Britain, unlike the rest of the European Union, uses the Pound Sterling for currency. Though the currency fluctuates regularly, £1 is roughly equal to $1.50. Money worth less than a pound is called a pence, and is written either as ‘p’ (25p) or as a decimal when using the £ sign (£0.25). There are 100 pence in each pound. ‘Quid’ is common slang for pound (10 quid = £10)
There coins are in denominations of: 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1, and £2.
There are notes in denominations of: £5, £10, £20, and £50. Unlike American money, the notes are all different colours and sizes depending on the denomination.
Before you depart, research what the best method of currency exchange is with your bank. Some banks have partner relationships with UK banks – Bank of America works with Barclays bank, providing free cash withdrawals to their customers. Other banks will charge you to withdraw money from foreign banks, so check what your bank charges. To reduce the amount of fees you pay, withdraw larger amounts of money at a time once you’ve arrived.
You’ll also need to let your bank know that you are travelling abroad. Contact your bank with the dates of your programme, and which countries you are (or think you will be) visiting. Failing to do this will likely cause your bank to stop usage on your card, and it may take some time to reverse this.
www.travelmoney.moneysavingexpert.com can give you a full list of exchange rates.
www.moneysavingexpert.com is a great website for deals, offers and general advice to save you money.