The following information is designed to help Americans visiting the United Kingdom, whether for business or pleasure, to locate information that will help them to plan their stay.
UK Border Entry
Starting June 2019 U.S. passport holders will be able to use the ePassport Gates on arrival in the United Kingdom.
U.S. citizens who had previously registered for the UK’s Registered Traveller Service (RTS) should now also use the ePassport Gates on arrival in the UK.
Arriving Near London
For those visitors arriving at London Gatwick or London Heathrow airports who need to travel to central London, the quickest means of transportation is via Gatwick Express and Heathrow Express respectively. There are alternative means of transportation though, and these and air transfer facilities from other airports in the United Kingdom to nearby city centers can be found under “Planning Your Trip: Transport” at the British Tourist Authority site. For travel around London the Transport for London (TFL) website provides maps, fare details and service updates.
The London Theatre Guide is run by the Society of London Theatre, a trade association which represents the producers, theatre owners and managers of the fifty major commmercial and grant-aided theatres in central London. Further information on theatres in London and other cities may be found at VisitBritain listed under “Things to Do“.
Travelling With Pets
The U.S. and Canada have joined the U.K. PET Travel Scheme. For travelling with your pet and information on changes to U.K. quarantine laws please see the website of the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
Further information on Travelling & Living in the United Kingdom is provided by the American Embassy London’s Special Consular Services unit.
Additionally the Visit Britain web site offers comprehensive information for visitors to Britain.
The Met Office is the U.K. national weather service and provides detailed weather reports and forecasts.
The State Department’s Background Notes: United Kingdom gives basic statistics on the UK, a brief account of U.S./U.K. relations and some background on U.K. government and politics. The State Department also from time to time issues travel warnings and country specific information on travel to particular countries.
Visiting the British Houses of Parliament
- Visiting Parliament and specific information for Overseas Visitors
Visiting Big Ben (no longer possible for overseas visitors)
- Watching a debate in the House of Commons or House of Lords
American citizens wishing to watch a House of Commons debate can apply to the Embassy for a card of introduction but may find that the cards are booked several weeks ahead. Without a card of introduction, a wait of 1-2 hours in the public queue outside St. Stephen’s Entrance is common during the afternoons.
U.K. Government Information Sources
- The British Monarchy: the official Web site of the Monarchy in Britain.
- No. 10 Downing Street the web site of the the London home and office of the British Prime Ministers since 1735.
- Directgov (Direct.gov.uk) provides an alphabetical listing of UK government bodies and a wide range of other public service information.
- The United Kingdom Parliament official site carries information about the U.K. Parliament: the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
- The Northern Ireland Assembly
- The Scottish Parliament
- The Welsh Assembly
- The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) is the British Government department responsible for overseas relations and foreign affairs, through its headquarters in London and through Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates throughout the world.
- British Embassy in Washington DC
- UK Border Control on entering the UK
- UK Visas & Immigration
This page is produced and maintained by the Public Affairs Section, American Embassy, London. Links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views contained therein.