London Travel Information

London is a place where the historic past and the vibrant present come alive. A blend of history, ground-breaking architecture and culture has created an amazing and constantly evolving city.

London is one of the world’s most remarkable and exciting cities and has something to offer every type of traveller. Split into five distinctive areas, London’s east, west, north, south and central areas all offer a very different perspective on this vibrant metropolis that embraces the diverse cultures of its population, reflected through cuisine, shops, music and colourful festivals.

West London attracts millions of visitors each year with its live music venues, parks and riverside villages. It’s renowned for its plush and expensive areas such as Kensington and Belgravia and is the home of many major attractions, from the Royal Albert Hall to Kew gardens, and has excellent shopping grounds and beautiful architecture. Some of the country’s top chefs have opened fine restaurants and bars in Hammersmith, Chiswick and Ealing, and whether your preference is Caribbean, Indian or Oriental – try Edgware Road’s Oriental City foodhall – you’ll find something to tease your taste buds. Famous for Chelsea and Fulham football clubs and the new National Stadium, built to replace Wembley Stadium, West London is also home to Wembley Arena, the Hammersmith Apollo and the BBC’s headquarters in White City. London’s reputation as a destination for fine food continues to grow and has been rated as “the world’s best place to eat”, underlining the fact that it has become one of the gourmet capitals of the world.

At the heart of Central London, you will find everything usually associated with a trip to London from the lively streets of the West End and Theatreland, to the historic sites of the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace. Most places within this area are in walking distance of each other so with a basic city map, you’ll be able find your way around easily and take in some sights on the way. A more recent landmark is the world’s largest observation wheel, the BA London Eye, standing 135m high beside the River Thames and the country’s most popular paid-for attraction, welcoming 3.7 million visitors annually. Also home to the National Gallery, the delightful South Bank, Chinatown and the unique atmosphere of Soho. The River Thames divides the city into northern and southern halves, with Central London loosely described as being within the loop of the Underground’s Circle Line to the north bank of the river. Haute cuisine now comes from India and the Orient (try Yauatcha, the capital’s first dim sum restaurant) as well as from Europe and Britain (head to Lindsay House for modern British, or Rules for traditional English). There’s everything from top-end, five star restaurants to café-style options and plenty in between. What could be more English than afternoon tea? The Art Deco Palm Court at London’s Park Lane Hotel has become a member of Britain’s Tea Guild, which promotes high standards in the art of afternoon tea. Renowned for its elegant teas since the 1930s, it is the perfect escape from the bustle of the capital’s streets. The hotel has also featured in well-known movies, from James Bond’s Golden Eye to The Poseidon Adventure. Like all great cities, London never stands still. Approaching the magnificent National Gallery, you no longer dodge London’s traffic, for the north side of Trafalgar Square is pedestrianised – and site of an open-air café and regular entertainment. (And there is less traffic in the city altogether, since a charge, now £8, has been levied to drive in the centre).

Shoppers can find all the best high-street names in North London with a visit to Brent Cross, plus boutiques and restaurants in the villages of Islington, Crouch End, Walthamstow, Hampstead and Muswell Hill. Those in search of international flavours should head to the Turkish enclave of Green Lanes – if you time it right you might catch a music festival in Finsbury Park. And further to the north is the 19th century Alexandra Palace, set in 196 acres of parkland and offering ice-skating in the winter and open-air events in the summer. Not far away is Epping Forest, a 10,000-year-old woodland that was once a hunting ground of Henry VIII, the RAF Museum in Hendon, which boasts more than 100 planes, and a museum dedicated to William Morris, founder of the British Arts and Crafts movement. From Richmond upon Thames in the west to Bromley in the east, South London is packed full of history, culture and charming neighbourhoods. Picturesque riverside settings provide the perfect opportunity to roll out the picnic blanket. Outdoor attractions include the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, the London Wetland Centre – 100 acres of wetlands in Barnes – and Richmond Park, London’s largest open space, where deer roam free. Historical buildings such as Down House – where Charles Darwin wrote The Origin of Species and Hampton Court Palace are brimming with colourful tales. Shoppers will marvel at the choice of shopping in places like Clapham, Barnes, Kingston upon Thames and Croydon. Children find the capital especially exciting and there’s so much for families to do, from a ride on one of the River Thames cruise boats, to a visit to a museum or a trip to a theme park.

Nowhere does the old sit more comfortably beside the new than in East London, where diverse cultures and maritime heritage make for great exploring. This is London’s fastest growing area as it prepares for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Head to the Bangladeshi and Indian restaurants on Brick Lane for a delicious and authentic taste of the Asian sub-continent or visit the once rundown areas of Hoxton and Hackney, now transformed into buzzing scenes boasting great nightlife and eclectic markets like Spitalfields and Columbia Road. London has a new Sunday market in the heart of the trendy and ethnic Brick Lane area of the East End. The Sunday (Up) Market is within the 11-acre site of the Old Truman Brewery, within walking distance of Liverpool Street station. Products on sale, from a wide range of traders, include vintage clothes and shoes, hand-made handbags, jewellery, art, lighting, home-wares, accessories, food and drink. The market aims to be a platform for designer-makers and is set to join the capital’s other markets, including Old Spitalfields, E1; Camden Lock, NW1; Greenwich, SE10 and Portobello Road, W10, as ‘must see’ attractions for shoppers.

Despite a population of over seven million, more than 30% of London is made up of parks and green space, greater than any other city of its size in the world. This space provides the perfect opportunity for walks, relaxation or sporting activities. London also offers some of the best shopping opportunities in the world. From major department stores to designer boutiques and street markets – the choice is immense. As if that wasn’t enough, London is hard to beat when it comes to nightlife. There are huge numbers of restaurants, pubs, cinemas, theatres and nightclubs plus live music and comedy venues. So, at any time of day, whatever the weather, you’ll always find something extra special in London. For those on a budget, in the last few years several economy hotel chains have moved into the city. There’s plenty of choice from names such as Travelodge and Holiday Inn Express. Attractive weekend rates are available at some of London’s best hotels, to attract leisure business once the corporate clients have gone home. London is a very accessible city; it has five international airports, an efficient road network and extensive Underground, train, bus, and taxi services. The city is famous for a wealth of history and culture. Home to Britain’s national art collections, the Royal family and a host of major attractions, London’s rich history, striking architecture and over 200 museums offer a unique cultural experience.

Not surprisingly the capital has become a mecca for visitors and a great place to live. There is something to appeal to everyone and whatever your interests may be, the city has it covered.

Places To Stay On Your London Vacation

When you are looking for a place to vacation, there is no place better than London, England. Surround yourself in beauty, history and culture and this is sure to be the best place you will ever visit! This beautiful place is the perfect city for visiting because they are so open to visitors and there are many wonderful places to stay in London. Whatever type of London accommodation you are looking for, there is sure to be something for everyone!

If you are looking for a London hotel, there are plenty of them to choose from. London has some of the classiest, upscale hotels that you could ever ask for and not only are they some of the most beautiful buildings you will ever see but many of them are located conveniently in the heart of the city, close to everything you will want to check out. Some of these hotels include Sanctuary House Hotel, St. Martin’s Lane, and Strand Palace to name just a few! Combine old world culture with all of the modern amenities that you could ask for in any fine London hotel.

If you’re looking for something a little homier and cozier in your London accommodation, you may want to consider one of London’s many fine bed and breakfasts. These small little nooks can be found just about anywhere in London and they are a truly wonderful way to spend your vacation. The bed and breakfasts are often houses that have been converted to suit guests and it is in these bed and breakfasts that one will often see one of the best views of London! Some very quaint London bed and breakfasts are At Home London Bed and Breakfast, the Chiswick Guest House, and BB London Maida Vale. Stay at one of these fine London accommodations and know that you are truly staying in London in style!

If you’d prefer to save your money for all of the entertainment and culture that London has to offer, you are probably looking for cheap places to stay in London. There are many wonderful London accommodations that won’t break your wallet but will make you feel as though you are staying in one of the priciest places in town! Many of these accommodations are also located right downtown, close to the tube and many sights and attractions including Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and many more! These fine hotels also everything that five-star hotels do but at half the cost! Maximize your London vacation with comfort by staying at the Travelodge or Ibis.

Of course another way to find a cheap place to stay in London is to move out of the heart of the city into the surrounding areas. There are many beautiful London hotels and bed and breakfasts in these areas that will offer lower rates due to their quiet location and they will also often offer lower rates during certain times of the year or days of the week. To find cheap London accommodation, consider Paddington, Bayswater, and Euston.

In a city like London, there is sure to be something for every need, desire and budget. Whether you want a cozy stay, or an exciting one in the heart of it all, you are sure to find the perfect London accommodation!

Train Travel in London – If You Want Exotic Vacations!

This highly technologically enhanced world has made People a big workaholic as their profession demands it and all are focused to earn more and more money. In such a hectic schedule a small refreshing break will be awesome idea to brush up mind and soul with new feelings and new place. Lets have the pleasure of an exciting holiday in London which is one of the most beautiful tourist destinations of the world and feel the real magic of royal London train travel. One new popular way to explore charming locations of London is the train travel in London. This luxury travel trend through train is growing day by day. The trains are becoming the most safe and preferred mode of travel as it is an amazing idea for those who want to see numerous cities or countries in a single vacation.

London is a wonderful and most happening tourist destination in the world, which is blessed with dazzling locations and places to hold tourist attention for long. If you are going for an exciting train travel in London, then it will surely guarantee you the extreme relaxation and satisfaction, which you are looking for. The highly sophisticated, comprehensive and well planned train network in London offer tourists a hassle free and easy access to their desired destinations. You can explore charming places of London and its various other highly path-breaking sights in the best way through train travel only.

The royal and extremely mesmerising places of London are Globe Theatre, Central London, Madame Tussaud’s Museum, Tower of London and many more majestic attractions like the London Eye, Greenwich park, kew gardens etc. London Train Travel system is very well managed and modernize, which provide superb travel facilities to tourists. The Tube, which is the longest and expansive underground metro rail system in the city, serves many areas like the central area and area of north Thames. The tourist can explore the ultimate and exotic places of London, through comprehensive and comfortable train transport.

The rail network of London provide travellers with a luxurious journey and let them enjoy a wonderful view of whole London. These trains are extremely fast, reliable and arrive on time to deliver their valuable services. The train travel in London will provide you a highly affordable and standard class ticket along with superb catering facilities during long journeys. Not only this, the highly admiring underground and advance trains in the city, will offer you a fast and safe journey. Nothing can be more good than Train travel in London, if you want to feel the true experience of exploring exotic places of London. After all, Journeys through train are quicker and offer you a high degree of comfort level. Besides this, through this well managed railway system, one can have an easy access to other outside locations of London also.

The best way to get cheap railway tickets in London is the Eurail. The Eurail provides rail passes at a very affordable rate, to the people who comes from outside Europe. If you are planning to travel in London then have complete knowledge of this system and have a look at the places from where you can get these rail tickets at discounted rates.

The train travel in London will give you a highly stress free and easy driving across various bewitching places and let you feel an exotic and rejuvenating holidays. The pampering journey through cheap rail Tickets to London will leave you all the time to discover the extremely amazing and real adventure of travelling in the charming locations of London. If you are planning to visit London then the train travel will be highly beneficial for you and your family and will give you an easy and comfortable access to various places.

10 Things You Must Do in London

If you’re thinking about coming to London, then perhaps you have already decided what you want to do here, or why you want to live here. If you’re not sure what there is to see and do here, or you’re thinking about moving to London, then here’s what you need to know.

1. No visit to London is complete without a Tourist Trail. You’ll want to take in all the sights such as Buckingham Palace, The Houses of Parliament, Big Pen, the London Eye, and Tower Bridge. Perhaps you’ll take a guided tour, or maybe you’ll take the tube and discover this incredible for yourself.

2. The museums house some of the most important exhibits in the world. Whether you go to the National History Museum, the Imperial War Museum, the British Museum, the London transport Museum or the Science Museum, you’ll have an amazing time, and learn a lot about the past.

3. Unsurprisingly, there are many art galleries to visit in London. No matter whether you prefer traditional styles of art, or more modern art, by the grand masters or by newer artists, you’ll see priceless works of art in London. Why not try the National Gallery, the Tate, the Portrait Gallery, or the Saatchi Gallery, and see what styles of art you like.

4. London is known as one of the shopping capitals of the world. With it’s incredible range of shops, ranging from high street stores to designer boutiques, you’ll find all you need and more here. Why not visit Harrods or some of the other famous flagship stores while you’re here?

5. As one of the fashion capitals of the world, London is well known for its cutting edge designs and stylish people. If you want to be at the forefront of fashion, and stay one step ahead of the crowd, then why not see what colours and materials the fashion shows and local designers are using?

6. As well as the galleries and museums, other areas of popular culture are important and popular in London. If you’re a music lover, then you’ll love the wide variety of venues, ranging from the 02 for large concerts to much smaller pub venues, for lesser known musicians. In addition, the nightlife and clubs in London, are some of the best you’ll experience anywhere in the world. You’ll also want to take in a play at one of the theatres, and enjoy the nightlife that London is well renowned for.

7. Perhaps you’ll also make the time to go to a football match at one of the London Premiership Clubs, or cricket at Lords or the Oval. You might want to see what other sporting events are on when you visit.

8. If you’re keen on the city, then perhaps you’ll want to live here. With so many cultures and areas to live in, it’s an exciting place, and there’s always plenty to do. Perhaps you’ll want to live right in the centre, or maybe further afield will be better for you.

9. Many of the leading businesses are based in London, or have offices here. If you’re looking for a new job, or want to progress your career then perhaps you’ll want to come to London and see if you can find your perfect job.

10. Because of its excellent universities, and links to world class businesses and other employers, many people choose to study in London. Whether you’re an undergraduate looking for a London University, or looking to further your career with a postgraduate course or MBA, London really is the place to be.

Now you know more about London, and what there is to see and do here, why not book your trip, and see why so many people visit London every year?

London – A City With a Colourful Past

London is really two cities in one. The City of London pretty much retains its mediaeval square mile boundary, but London is also the name given to the greater metropolitan area that surrounds the City of London. The bulk of this wider area is governed by the elected Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

London has a lot of history and it can be traced back at least a couple of thousand years to the time when the Romans called it Londinium and settled the area in 43 AD. The early years of London were turbulent times but at the peak of Roman rule in the late 2nd century London had around 60000 inhabitants.

However, after the collapse of Roman rule in the 5th century, London was pretty much abandoned and another settlement not far away near what is now Covent Garden came in to being. This was the time of Anglo-Saxon rule and at that time the place was called Lundenwic. This new London was constantly falling under attack from the Vikings and in the 9th century the city was moved once more to the original Roman location of Londinium as this area was easier to fortify. This however, did not stop the viking attacks until Alfred the Great recaptured the city in 886 AD and made peace with the Danes. At this time the name of Lundewic was changed to Ealdwic, which means old city. The name still survives to this day as Aldwich which is in the City of Westminster.

Following the 10th century unification of England, the City of Westminster became more and more important as a trading and political centre. London was already the country’s largest city but Winchester also remained important as up until this time it had been the capital Wessex. However, after Edward the Confessor rebuilt

Westminster Abbey in the 11th century, London became a much more important royal residence and after the successful invasion of England in 1066, the new king, William of Normandy was crowned there. Royal coronations have taken place in Westminster Abbey ever since.

To celebrate his victory, and possibly also to intimidate the local population, William ordered the building of the Tower of London, which was one of many new and rebuilt stone castles built by him. In 1097, William II ordered the building of Westminster Hall, close by Westminster Abbey. Westminster Hall was to become the basis of the new Palace of Westminster. This was important, because up until now, the government of the country used to travel around and accompany the King wherever he happened to be. This became increasingly difficult to achieve due to its increase in both size and sophistication. Consequently, a permanent seat of power was required and so it was that the City of Westminster became the seat of government while a little further down the river, the City of London continued to flourish as England’s largest city and its centre of trade and commerce. Now that things had settled down somewhat, the population of London exploded. In 1100 AD the population of London was around 18000. By 1300 this had increased to 100,000. Having said that, London suffered a set back due to the Black Death in the middle of the 14th century when she lost nearly a third of her population.

By 1605 though, London had more than recovered to a population of around 225,000. This mainly due to the fact that during Tudor times and the time of the reformation, London was undergoing a change. Ownership of land was passing more and more into the hands of private individuals rather than the church and this kickstarted the creation of trading companies and other organisations that started to leverage London’s position is a North Sea trading port in order to expand influence into the New World and beyond. This led to an influx of migrants from the rest of England as well as from overseas.

During the time of the Tudors, William Shakespeare and others lived in a London that was still relatively small in land area. The Tudor period ended in 1603 and the city managed to move past the attempted assassination of King James I in 1605 by Guy Fawkes and the famous gunpowder plotters. However, two events came along in the 17th century that were not that easy to move past. The first was the great plague of London which took place between 1665 and 1666 and claimed the lives of an estimated 100,000 inhabitants, which by that time represented around a fifth of the population. The second was the great fire of 1666 which although it didn’t cause loss of life, it did cause the loss of a significant portion of the buildings in London. The rebuild took ten years to accomplish, but saw such marvels as St. Paul’s Cathedral to be built. Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpiece was completed in 1708. This was a time for expansion as new bridges were constructed over the River Thames which allowed the development of South London. A new area called Mayfair also appeared to the West. This also encouraged the port of London downstream which allowed for trade and commerce to increase even more.

Another famous landmark gained in importance when in 1762 King George III acquired Buckingham House and over the next 75 years it was expanded and enlarged to become the Buckingham Palace that we know today.

The first professional police force, known as the Bow Street Runners was established in 1750 in order to cope with rising amounts of crime associated with the unprecedented population surge. In 1700 the population was around 550,000. By 1750 this rose to 700,000. By 1801, the population of London stood at 959,300 and the London as we know it today, with a population of over 7.5 million was well on its way.

Planning a Trip to London

I have been to London many times but still I feel like I haven’t seen it all. It has its own beauty that always hypnotizes me.

London has four airports – Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton and London city airport. Heathrow is the largest and one of the busiest airports in the world. The easiest way to reach central London from Heathrow is the tube (underground rail service). You can either buy your ticket from the self service ticket machine which is very simple easy to use or can buy it from the counter. Tube is the most important public transport in London and approximately 1 million people make their journey by tube every day and it is the most convenient and fastest way to travel in London.

Being one of the most famous tourist destinations, London provides a wide selection of hotels, luxury accommodations, hostels, guest houses and service apartments to suit every pocket. London is a very expensive city so if you are a budget traveler then book hostels as they are low cost and tidy and if you are planning to stay in London for few months then look for shared accommodations. They normally cost you around 135 – 150 per week depending on the type of accommodation and the location. I would suggest that you should look for accommodation in the outskirts of London as the accommodation cost in central London is very high

Things to do in London

Visit London Theater – There are lots of theaters in London and majority of these theaters are situated in Covent Garden which is in Central London and the nearest tube stations are Covent Garden, Leicester Square and Holborn. Street performers perform in Covent Garden market on a regular basis and it is the only area in London where street performance is allowed. There are a wide variety of pubs and restaurants here to cater to every taste and occasion.

Visit Westminster Abbey – It is a Gothic church in Westminster and one of the most famous tourist destination of London. It is on the west to the Palace of Westminster (House of Parliament). Around 1 million people from all over the world come to Westminster Abbey every year. Travelers can see the stunning medieval architecture inside the church as well as they can see hundreds of years old paintings, stained glass and textiles.

Take a ride on London Eye – London Eye is a giant wheel that carries 32 sealed egg-shaped passenger capsules and one full rotation takes about 30 minutes. On a clear day you can view nearly 40km from the top as far as Windsor Castle where Queen lives. To take a ride on the London Eye visitors need to purchase tickets. It is recommended to buy the “fast track tickets” online; even if a bit more expensive because they’ll help you to avoid large queues. Tourists can also buy regular entrances from the nearby counter.

Enjoy a river cruise – Thames river cruise is very one of the most important attraction among the travelers. As Thames flow through the heart of the city so visitors would be able to enjoy all the iconic structures, like – Tower Bridge, London Eye, Parliament House and others. You won’t have to stay hungry during the tour as snacks and drinks are available inside the boat.

Taste the local foods – Before going for your sightseeing journey have a full English breakfast which comprises – Baked Beans, Hash Brown, Toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and roasted tomatoes. For lunch go for traditional English food like Fish & Chips, Sausage and mashed potato in gravy, pie, patties, sandwich etc and for dinner you can go Thai cuisines like Thai Green Chicken curry, Thai Red Chicken curry, Prawn tom yam with coconut milk etc. There are many Thai restaurants in London.

Tour National History Museum – Natural History Museum has one of the largest accumulations of natural history-related artifacts in the world. The Natural History Museum is divided into four zones – Red, Green, Blue and Orange. The Dinosaur gallery is the most famous section in the museum as it contains a giant moving model of T. rex, horned Triceratops and fossilized skin of Edmontosaurus. The entry to the museum is free and it is open every day from 10:00 – 17:50 except 24-26 December. The last admission is at 17:30. Before entering the museum, visitor’s belongings are searched and it is advisable, not to carry any sharp objects like scissors, knives, forks etc as they may be taken away.

Visit Tower Bridge – Tower Bridge is the most recognized landmark of London. Tower Bridge exhibition is located in the north-west tower allowing entrance to high level walkway between the two towers and then down to south tower into the engine room. The Victorian engine room earlier used to raise and lower the bridge for ships to go through. It has been maintained beautifully and tourists can watch the immaculate chambers that are spacious and comfortable.

Take a tour of Madame Tussaud’s – It is an internationally famous wax museum that contains wax models of famous people from all over the world. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in London and it receives 2.7 million visitors annually. Madame Tussauds is open every day except for 25th December. It opens from 9:00 every morning but the closing time varies depending upon the season.

The best time to go to London is the summer season when temperature varies from 18 c – 27 c and sunlight remains till 10 o’clock at night and sunrises at 4 o’clock in the morning.

Sujata Ghosh writes travel guides. Lately she is writing about London city hotel. She has just found a great selection of cheap central London hotels for his next trip