FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
FAQ BEFORE YOU TRAVEL
Our Book With Confidence policy will not only allow you to make free changes to your travel plans up until 28 days prior to travel (and pass on cancellation fees as travel credit up until 14 das prior to your travel date) but if the government in your country of residence restricts all but essential travel due to COVID-19 or the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against all but essential travel due to COVID-19, we will refund or rebook your vacation for you.
There is no right or wrong here – it very much depends on what you are looking to get out of your time in the UK. The warmest months tend to be June, July & August and these also offer longer daylight hours for late sightseeing in the afternoon. Other periods are beautiful for other reasons: Spring (April & May) can be cooler but you will see everything coming into bloom – the UK offers some stunning picturesque scenery during this time. Autumn (Fall) is also stunning with heather moorlands blooming bright purple and weather usually still being very pleasant (September to mid October). This also appeals to travellers wishing to stay clear of the main tourist seasons and take advantage of fewer tourists. The low season between mid October and end March is great for city breaks and shorter visits – especially over the festive period.
No, Northern Secrets do not book flights to the UK. We make your travel arrangements when you are here on the ground in Britain. We do offer independent advice, work with flight agency partners and can put you in contact with these.
No, you can tailor as much or as little into your trip with us as you wish. Many of our guests are visiting the UK as part of a wider European vacation and may begin or end their travels with us. We are happy to plan around you and your travel plans.
There are several relevant information points we require to create a bespoke tour for you:
Number of guests travelling
Type of trip
Dates of travel & length of your trip
Any specifics you are interested in / themes / celebrations
Specific accommodation requests
Any other places/attractions or interests you may have
Yes, we will always do our utmost to make any required amendments to your booking if your circumstances change but we cannot guarantee that these are always possible or free-of-charge.
If your reason is unrelated to a change in FCDO advice or new travel restrictions impacting your holiday, you can still cancel. However, you will be subject to our usual booking conditions, including any cancellation charges. Depending on your reason, cancellation fees may be covered by your insurance policy.
We work with customers from around the world and process all payments in British Pounds Sterling (GBP £). Precise amounts in your local currency will therefore be subject to the exchange rate as provided by your bank or credit card provider at the time of payment. We are happy to provide an approx. amount in your local currency should you require.
A twin room is a room for two people with two beds (normally single beds). A double room is a room for two people with one double bed large enough for two people. Standard sized beds in the UK do tend to be smaller than those in Europe, US and Canada. We can provide more detailed information if required.
Once we have finalised your chosen itinerary and then, to secure your booking, we process a deposit of 20% of your full payment value. Upon receipt of your deposit, your trip is confirmed with us. The remaining balance is due 8 weeks prior to travel.
We try to make our terms of service simple to understand. Our full terms and conditions can be found here. Alternatively, simply speak with your travel concierge and he/she will be happy to forward you our terms in pdf format.
Some of our Small Group Tours are guaranteed to depart and are labelled with "Guaranteed Departure" next to your chosen travel date. That means that once you book your guaranteed departure trip it’s confirmed to run, regardless of how many other travellers have booked. Tailor-Made Journeys and Coach Tours for GTOs are private tours arranged solely for your group, therefore also guaranteed as a private trip for you.
Depending on the trip style you choose, our trips are organised on a twin, double or multi-share basis. You can book accommodation on a single basis, however, there will be single supplements to consider. These will be highlighted in your quotation & confirmation.
We will try our very best to accommodate all dietary requirements. Please let us know at the time of booking of any food requirements or allergies and we’ll pass the information onto our suppliers.
Throughout the UK, the currency is Pound Sterling (GBP £) – Scotland have their own notes but with the same value attached to them (and still called Pound Sterling).
Yes, you will need a passport to travel to Britain; please check the expiration date of your passport to ensure that it is valid for the duration of travel. It should also be valid for a period of at least six months after travel in case your return home is delayed for any reason.
People travelling from the USA, Canada, Australia and from within the EU do not usually require travel visas, you will just be asked to complete a landing card during your flight to Britain. In any case, however, please check with your local British Embassy or check online with the UK Border Agency at the following link:
Please note that Northern Secrets Ltd cannot assist with the application of visas or offer advice on the requirements of any documents needed for travel to the UK.
Yes, it is a condition of travel with Northern Secrets Ltd that you have adequate travel insurance protection. Travel insurance, dependent on provider and policy, will usually provide cover for unexpected occurrences such as flight delay, loss of luggage or personal items, any required medical treatment during travel and if you are forced to cancel prior to travel for any variety of reasons.
Take a look at travel insurance options through our partners at Campbell Irvine who also offer cover for many COVID-19 situations.
It is important that you receive the most accurate and up-to-date travel health information. The only one qualified to provide you with this advice is your family physician or a specialist. There is no detailed information on vaccination requirements for e.g. COVID-19 as of this time (February 2021) however, we are expecting announcements in the near future regarding travel post COVID-19.
In 2016, the UK decided to leave the European Union – this came into effect in January 2020 with a transition period of no change up until 31 December 2020.
Some details are still being processed at this time (March 2022) but, in general, travel to the UK for tourists will not vastly change. One of the most important changes will be to visa requirements and passports (since October 2021 and includes validity and having the appropriate document (e.g. passport rather than ID card etc.)).
Overall, we envisage no travel disruption for visitors to the UK.
We will always keep you informed of any changes or requirements when you book with us. Speak to your Northern Secrets travel concierge about any concerns you may have. We always have the latest information to hand. Unfortunately we will not be able to help with any Visa requirements as it is your duty to have the appropriate documents to travel into the United Kingdom legally.
FAQ DURING YOUR TRAVELS
Travelling safely will mean following any measures and guidelines produced by UK Government to reduce the risk of spreading and contracting COVID-19.
We will send you a detailed list of any requirements that need to be followed during the COVID-19 pandemic, however, as the situation can be fluid, you will need to make your own enquiries as to the latest guidelines & requirements for entry to the UK and travel within the UK.
Restrictions within the UK can differ according to regulations in different regions (e.g. England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland). Please refer to the FCDO website for up-to-date information on national restrictions. Your travel concierge will also be able to offer advice relating to particular destinations at the time of booking.
Each accommodation will have its own measures in place alongside national rules in order to minimise the risk to their guests and their own protocols to ensure health and hygiene.
As of April 2022 almost all restrictions have been lifted in the UK. We advise that you still be vigilant and wear a mask in high frequented areas but this is not essential.
We would advise one thing though which is to enjoy your vacation to the max 🙂
A benefit of travelling with Northern Secrets is that we are local and are always on hand to help you. Let us know as soon as possible if you start to feel unwell. Our team can support you in following local guidance for navigating local healthcare if needed. You should contact your travel insurance provider for advice if you need treatment as soon as possible.
Generally, we recommend travelling light but be prepared for changing weather – and this can be at any time of the year! Most importantly, bring your travel documents. Layers when it comes to clothing! Don’t forget travel adapters for UK plug sockets! Camera? We are happy to talk you through specific packing lists for your specific trip if you wish…
This should be possible with any modern phone and cell phone network. Check, however, the pricing of your network plan before making any calls. You also have the option of purchasing a “pay as you go” plan in the UK for your time here.
Yes, from planning to departure you will always have a dedicated person looking after you. You will be in direct contact during your travels should you require any assistance.
At a restaurant check your bill to see if the service is included. If not and you are satisfied with your service, pay 10-15 percent as a tip. It is not expected to tip in pubs or bars (or any place where you have to walk up to the counter). Taxi drivers would expect a tip to be rounded to the nearest Pound or similar on shorter journeys.