Tag: london transport

A Quick Guide To London

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. ....read more

Getting Around London

Getting Around London
If you’ve never been to London before then you may find the thought of getting around the city somewhat daunting. With the population of Greater London estimated at more than 7 million people, this is a bustling city on a grand scale. So what’s the best way to get around the British capital? Fortunately, you do have a good number of options open to you. The London Underground, for example, is the oldest underground mass transit system in Europe and consists of some 275 stations on 12 separate lines. Generally speaking, you’ll find that the stations are very close together, with central London being particularly well covered (there are 63 stations in central London alone). You’ll find Underground (or “Tube”, as its known locally) maps at all stations and on platforms. Each of the Underground lines is given a different color, making the maps easy to read so that you can find your way round. One thing that you’ll also notice is that the Underground map is also divided into Zones. This relates to the way in which journeys are priced – when you buy a ticket the price that you’ll pay will be dependent upon your departure or arrival zones. If you’re expecting to make a number of journeys in a day then avoid paying for numerous single tickets and opt for a One Day Travelcard – they’re more cost effective. You’ll need to tell the ticket office operator what zones you’ll be traveling through during the day. You can pay for all tickets at ticket offices using cash or payment cards. You’ll also find that stations have automated machines where you can purchase tickets. This should also allow you to pay using the same options, although be aware that the automated payment card facilities may not always be functioning. Aside from the Underground, you’ll find that a Travelcard will also cover you for journeys on the famous red London buses. The bus network in London is extensive and they provide a great way to see the city. Indeed, you can save yourself a bit of money by avoiding the ever-present tourist buses and simply taking a journey through central London on a standard bus. If you don’t fancy the Underground or the buses then another option is to jump in a black cab. These provide a great experience in themselves, although generally will work out more expensive than the two public transport options already mentioned. Driving in London is not something that would generally be recommended. Traffic can be heavy throughout the day in central locations, parking is not always easy to find and the London Congestion Charge means that you’ll pay heavily for the privilege of driving in central London. Luckily, public transport options are generally good, so you should find that you won’t need to resort to driving. ....read more