Packing and preparation points for visiting the UK

(I assume these are trivial and obvious for 99% of readers.)


When we don't know what to say in the UK, we talk about the weather.

Some of you have chosen umbrellas. More of you have chosen Tshirts. We'll see who proves the more prescient.

Next week in Edinburgh, the sun will rise just before 06:00 and set just after 20:00.


The currency is the pound (£). Only a few specialist tourist shops will accept dollars or euros. Shops take cards but for bus rides, taxis, etc., currency may be asked.


UK plugs are quite different from European or American ones. The UK uses 240V AC, and to handle that has chunky plugs with three rectangular pins. (Techy detail here for those who want it.)

As regards plugs:

- Some ESUG board members are bringing European multi-socket extenders. Thus a single Europe-to-UK adapter on the end plug will suffice. It is welcome if other attenders also bring these.

- It would be welcome if any transatlantic visitor brought similar.

But generally, in the accommodation and in the venue, you will want an adaptor.

As regards voltage:

- Your laptop is fine because it already has an AC to DC adaptor.

- European 220V / 230V AC devices are OK.

- Do not plug an American AC device expecting 110V AC into a British plug with only a plug adaptor between mains and device - it will fry. If you have e.g. a travel kettle or coffee maker or similar (there are kettles provided in the rooms and in the kitchens so not really needed), remember to switch its voltage before connecting. A non-travel device would need a full-blown current and voltage adaptor.

Conference accommodation standard rooms

If you are in a standard room, not a superior or twin, then your (shared) facilities are opposite your door across a 3-foot wide corridor, or they are opposite your neighbour's door to left or right - no very huge distance, but you may want to pack a dressing gown or bath robe where you wouldn't bother when staying in a room with integral facilities. We occupy most of the rooms on our floors, but because people arrive and depart at various times, some rooms on some nights will be occupied by tourists visiting to do the festival.

Standard rooms do not have individual televisions. Instead there is a TV room on the ground floor, along with laundrettes and other general-use facilities. Superior and twin rooms have televisions.