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Travelling to London

Cheap Travel to London
Best time to travel to London
Why go to London?

How to travel to London cheaply?

Flying to London

London Heathrow airport is located about 22km (14 miles) west of Central London. The Heathrow Express offers the fastest connection to London Paddington. The London Underground is also available from the airport, and the Piccadilly Line takes about 1 hour to get you to and from the city centre. National Express also has coaches departing from Heathrow Airport to London Victoria station in central London.

From Gatwick Airport the Gatwick Express train offers a direct service between to London Victoria. Thameslink and Southern also run regional train services to London Bridge, London Victoria and Clapham Junction. National Express offer a coach service from the airport to London Victoria that takes around 1.5 hours.

Stansted is located 48 km (30 miles) northeast of Central London in Essex. The Stansted Express offers the quickest journey to central London, calling at Stratford and Liverpool Street Station. National Express runs a coach service from Stansted to both Stratford and Liverpool Street Station as well.

Taking the train to London

London Euston serves as a central London hub with its connections by bus, coach, underground, overground and national rail services. The London Underground Circle Line, Hammersmith & City Line, Victoria Line, Metropolitan Line and both branches of the Northern Line (Charing Cross and Bank) stop at Euston station. The London Overground to Watford Junction also stops here.

Getting the bus to London

Main rail providers for Paddington station are First Great Western, Chiltern, Heathrow Express, and Heathrow Connect. Paddington is located in Zone 1 of London, making it very central and easy to get to. It is connected to the London Underground on the Bakerloo Line, Hammersmith & City Line, Circle Line and the District Line. Many bus routes also pass by the station.

The London Victoria Coach Station is the largest coach station in London and was opened near Victoria Station and Buckingham Palace in 1932. The station serves long distance coach journeys (both domestic and international). Major bus providers found at the station are National Express, Eurolines, Ecolines, iDBUS, Megabus, Evan Evans, David Urquhart, Interbus Kosice, Premium Tours, and Sindbad. The coach station is adjacent to Victoria Station and Victoria Bus Station (approximately 300 metres away), providing transport connections via London Buses, National Rail, and the London Underground Victoria Line, District Line and Circle Line.

When is the best time to visit London?

When is the best time of year to visit London?

The best time of year to visit London is usually in the late summer or early autumn (August to October) as the tourist season dies down but the weather is still mild.

When is the cheapest time to visit London?

The cheapest time to visit London is between January and March, the most expensive time is July.

What’s the weather in London like?

Summer is especially pleasant with highs often climbing into the 30s. In the springtime it can be very wet in London, winter can be cold with some snow, but this adds to the atmosphere and is a nice place to spend Christmas.

Top things to do in London

You could spend months in London and still not see everything there is to see. If you're a first-time visitor then make sure to see Buckingham Palace or check out some of London's best museums. If you're looking for something a little different head to one of the pie & mash shops in the east of the city for something a little more local. Here are some more great things to do in London during your visit:


Broadway Market, in London's east end, is the closest you're going to get to the traditional cockney wheeler and dealers of London! Although in recent years the hoards of hipsters have taken over, you'll still find stands that have been there since the 70s. It's also close to Regents canal which is great for a stroll in the sun and people watching.


Somerset House is a multi-purpose art gallery with everything from a posh restaurant to an outdoor cafe to a grand water fountain on the grounds. Aside from hosting some of the finest pieces of art in the UK, Somerset House also hosts numerous seasonal events including open air cinemas in the summer & an ice rink in the winter.


It may not be London's most beautiful park, but the atmosphere and surrounding areas of London Fields more than make up for this. London Fields is perfect for those who want a relaxing day with the family or a picnic with friends. It's also within the vicinity of loads of great old man pubs around Broadway Market.

Getting Around London

London has one of the oldest, most extensive and famous public transport systems in the world. Transport for London (TfL) oversees the London Underground, London Overground, London Buses, Dockland Light Rail, and London Rail. The network is an essential way to get around, there are 9 zones in total, with buses, tubes, overground, DLR and national rail services connecting the entire Greater London area.

Cycling is growing in popularity and while in London you will see hundreds of cyclists, but it still can be dangerous due to all the traffic. High visibility gear and wearing a helmet is always recommended.

Taxis are very common and are an iconic part of London. The infamous black cabs can be hailed if their light on top is light up. Black cabbies are some of the most knowledgeable when it comes to the streets of London, as they have to take a qualification exam about all the streets and routes across the capital in order to be licensed.

Walking is an essential and fun way to explore the capital, and there are many sidewalks and parks to walk through - but always be careful when crossing busy streets as crossing lights change quickly and most cars do not give pedestrians the right of way.

Ways to do a Day Trip to London

Squeezing London in one day can sometimes end in tears. It is a sprawling, many-faced kraken that will boggle your brain if you don’t have a plan. Don’t worry – we have five days out in London all taken care of. A little word of thanks, and a stamp of authenticity: all of the above tips were extracted from close friends of mine, and astoundingly, no one told me the same insider tip. So if you want to live it up like a Londoner, here are some refreshingly local tips for days out in London.

Foodie Heaven & Film Night

Start your day out in London at Brixton or Borough market. Both are labyrinths of arcades. Only in London could you feel entitled to see Japanese and Ethiopian food under the same roof. If you haven’t exploded from overeating, make your way up to the river. The mammoth (and free!) Tate Modern gallery or the hyper-contemporary Southbank Centre are ideal for whiling away the hours immersed in art.

Days Out in London tate modern

In the evening, you can stand for £5 in the stalls of the Globe itself, just metres from the Tate Modern, you don’t even have to leave the Southbank Centre to go to a concert. Cross the road and see a masterpiece at the National Theatre. Or – my favourite – see a timeless classic or cult ripple-maker at the British Film Institute.

If you like it old-school, Greenwich market is for you; browse dazzling antiques whilst munching on a pastry. Down the road is Cutty Sark, the only surviving tea clipper and the fastest of its peers. You can actually walk under its suspended thousand-tonne girth and touch the planks whilst dreaming of all the tea it carried. Did someone say tea? Have some in the middle of a farm. Yes, a farm in the shadow of Canary Wharf, with pigs, sheep, and the happiest name ever: Mudchute Farm!

Days Out in London camden market

If you ever want to leave Camden, there are two choices: the stunning Regent’s Park for nice weather and open-air shows, or the Wellcome Collection, which takes an artsy microscope to the human body and mind – you can also see royal hair locks or Napolean’s toothbrush. End this weird and wonderful day trip to London with live modern music under the stunning arches of Union Chapel.

Days Out in London regents park london

Get your caffeine and social justice fix in one cup at the Department of Coffee and Social Affairs, then head to the John Soane Museum to admire his private art collection, or maybe just how much stuff a human being with funds and passion can amass. Or for a walk down memory lane Victorian-style, peek into Pollock’s Toy Museum.

Days Out in London China Town

For refuelling, the Fleet River Bakery is just steps from the Soane. For the evening, there’s the inexhaustible fountain of yummy, authentic, and cheap food, Chinatown. End your day trip to London at Bourne & Hollingsworth, a 40’s cellar bar in Soho which serves cocktails in tea cups.

Stations

Important Stations and Airports for this Journey

London
London-City
Amenities
Refreshments
Wifi
WC

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the airport and what is the best way to get there?
Public transportation is available through the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) which connects the airport to the London Underground.

About London

London is the capital of the United Kingdom and with roughly 8.9 million inhabitants, it's one of Europe's most densely populated cities. People from all over the world travel to London to experience its rich culture and exciting nightlife, and to catch a glimpse of the Royal Family's residence at Buckingham Palace. travellers can pay a visit to the iconic Big Ben on the banks of the River Thames, hear the horrors of the Tower of London, and take a spin on the London Eye.

Walking Around in London

One of the world's largest capitals, London, can be a daunting prospect for a complete exploration on foot, even for the fittest visitor. The city is broken down into distinctive districts, which are central areas rich in sightseeing potential. An ideal starting point would be the capital's oldest quarter, the City of London, where the original  Roman and medieval lanes can still be discovered in the heart of one of the world's great financial districts. Striking examples of innovative 21st century architecture, like the Shard, dominate a skyline once ruled by the Tower of London, the capital's medieval castle still guarded by Beefeaters in their heraldic uniforms. Alternative walks include a Thames stroll, encompassing the South Bank and the contrasting theaters of Shakespeare's Globe, with its beams and thatched roof, and the National, a classic example of 1970s brutalist design. On the other side of the river, the Palace of Westminster and Whitehall offer the chance to see the buildings at the heart of the British government. The gondolas of the London Eye on the South Bank provide panoramic views over the city - the ideal vantage point for planning the location of your next London walk.  

Coffee Shops in London

London's coffee culture has long been supported by leading coffee roasters such as Square Mile and Workshop Coffee. Over time, more roasters including Dark Arts and Alchemy have emerged to help anchor this growing trend, especially with the emergence of numerous third-wave coffee shops in the city. Modern coffee shops such as the Alchemy, Store Street Espresso and Iris & June in London have fast and free WiFi that is accessible to customers. The coffee shops double up as a great place to work from for customers. The Alchemy is a favorite among Londoners for its delicious flat whites and cold brew coffee. Coffee lovers who make their way to Iris & June should try their Sandows Cold Brew and expansive lunch menu. Store Street Espresso is famed for its friendly and efficient staff, unique décor, sandwiches and toasted banana bread. With its location inside St. Mary Aldermary church, the Host coffee shop stands out from all others. It has the perfect ambiance and it's conveniently located at the heart of the city. A stop at the 130 year old Algerian Coffee Stores in Soho is a must-do for their legendary caffeine fix!

Eating in London

London's restaurant scene is diverse, with casual dining chains, curry houses, sustainable eateries where seasonality is king, farmer's markets, gastropubs, and upscale options that include 67 Michelin-starred standouts. And there should be great food at almost any price point. If visitors want a classically English meal, fish and chips is a great starting point, and there are a few pie and mash shops dotted across the capital as well. But London is a place where culinary change is constant, so the dishes on offer will always be in flux. Street food is increasingly popular, with venues like Camden Market, the South Bank, and Borough Market offering global cuisines. And London is also Happy Cow's number one vegan dining city in the world. So if visitors are keen to find vegan pizzas or meatless sushi, they are in the right place. Even so, carnivores won't feel neglected. From bulky Argentine steaks to gourmet hot dogs, London's chefs work wonders with meat. Overall, the UK capital is a meeting point for global styles, a place where visitors can find almost anything edible, cooked to a very high standard. Whether they want scorching curries or veggie feasts, travellers rarely leave disappointed with the capital's cuisine.

Public Transport in London

The world's oldest underground railway, the London Underground or popularly known as the Tube, is still the easiest way of getting around central London. There are 11 different lines on the 250 mile network, each with a name and color code. First-time visitors may be a little baffled about how to negotiate the complex network, but the classic schematic color map of the Underground is fairly simple. It offers a quick guide to routes, stations and where to change trains. The system is divided into zones, with ticket prices adjusted for distance traveled. Most central locations are within zones 1 and 2. Londoners tend to use prepaid Oyster cards, which are simply tapped to the barrier gates at stations for entry. Visitors can buy these or individual tickets, and can use contactless credit and debit cards at the same barriers. London transport is integrated, so Oyster cards can also be used on the famous red London buses. Thanks to London traffic, buses are slower than the Tube, but arrive frequently, are perfect for sightseeing, and also include night services which run after the Underground has stopped. For exhilarating, fast transport in central London, River Buses are fast ferries offering connections along the Thames between Putney and Woolwich.

Best Time to Visit London

The city of London welcomes millions of tourists each year, and the majority of people will visit in the warm summer months or in late spring. There are plenty of outdoor events taking place in London during the summer such as London Pride or the Notting Hill Carnival. Fans of the British Royal Family should time their visit to the summer for a high chance of seeing the royals at the Trooping the Colour which celebrates the Queen's birthday. The summer temperatures in London are moderate so bring a jacket for the evenings and an umbrella for the occasional rain shower. Christmas is also a good time to visit London as the whole city is filled with festive lights and Christmas markets. Fans of Harry Potter can visit Hogwarts in the snow at the Warner Brothers Studio Tour. Get into the festive spirit at the famous Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. Those wanting to avoid the crowds may want to visit between September and November. The temperatures are cooler and visitors will need to bring layers of clothing to keep warm. September is London's Fashion Week which brings top designers from around the world to the city.

What is the cheapest way to get to London?

The cheapest way to reach London from elsewhere in the United Kingdom is by bus; this is also frequently the cheapest way to reach the city from Paris and Brussels. However, if travellers want to reach London from further afield then flying is probably their cheapest option, and it's very easy to secure a great deal in advance of departure. London has several airports connected to cities worldwide, so there's always a way to reach this cultural hotspot.

How can I travel to London by bus?

Buses from across the country and international destinations arrive at London Victoria coach station. Providers including FlixBus, BlaBlaBus and National Express all offer services departing from here. London Victoria coach station is in close proximity to the city centre and is only 1.2 miles away. Buses depart 24 hours a day to national and international destinations, with a reduced service during the night hours.

How can I travel to London by train?

London has several train stations which connect the city with the rest of the United Kingdom, all of which are either within the city centre or easily accessible via the London Underground. King's Cross connects to southwest England and London's airports; trains to the North of England depart from Euston Station; trains to southeast England and Gatwick airport depart from London Victoria. Other major train stations with departures to big UK cities include Paddington Station, Liverpool Street Station, London Bridge, Marylebone, and Waterloo Station. Trains depart from approximately 05:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. each day. St. Pancras connects to international destinations through the Eurostar, including stations in France, Brussels, and the Netherlands, so if you're traveling from mainland Europe this will be their destination.

How can I travel to London by plane?

London is served by 3 large international airports: London Gatwick, London Heathrow, and London Stansted Airport. Gatwick is 27.1 miles outside of the city centre. The city can be reached in 30 minutes via the Gatwick Express train service which departs at London Victoria station. London Heathrow airport is 17 miles outside of London city centre and is the closest to the city centre of the three. The train to London via Paddington Station only takes 23 minutes. London Stansted is the furthest airport from London city centre. It's 38.6 miles outside of London city centre. It is a 50-minute train journey from the airport to Liverpool Street Station. These airports can be reached from a variety of destinations through operators like Eurowings, British Airways, Ryanair, easyJet, Turkish Airlines and more.

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