The official language is English.
In June, Britain observes British Summer Time, which is an hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.
Being sited on the South Coast of the UK, Portsmouth receives more sunshine than the rest of the British Isles. In June, temperatures can range from 12C to 19C, and rainfall level is approximately 40 mm.
The electrical current in England is 230 volts at a frequency of 50 Hertz. Three-pin plugs are used – adaptors can be obtained for European standard plugs.
Currency / Exchange
The currency unit in England is the Pound Sterling.
Banking and Changing Money
You can exchange money at banks (opening hours 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday, 9am – 4pm Saturday), High Street Travel Agents and exchange bureaux.
Forms of Payment
Hotels, shops and restaurants generally accept credit and debit cards.
Tipping is not generally expected in the UK, but rounding up to the nearest pound is a courtesy for taxi services and deliveries. When in a restaurant, service is often included in the bill otherwise the percentage tip is a maximum of 10%.
- Breakfast: 7am – 9am. Usually cereal, toast and tea or coffee, although cooked breakfasts are served in hotels and restaurants.
- Lunch: 12pm – 1.30pm. A light meal for most working people.
- Evening meal: 6pm – 8pm. For many this is the main meal of the day. Because of Britain’s varied culinary heritage, the evening meal can range from meat with vegetables, to pasta, curry, vegetarian or vegan options.
Tea and coffee are often take mid-morning or afternoon, with other snacks.
Health and Emergency Services
If you require medical assistance, please contact the Health Centre. Minor health conditions can also be discussed at any pharmacy.
Phone numbers for health and emergency services are:
- 999 – hospital emergency services for serious conditions such as heart attack, stroke, broken limb. This number also gives access to fire and rescue, and urgent police calls.
- 112 – emergency calls on any mobile phone
- 111 – number for health advice on non-urgent conditions or injuries
- 101 – non-emergency police number.
Network service providers include: Vodaphone, O2, EE, ThreeMobile, Sky Mobile, BT Mobile. Most of these have roaming agreements with international phone companies. There is good network reception in the area.
The UK Highway Code forbids the use of mobile phones while driving and the penalties have been increased.
In public areas such as airports, some hotels, restaurants and cafes, motorway service areas, conference centres, freely available “Wi-Fi” access areas are provided.