instead and a nice uncomfortable wooden seat! Try out The Globe theatre which airs all its plays outside - perhaps not for October!:) Although London is still pretty warm in October.


    Try to check out one of London's musicals if you can, or if age restrictions allow, a music venue or comedy club. You will find a ticket booth for last minute cheap deals on musicals and other venues in Leicester Square. Try to book online in advance for the best deals, or go to the ticket booth for last minute deals. Never pay at the door for musicals, that's the most expensive option! If you get the tickets at the booth, do double check they are cheaper than the actual door price of the theatre, they are usually, but not always. You are almost guaranteed to get a ticket to the show you want and at least 20% discount. THe booth is called TKTS and here is their website.


    London's Odeon Cinema at Leicester Square was the largest cinema in the UK and where all the premiers happen. The Empire also in Leicester Square is a great cinema, but the best and largest screen in the UK is now London's 3d IMAX screen at Waterloo. It's incredible, albeit expensive.


    Here's a few links for you:

    To 20 free things to do in London

    Things to do

    Visit London (London's official tourist agency)

    Time Out (great site for discounts and offers)


    How long are you in the UK for? Are you actually staying in London, or somewhere else?


    Have a great time.:thumbup:

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  • London, like any other world city, is a cosmopolitan city not particularly known for its politeness or patience these days. People are busy and in a rush, so if you do get the chance, try to get out of London if you can to see more of the "real" country, especially some of the smaller cities, towns and villages.

    Thank you. But it's actually the other way around. We'll be (geographically) between Brighton and London, and at one day of the journey, we'll visit London itself, which is my personal highlights. :) We'll be staying at (paid) host families. I don't really know how nice they are to me, so whether they focus on the money or whether they want getting know with somebody. I'm a little bit scared of this.


    Thank you both for your replies. It's really helpful.

    German, with different opinions.


    Please correct my spelling and grammar mistakes ;)

  • jens1o


    I was meaning to send you a message before your holiday, but anyway, if you see this, how did your trip to the UK go?

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  • A seatbelt offence currently carries a minimum penalty of £100 fixed penalty fine.


    Nowhere does it suggest that just a good talking to is an option.

  • HaHa had a chuckle reading these bits of advice. I'd like to think coming up to 16, he might have a handle on these, unless Josef Fritzl's had him locked up in his basement the past 15 years. Never know. Hopefully he followed them wisely!