The Ultimate Guide to London – Things to See & Do, Getting there, Around & where to Stay in London.
The heart of the UK; London is a lively city with a plethora of things to offer for every visitor. It is culturally diverse and historically important.
Its modern-day splendor that is composed of iconic buildings, multiple attractions and notable landmarks is unmatched.
Once you combine the unique spots in the East end to the tree-lined avenues in the western region, London turns out to be one of the greatest cities on the planet.
Whether you are jetting in for business or relaxing holidays, this city has all that you may need. For adventurers, some of the best places to start with include the shopping mecca of Oxford Street, Shaftesbury Avenue and more.
Then if you fancy escaping the hustle and bustle of the city, don’t think of any other places than the inner city parks and open spaces. Endless views of pigeons are a must in Trafalgar square or check-in at the London Zoo for the rare species of Penguins.
Additionally, your trip to this land of excitements wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Buckingham Palace.
This historical site is one of the most honored royal buildings in the World. It is girded by many historical buildings that exhibit elegant architectural designs.
A Brief History of London
London’s rich history dates back to the Roman times when a civilian town located along the River “Londinium” was established.
Its convenient location that issued easy access to most parts in Europe is the reason why this city was used as a base for several conflicts.
The Saxons took over the founding city after the fall of the Roman Empire where they flourished until they fell at the hands of the Vikings. This great city that we praise today started taking shape in the 16th and 17th centuries.
It suffered dramatic and complete setbacks during the Fire of London in 1666 and the plague of 1665, but this did not limit it from rising into one of the World’s famed cities.
One thing noticed during the two World wars was the determination and community spirits of residents (love for their city) that never disappeared though most parts of the city were destroyed.
Facts about London City.
Every district in the city has its features, you have a lot to admire starting from the Victorian terraces of Chelsea to the curry houses of the Brick Lane.
With all that, it is no surprise that this city is amongst the World’s most charming cities. Below are the facts you should know if you are really in love with this great locality.
Population: 8.6 million
Area: 610 square miles
Official Language: English
Other than English, there are about 250 different other languages spoken by residents throughout the city.
Official Religion: Christianity (Church of England)/Anglican province.
Current Prime Minister: Theresa May
Time Zone: GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) applies from late October until March. Once the clocks are adjusted, the UK joins British Summer Time (BST), which is GMT + 1
Currency: Pound Sterling (GBP) – £
Country Dialing Code Prefix: +44
Emergency Numbers: Dial 999 and ask for any security service you may require (police, fire service, or ambulance)
Open space: 33 per cent is open including regional, district, and local parks.
Black Cabs: 21,000
Nature reserves: 144
Getting There & Around
Getting to London.
This city is accessible either by land or air transport means. You can easily make your way once you get into the suburbs.
There are four airports to use and these include Gatwick, Stansted, Luton and Heathrow. You can use them whether you are heading to the UK or the rest of the World.
With abundant flights from over 190 destinations, these airports are ever busy and over 650 flights leave Heathrow alone per day.
Just a few miles east of the commercial Centre of the city, you find the London City Airport. It is well located to provide services for business travelers, holidaymakers and tourists from different parts of the World.
To add on, all airports in the UK offer efficient access to the West End and London city by road or rail means.
From Heathrow terminal three, there is a direct rail service to London Victoria Station. The journey takes about 50 minutes and Trains run after every one hour. The prices for one way ticket start from 25 pounds depending on your time of travel.
If not that, you can use the Heathrow express. This runs between London Paddington and all the four Heathrow terminals.
It is a 15-minute journey and cost for the ticket start from 22 pounds. Trains run from 6:00am up to 11:00pm.
By this option, travelers usually use the National Express coach from Heathrow Airport bus station. Costing about 5 pounds, this journey takes about 50 minutes.
Every 30 minutes, trains run from Gatwick Airport Mainline station to London Victoria. Expect to pay about 16 pounds.
If not that, the other option is to take a train from Gatwick up to London Victoria. This journey costs 14 pounds and takes about 30 minutes.
It takes about 90 minutes to travel from Gatwick Airport Bus station up to London Victoria by the National Express Coach. The cost of this ticket is 10 pounds and the coaches run around the clock.
The journey from Luton to London Victoria takes approximately one hour by the Themes link Train. The ticket costs 20 pounds one-way and trains run throughout the day.
The available National Express Coaches run from Luton to London Victoria throughout the day. This makes it easy for anyone to travel and this 40-minute journey costs 5 pounds one-way.
Regularly Stansted Express trains are available for travelers to travel from Stansted to London Liverpool Street. This 40-minute journey will cost you 10 pounds (one-way).
From Stansted Airport to London Victoria, you can take a National Express Coach. Buses run throughout the day and the one-way journey costs 5 pounds per person.
London’s underground system is amongst the most famous in the World. It spans the central and greater metro area. If you ask for some of the efficient public transport systems in the World, Tube can’t miss. Most visitors prefer it when getting around London.
Built-in 1863, this system was meant to service the six intermediate stations between Farringdon and Paddington. It now covers 402km with eleven separate lines and 270 stations.
Easy to read maps and colored lines make traveling by Tube the easiest in London. This transportation system provides all details about timetables, station information and ticket prices for you to be well informed.
With its iconic red rear entrance double-Decker buses, London’s bus network is famous in all World. The service is meant to deliver passengers throughout the city day and night.
Route master buses have been in use on London streets since 1829 and undertake over 4.4 billion journeys all year round.
Night bus services are available to carry party-goers back home. Make sure to check on the bus system’s timetables and ticket prices.
Once in London, Black cabs are common all over the streets. You are free to call one for your transfers, their drivers are legendary, friendly and well packed with general knowledge about the city. Alternatively, you can call up an Uber using an app on your smartphone.
Private hire vehicles, Ubers and Cabs accept most forms of payment including credit, cash or debit card. Taxis are pre-booked using any form of electronic payment.
For London buses and underground tube are accessed using a pre-payment Oyster card. You can buy this card during your stay, don’t forget to top up. With the underground system, there is an option to use a contact-less debit or credit card.
Hot Tip: While abroad, use cards that can earn you lots of valuable points. Some of these cards are Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, it earns you two points per one dollar spent on travel and dining.
Avoid the use of cards with foreign transaction fees. Lounge opportunities are available at Gatwick, Stansted and London Heathrow provided that you have a card that issues free lounge access.
More Content to be added…..