United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Etymology

The 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were “United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain”, though the new state is also referred to in the Acts as the “Kingdom of Great Britain”, “United Kingdom of Great Britain” and “United Kingdom”. However, the term “United Kingdom” is only found in informal use during the 18th century and the country was only occasionally referred to as the “United Kingdom of Great Britain”—its full official name, from 1707 to 1800, being merely Great Britain, without a “long form”. The Acts of Union 1800 united the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The name “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland” was adopted following the independence of the Irish Free State, and the partition of Ireland, in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the UK. [wikipedia]

Places to Meet People

Places to Meet People

Bored in London – Bored in London? Want to meet some new people and do something interesting? Whether its just a quick drink at a bar after work, or going for a walk down the river, going to the theatre, going to nice restaurant….its entirely up to you. [meetup]

Digital – With 11,000+ members we are London’s – and Europe’s – largest meetup community for digital, marketing, analytics & tech. Anyone can attend and anyone can contribute to our free workshops and fun activities. [meetup]

Founders & Coders – Founders & Coders runs a full-time no-fee coding bootcamp. We also run a number of meetups for people who are interested in our course, who want to learn more about programming, or who want help with their startup projects. [meetup]

Friends in London – If you’re looking to meet new friends in London then our social events group may just be the right place for you. [meetup]

HNLondon – Regular meetup for readers of the amazing Hacker News, as well as assorted tech and startup junkies. Come along to meet your online buddies in person, catch up with old friends and make new ones. [meetup]

Interesting Talks London – At each event we have an invited speaker to come and talk about a topic their choice. The topics include hypnosis, NLP, business, persuasion, negotiation skills, self development and even magic. [meetup]

London Elite Social – We started in 2010 as the first private social club organising exclusive cocktail parties, informal networking, and dining events at the finest venues around Central London with special ticket deals. [meetup]

London New Tech – We meet monthly to showcase new technology from London and around the world followed by networking. 5-7 presenters show demo of their technology and answer questions (5+5min). [meetup]

London Vegan – Want to meet people in London? Enjoy great vegan food?Then we’d love to see you at London Vegan Meetup![meetup]

OpenSource & Agile Community Events – We organise talks, meet ups, hackathons, conferences, courses and any other type of gathering that helps our community learn and share skills to write better software. [meetup]

How to Find a Date

How to Find a Date

DatingDirect.com – DatingDirect was launched in 1998 and merged with Match.com (the site I mentioned above) under the Meetic Network umbrella, giving each site access to the user base of the other. DatingDirect has an inviting, modern website design, and a lot of features without being overwhelming. Most of these features are only available to premium members however, and some users report having difficulties cancelling premium memberships, or getting their money back after mistaken charges. [visa hunter]

Eharmony.co.uk – Eharmony is a famous name in the online dating business and is a good third option. When you sign up for this site, you will have to fill out an exhaustive questionnaire which will be used to generate a personality profile that will enable the site’s algorithm to locate matches for you. [visa hunter]

MatchAffinity.com – MatchAffinity.com is based in the UK and is part of Match.com International. If you’ve joined Match.com, you realize that members themselves search on that site to find matches, but on MatchAffinity.com, the site suggests matches for you based on your answers to the Affinity Questionnaire. [visa hunter]

UK.Match.com – UK.Match.com is the best online dating site in the United Kingdom. UK.Match.com is the UK version of the popular site in the United States, Match.com. Rest assured, the Match.com brand is one of the most powerful in the business, and this UK version is the best the doctor ordered. [visa hunter]

UK.Parship.com – Parship UK, the UK version of Parship, is really for serious daters who are looking for more than just a casual dating experience. The dating site is built with a solid matching system. The sign-up process involves an in-depth personality test which is used to match you up with others. The lengthy test may be off-putting for some, but the time commitment required is to find the best possible matches for you while filtering out the least compatible matches. [visa hunter]

Walking Tours

Walking Tours

Free London Walking Tours – We are a small, independent company; this means our tour groups are much smaller than other free tour operators (usually less than 15 people). You will enjoy a more intimate experience with us where you can ask our guides as many questions as you like, and you won’t struggle to hear the guide over the crowd! [free london walking tours]

Free Tours by Foot – It’s astounding that this small area is home to many of London’s most iconic structures, milestones in the history of the city and testaments to the might and majesty of British royalty, military and democracy.  This is our Westminster Walking Tour. [free tours by foot]

Free Walking Tours by Locals – Every city has stories to tell, and every street corner has a secret. We would like to show you some of the lesser known spots London has to offer. What famous landmark has a time capsule underneath? Which building is hiding a Royal Palace? Why was the Thames narrowed so significantly? Find out on this fascinating tour! [free walking tours by locals]

London Walking Tours – On a guided walk you are not separated from London’s past and present by a glass pane or windscreen – as you would be in a car or on a bus tour. A walking tour puts you right in the thick of it so that you get to, not just see London, but also experience it. [london-walking-tours]

Walk London – WALK LONDON’s Westminster Walk takes you past London’s most important seats of Royal and Political power. On this self-guided sightseeing tour you will see many of London’s historic and prestigious landmarks, some dating back over a 1000 years. Most of the tourist attractions can be visited throughout the year, see the attraction guide pages. [walk london]

Westminster Walks – My name is Joanna Moncrieff and I love London! My London walks, which include the City of Westminster, Clerkenwell and Islington and further afield will take you off the well trodden route. I love the buzz of sharing my knowledge of London and its hidden nooks and crannies with others. I also love sharing my knowledge of the best pubs, hidden cafes, unusual restaurants etc and many of my walks include a stop or two along the way. [westminster walks]

Free Things to Do

Free Things to Do

Canterbury Cathedral – This place is considered to be the most popular Christian Structure in England. It is the cathedral of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the main leader of the Church of England and considered the symbolic leader of the Anglican Communion.The church was rebuilt from 1070 to 1077 and was made larger. It was then renovated to have a Gothic style in 1174 in order to be able to house pilgrims who are visiting the shrine of Thomas Becket. [list25]

Chinatown in London – At the start of the 20th century at the East End of London, a lot of Chinese immigrants set up their businesses in order to cater to Chinese sailors who were frequently in the docklands. However, due to damage from the WWII Blitz; growing popularity of the Chinese cuisine; and an influx of immigrants from Honk Kong, it led to an increase of Chinese restaurants being opened elsewhere. [list25]

Durham Castle – This castle has been occupied since the 1840′s by the University College, Durham. Today, this place is open to the general public, but only with the help of guided tours since it is still being used as a working building by over a hundred students. This lovely castle sits on top of a hill in the River Wear on Durham’s Peninsula and is opposite the Durham Cathedral. [list25]

Going Places Cotsworlds – The cotswolds is a range of hills in the Southwestern and West-central England. It has a width of 25 miles and is 145 km long. The area is filled with attractive small towns and villages that are built underlying the Cotswold stone. The place is rich in limestone particularly fossilized sea urchins. [list25]

Hadrian’s Wall – This place was once a defensive fortification in Roman Britain. They begun constructing the area in AD 122, during the time of Emperor Hadrian. The region served as a military fortification, a customs post, and levy taxation area. [list25]

Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site – This is included in the list of World Heritage Sites on the English Channel along the coast of Southern England. In historical records during World War II, some of the sections of the Jurassic Coast became the property of the Ministry of War and were used as a military training ground. [list25]

Lake District National Park – It is often referred as The Lakes and is located in a mountainous region in the North West England. It is famous due to its amazing lakes, forests and mountains. Visitors will be delighted to know that the place is associated with 19th century poetry and writings of William Wordsworth and the other Lake Poets. [list25]

Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City – Visitors can check out the six areas in this historic center and docklands. It tells the story of how the UK developed all throughout the centuries. This dock holds the story of the mass movement of people, slaves, and immigrants that came from northern Europe to America. [list25]

Lizard Peninsula – The name “Lizard” according to some researchers is a corruption of the Cornish name “ Lyds Ardh”, which means high court. The name Lizard Peninsula must have come from a Celtic name and was formed during the Iron Age and Roman Period. [list25]

Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum – A famous wax museum in London that has branches in different major cities, it was created by wax sculptor Marie Tussaud. It contains the lifelike likenesses of historical and royal figures, film stars, models, sports stars and infamous murderers. Marie Tussaud was able to model famous people like Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Benjamin Franklin during their time. [list25]

Natural History Museum – It was officially known as the British Museum until 1992. It is the home of life and earth science specimens that range over to over 70 million items.Visitors can see collections related to mineralogy, paleontology, zoology, and entomology. [list25]

Roman Baths – The Roman Baths give visitors the ability to still see how public bathing was done in the 19th century. Guests can check out the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple, the Roman Bath House, and the other buildings on its street level however, the bath themselves are located below the modern street level. [list25]

Royal Observatory Greenwich – This place has played a significant role in the history of navigation and astronomy. It is located on the hill in Greenwich Park, and is overlooking the River Thames. The Royal Observatory has been commissioned by King Charles II for the special purpose of “rectifying the motions of the heavens and the places of the fixed stars and in order to find the desired longitude of places in order to master the art of navigation.” [list25]

Seven Sister Country Park – The Seven Sisters are a series of chalk cliffs by the English Channel at South Downs National Park. It has 280 hectares of chalk cliffs and open chalk grassland. Visitors have the option of cycling, canoeing, bird watching and hiking in the area. [list25]

Shakespeare’s Hometown – Every writer and literature lover in the world is sure to be thrilled to visit Shakespeare’s hometown. The place has surprisingly been well-preserved and will show some of the remnants of the life of the English poet and playwright who has been regarded as the greatest writer in the English language. [list25]

Soho of London – Soho will always be a word connected with live entertainment, sumptuous food and pulsing nightlife. It is the main location for celebrations in London and contains quirky shops. Tourists can go on a walking tour and relax in the Soho Square. [list25]

Stonehenge – This place is considered to be one of the most famous sites in the world. One can feel the dense complex of the Neolithic age and the Bronze Age as one sets foot in this area. Archaeologists believe that this place was created from 3000 BC to 2000 BC. But some are claiming with the use of radiocarbon dating that the first stones were raised from 2400 to 2200 BC. [list25]

The British Museum – This place has been created for the purpose of keeping the memory of human history and culture. It contains permanent collections that number to a total of eight million works. It is considered to hold some of the most comprehensive collections from various continents. It started in 1753 and contained mosts of the collections of physician and scientist Sir Hans Sloane. [list25]

The Eden Project – The UK is striving to be a leader in the sustainable growth sector and has proven this goal when they opened the Eden Project. This area is home to numerous social and environmental projects. Visitors of the Eden Project will be able to see creative and stunning gardens as well as different artworks. It is also a place for music events and is the home of valuable plant and conservation research. This is definitely more than just a theme park. [list25]

The Malvern Hills and Commons – The Malvern Hills are a range of hills in the English counties of Worcestershire, Herefordshire, and a small area of northern Gloucestershire. This place contains some of the oldest rocks in Britain. [list25]

Tower of London – Also known as Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress, it is a historical castle located on the North bank of the River Thames in central London. It was founded at the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest of England. It served as a royal residence and contains a complex of several buildings within the two concentric rings of defensive walls. [list25]

University of Cambridge – Aside from being the center of public research in the United Kingdom, it is also the second oldest university in the English-Speaking world. Visitors will be able to appreciate the cultural and practical associations that the university portrays. Today, the University of Cambridge is a collegiate university and has a student population of 18,000 with 31 colleges occupying the various locations. [list25]

Warwick Castle – Warwick Castle was originally built by William the Conqueror in 1068. It was rebuilt in stone in the 12th century but was originally made of wooden motte-and bailey. It is considered one of the best symbols of 14th century military architecture and was also used as a stronghold in the 17th century. [list25]

Westminster Abbey – The Westminster Abbey is a large, Gothic Church located in the City of Westminster, London. It is where coronations occur and is also the burial site for the English and later the British monarchs of the Commonwealth realms. According to historical accounts by Sulcard in the 1080, the Abbey was first established in the time of Mellitus, Bishop of London. [list25]

York Minster – This is considered to be one of the best cathedrals in York, England and is also the largest in Northern Europe. Guests can enjoy the Gothic nave and chapter house. Visitors also love the medieval stained glass and the Five Sisters Window that is over 16 meters (52 ft.) tall. [list25]

Festivals

Festivals

January 25: Burns Night, Scotland – On 25 January, Scots celebrate the life and works of Scotland’s national poet Robert (Rabbie) Burns by holding a special Burns Supper. This can be a casual gathering of friends or a huge formal dinner, but either way the menu will likely include haggis (a sheep’s stomach stuffed with seasoned offal), neeps (turnips) and tatties (mashed potatoes). Someone will recite a poem called To a haggis before everyone toasts the haggis and tucks in. [expatica]

February: Jorvik Viking Festival, York – Viking lovers from all over the world — some 40,000 at the last count — gather for the annual Jorvik Viking Festival in the city of York, a city with a rich Viking heritage. You can expect battle re-enactments, combat performances, crafts, guided walks, talks, music, archaeological sessions and family-friendly events around the city. The 2016 festival runs from 15–21 February. [expatica]

May: Jack in the Green, Hastings – The Hastings Jack in the Green Festival celebrates the start of summer on 1 May — May Day — with its famous Jack in the Green procession plus events held throughout the first week of the month. May Day celebrations date back to the Celts but it was in the 16th and 17th centuries when people started making head decorations out of flowers and leaves. [expatica]

May: Hay Festival, Hay-on-Wye, Wales – For 10 days each May, the small town of Hay-on-Wye on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales is filled with writers, filmmakers, musicians, comedians, politicians — and people who come to hear them talk and exchange ideas. Bill Clinton once described the Hay Festival as ‘the Woodstock of the mind’. [expatica]

June: Aldeburgh Festival, Suffolk – Every June, many of the world’s leading classical musicians come to Aldeburgh on the Suffolk coast for the 17-day Aldeburgh Festival. It was founded in 1948 by composer Benjamin Britten, his partner Peter Pears, and Eric Crozier as a space for musicians and audiences to create and enjoy music in a stunning natural environment. [expatica]

June: Isle of Wight Festival – This music festival is held every year at Seaclose Park on the Isle of Wight. It originated in 1969 out of the counter-culture movement but was reborn into the mainstream in 2002 and still pulls in top names from the alternative scene from around the world. This is the first major music festival of the summer season and it’s held on an island so you have to jump on a ferry or boat to get there. [expatica]

June: Glastonbury – As one of the world’s largest, most famous, biggest — and muddiest — music and arts festivals, tickets sell out for the five-day Glastonbury festival within minutes of going on sale. Held in the fields of Worthy Farm, just outside the mystical town of Glastonbury in Somerset, it’s a vast event covering some 900 acres featuring more than 100 stages. [expatica]

July: Camp Bestival, Dorset – This is an offshoot of the Bestival festival held on the Isle of Wight (not to be confused with the Isle of Wight festival) and it’s one of the best family festivals in the UK. Held every year in the grounds of the historic Lulworth Castle in Dorset, there are top live music acts across genres on several stages but, as the organisers say, ‘kids are king’ at Camp Bestival, with a wide variety of entertainment, workshops and fun for children. [expatica]

July: WOMAD, Malmesbury, Wiltshire – WOMAD, which stands for the World of Music, Arts and Dance, was established in 1980 by Peter Gabriel. It celebrates music and culture from around the world and showcases both the biggest names and emerging talent in world music. There are WOMADs held all over the globe but the UK version is held in Charlton Park at Malmesbury in Wiltshire. [expatica]

July/August: Sidmouth Folk Festival – This week-long festival of folk music, dance and song takes place in the charming East Devon regency resort of Sidmouth. There are more than 700 different events at the town’s venues and on the streets, including concerts, ceilidh dancing, roots parties, master classes and dance displays. [expatica]

August: Edinburgh Fringe Festival – With more than 50,000 performances of 3,314 shows at 313 different venues across Edinburgh, the Fringe Festival is the largest arts festival in the world. For the last three weeks of August, performers take to the stage and the streets to present shows of all genres that suits every taste, from the erudite to the downright bizarre. You’ll find top names and might just spot rising artists starting out their careers. [expatica]

August: Notting Hill Carnival, London – For two days each August bank holiday, the streets of Notting Hill are jam packed with crowds of revellers, giant speakers and huge sound systems (in 2015 there were about 38 different sound systems), live music — think African drums and steel bands, calypso — and stalls selling Caribbean street food. The carnival takes place on the Sunday and Monday, with bands starting from 9am. [expatica]

Autumn: Diwali, Leicester – Outside of India, the biggest celebration of Diwali (the Festival of Lights) takes place in the city of Leicester, although there are other celebrations in the UK (sometimes in London’s Trafalgar Square for example). Everyone, including Hindus, Jains and Sikhs, gather at the heart of the UK’s Indian community in Belgrave Road to celebrate Diwali. [expatica]

5 November: Guy Fawkes Day or ‘Bonfire Night’ – All over the UK on 5 November, the British light bonfires and set off fireworks in their back gardens or, more commonly these days, at organised events in public parks. They commemorate the Catholic Guy Fawkes’ failed attempt to blow up the Protestant Houses of Parliament on 5 November 1605. [expatica]

31 December: Hogmanay, Scotland – The New Year is celebrated all over the UK with parties and free-flowing alcohol but it has a special importance in Scotland where it is called Hogmanay. Traditionally, ashes were cleaned from the fire and debts were cleared on 31 December to make a fresh start to the New Year. These days, there are processions, open-air concerts, street parties and fireworks in cities — of which Edinburgh is known to have the most spectacular celebrations — and dances (ceilidhs) and house parties everywhere else. [expatica]

Public Transit

Public Transit

Buses and coach – Depending on where you live, you can buy a variety of different types of bus and coach tickets. These may include single journey tickets, one-day, weekly or monthly tickets as well as student or over-60 passes. [expatica]

Taxis and private hire vehicles – Taxis are licensed to be hired immediately – you can get one at a rank, hail one in the street, or by pre-booking. Private hire vehicles (PHVs, also called minicabs) can only collect passengers who have pre-booked with a licensed operator. [expatica]

Trains – There are 22 train operating companies providing rail services in the UK. The onboard services they provide – such as baby changing, cycle space and catering – vary from service to service. [expatica]

Professional Groups & Events

Professional Groups & Events

Big Data Developers in London – This is an IBM sponsored Big Data meetup group. Geared towards developers, data scientists and ALL Big Data enthusiasts. Our Meetups typically include two or three 30-45 min presentations that serve as an introduction and overview for a specific Big Data technology. [meetup]

London DevOps – This group is a chance to meet fellow minded individuals, from people that have been doing DevOps for a long time to new starters! [meetup]

London JavaScript Community – This is a group for all the JavaScript developers that are interested to learn more about JavaScript, share development experiences or techniques and why not, find new friends to share our passion! [meetup]

London Scala – Come and meet other software developers interested in the Scala programming language in the London area. [meetup]

Product Tank – ProductTank provides an opportunity for Product Managers in London to exchange ideas and experiences about Product Design, Development and Management, Business Modelling, Metrics, User Experience and all the other things that get us excited. [meetup]

PyData London Meetup – This is a group for users and developers of data analysis tools in Python. The goals are to provide Python enthusiasts a place to share ideas and learn from each other about how best to apply the language and tools to ever-evolving challenges in the vast realm of data management, processing, analytics, and visualization. [meetup]

virtual JUG – If you don’t live near an active Java User Group, or just yearn for more high quality technical sessions, The Virtual JUG is for you! If you live on planet Earth you can join. Actually even if you don’t you can still join! [meetup]

Women Who Code London – Women Who Code is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring women to excel in technology careers by creating a global, connected community of women in technology. The organization tripled in 2013 and has grown to be one of the largest communities of women engineers in the world. [meetup]

Language Exchange

Language Exchange

Babble Language Exchange, London – Babble Language Exchange is a language market where everyone has something to contribute! If you can speak one language fluently then you are the perfect teacher to somebody who wants to learn it. We are a fast-growing group of open-minded internationals speaking every language in the world in a welcoming and friendly atmosphere. There’s no age limit, no basic requirements and no cost. [meetup]

Free English Conversation and Social – FREE and friendly English Conversation Practice in London + Social. You’ll have Fun quickly Improving your English and Making Great new Friends! 🙂 [meetup]

Free Expat, Travelers & World Citizens Events in London – Join today for tons of free socials, dining, fun activities, networking + make friends with people from every continent! [meetup]

French English Language Exchange – We meet several times a month in a central London location (pub, park, coffee shop) to practice speaking French and English in a relaxed atmosphere, and also to meet people and make new friends. [meetup]

London Arabs Circle – This is a group for anyone interested in the Arabic culture, meeting other Arabs from different countries, practicing your Arabic, or even meeting your other half, you never know. We started this group to meet others Arabs and non Arabs who are interested in the culture and want to have a good time and make good friends. [meetup]

Mammoth London Language Exchange – Mammoth London Language Exchange is a fun way to practice a language and make friends at the same time. Our members are aged 18 to 40 and from all over the world and some native English speaking people too. [meetup]

Mundo Lingo London Language Exchange – Mundo Lingo is a sociable and completely free new way to practice another language in London and make local friends as much locals as tourists. [meetup]

UK Korea/Korean Lovers Meetup Group (영국 한국 사랑 그룹 – 영한 사랑) – Let’s get together for all Korea/Korean Lovers, with all sort of reason. If you happen to fall in love with K Pop, Language, Culture, Food or perhaps Drinks… Or if you want to know more about Korea, its Culture, Food, K-Pop?? [meetup]

UK Korean Language Exchange Group(영한사랑외국어교환그룹) – This group is specifically created to run a language exchange activity from UK Korea/Korean Lovers Group(영한사랑). All is welcomed, particularly those who are interested in having language exchange between Korean and any other languages. [meetup]

LGBT Groups

LGBT Groups

EnterGayMenT-London Gay Culture & Entertainment Social – EnterGayMenT : A social group for gay men to enjoy any form of entertainment together such as Theatre, Concerts, Dance, Comedy, Cabaret, Club Nights and everything in between. No culture is too high (or too low!) and all events are primarily gay flavoured. [meetup]

Gay Brunch Club – Join a group of professional, friendly guys for brunch on Saturdays in London. Kill off the hangover, meet new people and enjoy some great food, drink and conversation. [meetup]

Gay Mates – This is a fun, relaxed group for making new ‘GayMates.’ All are welcome, to join, regardless of sexuality etc. all you need is a sense of fun! [meetup]

Gay Professionals – This group hosts regular events in the London area and is connected to an online membership of over 7,500 members. [meetup]

Gaybourhood – Welcome to the Gaybourhood! Your Gay Social Network, this group is a great way to make friends, contacts and connections. [meetup]

LGBT Vegan London – If you are a vegan, it can be tough to meet people who are likeminded. Throw an LGBT tag into the mix and it can downright impossible at times. [meetup]

London Gay Male Naturists Massage Group – London Gay Male Naturists Massage Group is where guys can be themselves. I aim to provide a safe space for intimacy and expression in massage training. [meetup]

London Gay Mens Rowing Team – This is a group for gay men or gay-friendly guys interested in being part of our Rowing Team in London. We are called ‘The London Otters’ and are London’s Gay Men’s Rowing Club which is also now a British Rowing affiliated club. [meetup]

London-Lesbian-Bisexual-Cyclists – Hello! Let me tell you a bit about us. This group is for all lesbian, bisexual, queer female and non-binary cyclists who want to explore London and surroundings on two wheels. [meetup]

The Quest for Gay Men – Founded by Ade Adeniji and Darren Brady, The Quest takes gay men on a journey into a powerfully different way of living, free from the constraints of the past and unleashed to the possibility of the present. [meetup]

Resources

Resources

Places in United Kingdom

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