Talk:United Kingdom

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Formatting and language conventions

For articles about the United Kingdom, please use the 12-hour clock to show times, e.g. 9AM-noon and 6PM-midnight.

Please show prices in this format: £100, and not GBP 100, 100 pounds or GB£100. The code {{GBP|25}} will give you: £25.

Please use British spelling.

Elderflower juice[edit]

I've been touring the UK as a "Mainlander" and one of the things that struck me is the wide availability of Elderflower juice. I've never seen this as a casual soft drink in any other European country as widely available as in the UK, so wonder why this hasn't been mentioned in the "Drink" section anywhere? It's absolutely delicious!! I'm definitely taking a few bottles back with me on the Eurostar! 82.132.237.47 15:55, 27 March 2019 (UTC)

Feel free to go ahead and write something about it in Drink. Also there is an article for the Cuisine of Britain and Ireland where the juice can also be mentioned. -- ϒψιλον (talk) 16:19, 27 March 2019 (UTC)

Time formatting in the UK[edit]

I see that a formatting box has been added asking that editors use the 12-hour clock in the UK. It has been agreed at Talk:England that the 12-hour clock should be used in England articles, but when I asked at Talk:Scotland#The_time_in_Scotland, I didn't get an answer. As most Scottish articles use the 24-hr clock, I am hesitant to make assumptions. Can anyone confirm that Scotland (and Wales and NI) use the 12-hr clock? Ground Zero (talk) 18:11, 25 June 2019 (UTC)

The UK as a whole uses both the 12-hour clock and the 24-hour clock. In everyday speech, it's "3 o'clock" and not "15:00", but all timetables and many written opening hours use the 24-hour clock. The 24-hour clock is also used in speech by the military, police etc. I would prefer there wasn't a "so-and-so clock should be used in all articles relating to [Wales]" rule for the UK; as long as an article is internally consistent, it's consistent with British usage. And yes, this directly contradicts what I said at Talk:England, but to be honest as long as the same format is used throughout a single article, it doesn't really matter.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 22:30, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
I see the issue you're raising, but I don't think an article-by-article approach looks good for Wikivoyage, or is the easiest for readers. Would we really be happy with different formats in Edinburgh/East and Edinburgh/West based pretty much on the personal preferences of contributors to the articles? And it could lead to editors with different format preferences arguing over which one to use in an article. As I pointed out at Talk:Japan, both formats are used widely in the country, but the 24-hr is more common. At least one editor with more experience with Japan agreed, so we'll use that format consistently. Ground Zero (talk) 23:20, 25 June 2019 (UTC)
My understanding is that the BBC uses the 12-hour clock in advertising their television programmes, though public transport and flight schedules generally use the 24-hour clock. A similar situation exists in the United States and Singapore. At least I have seen more museum and shop opening hours listed using the 12-hour clock when I was in the UK. The dog2 (talk) 21:52, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
I would emphasise that both 12 and 24 hour clocks are widely used. Precise times are usually 24-hour and vaguer times are usually 12-hour. If you say that you will call at my house at 16:15 - I expect that you will arrive between 16:13 and 16:18; if you say that you will call at 4:15pm, I expect that you will arrive between 16:10 and 16:30! I have seen pub websites which give opening hours as 12:00 - 23:00, and then say that food is served 6-8pm - the opening hours are controlled by their licence, and by law they cannot open a minute longer, but you might get food at 20:05 if you ask nicely. Times on the BBC website use the 24-hour clock (22:00 - BBC News at Ten). I would prefer that we used both times, and only tried to be consistent within individual listings, as this reflects what travellers will find when they get here. AlasdairW (talk) 22:59, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
From my memories of visiting England, I remember the 24 hour clock. (At least, when written, that one is used, I think.) But it's been a while. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 23:24, 26 June 2019 (UTC)
Alasdair, the BBC is an international broadcaster based in the UK, but I don't think that TV schedules are really that important for travellers (ITV, Channels 4 and 5, and the Radio Times all use the 12-hr clock, so the Beeb seems to be an outlier). Long ago Wikivoyage decided to use one format' per article, and to follow predominant local usage within articles. I think this was done to make things less confusing for readers. When those readers get to the UK , they will have to deal with the 24-hr cock at train stations, but we should impose two clocks on them here in Wikivoyage. Ground Zero (talk) 03:12, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
I really don't think most readers will notice, or care, that all the times in the Birmingham article use the 12-hour clock, but all the times in the Durham article use the 24-hour clock; as long as all times within an article (or a group of related articles - e.g. the city of Leeds and its districts) are consistent, it doesn't matter, and is consistent enough with the rather inconsistent British usage.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 08:06, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
And there's the rub: Alasdair thanks it's ok to use both clocks in one article, you think that articles in the same region should be consistent, and I think that "predominant local usage" probably doesn't vary across England, so we should try to get all England articles in the same format. (And I'm willing to undertake that task as part of my general copyediting.) I started this discussion with the question about what the predominant local usage is in Scotland, and have not had any response to that. An analogous situation exists in Canada, where the 24-hr clock is standard in Quebec, and the 12-hr clock elsewhere, but as in most countries, you will come across the other clock is many circumstances. In the discussion at Talk:Japan, I noted that my observation was that the 24-hr clock was used about 3/4 of the time, and the 12-hr clock about 1/4, so the 24-hr clock was the "predominant local usage". This was backed up by another editor who I believe is resident there. Ground Zero (talk) 23:17, 7 July 2019 (UTC)
I don't think that there is any variation on this within the UK. Some time ago I looked at the times in shop windows in Edinburgh, and it looked to be about equal. I have a slight preference for using the 24-hour clock, as I would expect to see that for precise times, and it avoids the difference between our use of "AM" and local use of "am". This is a country where you buy a pint of milk and 500ml of cola, so two clocks is not odd! AlasdairW (talk) 23:34, 7 July 2019 (UTC)

History section[edit]

I think this section could do with maybe a bit of expansion. It is pretty long, so parts that are currently there probably need to be trimmed so it doesn't get too long, but some major historical events I can think of that are not there include the Heptarchy (seven Anglo-Saxon kingdoms), the War of the Roses and the English Civil War. I will probably cite the English Civil War perhaps the most important since it laid the foundations for responsible government and the current parliamentary system.

Up in Scotland, of course there's the historical King MacBeth, who's of course the inspiration of Shakespeare's famous play, but if you're a Game of Thrones fan, there's of course the Jacobite Uprising and the Massacre at Glencoe that occurred during that conflict. And there's of course the Black Dinner where the King James II murdered William Douglas and his younger brother. Unfortunately, I am ill-informed about Welsh and Northern Irish history, but I'm sure there would be some noteworthy highlights too.

So I think the question here is: What highlights of history are important enough to be put into the main UK article, and what should go into the individual home nation articles? And also, what should make way from the current history section, so we can expand a bit on medieval history? The dog2 (talk) 16:52, 2 August 2019 (UTC)

The history section is long enough as is it. Anyone looking for more history can easily go to Wikipedia. An overly-long history section detracts from our main purpose, which is to be a travel guide. Instead of re-writing the history section, what about making sure that all of the travel content is up-to-date, and meets travellers' needs? Improving the travel content would be a more effective way of making this a better travel guide. (Emphasis added to remind of where our focus should be.) Ground Zero (talk) 19:38, 2 August 2019 (UTC)
I don't think you read what I wrote carefully. I said let's also figure out what we can trim, and I already mentioned not letting it get too long. The UK has a wealth of historical attractions, including medieval era ones, so let's figure out how we can write a history section that sufficiently covers the highlights of different eras of history. And to your point that it's not travel related, you can most certainly visit sites that are connected to important historical events. So I will kindly appreciate it if people stop with the efforts to smear me just because of a personal disagreement. The dog2 (talk) 20:06, 2 August 2019 (UTC)
I did not smear you, and I did not say that history is not travel-related. I'm sorry you're feeling under attack, and I don't mean to pile on, but your focus here is largely on everything but actual travel information, which is the most important part of a travel guide. Yes, you did say that you would trim other parts, but I want to make the point that the section shouldn't expand. If you are able to re-focus the history section without enlarging it, you won't hear complaints from me. I did not see you mentioning connecting the history to sites that the readers could visit. Do you plan to refer to important sites of the Civil War that we cover in our guide? That would be a good reason to work on the history section. Ground Zero (talk) 20:27, 2 August 2019 (UTC)
Of course we should cover important sites of the English Civil War. The Houses of Parliament is one important place, since King Charles I barged into the House of Commons chamber to try to arrest Oliver Cromwell and some other republicans, and the Speaker refused to reveal their location to him. And there's of course the Magna Carta Memorial in Runnymede. These are examples of sites related to the English Civil War that you can visit. In fact, for any Americans who read this, the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights draw quite a bit of inspiration from the Manga Carta and English Bill of Rights, which have their origin in the English Civil War. And I just felt that highlights of medieval history are glaringly absent, so let's also figure out what is not so important among what's present there, so it can make way for a little more of that. You can visit the cities of York and Lancaster, where the War of the Roses was centred.
I am aware that this is an article about the UK as a whole, so I'm not sure if those highlights belong more in this article, or in the England article. If you look at the England article, there is no history section, so that should probably be fixed at some point. But I was wandering if perhaps some key highlights of Scottish and Welsh history should also be here so the article won't be too England-centric. The dog2 (talk) 21:02, 2 August 2019 (UTC)
I agree that the History section is certainly not up to snuff. Almost no mention is made of British colonialism, and none whatsoever of mediaeval England, knights in shining armor, castles, Shakespeare, etc. And yes, as you point out, little is said about Scotland, Wales, or [Northern] Ireland. At the same time, there's a lot of excessive and pedantic detail such as citations from historians, quite a lot of concern with specific acts of parliament and their dates (which are often repeated more than once), etc. So it clearly does need some improvement.
I don't want to discourage you so much as refocus you. Your description of what you want to add isn't encouraging, because it doesn't seem to focus on history at all, it seems to focus on "places and things to see". The "History" subsection goes under "Understand" for a very good reason. WV:Country article template summarizes this subsection as "The country's history in a nutshell. When in doubt about including a date or event, ask yourself: Is it relevant to the average traveller?" (emphasis added) So when you write the following, this is how I have to respond:
  • "major historical events I can think of that are not there" --> Some of them are not there because they're not important to travellers.
  • "The UK has a wealth of historical attractions... you can most certainly visit sites that are connected to important historical events" --> Yes, but the History section is only tangentially relevant to that. It only needs to provide a brief overview of important times and events in the country's history. It is not the correct places to talk about destinations and attractions.
  • "we should cover important sites of the English Civil War" --> No, that's what the "See" section is for.
  • "The Houses of Parliament is one important place" --> Then it belongs in the "See" section.
  • "the Magna Carta Memorial in Runnymede" --> Then it belongs in the "See" section.
  • "You can visit the cities of York and Lancaster, where the War of the Roses was centred" --> Then they belong in the "See" section, since they're not big enough to be on this article's list of top 9 cities.
If you want to work some of this into the article's "See" and "Do" sections, that would be wonderful. Many countries on WV have short "See" sections and even shorter "Do" sections, so they could almost all use some trimming of useless and verbose content (this article's "See - History" section is a real turn-off right now because it's suuuuuuch a long wall of boring text), and could then use a variety of fresh content added, and more exciting descriptions all around. That would be much more beneficial to this article right now than filling out the "Understand - History" section with a lot of details that don't help someone plan a trip. --Bigpeteb (talk) 00:01, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
Bigpeteb, your reactions are interesting, but in part, they suggest to me that some of the language at WV:Country article template might need an update (subject to a discussion, of course). Take Germany#History as an example of making a "History" section practical to travelers by connecting the events with specific locations that can be visited, as much as possible. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:30, 3 August 2019 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────If we're going to mention the Wars of the Roses, you can't do so without mentioning the cities of Lancaster and York, and as we always do, we provide a link to those respective city articles in the text body. For the record, I think we should definitely cover the English Civil War, because its ramifications eventually spread worldwide in the form of the Westminster system of parliament; Canada, Australia and New Zealand maintain many of the traditions that trace their origins to the aftermath of the English Civil War. And yes, you can visit the site where King Charles I was beheaded by the republicans (not the U.S. political party, but the faction that wanted to abolish the monarchy in favour of a republic). The dog2 (talk) 01:10, 3 August 2019 (UTC)

That's reasonable. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 01:13, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
So what should make way so we can add in the English Civil War? That's what I'm having a very hard time deciding. The dog2 (talk) 02:43, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
The civil war is also pointedly relevant to Northern Ireland. Protestant murals in Belfast laud Oliver Cromwell; Catholics curse him for massacring Catholics in Ireland. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:16, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
Adding to existing text is easy: that's why articles like this one end up very long. This article is already almost as long as the USA article which covers a country with 5 times the population and 40 times the area. Using your judgement to determine what to take out is much harder, and is more likely to cause resistance from other editors. But we can't lose sight of the fact that we are writing for our readers. The longer the article, the fewer the readers, and the less useful it is. Maybe it's best to focus the England article on pre-Union history, and have this one focus on post-Union history. Ground Zero (talk) 04:31, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
One caveat though is that the UK has a much longer history than the US, so that means there is a lot more we could possibly cover for this article's history section, even though the US will have more tourist attractions. By necessity, it's going to have to be more summarised than the history section of the US article. The Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy, Wars of the Roses and English Civil War all take place before the US even came into existence as a country. And as you can imagine, this task gets even harder with a country with an even longer history like China.
I am happy to put most of the pre-Union stuff in the England article, and only cover the most important aspects in the main UK article. As I mentioned, the England article does not even have a history section, and adding one to that article will most certainly be a marked improvement. The dog2 (talk) 04:47, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
And the USA has far more geography than the UK. And China, with 20 times the population and 40 times the area, and a longer history, has an article only very slightly longer than this one. We can make excuses for why we keep adding to articles, or we can prepare a more concise package of information that will be more useful for readers and therefore attract more readers. I agree that not having a history section is a serious shortcoming for the England article. Ground Zero (talk) 05:23, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
The "History" section doesn't seem especially long to me, but it also does seem focused on post-Union history, as only the first 3 paragraphs deal with anything before the union between Wales and England. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:18, 3 August 2019 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I'm beginning to think that the section may need to be re-written, so I think it is a good idea for us to agree on what the highlights of British history are for a start. Of course, there's Stonehenge from prehistoric Britain, and there's the Roman period that should be covered as well. Perhaps the reign of Queen Elizabeth I should be mentioned, followed by the English Civil War. And of course, the acts of union, colonialism and Queen Victoria. What do people think of that?

I'm kind of on the fence on the Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy and the Wars of the Roses since although those are notable and certainly belong in the England article, I'm not sure they belong here. Likewise, in Scotland, there's the Jacobite Uprising, Clan Douglas and the Black Dinner. Those should probably be mentioned somewhere in the Scotland article, but I'm not so sure about here. The dog2 (talk) 06:38, 3 August 2019 (UTC)

Stonehenge and the Roman period took place exclusively in England, did they not? If so, they could be very briefly mentioned here and covered more in the England article. Otherwise, with the caveat that I'm far from an expert on British history, the highlights of British history you mention seem quite appropriate to cover here. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:45, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
The Romans were also present in Wales, and were at least involved with Scots in battle and border skirmishes: Hadrian's Wall and the legendary lost legion etc.
But I tend to agree that one way to prevent the history section from becoming too long is to only talk about post-Union history (at a strict interpretation, post-1707, or more liberally from James I and VI's coronation) and leave the bits before to the four countries' own history sections.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 10:14, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
Sonehenge is a location in England, but there are related monuments elsewhere in the UK, eg Callanish on Lewis. The Romans were in Southern Scotland for a couple of decades, small traces of the Antonine Wall remain. I don't think that we need a much longer history section here, what we have is a sufficient starting point for somebody arriving in the UK. What we need is more history in the Understand sections of the lower level regions, starting with England, but also at the county and city level. For example Stonehenge is in Wiltshire which has a blank Understand section. AlasdairW (talk) 10:32, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, and brief mentions here of e.g. Stonehenge can be linked to the county article, where they can be expanded upon.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 11:15, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
Don't want to blow my own trumpet too much, but I think I did a good job of writing a local history of York, touching on most things of importance without going nuts on detail or length (including, for the dog's interest, the local Anglo-Saxon kingdom and the Wars of the Roses) - it is still long, admittedly, but could be three times the length of that easily. The more we can get into city and region articles, the less we'll have to talk about minutiae at the country level.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 11:22, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
So from what I've seen from everyone's responses so far, I guess the Heptarchy and the Wars of the Roses belong more in the England article then. And perhaps the Norman invasions should go there too. The Vikings may warrant a brief mention in this article since they founded settlements in Scotland too.
So I guess the only substantial thing to add here is the Magna Carta, the English Civil War and maybe the English Bill of Rights. For the Americans who see this, your Second Amendment was at least partly inspired by the English Bill of Rights, as that bill included a right to bear arms, albeit for Protestants only. I'm not sure if or when that article was repealed though, since gun politics is nowhere near as sensitive an issue in the UK. The dog2 (talk) 14:04, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
If this article is still to cover pre-17th century history, and I'm not convinced it should, I would definitely keep the Norman Conquest. The idea of British history being even remotely similar without the Normans, is kind of farfetched; they were, and remain (to an extent), the aristocracy; they triggered the English language to develop into what it is today; they were the ones who started England's aggressive expansion into Wales and Ireland, paving the way for the UK and British Empire of future centuries; the Normans' claims to vast parts of France were the seed for the Anglo-French hostilities (and conversely for the Auld Alliance against England) through the centuries; the castles and cathedrals that most travellers come to see are mostly Norman in origin, and wouldn't have been needed without an invader wishing to make a statement to the people that they were here to stay; reaction against Norman feudal excess was what caused the creation of Magna Carta and the later Habeas Corpus, Bill of Rights etc.ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 15:16, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
Arguably, the Norman Invasion was the most important event in history ever to take place on British soil. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 17:23, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
I'd say the Vikings definitely deserve a mention. Until fairly recently, Shetlanders spoke a language descended from Old Norse. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:49, 3 August 2019 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I think the way to do this will be do a very cursory overview of the history prior to the Union of the Crowns, which would include the Norman invasion and Viking raids, as well as a brief mention of Elizabeth I, since to my knowledge, the Elizabethan era is considered to be one of Britain's golden ages (along with the Victorian era). It does seem a bit unnatural if we mention absolutely nothing between the Roman period and the Union of the Crowns. But I agree that the details belong in the England article. I will attempt to re-write it in my user space maybe a little later when I have a bit more time, but in the meantime, please also suggest what can be cut out from what's already there so the section does not get too long. The dog2 (talk) 22:15, 3 August 2019 (UTC)

How would you like to write an alternative paragraph(s) and post it here so we can decide how and what gets placed in the article? --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 22:41, 3 August 2019 (UTC)

20 big new attractions opening in 2020[edit]

Almost all of them are in England, but I'd say all of these look worth adding to the guide over the year (and visiting, of course): [1] --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 08:30, 6 January 2020 (UTC)

UK is closed..[edit]

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51917562 ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 17:32, 16 March 2020 (UTC)

Compared to all of our neighbours, we're very much open. Borders are traversable, trains are running, most people are going to work and school, and for the traveller's benefit, attractions and services (restaurants, pubs, hotels) are open. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 18:45, 16 March 2020 (UTC)
Apart from events with large crowds, most things are running normally (no football, but some horse racing). At the moment I think we should say that most things are open as normal, but it is a rapidly changing situation and travellers should be prepared to change plans at short notice. The biggest immediate concern may be the reduction of flights out of the UK. AlasdairW (talk) 19:44, 16 March 2020 (UTC)

Update needed on trains from the Netherlands[edit]

The article says "Direct Eurostar trains across the Channel from Amsterdam and Rotterdam are postponed until 2019". This needs an update. —Granger (talk · contribs) 02:14, 3 August 2020 (UTC)

Obvious?[edit]

The article says "It might be best to avoid heated debates about controversial subjects in pubs and bars; if others get involved these can escalate." I imagine this would be true in pubs or bars anywhere. Should it be removed as advice from Captain Obvious, or is it especially true in the UK? —Granger (talk · contribs) 20:30, 3 August 2020 (UTC)

Looks like Captain Obvious to me. It's almost as though controversial topics cause disagreement! --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 20:45, 3 August 2020 (UTC)

2nd covid lockdown to start Nov 5, 2020[edit]

According to: Covid: The new lockdown rules for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

I believe schools are to stay open, but only in England? Am I the only one confused by the different rules for different parts of the UK? Why isn't it more standardized? Thanks in advance for your thoughts/speculation. Ottawahitech (talk) 20:00, 2 November 2020 (UTC)

Why would it be standardised? The situation differs between the countries of the UK, and even from one town to the next. There has been quite some discussion on the issue in Finland, which is just one country, but where epidemic-related closures have been delegated to the regions, and now (after several changes to the legislation) is decided on municipal, university hospital district, province and national level – a few levels too much, one could say, but some measures are best applied locally. –LPfi (talk) 20:24, 2 November 2020 (UTC)
Health is a devolved matter, so the 4 nations decide separately what to do. Wales currently is in the middle of a two week lockdown, Northern Ireland is in lockdown until 23 November. Scotland has just started a 5 tier system today (but on 1-3 are used at the moment), but was halfway to lockdown for the last three weeks - pubs closed in the central belt, elsewhere alcohol could only be served outside. However the UK Government does control the financial support, and Scotland might have had a 2 week lockdown if the business / job support was available then. Schools are open throughout the UK, NI had an extra week off at half-term, most senior students in Scotland have to wear masks in class from today, older students work from home in Wales.
As a result of this, I think we should have Covid boxes on all four nations pages, and just cover the basics and common points here. AlasdairW (talk) 21:44, 2 November 2020 (UTC)
Yes this looks fine in accordance with what the rules are/will be. Crouch, Swale (talk) 13:19, 3 November 2020 (UTC)

News and media[edit]

Should we add a subsection on this, similar to United States of America#News and media and China#Media? —Granger (talk · contribs) 09:49, 15 November 2020 (UTC)

Sure, why not. Some stand-out differences possibly worth mentioning are the pre-eminence of the BBC, the existence of the TV Licence, and the difference between broadcast media (operates within strict impartiality rules with regard to politics and the news in general) versus print media (no impartiality requirements, leading to biased and famously salacious and vicious tabloids).--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 11:30, 15 November 2020 (UTC)
Good points. TV licences are an interesting difference but I think not directly relevant to short-term travellers. The other points seem worth covering to me. —Granger (talk · contribs) 15:41, 15 November 2020 (UTC)
I wouldn't suggest we go into any detail on the TV Licence, but it funds the BBC and allows it to be non-commercial so is worth a name-drop.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk)
We always struggle with country articles about the extent to which an article should be about the country, and to which it should be about travel in the country. I think that Wikivoyage should focus on being a travel guide, and avoid being an unsourced version of Wikipedia. This already our fifth-longest country article, and it is unrelentingly growing longer every year. Do we want to have it grow even longer by adding stuff that is "interesting" but unrelated to travel? I'd say 'no'. Ground Zero (talk) 16:11, 15 November 2020 (UTC)
Most dead tree travel guides, to co-opt Andre's expression, have a section on media. We should be no different.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 16:58, 15 November 2020 (UTC)
But the television licence bit is getting into the weeds. I know its a big deal for Brits, but not for travellers. Going through the article to see what is no longer needed or could be moved to a branch article would be a good thing to do before adding more background information like this. Ground Zero (talk) 23:20, 17 November 2020 (UTC)
TV licences are relevant to travellers. If you try to watch BBC TV online (using iPlayer), you are required to have a TV licence, and are asked if you do. I expect that most travellers would be covered by the licence for the TV in their hotel room, but the details need checking. AlasdairW (talk) 00:04, 18 November 2020 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I feel that TV licences are unnecessary for travellers, unless it is in an article about living in the UK long term (eg. Studying in the United Kingdom, Working in the United Kingdom, etc.), but I think it is useful to describe the state of media in the UK. If I'm not wrong, Sky News is the UK's equivalent of Fox News. If I'm not wrong, the BBC is supposed to be somewhat impartial, as you can see from Ben Shapiro's meltdown on air when being interviewed by Andrew Neil, who British people will probably know is a massive conservative.

And I think it might be useful to mention some of the channels in other languages, like BBC Alba for Scottish Gaelic, and I believe there should be channels in Welsh and Irish too. I'm not sure about Scots and Cornish. The dog2 (talk) 06:27, 18 November 2020 (UTC)

More than happy to trim stuff in addition to adding this section; that's a good idea.
The TV news situation is nothing like that of the US - all broadcast news has to be impartial by law. That doesn't mean they always get it right, with no bias or imbalance on show anywhere, but it does mean there are legal consequences when they get it wrong. The kind of opinion-led news put out by Fox and MSNBC is just not possible within UK broadcasting law.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 10:05, 18 November 2020 (UTC)
I see. So that's why Andrew Neil adopted an adversarial approach when interviewing Ben Shapiro on the BBC, even though they are both fellow conservatives. I think the difference in defamation laws also play a part (though this is just a comment, and does not belong in articlespace). In the UK (and Canada, Australia and New Zealand), if you sue someone for defamation, they have to prove that what they said about you is true, or they lose. In the US, because of the First Amendment, you have to prove that what they said about you is false AND that they knew that it is false or you lose. The dog2 (talk) 17:04, 18 November 2020 (UTC)
False, defamatory and either knowingly false or with reckless disregard for the truth, though that's only for public figures. See New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964):
"Held: A State cannot, under the First and Fourteenth Amendments, award damages to a public official for defamatory falsehood relating to his official conduct unless he proves 'actual malice' -- that the statement was made with knowledge of its falsity or with reckless disregard of whether it was true or false." Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:37, 18 November 2020 (UTC)
And I forgot to mention, while this of course does not belong in the article, what it would seem to me is that the UK's plaintiff-friendly defamation laws (at least relative to the US) means that it's a lot harder for you to publish a hit piece and get away with it. But conversely, it also means that it is much easier for whistleblowers to be silenced. The dog2 (talk) 19:24, 18 November 2020 (UTC)

Would any of our UK editors be interested in starting a "News and media" subsection? I could try to start one, but my knowledge is very limited. —Granger (talk · contribs) 21:36, 20 November 2020 (UTC)

I'm working on this now; it should be live later tonight or tomorrow.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 20:01, 21 November 2020 (UTC)
Yes Done - This is the result of several redrafts, and was originally much longer. I'm not sure it's possible to cut down further without removing vital content, but if anyone wants to have a go, be my guest.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 11:47, 22 November 2020 (UTC)
wow, as of this moment I'm rewatching Season 3 of The Crown by Netflix, and pausing it to read this new section is a jolly joyous proposition, rather. Kudos to ya TT, shiver me timbers matey. Ibaman (talk) 11:53, 22 November 2020 (UTC)
Tally ho, then! --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 11:57, 22 November 2020 (UTC)
Great work! —Granger (talk · contribs) 15:24, 22 November 2020 (UTC)
Oh and per Ground Zero's suggestion, I've cut down on repeated/overly detailed content in several sections of the article this afternoon.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 15:52, 22 November 2020 (UTC)

@ThunderingTyphoons!: I recall you saying that BBC Alba is available in England too, and not just in Scotland. The dog2 (talk) 21:56, 24 November 2020 (UTC)

Yep, certainly is (as are S4C and regional versions of BBC One/Two). But hardly anybody watches it, because hardly anyone speaks Gaelic. I'm actually one of the few in England who occasionally tunes in - they cover the festival interceltique in Lorient - but to most people, even in Scotland, it's something to flick past. There was controversy a few years ago when, faced with budget cuts, the Beeb axed the youth-oriented and popular BBC Three, while safeguarding channels like Alba and Parliament where the audience can drop to single figures. Of course, BBC Three was a lot more expensive to run, lacked the essential public-service element of the other two, but it still caused rancour.
Back to the point, my feeling is if brevity means we don't channels that millions of people watch, like BBC Four, Sky Atlantic, or the sports channels, then we shouldn't mention BBC Alba, at least at this level of the hierarchy.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 22:11, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
The other point is there's quite a lot of content that I cut from draft, offline versions of the media section, including more depth on the 'Celtic' channels, but also stuff that would be a lot more useful and interesting to the majority of travellers. Stuff like the names of other radio stations. Stuff like news magazines. Stuff like TV shows that probably aren't shown overseas but would give visitors an insight into British life - e.g. Coronation Street, Have I Got News For You?, Countryfile. The problem is it all takes up too much space.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 22:26, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
BBC Alba is mentioned in Scotland#Talk. Many of the documentaries on BBC Alba have subtitles, and it does have some coverage of European current affairs (Eorpa), but travellers are more likely to watch BBC Scotland, ITV2, BBC Four etc.
The Independent could be mentioned in newspapers, although it is online only (since 2015), as the Times and Telegraph don't have much free online content leaving only the Guardian and Independent for those not paying. AlasdairW (talk) 00:04, 25 November 2020 (UTC)

Information on public toilets?[edit]

Would this go in Cope or in Stay Healthy? ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 17:40, 29 November 2020 (UTC)

I would say Cope, and checked out wycsi which also says Cope. --Ypsilon (talk) 18:14, 29 November 2020 (UTC)

British Empire[edit]

I wondering, just how sensitive is this topic? I know it's not so taboo that you can't even bring it up, but I know many left-wing Brits don't exactly have the most favourable views of colonialism. On the other hand, right-wing Brits that I have met are very proud of Britain's former colonial empire, and in one particular case, the guy supported Brexit because he felt that the EU was eroding British pride and identity. Of course, I'm pretty sure nobody realistically thinks that Australia, Canada, Singapore, India and so on will rejoin the empire anytime soon, but from my conversations with some British people, colonial nostalgia has played a significant part in convincing many people to support Brexit. The dog2 (talk) 22:01, 7 December 2020 (UTC)

We shouldn't go overboard in thinking that we can advise travellers what is safe to talk about and what isn't. If you go into a Labour Party club in Islington, there will be people eager to sympathise with you about the horrors of British imperialist exploitation. And if you go into a private men's club to sip claret, there would be many who would enjoy reminiscing about the glories of British imperialist exploitation. Other people will look at you blankly and wonder why this silly foreigner is blathering on about things that happened before they were born. I think we can provide more useful information to travellers by trying to add content to our many outline articles, like information on how to get there and get around, what to see and do, where to eat, drink and sleep. The sort of stuff that people are looking for in a travel guide. Ground Zero (talk) 22:28, 7 December 2020 (UTC)
I reckon this article is arguably the Wikivoyage "Empire" historical travel article most needing work, and the one with most links to other varied articles. Ibaman (talk) 22:32, 7 December 2020 (UTC)

COVID-19 information re Denmark[edit]

Just discovered a bbc article: Covid: Denmark removed from UK's travel corridor list. I don't understand what this means (remove from travel corridor list) and is this still in effect? Thanks in advance, Ottawahitech (talk) 05:08, 8 December 2020 (UTC)

It just means the now you'll need to quarantine when coming form Denmark, when previously you didn't need to. The dog2 (talk) 05:35, 8 December 2020 (UTC)
Let me just make sure I understand this right: If you are coming back into the UK from country is on the UK's travel corridor list then you need NOT quarantine? Thanks in advance, Ottawahitech (talk) 16:36, 8 December 2020 (UTC)
Correct, except there's no "coming back" condition. Nobody travelling from any country on the list has to quarantine, regardless of their nationality or residence status.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 16:37, 8 December 2020 (UTC)
Visitors from Denmark were subject to stricter conditions in November, due to the outbreak of Covid in mink. This meant that you could not visit (but could return home) if you had been in Denmark in the previous 14 days. I can't find the details of this for England, but these extra restrictions ended for Scotland on 28 November, but 14 days self-isolation is still required. As this is a health matter, each of the 4 nations has its own list of exempt countries but they are generally aligned (more than most devolved matters). AlasdairW (talk) 21:21, 8 December 2020 (UTC)

House of Lords[edit]

I think the clarification on the House of Lords made the wording quite confusing: "The upper house, known as the House of Lords, traditionally represents the nobility and clergy, and primarily scrutinises and amends bills proposed by the lower house. The House of Lords is not elected and more than 80% of its members are appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister or the Appointments Commission."

Who does appoint them? And from where do the rest come from? The earlier wording, "The House of Lords is not elected and consists of members who are appointed by the Queen or the Church of England.", neither told that, but did not make the question so apparent.

What about "It consists of hereditary peers and peers appointed for lifetime, the latter mostly non-gentry until appointment."? Would that be true? I suppose stating who advises the Queen leads to a discussion about the grounds for the advice. Is there something essential that could be said compactly?

LPfi (talk) 13:17, 20 December 2020 (UTC)

@LPfi: I think your proposal makes sense (except it should say "...peers appointed for life"), even if it's not the complete picture. There are three basic kinds of peers in the House of Lords: hereditary, spiritual, and life. Hereditary peers are born members of the aristocracy, and only a limited number of aristocrats can actually be peers, whether or not they hold the title of lord such and such. The vast majority of the House of Lords are not aristocrats, and the bulk of the British aristocracy will never sit in the House of Lords. Lords spiritual are Church of England bishops; the seat in the lords is attached to the office of bishop, not to the individual. Life peers form the vast bulk of the lords and are the ones appointed by the Queen (on advice of the government, and vetted by the appointment commission) who hold the seat until they die. These are a motley crew of retired MPs, a small number of representatives of other faiths (usually once they've retired from religious duties), and men and women deemed to be preeminent in their fields of industry (e.g. business or the sciences).--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 18:47, 21 December 2020 (UTC)