Please sign in to post.

E-sim (+ calls) for 30-days in England?

Hi all:
Have you had a good experience with a particular E-sim provider (that allows for local phone calls) in the UK?
We’re looking for 30 days & 5GB data, with access to local calling for 2 of us. We have What’sApp on iPhone, but may need to place calls to numbers outside of that platform.

Airalo global e-sim feels a bit expensive at $36 for 30 mins of calls and only 3GB data. Last time in Europe, I had a great experience with the physical TIM sim (tourist) in Italy, and surrounding areas, for a better rate.

Any thoughts on other options for England (+ 1 day in Wales)?

Thanks for your input!

Posted by
1209 posts

Check Giffgaff, I have used them for 9 years they have just rolled out esims.
Giffgaff offer 30 day non reoccurring contracts ,many different bands but the £10 or £12 option will easily see you through
I also use Lebara on occasion ,not sure if they offer eSim

Posted by
298 posts

I second the recommendation of giffgaff - excellent, and I use it whenever I'm in the UK. It's very good value.

Posted by
318 posts

I've had really good success with Nomad eSIMS in Britain, Ireland, France and Spain. Their plans don't typically include voice, but I've solved that by using Google Voice with the data plan or using wifi.

Posted by
199 posts

Don't have any experience with E-Sims, but Vodafone has worked for me with their regular SIMs. Cheap as borsch - they always give me way more data than advertised. Last time (2023) it was 15 GBP for 60 GB, plus unlimited phone and texts (no pics), for 30 days.

Posted by
32738 posts

Giffgaff has the advantage of operating off the O2 network

Posted by
150 posts

Thanks so much for the solid suggestions here. I’ll look into these! Hopefully I can figure out how to load the e-sims and make any necessary adjustments on my iPhone 🙃

I appreciate the physical sim options as well. This time going to try to save a trip to the mobile store/not have to swap out our (Mint) sims or keep track of them.

Thanks again!

Posted by
318 posts

I understand others will differ, but the last thing I plan to do on vacation is manage a drawerful of physical SIMs. It's eSIM only for me. And they're readily available pretty much everywhere I want to travel.

Posted by
8 posts

If you are flying into Heathrow Terminal 2 there are SIM vending machines located in the baggage claim area. Also there is a Sim Local shop by carousel 4 that will install and setup your SIM. Outside customs there is another Sim Local shop to the right. Other terminals should have SIM Local shops. I have used Three (3) and Lycra SIMs on my travels to the U.K.

Posted by
150 posts

Thanks for the additional tips. We’ll arrive in T5 around noon on a Monday and make our way to Hammersmith area. …. Re-thinking: If I get a data only e-sim, I think I can still make a call when I’m connected to wi-fi (and toggle my cellular setting to allow “wi-fi calling”). I tried this from home and it seems to work.
I don’t want to accidentally activate the expensive mint mobile international plan (which must be pre-paid anyway). So as long as I hop onto Wi-Fi somewhere, I can make a phone call (to places who may not be on what’s app).