Visitor information for England and the U.K.
Tourism information offices and their websites are where you'll find the most accurate information on all the fiddly little details that help with trip planning:
- lists of opening times and admission charges for the sights
- calendars of events
- hotel databases
- restaurant lists
- information on how to use the local public transportation
- sights that happen to be currently closed
- downloadable bus maps
- links to lodgings
- much more
It will also list all the local tourism offices and info kiosks, which should be your very first stop in a new city or town.
Bigger towns and cities will have a main office somewhere in the city center—on the central square, across from a major sight, or by a city gate. Nearly all also have an outpost at the airport (usually small, poorly stocked, and over-crowded) and in—or very near—the major train station(s).
I find it useful to grab at least a map from the information desk at my point of entry, but then make a point of visiting the main tourist office downtown as well for the widest selection of information and brochures. Also, sometimes the big central office includes a ticket desk for local theaters, tours, and other events.
How to find tourism info websites
Really, as with so much else in modern life, the easiest way to find national tourist bureaus and local info offices is simply to Google "[destination] tourist office"and/or "[destination] tourism information."
You will likely run across a couple of private sites alongside the official or government-run one, but those can be useful, too, so long as you keep in mind that they exist to provide tourism information as part of a commercial or journalistic endeavor. (Then again, this website is also one of those, so perhaps I am partial to the idea.)