A Quick Guide to London
London is one of the world’s most visited cities. With its combination of historic buildings, renowned museums and galleries and the best in dining, clubbing, entertainment and now a new range of boutique hotels, you won’t run out of things to do.
Where is it?
London is the capital of the UK, set on the river Thames. Served by several airports, including London Heathrow, London Gatwick and London Stanstead, and with direct train links to the continent via the Channel Tunnel, and to the rest of the UK via domestic operators, the city is easy to get to.
Where can I stay?
It’s no surprise that London is full of hotels of various sizes and standards. Famous and expensive hotels sit alongside smaller guesthouses, but it is the boutique hotel that’s currently proving a popular choice with visitors. Small and stylish, with impeccable service and a real atmosphere rather than one manufactured by the marketing department of a large hotel chain, staying in one of these hotels can only make your trip to London more enjoyable.
What can I see?
There’s so much going on in London that even the residents don’t see it all. Plan your stay so that you enjoy a little bit of history at the Tower of London or St. Paul’s Cathedral for example; some of the treasures and paintings in the museums and galleries; a show in the West End and some great drinking and dining. If you’re staying in a good hotel, you can rely on the concierge or reception staff to help you buy tickets or plan your itinerary. Don’t forget your camera, and make a long list of the things you want to do the next time you visit.
How do I get around?
Like all major cities, London has a modern public transport system. A comprehensive underground network takes you to all parts of the city, with prices working on a “zone” basis, which makes it easy to calculate which tickets to buy and how much they will cost. If you’re planning to use the underground a lot during your trip, ask for details of saver tickets. London’s famous red buses are easy to use and reasonably cheap at just £1 for central London journeys. Alternatively, you could take a traditional “black cab”. These hackney cabs can be hailed from anywhere and the drivers have to pass a stringent test so that they can take you anywhere you need to go. Adept at avoiding traffic jams, happy to hold a conversation and with honest fare meters, a journey with a hackney cab driver is a real London experience. You can hire a car, but if you’re staying within the city, it’s far easier to use public transport.