Tipping in England: The Easy & Essential Guide

England is a place that is filled with diverse landscapes, exciting attractions, and fascinating history.

From the bustling capital city of London to the beauty of the English countryside or coastal areas, there is plenty to explore in England.

The English are very proud of their traditions and heritage, so it is worth learning about the culture if you are planning a visit.

Another thing you should learn about is what the etiquette is when it comes to tipping in England.

You can learn more about this in our handy guide.

Do You Tip in England?

Tipping is not mandatory, but it is widely accepted and gratefully received.

As with many other countries, you do not have to tip in England if you do not wish to. However, tipping is widely accepted and generally received with gratitude by service and hospitality employees.

In some places, you should aim to tip a percentage of what you spend. In others, you can just tip small amounts. Of course, there are other occasions where no tip at all is necessary.

Tipping Customs to Keep in Mind

You should base your tip on where you are and the service you receive.

Tipping in England can vary based on the type of establishment you are at, what sort of service you are paying for, and the level of service you receive. Some things to keep in mind are: 

  • Tipping in places like restaurants is generally around 10-15% of the bill
  • In many other places, you can tip small amounts or just tell the employee to keep the change
  • Tipping is not mandatory but has become commonplace in the service and hospitality industries

Useful Phrases to Know

England is ethnically diverse, but English is the widely spoken language.

England is known for its ethnic diversity, and you can experience many cultures when you visit the country. However, English is, of course, the widely spoken language in England.

If you are visiting the capital of London, you may hear people talking in cockney. So, here are some rhyming cockney phrases along with their meanings: 

  •  Adam and Eve: Believe
  • Dog and bone: Phone
  • Hank Marvin: Starving
  • Vera Lynn: Gin
  • Jam-jar: Car
  • Bread and honey: Money

Tipping Restaurants in England

Tipping in England depends on the type of restaurant you are visiting.

There all sorts of restaurants in England, from fast food and casual eateries to upmarket restaurants serving world-class cuisine.

The type of restaurant you visit will determine whether you should leave a tip, and how much to consider. Some tips to keep in mind are: 

  • Don’t tip at fast food and casual restaurants or cafes
  • Always check the bill at eat-in restaurants to see if a service charge has been added
  • If there is no service charge, consider a 10-15 percent tip
  • Many restaurants in London will add a 12.5% gratuity to the bill

Tipping Tour Guides in England

Your tip depends on what type of tour you go on in England.

There are some wonderful tours you can choose from in England. This includes exciting tours of the bigger cities, sightseeing tours in the capital, and English heritage tours among others.

The type of tour will determine what sort of tip you should leave for the tour guide. Here are some tips to help: 

If you go on a private tour, consider 10-15% of the tour cost as a tip

  • On a group tour, aim for £2-£5 as a tip, or for a family £1-£2 per person
  • If your tour guide is also the driver, there may be a receptacle by the driver for tips
  • Often, there may be a whip-round for the driver if he/she is not also the tour guide

Tipping in Hotels or Guesthouses in England

There are certain services you may wish to tip for at your hotel or guesthouse in England.

As with other venues, you do not have to tip at hotels and guesthouses in England. However, there are some services you may wish to tip for in order to show your appreciation.

Some tips to help you along are: 

  • If a porter helps you with your luggage, consider tipping £1-£2 per bag
  • You can tip the doorman £2-£5 for hailing a taxi depending on how upmarket the hotel is
  • For housekeeping, it is common to leave a tip for your entire stay in an envelope in the room at the end of the stay. You can base your tip on the duration of your stay

Tipping Taxis, Shuttles and Coaches in England

Telling the driver to keep the change is commonplace in England.

tipping in England

In England, you do not need to tip the drivers of shuttles. However, if they help you with baggage, you may want to consider tipping a few pounds.

With taxi drivers, tips are not mandatory, but they are common and widely accepted. Some of the ways you can tip are: 

  • Tell the taxi driver to keep the change if it is a reasonable amount
  • Round up the taxi fare – for example, for an £8.00 fare, you could give the driver a £10 note
  • Give the driver a couple of pounds on top of the fare once you arrive at your destination

Tipping in Bars and Pubs in England

You may want to tip if you have a sit-down meal or set up a tab at the bar or pub.

When you visit bars and pubs in England, you don’t need to tip when you order your drinks. However, some people tell the bartender to have a drink on them.

Often, there is a tip jar at bars and pubs that you can put small change into.

Many bars and pubs also offer bar food and meals, so you can enjoy a sit-down meal. If you have a sit-down meal or set up a bar tab, you may want to add a tip.

Some key points to remember are: 

  • You don’t have to tip when ordering your drink at the bar, but you can tell the bartender to have a drink for themselves or keep the change
  • There may be a tip jar you can put small change into at some bars and pubs
  • If you have a sit-down meal or set up a bar tab, you may want to consider a tip of 10-15 % when you get the bill

Tipping Barbers, Spas and Hair Salons in England

You can give token tips to show your appreciation or give a percentage of the bill to stylists.

There are no hard and fast rules with regard to tipping staff at spas and hair salons in England. However. You can give small tips or tip a percentage of the total cost if you have your hair done.

Some tips you should keep in mind are: 

  • Many people tip hair stylists 10% of the total bill
  • Consider tipping the hair washer at the salon a couple of pounds
  • For services such as manicures and massages, consider a tip of 10% of the bill