Trials at the Old Bailey were adjourned to allow jurors and lawyers - but not defendants - to go outside and watch.
The start of first-class cricket matches nationwide was postponed until 11.45am to avoid having to stop for bad light.
Many firms allowed employees to leave work to go outside for half an hour. Seven hundred staff at British Aerospace in Plymouth were given an extra day's paid holiday.
Within an hour, more than 100 people called London's Moorfields Eye Hospital general helpline, reporting eclipse- related problems. 17 people went to the hospital. Many people may not experience symptoms for another 48 hours.
The Scillies, 28 miles off Land's End, lived up to their nickname of the Fortunate Isles, allowing people there to revel in 106 seconds of clear totality.
BBC Online said there were over one million page views of its webcams, set up across Europe to follow the eclipse.
A baby was born at the moment of total eclipse. Oliver Nowell arrived at theRoyal Berkshire Hospital, Reading, at 11.11am and weighed 3.11kg. He was the first child for Clare Nowell, 34.
Britain's next eclipse will also be seen from west Cornwall at 5pm on 23 September, 2090.