About London

Useful Tips

Explore green London London has more green space than most major capital cities and its parks vary hugely in flavour. Many are away from the centre but are well worth the journey. Of particular note are Hampstead Heath - a large slice of countryside in a hilly part of the city, with some stunning views; Regent's Park - a large formal park in the Victorian tradition near to Baker Street, with an excellent open-air theatre; Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens - a huge open space right in the centre of the West End; Wimbledon Common - wild open countryside perfect for cycling, next to a picture perfect "village"; and the myriad tree-lined squares of Bloomsbury and Finsbury.  

Walk when you can   One of the best things about London is the different flavour of the neighbourhoods and how quickly you can move between areas of very different types - the City and Spitalfields, for example; or Bloomsbury, Mayfair and Soho. If you do all your travelling underground, you miss all that. OK, so London is a very big place, but there are a lot of major attractions you can easily walk between and it will open your eyes.  Do not be tempted to get off at Covent Garden station to visit Covent Garden!  Nearly all the stations within two stops from it are only a ten minute walk away.  Last but not least if you go to visit Camden Town jump off at Chalk Farm, not Camden Town station.

Do not sweep through sights   Many people come to London and spend all of their time rushing from sight to sight without actually seeing anything.  Rather than doing this, take the time to enjoy and get to know this magnificent city. 

Free in London  Some of the best of London doesn’t cost anything at all. The British Museum, Tate galleries, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Science Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum,The National Maritime Museum  and almost every historic church are all completely free.

Mobiles abroad     When coming to the UK, very few travellers consider getting a local SIM card,  since they think it is best and easiest to just use their own SIM card and pay “roaming rates”. Travellers, beware! If you are coming to the UK from anywhere outside the EU, you need to be very cautious when using your mobile phone. Because you will be using your phone outside your operator’s network, you will be charged “roaming rates” and these usually work out to be prohibitively expensive. If you are using your mobile phone in roaming, you will also be heavily charged for receiving calls, sending texts (SMS’s), using data (e.g. 3G services) and receiving voicemail.

Oyster card    if you are planning to use public transport buy an Oyster card as soon as you arrive. Oyster is a plastic smartcard you can use instead of paper tickets. You can put Travel cards, Bus & Tram season tickets and pay as you go credit on it. Oyster is the cheapest way to pay for single journeys on bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground and most National Rail services in London. These smart tickets allow you to hop on and off London's public transport network. It's really easy to travel round London.

Stay Safe  London is a very safe place but you still need to be sensible and look after your belongings. Don't leave your bag unattended anywhere in London, as this can lead to a security alert. Be aware of pickpockets,keep your purse or wallet close to your body and don't carry too much cash. Keep your mobile phone, MP3 player, camera and other gadgets out of sight in your pocket or handbag when not in use. When in bars and restaurants make sure you keep your property out of sight and safely under the table.

Look right or look left   In the UK, cars drive on the left. To ensure you cross roads safely, only use designated crossings, only cross when the green man is showing and take note of the signs indicating "look right" or "look left" to spot any oncoming traffic.