So I got a few £20 notes which were intended to be given as pocket money on a child's trip to UK. As the notes looked differently and some were older than other I realized that:
This means that shops no longer have to accept the notes, and it is up to banks whether they agree to swap notes after this date.
After June 30 if a bank or building society refuses to swap a note, consumers have the right to swap the notes at the Bank of England itself. The Bank promises that it will honour the face value of any note issued, even notes from before the Second World War.
The quote is coming from 2010. I wonder what is the reality about accepting the notes now? Except the mentioned swap at the Bank of England as the article suggests, can the notes be used in everyday (esp. tourist) situations: can the old notes be used in shops, including in airport shops, to buy train tickets? Would a taxi driver accept them? Would I be able to swap them at other banks, not just the Bank of England, is it something doable right in the airport on arrival?
Also - this is already not a part of the question, rather bonus reading - here in Ukraine in one of the state banks I was told that they cannot accept Elgar £20 notes exactly for the reason that they are withdrawn. To top my GBP account I could only use current banknotes.