Safety Tips in England

  • Slippery when wet!
    Slippery when wet!
    by suvanki
  • Green Peace chuggers at Sheffield Station 07/08/12
    Green Peace chuggers at Sheffield...
    by suvanki
  • Love This Sign!
    Love This Sign!
    by johngayton

Most Viewed Warnings and Dangers in England

  • arturowan's Profile Photo

    The English Cuppa...

    by arturowan Written Oct 19, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1 of the great benefits of travelling outside my own country, is that suddenly the tea not only becomes drinkable, but is actually a delight to taste...
    From Sweden to Ukraine, I could write eulogies to the piquant local brews available, (& in Ukraine, even on the inter-city buses, the tea is top quality, & served by an alluring hostess, not that that should affect the taste...
    0nly on the STUDENT BUS AGENCY service to Prague, did I receive a peculiar foreign cuppa; supposedly 'lemon tea', but made from concentrate like squash, but sweeter!)
    I'm attracted to Ukraine as a place to study & travel, because it's a culture steeped in so many paradoxes, but a great paradox of the English, is that we're known as; 'a nation of tea drinkers', yet finding a decent cuppa in this land, is like finding buried treasure!
    Ever since I've been drinking tea, for the life of me I've never been able to understand why English tea is always served with milk - the 2 are totally conflicting flavours to my tongue, & I find milky tea about as flavoursome as dishwater...
    As if this is not bad enough, due to health & allergy reasons, some folk are now diluting their brew with goats milk; which means you cannot taste the tea at all, only shaggy goat...
    Even if you do like milky tea, or the taste of a goat sitting on your face, to make tea properly, the leaves have to be immersed in boiling water, in order for them to brew - lukewarm water just makes brown dye...
    Yet how many English folk, not only put milk into their mug first, but then dunk the teabag into it, so that it's soggy with cold milk, before the water even touches it?
    This concoction is NOT TEA!
    A great cuppa can be made with supermarket teabags, in a standard mug, & you don't have to be a tea guru to achieve it - just be sure to boil the kettle & keep the teabag dry until it's immersed - "simples", as the Slavic meercats on the adverts might say...
    But in UK, this seems too complicated to ask, & requesting 'black tea', often receives the response, that the purpose is so as to perform some weird, anti-social ritual...
    England, alone, regards itself as a tea-drinking nation, when the totalitarian attitude to a cuppa, is that it must be diluted with milk...
    There are many things in which the British are great, but 1 in which we fail lamentably, is brewing decent tea, & I offer my advice here, to save any visitor from a truly great tea-drinking nation, the experience of being served a cup of brown dishwater...
    So, be aware, if you want a drinkable cup of tea on your English travels, better brew your own...

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    by balhannah Written Jan 25, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you are driving the backroad's around Kent and Sussex, be aware that the road's are narrow, which is not a real big problem, the main problem is not be able to see the scenery because of the high Hedge's.
    We found we drove for mile's and mile's, seeing nothing, until we emerged in a Town.
    Luckily, not all of England is like this, and in other area's we had good view's of the countryside.

    Hedge's in England
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  • Maria81's Profile Photo

    Road works

    by Maria81 Written Apr 16, 2011

    "When encountering road works, stay in lane, slow to a safe speed, and pray you'll emerge this side of Christmas. If the road works are taking place at Christmas, pray you'll emerge this side of eternity"

    - Top Gear

    Overall, driving is probably the most convenient way to get around in England, especially if you're into more off-the-beaten-track places. And the road network is generally good, barring occasional potholes which get worse after a long winter. However, when planning on driving, make sure you're aware of any major road works taking place as this - especially on most popular motorways (read "M25") during peak times - can easily add another 25-30 minutes to your driving time.

    Highways Agency Traffic Update - a very handy updates page showing all roadworks as well as any other traffic-related news.

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  • Dock leaves cure nettles' itching

    by aglork Updated Apr 4, 2011

    Walking along the towpaths of the canals of England is wonderful, but beware of the stinging nettles. Fortunately, the use of dock leaves is indeed an absolute cure for the terrible itching. They have large leaves and always seem to grow near the stinging nettles, as though God had planned it as a way to ease the travelers' pain. The benign looking dock leaves work best when wrinkled a bit to release the healing humours which completely eliminate the nettles' sting. Excellent photos of both kinds of plants are on the accompanying website.

    Nettles and Dock Leaves
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  • Airport body scanners - UK No Opt Out

    by LikeAbird11 Written Jan 15, 2011

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Hello all

    I’ve created this thread to share information with you regarding your rights and the security body scanners currently being trialled in 3 UK airports.

    I hope this information helps you to make an informed choice when booking your flights.

    The 3 airports in the UK trialling back scatter technology body scanners* are Manchester International, Gatwick and Heathrow. If selected to be scanned / x rayed you have 2 choices – You either go through the scan or you are not allowed to fly.

    *Technology can change and currently 2 forms are used, millimetre wave (non radiation) and back scatter (radiation) – Always check with the airport which technology is currently being used

    The UK operates a No Opt Out policy, driven by the Government. So, whereas in other trial countries you can consent to a full body pat-down, in the UK, even if you offer to go to a room and strip to your underwear*, you will still have your loss of rights / choice taken away.

    *Offering the same level of security check as a body scanner – As confirmed by Mr Steven May on behalf of The Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP Secretary of State for Transport, UK Government

    Regarding the Back Scatter technology being used at Manchester International Airport, the airport Directors and the Government insist the technology is harmless, both in the short and long term. They use the argument that the level of radiation being administrated is within the recommended, legal limits of dose and exposure.

    However, conveniently, they will not acknowledge the fact that ALL official documents written on the trial have certain clauses in them, admitting that like with all radiation, it IS radiation! And long term there may be health effects.

    Point 71 from European Commission report:
    While the doses emitted by X-ray security scanners to screen persons are rather low, it is evident any exposure to ionising radiation, however small, may have health effects in the longer term. Therefore exposure even below the dose limits set by European legislation require that any decision on exposure to ionising radiation must be justified on grounds of their economic or public benefit to offset the potential damage from radiation. In addition, radiation protection measures must ensure that all exposures are as low as reasonably achievable (the ALARA principle) for workers, the general public, and the population as a whole. Therefore, if and when a ionising technology is being deployed, the improved efficiency in security terms, compared to the use of a non ionising technology, must be weighed against the possible health impact and thus has to be justified through a considerable gain in security level. Special considerations might also be called for when it comes to passengers that are especially sensitive to ionising radiation, primarily pregnant women and children

    Further links to documents within the public domain can be provided if required

    Finally on the technology, one of the leading experts in the field of radiation Dr David Brenner was a member of the US Government committee that originally set the safety guidelines for these devices in 2002 and endorsed their use. He now says he would never have made that decision if he'd known there were plans to use them on all passengers. He goes on to say that children and passengers with gene mutations - around one in 20 of the population - are more at risk as they are less able to repair X-ray damage to their DNA.

    Body scanners are being introduced to combat terrorism. However due to the fact only 3 airports in the UK and a handful around the world are currently trialling these machines, in-flight terrorism is not on the increase.

    So, I urge you to think carefully when booking flights and making your choices. Look into the technology yourself, make your own mind up as to whether you want to be scanned... Think about your loss of rights and being unfairly treated as a security threat.

    Most importantly, before booking your flight, check to see if the airport you are considering have these machines in operation so you can avoid being in a No Opt Out position.

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  • DAO's Profile Photo


    by DAO Updated Oct 22, 2010

    Three human diseases are known to be associated with pigeon droppings: Histoplasmosis, Cryptococcosis, and Psittacosis. They all result in years of unimaginable pain and then death. There are no known medicines to alleviate the pain or prolong life. OK. Only the names of the diseases are true, but do you want to contract anything you cannot pronounce? Pigeons are flying rats. Just plain nasty. Fortunately there are expensive fines in some places for people hell-bent on feeding these rodents. They don’t need it. They can live in the wild, find food and not poo all over people in congested urbanised areas. The only reason they are pooing on your head is because people either feed them (bad) or from food litter from irresponsible people (worse).

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Giant Hogweed

    by leics Written Jul 4, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We are lucky to have few dangerous plants or animals in the UK, but it is worth being aware of Giant Hogweed, especially if you have children.

    It isn't native. It was introduced as a garden plant in the 1800s and gradually spread across the country. It especially likes riversides, which is where I took the photo (the hogweed is the white flowers).

    Although we have lots of plants with white lacy flowerheads, you can't miss Giant Hogweed. As its name suggests, it is absolutely huge.

    The danger lies in the sap, which reacts with sunlight to cause nasty blisters which can scar. Children are often affected, as they like to break the dead stems to blow through.....hence blisters on lips as well as hands (or even eyes, if they use the stems as 'telescopes').

    If you do get sap on your skin, wash it well as soon as possible with soap and water. and keep the skin from sunlight for a few days (the sap can react to cause a permanent mark). See a doctor immediately if the skin is extensively affected, or sap goes near eyes/mouth, or if blisters form.

    Giant hogweed in profusion
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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Snow.....oh no!!!

    by leics Updated Feb 2, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Despite what you may think from Hollywood, Charles Dickens and 'olde Englande' Christmas cards, heavy falls of snow are really not very common in much of England.

    On the high ground (e.g the Pennines, the Lake District, Northumberland), yes.....but from the Midlands southwards heavy snow lying for more than a few hours is not a usual part of our recent winters (say, the past couple of decades or so).

    Consequently, when we do get a reasonably heavy snowfall (say, more than 1cm of lying snow) things tend to go somewhat awry. England is simply not organised for snow. We do not use snow tyres, or snow chains (no need for either in most winters). Most local councils do not have the snowploughs or staff to deal quickly and efficiently with snow (as one finds in countries where heavy snowfall is a regular winter occurrence).

    Basially, the country tends to grind to a halt. You may well encounter delays or cancellations of buses, trains and planes.

    This is the way it is, so be warned. If you are lucky (unlucky?) enough to encounter lying snow then your travelling may well be disrupted.

    Best just to accept this as another English foible. We have to. :-(

    Snowy day in February. Snowy country lane. More snow......... And more snow on the way........
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  • deeper_blue's Profile Photo

    Drunken disorderly

    by deeper_blue Written Dec 6, 2008

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Some cities in England can be overrun with lots of drunken people on Friday/Saturday nights. It has become more and more of a problem over the years. Social drinking is an integral part of English culture and numerous people have a problem knowing when to stop.
    Watch out for the young men who take a leak in the street.

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  • amandajayne81's Profile Photo

    The road works at Stow-ono-the-Wold

    by amandajayne81 Written Oct 23, 2008

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We must have driven through Stow every day of our stay in the Cotswolds area (it seems to be tricky to avoid this little place) and whilst we loved the town we didn't like being stuck in the traffic hold ups due to road works.

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  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    On the road

    by toonsarah Written Aug 17, 2008

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    Whether driving, cycling or simply crossing the road as a pedestrian, it is crucial that you remember that in England we drive on the left! If you are accustomed to driving on the right this will take some getting used to, especially if you’ve brought your own left-hand drive car on holiday with you. Be especially careful at junctions, where a right turn is more hazardous than a left, and at roundabouts, which are very common here – you need to give way to traffic from the right, remember. And if on foot, be sure to look in the other direction when you’re crossing the road.

    Talking of crossing the road, there is no offence of jay-walking here, but it’s still best to look for marked places to cross when in busy cities (something I preach but don’t practice!) A “zebra crossing” is indicated by black and white stripes marked on the road; cars are obliged to stop and let you cross the road, but take care as sometimes drivers don’t see you waiting by the side of the road - and sometimes they choose not to see you! Other crossings are the more familiar red man / green man sort.

    Speed limits:
    In residential areas: 30 mph (miles per hour), unless indicated otherwise
    On most main roads: 60mph, unless indicated otherwise – smaller country roads may be marked as 40 or 50, depending on the conditions
    On motorways and dual carriageways: 70mph, although in road-works and at particularly busy spots a slower speed, often 50 mph may be indicated.
    By the way, on motorways in particular you will see many drivers go considerably over these speeds. Whether you choose to do so or not is up to you, as long as you do so knowing that it is technically illegal and you may be caught and fined – and of course, depending on the conditions, it may not be safe. Certainly in road-works I would recommend that you obey the speed limit, as I know to my cost that the police are more vigilant there ;-(

    Motorbike in Newcastle

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  • DAO's Profile Photo


    by DAO Written Jul 23, 2008

    Shocking? You don’t know the half of it! Yes. That is a picture of a School Sign you would find along the busy road. It does not tell you to slow down or stop. There are NO signs that tell you to slow down or stop or even caution around a school here. There are NO reduced speed zones in front of any school. There are no flashing lights – nothing. You can drive past the school at any time at the posted speed limit. The lowest is 30mph (48 kph). Many schools are in urbanised areas where cars are parked on both sides of the street making it very hard to see the kids about to cross here and there.

    It may not say it, but please slow down if you are driving when you see these signs!

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  • DAO's Profile Photo


    by DAO Written Jul 16, 2008

    This is a Reliant Robin. Yes it is a car. Yes it is a car with 3 wheels. Invented in the 1970’s this odd little vehicle has a reputation for killing small, cute, little hedgehogs. Just think about it. With a 4-wheeled car Mr. Hedgehog may actually be passed OVER by the car instead of squished into road pizza by the tyres. Mr. Hedgehog doesn’t stand a chance with these little cars. The front wheel will mash anything the rear tyres don’t manage. Bummer for Mr. Hedgehog.

    By the way these things can do 80mph (129 kph)! Not necessarily a grand idea on a vehicle that could flip more easily than a normal car. Before you laugh at these odd cars or react in horror at the wildlife killing abilities – consider this:

    They pay less road tax because of the small engine and they can have air-conditioning and good stereo systems. They also will cost you less to buy than a nice new 4-wheeled car, get VERY high road mileage and petrol costs more than $8 a gallon here.

    Hmmm…..maybe I won’t kill THAT many.

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  • DAO's Profile Photo


    by DAO Updated Jun 19, 2008

    THIS TIP IS NOT FOR THE SQUEMISH! Yes, these are pictures of a PUB that has closed. I don’t mean for the night. I mean FOREVER! Oh – the humanity! Over 50 Pubs a year shut here. Just look at these gruesome photos. The opening hours sign doesn’t have any opening hours. Those are solid steel mesh screens up on every door and window.

    Can this terrible tragedy be stopped? YES! By YOU! Get yourself down to the Pub and order not 1, but 2 drinks. Keep those Pubs in business so that no one ever has to see the tragedy that these photos depict.

    It’s up to YOU.

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    'Wild camping'

    by leics Written May 13, 2008

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    Wild camping (that is, setting up a tent or parking a camper van wherever you feel like it) is not actually legal in the UK, although it may be tolerated.

    Every bit of Britain is owned by some individual or some organisation (quite often the Royal family or the aristocracy!). According to the strict letter of the law permission must be obtained before pitching tent and camping.

    However, wild camping is usually (only usually) tolerated in the more remote areas, for example more than half a day's walk from an official campsite or other accommodation.

    You should ask permission if you want to camp anywhere you can see an obvious building e.g. farm. Don't be surprised if the answer is 'no, sorry'. Many farmers do not want people camping on their land/near their livestaock.

    There are plenty of campsites throughout England, some of which are very reasonably-priced. You don't have to go to large organised caravan parks (although most sites take touring caravan as well as tents).

    Look here for some ideas:

    There are plenty more listed on google, and each area's tourist information website will list local campsites.

    Jolly campers (but not in the wilds).
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