Fast Facts

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Largest Cities:

London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow

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Size:

67.5 million people, 243,610 sq km

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Currency:

British pound (GBP), also known as sterling

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Languages:

English; recognized regional languages include Scots, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Irish, and Cornish

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Time Zone:

The United Kingdom uses Greenwich Mean Time or Western European Time (UTC) and British Summer Time or Western European Summer Time (UTC+01:00)

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Climate:

England's climate is quite mild and fairly variable, ranging from about -6° to 27°C/20° to 81°F. In London the mean temperature is about 22°C/71°F in July, the warmest month, and 2°C/36°F in January, the coldest month. The country is known for its rainfall, fog, and mist, which make the landscape lush and green and fill gardens with bloom.

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Region:

The United Kingdom, made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, is an island nation in northwestern Europe. England – birthplace of Shakespeare and The Beatles – is home to the capital, London, a globally influential center of finance and culture. The closest neighbors are Ireland, Belgium, France and the Netherlands.

Culture in the UK

All major cities in the UK remain diverse which means expats, especially those who speak English, experience minimal culture shock. That said, you may need to adjust to the high cost of living and congestion in London and some of the bigger cities.

People in Britain are welcoming. It is not uncommon for people in the service industry (e.g. cab drivers and hair dressers), to make small-talk with customers while they serve them. A couple of good conversation topics are the weather (a British favorite) and sport (particularly with men). Regarding the latter, most British people will have at least a passing knowledge of football, cricket, rugby, or tennis. Those who share tastes, then music, films, and books are also universal subjects.

Although the UK does not have the best international reputation when it comes to food, there are some iconic British dishes you must try. The most commonly known is the full English breakfast, fish and chips (to be enjoyed by the seaside) and pie and mash. British people also love afternoon tea served with sandwiches and scones.

 Culture in the UK
 Culture in the UK

Culture in the UK

All major cities in the UK remain diverse which means expats, especially those who speak English, experience minimal culture shock. That said, you may need to adjust to the high cost of living and congestion in London and some of the bigger cities.

People in Britain are welcoming. It is not uncommon for people in the service industry (e.g. cab drivers and hair dressers), to make small-talk with customers while they serve them. A couple of good conversation topics are the weather (a British favorite) and sport (particularly with men). Regarding the latter, most British people will have at least a passing knowledge of football, cricket, rugby, or tennis. Those who share tastes, then music, films, and books are also universal subjects.

Although the UK does not have the best international reputation when it comes to food, there are some iconic British dishes you must try. The most commonly known is the full English breakfast, fish and chips (to be enjoyed by the seaside) and pie and mash. British people also love afternoon tea served with sandwiches and scones.

Kynance Mews, London, United Kingdom

Housing market

It can be a challenge to find spacious, affordable accommodation in Central London, but in most areas of the UK there’s a varied choice of property to rent or buy.

You can choose from houses, flats and maisonettes. Many terraced houses in London and other large cities have been converted into apartments that prove popular with young people. Expats with families often prefer houses with a private garden.

When you see a place you like, you’ll have to be prepared to move quickly. The competition for good rental property is fierce so you may have to commit at first viewing. The standard leases are for 6 or 12 months. It’s important to have at least 6 weeks’ rent as a deposit, as well as a letters from your employer and previous landlords. As a tenant, you will have to pay for bills such as gas, electricity, water, phone, and council tax.

Foreign nationals are able to buy property in the UK and most nationalities are eligible for investment loans, although there are fewer banks offering them. Those living abroad will require proof of income and may be asked to pay up to a 40 percent deposit. People often secure loans in their own country as they may already have established assets they can charge against and have mature relationships with their existing banks. It is wise to investigate the tax implications when considering such a loan.

Moving pets to the UK

In order to bring pets into the UK, you’ll have to consider some strict requirements. If you are traveling from an EU country, your pet will need a microchip, rabies vaccination and a pet passport. If you have dogs, you must show records of tapeworm treatment. If you’re from outside of the EU, your pets should have a blood test three months before entering the UK.

Many landlords do not permit pets to live in their property, particularly in new build properties and those in Central London. This is not negotiable and often dictated by the head lease or residents’ association in the case of flats. In cases where the landlord allows a pet to live in his or her property, the security deposit may increase to eight weeks rent. The landlord may insist on additional conditions such as fumigation at the end of the tenancy. Information on importing pets is available on the following website: https://www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad.

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Moving pets to the UK

In order to bring pets into the UK, you’ll have to consider some strict requirements. If you are traveling from an EU country, your pet will need a microchip, rabies vaccination and a pet passport. If you have dogs, you must show records of tapeworm treatment. If you’re from outside of the EU, your pets should have a blood test three months before entering the UK.

Many landlords do not permit pets to live in their property, particularly in new build properties and those in Central London. This is not negotiable and often dictated by the head lease or residents’ association in the case of flats. In cases where the landlord allows a pet to live in his or her property, the security deposit may increase to eight weeks rent. The landlord may insist on additional conditions such as fumigation at the end of the tenancy. Information on importing pets is available on the following website: https://www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad.

Yellow Pencils

Schooling

There are a number of options when it comes to schooling in the UK. Each type of school is unique and offers different benefits. You can send your children to free state schools or private and international schools if you are willing to pay high fees. There is sure to be something to suit the needs and budget of every expat family.

The schooling system is divided into four levels:

  • Early years: Ages 3 to 4
  • Primary education: Ages 4 to 11
  • Secondary education: Ages 11 to 18 
  • Tertiary education: Ages 18+

Education is compulsory in the UK for children between the ages of five and 17. Children usually start primary school during the school year in which they turn five. Students have the option of finishing school at the age of 16 or 17, after completing their GCSEs or continuing their secondary studies for a further two years, where they have the option of studying for A-levels or BTEC awards. More and more schools in the UK are now offering students the opportunity to study for the International Baccalaureate (IB), which is recognized internationally.

The academic year in the UK generally starts in September and ends in July, with the main breaks in December, March/April and July/August.

About our Local Northolt Office

Date Opened: 2001

Country Manager: Rob Lucas

Location: 

Northolt, London, UK
Hallmark House, Rowdell Road
Northolt UB5 6AG, United Kingdom
+44 208 841 7000

Service offerings:

  • Employee relocation services
  • Assignment management services
  • Visa and immigration services
  • Move management services
  • Lump sum program management 
  • Advisory and consulting services
 About our Local Northolt Office
 About our Local Northolt Office

About our Local Northolt Office

Date Opened: 2001

Country Manager: Rob Lucas

Location: 

Northolt, London, UK
Hallmark House, Rowdell Road
Northolt UB5 6AG, United Kingdom
+44 208 841 7000

Service offerings:

  • Employee relocation services
  • Assignment management services
  • Visa and immigration services
  • Move management services
  • Lump sum program management 
  • Advisory and consulting services

1

In the early 60s this office was the Gallagher tobacco warehouse.

2

RAF Northolt is close to the office. It plays an important royal role with both 32 (The Royal) Squadron and 63 Squadron RAF Regiment (Queen’s Color Squadron) based on the Station.

3

Northala Fields is just across the road. The hills were constructed using rubble from the demolition of the original Wembley Stadium, which was demolished in 2003.

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