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How to call the UK from abroad?

Whether you are out of the county for business or on a family holiday, calling home is something that we all would like to do from time to time. This article will show you how to contact those left at home, whether you call from a mobile phone or a land line in any country.

Your phone

It is important that before you leave the United Kingdom to travel abroad that you have enabled your phone to be used abroad.
Changing a mobile phone's permissions depends entirely on your phone's tariff, for example o2 tariffs may come with international call minutes already enabled depending on your network plan, but o2 PAYG (Pay as you Go) mobile phones require activating before you will be allowed to call the UK from abroad. To determine whether your phone has barred international calls or not, you will need to call your service providers customer support, who should be able to advise you on international calling plans. Requesting to lift your phone's international call ban is simple enough, but can take several days, if not weeks, to come into effect. Make sure that you plan ahead before leaving the country, as once you do, your phone will no longer be able to make calls to customer services to turn on international calling. Once a confirmation has been received that international calling has been enabled for your phone, search your phone's 'settings' menu - there should be the option to turn international calls on. Bear in mind, some phones do not need a manual confirmation of international calling. If you do not plan to use your mobile phone abroad, but still wish to make land line or public telephone calls to the UK, you may be required to purchase telephone cards or a credit number.

Step 1

Dial the international access code: 011 This allows you to access the international outside line.

Step 2

Dial the United Kingdom country code: 44

Step 3

Dial the UK land line number, including area code - but be sure to omit the first 0 of the area code.


For example dialing the Edinburgh land line 0131 24* **** becomes 011 44 131 24* ****

Hints and Tips

1) Always remember the time difference from the country you are in to the United Kingdom, nobody likes a phone call at 3 A.M.
2) Do not expect cheap phone calls to land lines, using an international network can cost a lot of money, especially on PAYG.

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