EuroTribe

your guide to Europe off the beaten path

Category: United Kingdom

EHIC After Brexit: What You Need to Know

With the UK’s eventual departure from the European Union looming large, travellers on both sides of the Channel will no doubt be asking – will I soon need to buy…

With the UK’s eventual departure from the European Union looming large, travellers on both sides of the Channel will no doubt be asking – will I soon need to buy travel insurance for trips from the UK to continental Europe, and vice versa?

The reason this question is being raised is because ‘Brexit’ could well mean the UK leaves the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) scheme, which guarantees card holders free or subsidised access to state-provided healthcare wherever they travel in the European Economic Area (EEC), plus Switzerland.

With the EHIC no longer valid in the UK and no longer available to its citizens, the assumption is that travellers from Europe to the UK, and from the UK to Europe, would need travel insurance to cover any potential medical costs.

While this is true, it is wrong to think of the EHIC and travel insurance as either-or options. As things stand, travellers should carry both. The EHIC is a scheme for medical costs only. Travel insurance, whilst it includes medical cover, also protects you for a variety of other things, such as loss or theft of personal belongings and luggage, delays and cancellations to flights and other pre-arranged transport and so on.

It is also a common misapprehension that the EHIC entitles you to free healthcare. It does not, because every country in the scheme does not offer free care to its own citizens. If you travel to a country where all medical treatment is paid for, you have to pay too, regardless of carrying a EHIC card, although it is likely to be at a heavily subsidised rate. But the fact you have to pay at all is another reason why you need travel insurance as well.

Pre-existing medical conditions

Standard travel insurance medical cover is not as comprehensive as the EHIC. If you have a pre-existing medical issue, you need to be aware that travel insurance policies do not automatically cover you for treatments related to your condition. This is different to the EHIC, which covers all forms of medical assistance, whether general or specific, whether an emergency or just a check-up.

For example, if you have a lung or a heart condition and suddenly symptoms flare up while abroad, the EHIC means you can be rushed to hospital and will only be charged the domestic rate – nothing, in some countries. The same applies if you just want to visit a doctor for a once-over or a new prescription. Travel insurance, on the other hand, is designed mainly to cover general illness, accidents and emergencies. Standard policies will not pay out on treatment for specific conditions.

This is something to be aware of if you suffer from a long-standing illness and have been used to relying on the EHIC, if and when it is no longer used in the UK. To get adequate protection, you will need to source a bespoke travel insurance policy that includes your condition in its medical schedule. There are many specialist providers out there who cater for people with pre-exisiting conditions, who offer good value and comprehensive protection for your specific needs. Click here to find out more.

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The Best Scottish Food: 7 Must-Try Dishes

Since it has a reputation of being very peculiar, Scottish food is severely underrated. The common misconception is that the traditional dishes are hard to get used to if you’re…

Since it has a reputation of being very peculiar, Scottish food is severely underrated. The common misconception is that the traditional dishes are hard to get used to if you’re a foreigner.

In reality, people in Scotland have created an authentic and exciting cuisine that should be experienced by every foodie. They have combined old traditional dishes with some more modern influences and it resulted in incredibly tasty food.

With a variety of different flavors, coming both from meat and vegan ingredients, it is suitable for absolutely everyone. Don’t forget about the desserts either!

Here’s a list of some of our top picks when it comes to Scottish food. The unique dishes made from fresh, local produce are a gastronomical adventure you must have in your lifetime!

The Best Scottish Food – 7 Must-Try Dishes

Haggis

This dish always tops the lists of Scottish specialties. The one and only, unmissable haggis is synonymous with Scottish food and tradition.

This well-known delicacy is described as a meat pudding or a crumbly sausage. Even though it doesn’t look very appealing, the rich texture and flavor of haggis are its main traits.

It is made with minced sheep’s pluck, onions, oatmeal and spices as basic ingredients. Everyone adds a personal touch or a secret spice that makes it different, but it usually has a peppery taste. That mixture is then traditionally prepared inside the sheep’s stomach.

To paint the picture of how much Scots love haggis, take the example of their national poet Robert Burns. He loved haggis so much, that he wrote a poem dedicated to it called Address to a Haggis. Now, every year, Scots celebrate him and their national dish in one event called the Burns dinner.

This is something you must try if you want to feel like a true Scot for a moment. Also, if a dish inspired poetry, it must be something special!

Scotch Pie

If you’re a fan of pies, especially pot pies, this specialty is something you must try. The Scots make one of the world’s most delicious pies, made with mutton meat, nutmeg and gravy.

Scotch pie is typical Scottish fast food. Don’t be surprised if you hear people calling it football pie, since it’s often eaten during half-times of football matches. They are served alongside a drink called bovril – a beef extract diluted with hot water.

If you’d like to try the absolute best Scotch pies, visit The Piemaker in Edinburgh. They even have something called the Scotch Haggis pie!

The Scots take their food pretty seriously, so, naturally, there are competitions involved. Each year, the Scotch Pie Club hosts something called the World Scotch Pie Championship. Keep an eye on the list of winners and try some of the best ones!

Cranachan

Here’s a little something to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth. Cranachan is Scotland’s traditional dessert, which contains one of everyone’s favorite Scottish exports – whiskey!

The word pudding in Scotland could have a different meaning than what you’re usually used to. However, in this case, we’re talking about a real, sweet, creamy pudding, but made special by authentic ingredients.

Even though it’s rather easy to make, Scots argue that you just can’t make real cranachan in another country. The raspberries aren’t as fresh, the quality of oats is incomparable and Scottish heather honey is far from regular honey.

Pretty much any restaurant serving traditional Scottish food also has good cranachan. So, if you’re in the mood for something simple, but tasty and refreshing, you know what to order!

Salmon

Even though the Scots didn’t invent salmon, this fish is Scotland’s biggest food export. You can be sure that the salmon you eat in Scotland is not imported, but fresh and local.

Scottish Wild Salmon has been designated Protected Geographical Indication. That means that the EU picked it as an extraordinary product and is making sure it’s produced in a certain way.

Luckily for all fish lovers, Scotland is full of amazing seafood restaurants. If you’d like to take some home, supermarkets in Scotland have amazing smoked salmon, which is just as good!

Cullen Skink

This dish is perfect for those cold winter months, since it’s essentially a creamy soup. It is bound to brighten up any glum chilly day and remind you of a nice home cooked meal. 

Cullen skink is made with smoked haddock, potatoes and milk and seasoned with a unique blend of spices. It has an unforgettable smoky flavor while the potatoes add some softness to the dish. If you’ve ever tried clam chowder and loved it, this will win you over as well.

Like we mentioned before, the Scots are famous for their amazing fish. This dish will satisfy all your senses and give you that nostalgic feeling of grandma’s home!

Shortbread

This buttery biscuit is an ideal snack alongside a hot cup of tea. It is a classic when it comes to Scottish food and it has been the most popular biscuit for centuries. It is associated with Christmas and Hogmanay (day before the New Year), but it can be enjoyed all year round!

Even though it’s very easy to find nowadays, shortbread used to be a luxury. They were only given as Christmas presents or, if you’re a new bride, they would break one over your head!

This Scottish dessert is easy to make, so if you’re into baking, you’re in luck. The crumbly  biscuits were once described as “the jewel in the crown of Scottish baking”. Even though the basic ones are only made with butter, sugar and flour, they’re mouth-watering!

Those who aren’t bakers can get these at souvenir shops and supermarkets. If you’d like to try the best there is, go for the Walkers Shortbread!

Sticky Toffee Pudding

It tastes just as good as it sounds! Once again, this isn’t what most people would recognize as a pudding, but Scottish cuisine has its own rules.

This delicious dessert consists of a moist sponge cake, dates and toffee sauce. It is served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, which only brings out the toffee more.

The pudding can be found in most pubs and restaurants, since it’s a staple comfort dish. There’s a reason why this dessert is loved by everyone who tries it, so give it a taste!

 

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10 Alternative Places in London And What They Offer

Why visit alternative places in London when you can be strolling through some of London’s best museums? Don’t get me wrong, when I visit a new place  I always do…

Why visit alternative places in London when you can be strolling through some of London’s best museums?

Don’t get me wrong, when I visit a new place  I always do all the touristy things. But to really get a feel for the place, you need to find places where the locals love to frequent. Sometimes we all need a bit of quietness and don’t want to be surrounded by big crowds with selfie sticks.

When you start frequenting the more alternative places in London (or in any other city that you visit) is when the real fun begins. This is the reason why I compiled my list of the more alternative places in London!

Freud’s Museum

Freud Museum

Photo: Freud Museum by Matt Brown on Flickr (under CC 2.0)

You can tell a lot about a person by their apartment. When you step into the Freud Museum,  you step into his home. Therefore you get a chance to peek into the private space of world’s most famous psychoanalyst.

After fleeing from the Nazis, Sigmund Freud and his family made Hempstead their new home. In this house, he has produced some of the most noteworthy works in the field of psychology. Everything in his Hempstead home remained the way he left it. The interior was decorated due to the help of Anna Freud, Sigmund Freud’s daughter.

You can see the waiting room, his study, and the famous couch! The museum offers an all-around insight into his cultural environment much as the trajectory of the development of psychoanalysis.

2. Barbican Conservatory

Photo: Barbican Conservatory by Sascha Pohflepp on Flickr (under CC 2.0)

Barbican Conservatory is the second biggest conservatory in London. The building is also one of the finest examples of brutalist architecture, therefore, an interesting choice for a conservatory. One of the things that makes it special, is that this little green oasis is hidden in the midst of London. It houses over 2,000 species of tropical plants, trees and various exotic fish. If you want to be surrounded by tranquillity and escape the crowds of London – this is the perfect hideout.

It has amazing exhibitions and workshops throughout the year, so keep an eye out for interesting events.  The only downside of this place is that it’s only open on Sundays!

3. the Indian YMCA

Lamb curry

Photo: Lamb curry by pelican on Flickr (under CC 2.0)

By all accounts, the Indian YMCA is an institution. They’ve existed around 60 years and during all those years they’ve created an impeccable reputation and they uphold it to present day.  So what do you get at the Indian YMCA? The best and most affordable Indian food in all of London.

Notoriously known for their curries (they offer vegetarian and non-vegetarian options). Everything is cooked home-style and spiced accordingly. A number of different dishes, all with rich aromas and low prices. Consequently, you will definitely find yourself coming back during your stay in London.

4. Trinity Buoy Wharf

Trinity Buoy Wharf

Photo: Trinity Buoy Wharf by k_tjaaa on Flickr (under CC)

First of all, Trinity Buoy Wharf was just another engineering establishment (iron buoys). Since the late ’90s, it transformed into another center for the arts and creative hubs. What makes Trinity Buoy Wharf a fascinating place?

It is the origin of Container city and home to London’s only lighthouse!

Container City is a new model of eco-friendly building design! Recycled shipping containers are used as living and working quarters. The Container City now counts over 70 containers. In addition to being good for the environment seems like it’s even more beneficial for your wallet!

London’s only lighthouse is interesting due to its unusual purpose. Jem Finer developed a musical composition that has been played since the 31st of December 1999. The composition will continue with no repeat until the year of 2999. You might think that listening to a 20 minute and 20 seconds piece would get tiring (and you’d be right!) but this piece is using an algorithm. The algorithm gives a large number of variations therefore making the composition to go in improvised directions.

If you want to find out more about the Trinity Buoy Wharf click here.

5. Jack The Ripper Tour

East end alley

Photo: East end alley by Jennifer Woodard Maderazo on Flickr (under CC 2.0)

This tour is not for the faint-hearted. It is taking you on the route of the notorious Jack the Ripper, a murderer that terrorized the streets of East End London. The 125-year-old murder mystery to this day baffles world-class crime investigators and historians. This tour transports you onto the streets of 19th century East End.

Explore the gruesome details of East End’s dark cobbled streets and dimly lit passageways. The whole route is constructed as an investigation, as a result, making you feel as if you fell into a Victorian detective novel.

6. Speakeasy Bars

Aviation

Photo: Aviation by Adrian Scottow on Flickr (under CC 2.0)

I am obsessed with speakeasy bars. The better hidden, the better. If they have a password which is hard to come by I am particularly amused. The charm of speakeasy bars stems from a multitude of reasons. First of all, all that playing around with hidden locations, entrances cleverly disguised as phone booths brings out our inner child. Secondly, it feels as if you’re a part of some secret club as if you’re in on a secret. It makes every night out that much special.

When coming to a new city – I always try to find out what’s their take on a speakeasy bar. London doesn’t disappoint!

The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town is hidden under the Breakfast Club on Artillery Lane. The Breakfast Club looks like a typical New York breakfast place. If you’re in for more than a breakfast ask the waitress to see the Mayor. You will be led to the entrance. The entrance is hidden in a fridge! The underground bar serves brunch and delicious cocktails.

Other very popular speakeasies are Evans & Peel Detective Agency, the Experimental Cocktail Club & the Nightjar.

7. Magic Circle Museum at the Centre for Magic Arts

17/365: i could be your magician

Photo by Jin on Flickr (under CC 2.0)

A secretive group of illusionists who made London a centre of magic (yes, way before the-Boy-Who-Lived) swore to keep their magic a secret. While we aren’t privy to their illusion tricks we are allowed to take a peek. As a result, the Magic Circle Museum is opened! The impressive collection has a number of interesting illusionist’s tools. Some of them are the same guns used in bullet illusions or pieces from Houdini’s act. Make sure to see some of their magic acts!

8. Chislehurst Caves

A church service in Chislehurst Caves during World War 2, recreated with wax figures

Photo: A church service in Chislehurst Caves by Ben Sutherland on Flickr (under CC 2.0)

Chislehurst Caves are chalk caves that were mined by hand for over 8000 years. They were mined for flint and lime, and later on served as an ammunition depot during First World War. The 8000 years old history is divided into Druid, Roman and Saxon times. But nowadays they opened up new passageways which guide you through time to present day! It is especially interesting to visit during Halloween due to their special events!

If you want to find out more about Chislehurst Caves click here.

9. British Library’s Treasures Gallery

DIG13762-027

The Sir John Ritblat Treasures aka the British Library’s Treasures Gallery is one of the most popular museums among the Londoners. It covers 2000 years of history! What makes it so interesting is the rather eclectic collection. You can find anything from Da Vinci’s or Jane Austen’s notebooks, Magna Carta to the Beatles’ lyrics.

Time Out magazine described the British Library’s Treasures Gallery as “The Holy grail for history buffs.”

10.  The Wellcome Collection

Wellcome Collection

And I saved best for last! The permanent exhibition of Henry Wellcome’s amazing objects features the history of science and medicine in a rather interesting and fun way. In addition to the permanent collection, there are a lot of great temporary exhibitions as well. They cover a vast array of universal topics, such as sex, sleep and death.

The Wellcome’s collection of weird objects won’t let your excitement fade away. Therefore you will find random objects such as Napoleon’s toothbrush, a DNA sequencing robot, an ancient mummy, Darwin’s walking stick and much more.

If you want to find out more info about the Wellcome Collection click here.

Also, don’t forget to check out these 5 places to visit in UK besides London.

What is your favourite quirky spot in London? Share in the comments!

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5 Places To Visit In UK Besides London

This is a guest post by Craig of My Gay Globe. You can also follow his adventures on Twitter. Those heading to the United Kingdom often head to the cosmopolitan…

This is a guest post by Craig of My Gay Globe. You can also follow his adventures on Twitter.


Those heading to the United Kingdom often head to the cosmopolitan capital. London is a magnificent city but there are numerous fantastic destinations to explore beyond Europe’s largest urban area. Here are five incredible places to visit in UK besides London;

Manchester

Manchester Canal Scene at Night

Photo: Manchester Canal Scene at Night by Smabs Sputzer on Flickr (under CC 2.0 licence)

This northern powerhouse is often cited as the UK’s second city. Famed for its rich industrial heritage, today Manchester is thriving with world-class music venues, an array of bars and restaurants and a burgeoning tourist scene in its own right. Culture is high on the agenda here.

The impressive Whitworth Gallery set amidst verdant gardens and The People’s History Museum, charting the history and important figures of Manchester, are just two of the many to visit. The Northern Quarter is the city’s premier entertainment region with excellent pubs and restaurants to match.

Cornwall

Causeway at low tide.

Photo: Causeway at low tide by Simon Harrod on Flickr (under CC 2.0 licence)

Nestled in the rugged south western corner of England is the stunning region of Cornwall.  The mystical home of King Arthur is rather isolated from the rest of the UK and thus remains delightfully unspoiled. There are countless coves and beaches and areas of natural beauty to be explored. A few of Cornwall’s must-see localities include Porthcurno, Wheal Coates and Penzance.

Travel to the very edge of the country at Land’s End or head to Bodmin Moor to make the most of the enigmatic expanse of this impressive area of natural beauty. Cornwall is also ideally suited to those who enjoy outdoor pursuits. Rock climbing and surfing opportunities are ubiquitous and there are plenty of hiking trails for those who want to remain on terra firma.

Brighton

Brighton P310 170717 -045

Photo: Brighton by Peter Rowley on Flickr (under CC 2.0 licence)

Located just 50 miles south of London is the charming but lively seaside town of Brighton. Known for its lefty politics and LGBT community, Brighton is home to one of the country’s most vibrant bar and restaurants scenes. The North and South Laine are a cavernous collection of shops and cafes located in a range of small streets and alleys which give Brighton its kitsch and cool vibe.

The beach, of course, attacks big crowds in the summer. However, the ample beach space means a 15-minute walk from the central area near the iconic pier and you’ll be able to find your own spot of serenity.

Cambridge

The Cam river

Photo: The Cam River by Francisco Anzola on Flickr (under CC 2.0 licence)

This stunning university town is famed for its classical architecture, historic market square and quaint cafes, shops and bars. Cambridge is best explored by bike and the city boasts an extensive cycle network – if you prefer, the city centre is very walkable, though you might need to use the excellent transport networks to reach some of the peripheries of the city.

The university is the principal attraction here and is actually a collection of independent colleges. Some of the more interesting and opulent are Queens’ College, King’s College and Trinity College.

Museum and cultural attractions are not in short supply here and The Fitzwilliam Museum and The Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences are two of the best.

The River Cam is the lifeblood of Cambridge and a hub of activity in the summer months. Either take to the water for a spot of punting and rowing or enjoy the grassy banks with some prosecco and sandwiches and enjoy the delights of this sleepy but seductive university city.

Edinburgh

Old Royal High

Photo: Old Royal High by Magnus Hagdorn on Flickr (under CC 2.0)

Scotland’s traditionally Celtic capital is one of the UK’s finest cities and has plenty to offer those who choose to visit north of the border. Most of the activity is based around Edinburgh’s historic centre. The city’s Medieval heartland is famed for the magnificent Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyrood and the home of the Scottish Parliament.

Many of the best sites are located on the famous Royal Mile around which much of the ancient city was constructed. Adjacent to the Old Town is the New Town – where you’ll be privy to the city’s newest and hippest bars and restaurants as well as plenty of shops selling everything from clothes to books.

Once you’ve had your fill of the pubs and museums, Edinburgh is ideally situated for exploring further afield and seeing more of Scotland. You can reach Glasgow in under an hour and there are plenty of smaller, authentic Scottish towns which make for the perfect half-day trip.

Convinced? Check out Momondo for cheap flights to the UK and EuroTribe’s guide on finding cheap accommodation.

Featured photo: by Joe Reed on Unsplash

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11 Fantastic Activities You Can Do In Edinburgh

Edinburgh is one of Europe’s most fascinating cities offering a plenty of activities to do on a regular basis. The Old and New Town of Edinburgh are listed on the…

Edinburgh is one of Europe’s most fascinating cities offering a plenty of activities to do on a regular basis. The Old and New Town of Edinburgh are listed on the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites and the city also has excellent entertainment options.

Here are 11 fantastic activities you can do in Edinburgh;

Visit the Queen’s official Scottish residence, the Palace of Holyroodhouse

The Palace of Holyrood House is famous for being the 16th-century home of Mary, Queen of Scots and also where the Queen spends her ‘Holyrood Week’ at the end of June/beginning of July each year. Regardless of your opinions of the Royal’s, it’s still a splendid piece of history to experience.

Holyroodhouse and the Abbey ruins, Edinburgh, Scotland

Go for some retail therapy at the one and only Princes Street

With huge flagship stores and a beautiful view of Edinburgh Castle, Princes Street is definitely one of the most fabulous shopping spots in the whole world. It also has a great choice of bars and restaurants.

Princes Street, Edinburgh

Take a climb up Arthur’s Seat

The highest point of Edinburgh’s Holyrood Park is Arthur’s Seat, an ancient, now extinct volcano which sits at precisely 251m above sea level. On a good day, you can get amazing views across Edinburgh and beyond. It’s also much recommended to watch the sunrise from here as it’s absolutely breathtaking.

Grab a beer at the infamous Hanging Bat

With an ever-changing range of beers brought to Edinburgh from the world’s finest and sought-after breweries worldwide, a trip to The Hanging Bat is not to be missed out. You could even have the chance to brew your own beer!

Take a spin around Knockhill Racecourse

More of a thrill-seeker? Then Knockhill Racecource is one of the best driving experience days Scotland has to offer! A must visit for all motor sports fans with events running from February until December.

Appreciate Edinburgh’s spectacular skyline for free

You can head up to the National Museum of Scotland‘s rooftop to take in the panoramic, scenic views of Edinburgh’s skyline. Bonus if it’s a clear day because you can see for miles.

National Museum of Scotland

Visit the fascinating Camera Obscura

Are optical illusions appealing or just plain annoying? Regardless of whether they’re your thing or not, there’s something for everyone at Camera Obscura. The attraction is one of the oldest experience days Scotland has to encounter and also has amazing rooftop views with free telescopes.

Take a stroll around Princes Street Gardens

Princes Street Gardens divides Edinburgh’s old town from its new town giving it historical significance as well as cultural significance. As well as being a relaxing spot, the gardens also host a big wheel, a carousel bar and a Christmas market seasons pending.

Explore art, comedy and culture at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

The multi-cultural festival showcases 50,266 performances of 3,269 shows across 294 venues! The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the largest arts festival in the world and runs from the 4th until the 28th of August showcasing the best of theatre, arts, comedy and more.

edinburgh festival

Visit the Archivists’ Garden

Visit this beautiful place and see 57 different types of plants, all connected to Scotland’s collective memory. Often missed by tourists this place is just a few minutes away from the busy Princes Street. The admission to the garden is free. If you want to spend a quiet day, away from the bustle of the city life you can also visit the Royal Botanic Garden.

Go to Summerhall

Summerhall is the cultural heart of Edinburgh. Here you’ll find a plenty of things to see and do – art exhibitions, gigs, films, workshops, concerts etc. The Summerhall shop has many interesting items created by the artists in residence.

Flights

You can find a cheap flight to Edinburgh on Momondo.

Accommodation



Booking.com

 

Photos: 2, 3, 4, 5
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