Car Insurance in UK

Police seizes foreign EU-cars

If you want to drive in the UK you have to car insurance in UK. You can not legally drive or keep a car in the UK without insurance unless you file a SORN. Basically a SORN is a statement that you vehicle does not run on public roadways that it is only used on private land or garaged.

The basic car insurance minimum is third party liability which covers you if you are in an accident. It prevents people from being able to sue you in the case of an accident but the basics do not provide you with any financial protection for your vehicle or for yourself.

Anyone that is the registered owner of a vehicle in the UK must have insurance. Even if you are not driving your vehicle and someone else is using it if you are the registered owner you will be held liable for any damage that is caused during an accident if you do not have insurance coverage.

Theft and Vandalism

If you want a better plan all you have to do is shop around a bit. The minimum coverage does not cover for any theft or vandalism to your vehicle. It also does not cover any repairs to your vehicle should you be in an accident.

While the lowest minimum insurance is very likely the least expensive if you value your vehicle it is not a good option. You will want to opt for a policy that will help you to get repairs or compensation should something happen to your vehicle.

The only time the minimum amount of insurance is good is when you aere driving around in a banger that is on its last legs anyway.

Uninsured Vehicles

If you are in an accident you are required to provide at minimum your first and last name and the vehicle registration number. If it comes up that your vehicle is not carrying the proper insurance than you will be fined AND be liable for any damages that have been caused.

Compare Options for Car Insurance in UK

Of course you want to be in compliance with the law but you very likely would like to save some money while you are at it. You can compare car insurance in UK and find a plan that will provide you with excellent coverage that will provide you with financial protection.

Car insurance in other European Countries

Before driving a car in any country in Europe you should  find out what kind of insurance you need. There are a number of sites where yo can gain useful information about that. They include:

The European Union (EU)

Bilforsikring (Denmark)

Angloinfo (Italy)



photo by: Hardo

A Guide To East London

copy-17800_lx03bwp_east_london_100710.jpgRecent years have shown a steady increase in the total number of foreign students looking to obtain higher education in London. Not just students, but the rate of foreign employment has also increased tremendously. Whenever a person decides to change his base, there’s always a certain degree of curiosity involved to know more about the country, before packing bags. This guide will focus on useful information for people looking to migrate or travel to the East London.

History Of East London

East London is situated in the northeastern part of London, United Kingdom. Even though it has not been officially claimed, but the eastern section of the London city was known as “That Part Beyond The Tower” until 1720. Later in 1950, the part was named East London. This part of the city included the entire region of Greater London east and northern part of the River Thames. Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Newham, Hackney, Redbridge, Waltham Forest and Tower Hamlets are some areas that lie under this section of the city.

The East London comprises of the areas closer to the ancient City. The early development of the eastern side of London began with the expansion of industries such as ship building and docks. These industries were associated with the River Thames. However, these industries declined during the 20th century, making the East London an area of regeneration.

These areas were further developed during the reign of Victoria and Edwardia, leading to the expansion of the railways in the 19th century. In 1920, private sales of suburban houses were initiated to match the provision of the growing population. The development began in Becontree, followed by Harold Hill right after the World War II.

Geography and Population

From the geographical point of view, the East London is situated in the lower end of River Thames. The major rivers associated with East London are the Thames forming southern boundary, the Lea, the Roding and the Beam. The area adjoining the City of London is the East End of London.

The population of East London is close to 17, 00,000, as recorded in the year 2011. London is one of the largest cities in the European Union and a large portion of the population of the whole country resides in the Eastern part of the country. It is renowned as a country exhibiting global cultural capital. In the year 1981, the population peaked in Tower Hamlets and development was confined to the external grounds. By the year 1971, the population had crested in each ward and the whole region was encountering substantial decline in the population. However, in the census of 2011 the situation was reversed and every region recorded significant growth in population.

Transportation in London:

East London has a well structured and well planned transportation system. It is easily accessible by all means of public transportation. Tube, train, bus and the Light Railway (DLR) are some of the means to travel in and around the city. However, public transportation isn’t cheap as compared to other countries. It might get a bit expensive and thus, it is important to plan your expenses accordingly. Follow these tips to manage your expenses on commuting.

1. It is advised to buy travel cards. These cards can be used for buses, tube lines, and trains. You can expect to get high value discount on these cards as compared to individual tickets.

2. It is important to note that your travel cards should be region specific. You should buy the cards according to the zone you’re likely to travel too often.

3. Oyster card is another kind of travel card that offers huge discount on buses, tube lines, DLR, ferry and train fares. It is a must have card for students who plan to commute through public transportation system.

4. Taxis are no doubt very expensive, but you can always get one if you’re not aware of the streets and address you intend to reach. You can pick a taxi from the street or call for a cab in your area.

Sightseeing in East London

Museum of London dockyard, Whitechapel Art Gallery, Lee Valley Regional Park, Broadway Market, Geffrye museum of the Home, The Ten Bells, Wilton’s Music Hall, Sutton House, and Spitafeilds Market are some of the remarkable places to see in East London. The city offers unparalleled scenery features.

Must-Visit Restaurants in East London

Quality Chop House, Clerkenwell, EC1

East London is a great place to visit because there are a lot of things to do and see. What a lot of people don’t realize is that there are also a lot of great places to eat! From casual to fine dining, there’s something for everyone at the restaurants in this area. If you’re not sure where to get started, then consider the restaurants listed below. These are four places that people love and come back to time and time again!

1. The Quality Chop House

This is a fairly new restaurant, but it’s already extremely popular in the area. There are three menus written each day, and they are based on the fresh ingredients they have delivered that morning. The flavor combinations that the chefs use are unique and new, so there are a lot of dishes on the menu that can’t be found at other restaurants in East London. From the appetizer to the dessert, everything is freshly made with the best ingredients. There’s also a wine bar that has various take-away sandwiches along with specialty glasses of wine. This is a fine dining restaurant, so expect to spend more than you would at a casual spot.

Notable Menu Items (subject to change):

– Amuse buche

– Lamb

– Smoked cherries with chocolate mousse


2. Beigel Bake, Brick Lane Bakery

DSC06004Anyone in the mood for pastries, fresh breads or homemade bagels may want to stop by this bakery. It’s open 24/7 and constantly has people passing through the doors. Everything is made with the best ingredients so they taste fresh and delicious whether they are purchased at 1 p.m. or 1 a.m. The bagels are among the most popular menu items, but they also have braised brisket available. This is a small and old looking bakery, but it’s still serving affordable and fresh food to hungry individuals in London. Since it’s always open you can visit any time, but keep in mind certain menu items may only be available during small windows of the day.

Notable Menu Items:

– Hot salt beef beigel with mustard

– Smoked salmon and cream cheese

– Chola bread roll


3. Death By Burrito

The name of this sidebar restaurant (conveniently located underneath a music venue) should tell you that it’s all about burritos! What the name doesn’t tell you is that it takes a unique twist on traditional Mexican food by using ingredients like plantains, braised pig cheek and smoked beef. It’s a mix of contemporary Mexican street food and traditional flavors all tied up into amazing burritos, entrees and appetizers that you have to taste to believe. It also serves some great cocktails that are sweet and sugary, making them the perfect complements to this type of food. Everything on the menu is affordable, so it’s a great place to stop and grab a delicious bite to eat.

Notable Menu Items:

– Carne asada hanger steak and mole

– Beef short rib and sweet potato burrito

– Pulled pork and crackling burrito


4. Back in 5 Minutes

Located on Brick Lane, this lounge is small and has a lot to offer anyone who trusts their food to the chef. Fredrick Bolin, the Swedish chef in charge, creates a short menu every day of the week. The twist to this is that on Wednesdays, patrons don’t get to decide what to eat! They simply eat the food that they are served, which could be anything from potatoes to tuna. The highlight of this restaurant is the drink menu, which has a variety of cocktails that are sure to relax guests and excite their taste buds. Guests should book ahead of time, as there’s limited seating and it’s only opened Wednesdays to Saturdays.

Notable Menu Items (subject to change):

– Confit duck with orange braised lentils

– Smoked chicken hearts with apple and walnut slaw

– Vanilla panna cotta and red wine poached pears.

East London has a lot of restaurants that have proven themselves over the years, but there are also brand new spots opening up all over that are changing things. More people are getting the chance to experience unique dishes from chefs who want to take their cooking to the next level. These are four great restaurants to check out, but there are many others in East London that are worth your patronage as well!

photos by: acme & Ewan-M

Touristic sites to see in East London

Hackney Empire, Hackney, E8

It was till some time back that East London was called glamorous West London’s poor relation. However today it has developed so much that bright young things of society prefer being seen in East London. While the past ten years have brought about remarkable changes in Shorditch and Hoxton, Brick Lane and Columbia Road has retained lots of their original atmosphere but are worth exploring.

The touristic sites to see in East London includes art house cinemas, trendy bars, modern art galleries and Jamie Oliver’s famous Fifteen restaurant. Here are some of the places of attraction worth a visit while in East London.

Hackney Empire

The Hackney Empire was a technological wonder when built in 1901 which attracted acts from all parts of the world. While Chaplin had appeared here a few times before heading to America to gain fame and Stan Laural had perfected his act here, Marie Lloyd was the most important star to appear here before the First World War.

Famous both in the national press and public, Hackney Empire brings the old, black and white together to create a cosmopolitan audience every Christmas. There is a huge line of leading touring productions, world famous orchestras, international opera companies and top comedians and musicians lined up to perform here in coming seasons.

Rio Cinema

It was in December 1937 that the historic Rio Cinema opened here as the “Classic”. It was the mark of television in the 1950s that led to a reduction in audiences; so to restore enthusiasm, the Dalston Classic changed names to Classic Cartoon Cinema, Classic Continental Cinema to finally return to the “Classic” within a year.

However the Dalston Classic was once again re-launched as the Tatler Cinema Club in 1968 and went on to show blue movies and live strip shows to finally close down in 1976. It was finally in 1999 that it got a complete refurbishment to open as Rio Cinema with Grade II listed status.

Cinema that is often ignored by the mainstream is shown here. The annual Turkish and Kurdish film festivals, midweek Classic Matinees and the Saturday morning Children’s Picture Club all feature at the Rio.

White Cube

It was Jay Jopling who had set up White Cube Hoxton as a second, larger gallery space in 2000 in an old light industrial building of the 1920s. It houses an uninterrupted exhibition space with free admission. This “Inside the White Cube” space was launched in 2002, encompasses two floors, viewing galleries, offices, conference space and related space and dedicates a yearlong exhibition.

A wide range of artists of all mediums like Mark Quinn, Damien Hirst and Antony Gormley had showcased their talents here in solo or group exhibitions. Hoxton boasts of a strong art community and culture, various galleries, public art space, bars, restaurants and clubs. With so many abandoned warehouses having been converted into artists’ studios and the highest concentration of artists in Europe, East London is the place for art enthusiasts.

Mudchute Park & Farm

Mudchute Park & Farm spans 32 acres of farmland and is the largest city farm. It offers free admission wherein you see a variety of farm animals and an equestrian center that charges for riding.

The park arranges agricultural shows, summer play schemes and festivals throughout the year while its garden center sells a huge range of shrubs, fruit trees, bedding plants, farm grown perennials, herbs and also offers lots of helpful advice to those with green fingers.

You find a range of gifts, souvenirs and riding and pet accessories on sale in the shop here. There is a café here to relax with a hot or cold drink or snack while its education center handles an after school’s program, a young farmer’s club and also plans activities that follow the national curriculum.

Thames Barrier Park

While Daily Telegraph’s gardening correspondent Jonquil Cargill describes the Thames Barrier Park as ” a garden for the 21st century”, it took 6 years of planning and construction and an international design competition that made London’s first major 22-acre public parkland project for more than 50 years.

The park is located in Silvertown on the River Thames’s north bank and is an integral part in the continuing regeneration of the Royal Docks and Thames Gateway through its life-giving open space and complementary commercial and residential development.

The park boasts of a special Anglo-French touch in its design and construction which is the culmination of talents of professional architects, structural engineers, landscape designers and horticulturists. It is the London Development Agency that now owns, operates and maintains the park.


photo by: Ewan-M

When to buy and when not to buy a Travel Insurance When Travelling to the UK

travel insurance in UK

There are a lot of individuals who travel without an insurance. To them, such policies are just a waste of money, considering the possible costs of backpacking in a foreign land. However, travel insurance is a must have other than your luggages and essential documents. In times of crisis, the policy will cover the expenses incurred from hospitalization, flight delays, lost luggages and many others. Aside from that, it is the best protection against debt because an insured individual does not have to spend his/her money for the damages or bad experiences he/she has been through.

travel insurance in UKA travel insurance is truly an effective tool that offers a peace of mind. If your trip is interrupted, all the costs are recovered and there is nothing to worry about the possible expenses. However, there are some things to keep in mind when you buy a travel insurance policy. It is important to know when to buy or when not to buy this kind of insurance, to make sure that you do not spend your money on something that you cannot use.

When to buy a travel insurance

A travel insurance is a must have if;

  • You are spending an enormous amount of money for a vacation. A big ticket purchase is something that can be a huge loss on your part when some things are not going well. Make sure to get a travel insurance to safeguard your trip from potential expenses caused by losses, theft and uncontrollable circumstances.
  • You are a nervous backpacker. If you think you will have flight cancellation, accident or health issues along the way, better get yourself a travel insurance to give you a peace of mind.
  • You are cruising or having a package tour. To ensure that you do not miss cruise lines or tour packages, purchase a travel insurance to rebook or reimburse your expenses when things are not doing well on you.
  • You have a lengthy itinerary. Travel insurance is a necessity when you travel from one place to the other. Regardless of how safe and secured the destination is, you will never know when you get sick or missed a flight.
  • You are travelling internationally. Most of us are secured with health insurance policies in our own country but these are not applicable in other parts of the world. To cover any medical expenses, get your own travel insurance policy that covers health related issues experienced in the country where you are travelling at.

When not to buy a travel insurance

A travel insurance is not necessary if;

  • Your trip is short and inexpensive.
  • You are spending less and you do not mind losing the cost of your travel should there be an unexpected circumstance that will take place.
  • You travel through a flight voucher or you stay at your friend’s house.
  • You have a pre-existing medical condition.
  • The coverage is redundant or you have a travel insurance with similar policies and benefits.

Final thoughts:

There is no perfect insurance policy for backpackers. However, there is always something in store for you if you search and find a travel insurance for your needs. Take your time to do some research and consider these factors to buy or not to buy a travel insurance.

Read more:

Rick Steve on insurance


Do I need a travel insurance? – The Guardian

Do I really need travel insurance – The Telegraph