You want a fee-only advisor. He charges like an architect or plumber: by the hour or some other "flat fee". That is his only compensation. He is not paid on commission at all. He is not affiliated with any financial services company of any kind.
His office is Starbucks. He does not have a well lit office like the commission broker down the street.
He does not want you to hand him your money - it stays in the brokerage account of your choice (within reason - some brokerage accounts are terrible and he'll tell you to get out of those). He never asks for the password to your brokerage account.
Edit: The UK recently outlawed commission brokers. These guys were competitive "sales types" who thrive on commissions, and probably went into other sales jobs. So right now, everyone is clamoring for the few proper financial advisors available. High demand is making them expensive. It may not be cost-effective to hire an advisor; you may need to learn it yourself. It's not that hard.
The bad guys
Ever hear of a plumber who works totally for free, and makes his money selling you wildly overpriced pipe? That's what regular "financial advisors" are.
They sell products that are deliberately made unnecessarily complex. The purpose is first, to conceal sales commissions and high internal fees; and second to confuse you, so the financial world feels so daunting that you feel like you need their help just to navigate it. They're trying to fry your brain so you'l just give up and trust them.
Products like whole life and variable annuities are only the poster children for how awful all of their financial products are. These products exist to fleece the consumer without quite breaking the law.
Of course, everyone goes to see them because they have well lit offices in every town, and they're free and easy to deal with.
You don't need to know all that.
Don't feel like you need to know everything about finance to invest. You don't need to understand every complex financial product that the brokerage houses bave dreamed up: they are designed to conceal and confuse, as I discuss above, and you don't want them.
The core of it is fairly simple, and that's all you really need to know.
Look at any smaller university and how they manage their endowments. If whole life, annuities and those complex financial "products" actually worked, university endowments would be full of them. But they're not! Endowments are generally made of investments you can understand. Partly because university boards are made of investment bankers who invented those products, and know what a ripoff they are.
But you do need to know what you're buying.
Some people refuse to learn anything. They are done with college and refuse to learn anything more. I hope that's not you.
Because you should learn the workings of everything you're investing in.
If you don't understand it, don't buy itl
And a fee-only financial advisor won't ask you to.
1000 well-heeled, well-advised university endowments seek the most successful products on the market... And end up choosing products you can understand. That's good news for you.