Travel Basics – British Grand Prix

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Useful travel information to help you plan your trip to Silverstone for the British Formula 1 Grand Prix. This year’s race is on July 14-16, 2017.

Silverstone is a village on the borders of Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire, 75 miles (120km) North West of London via the M1 motorway (Google Maps link). It is fifty miles to the South East of Birmingham, one of the largest cities in the UK. The track is surrounded by several towns and villages, all of which have accommodation options (which tend to sell out on Grand Prix weekend well in advance). The market town of Buckingham is 6 miles (10km) south of the race track and the small town of Towcester sits just 5 miles (8km) to the North. The larger Milton Keynes is just 15 miles (24km) away, as is Banbury.

UK Visas

American, Canadian and Australian nationals don’t need a visa to visit the UK as a tourist. Neither do those from the European Economic area and Switzerland, plus most of the Caribbean, Japan and South America. Travellers from outside these territories should check UK immigration rules, as a short stay visa may be required. Click here to find out if you need a visa to visit the UK, as well as details on how to apply.


Being set in a rural location rather than a city, the British Grand Prix is a relatively safe event to attend, though we always recommend common sense when it comes to keeping an eye on your belongings. This is particularly true if you are camping. There is a reassuringly strong police presence in the UK, though visitors staying in cities or larger towns should behave as they would in any unfamiliar place and avoid walking anywhere alone at night.


The UK’s currency is the pound sterling (GBP or £), which has fallen significantly against most major currencies since the Brexit vote in 2016, making a trip to the British GP cheaper for traveling fans. It’s not necessary to purchase pounds before you travel; cash machines (‘cashpoints’ or ‘holes in the wall’ in the UK) are everywhere and credit cards are widely accepted. Tipping is not necessary, though it is common to reward good service from taxi drivers, at restaurants and in hotels.

Travel in Britain: need to know

  • In case of an emergency, dial 999
  • Britain uses Type G power sockets, which is different to the rest of Europe; bring a universal adaptor
  • The international dialing code for Britain is +44
  • During the Grand Prix, the timezone is British Summer Time (BST), which is equivalent to UTC +1
  • During British GP weekend, sunrise is around 05:00 and sunset around 21:00
  • Tap water in the UK is general safe to drink, though most people prefer to purchase bottled water these days


July is typically one of the hottest months in the UK, though the weather at the British Grand Prix can be unpredictable. Recent race weekends have had everything from scorching heat to serious downpours. Don’t underestimate the UK’s sun; if the forecast is for warm weather, be sure to come prepared with sunscreen, water and hats. This advice particularly applies if you are in an uncovered grandstand (or in general admission), are camping and/or partaking in a few beers where exposure to the elements is high and dehydration a very real threat. Being an English summer, of course, we’d also recommend that you bring waterproofs and something warm but light for pulling on if it gets a bit breezy at the track.


All tourists in the UK are entitled to the same emergency care as nationals, and visitors from within the EU can access emergency medical care upon presentation of a valid EHIC card. Fill out an application form at your Post Office or request one online – they’re free. Always ensure you have good travel insurance before you set off. If you are from outside the EU, you will need to claim on your insurance policy for hospitalization and repatriation in the case of an accident or serious illness, so don’t leave anything to chance.

January 15, 2018

Budget Planner – 2018 British Grand Prix

Planning a trip to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix? Read our budget planner to help plan the cost of your weekend.

December 20, 2017

Getting There & Around – British Grand Prix

Advice on the best ways to get to Silverstone for the British Formula 1 Grand Prix.

December 1, 2017

Tickets – 2018 British Grand Prix at Silverstone

Your guide to buying tickets and the best places to watch the action at Silverstone for the British Formula 1 Grand Prix.

November 20, 2017

Accommodation – 2018 British Grand Prix at Silverstone

From trackside camping to five-star luxury hotels, we’ve chosen the best places to stay near Silverstone for the British Grand Prix in July.

July 8, 2017

Trackside at Silverstone – 2018 British Grand Prix

Our guide to getting the most out of your trackside experience at Silverstone for the British Formula 1 Grand Prix.

July 4, 2017

Off-Track Activities – 2017 British Grand Prix

We highlight some of the events which coincide with the British F1 Grand Prix this year, as well as attractions close to Silverstone and the best places to eat and drink near the track.

June 27, 2017

Race Facts – British Grand Prix at Silverstone

Otherwise known as the “home of British motorsport,” Silverstone is in Northamptonshire, around 70 miles North West of London.

May 14, 2017

Travel Basics – British Grand Prix

Useful travel information to help you plan your trip to the UK for the British Formula 1 Grand Prix at Silverstone.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Tom.m says:

    Great info for us first timers.
    Thank you, I will update you after our visit to silverstone.

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