As I plan yet another trip to London I realise that I know quite a few travel tips which may be useful to share with you all. Here are just a few of the important things I think you should consider.
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Travelling to and From London
Obviously it depends on where you live as to which is the best way to travel to and from London. Also it depends on the time of day, how soon you need to get there, where in London you want to get to but most importantly how much you want to pay!
For me the answer is usually National Express. Unlike the train I am guaranteed a seat without the cost of reserving one. There is the option to reserve a seat at an extra cost but if I don’t I will not end up standing for the whole journey! You can take luggage (and even a bike) which is stored under the coach, so you can fall asleep knowing all your things are safe!
However, you cannot drink alcohol, and you may need to travel further once you reach London to get to your destination. Plus it isn’t always as fast or as comfortable and sometimes the toilet can be a bit smelly. Also you are more likely to encounter problems with traffic.
Other Options for Travelling to and From London
A taxi is a more direct route, but again there’s the traffic and obviously a lot more expensive. Trains are fast, you can drink, but unless you book your seat you can end up standing up. With the recent train strikes these aren’t a reliable option lately either!
Alternatively, depending on where you live you may be able to fly in. Again there’s plenty of National Express coaches from the airports to take you to different parts of London.
Or just maybe you even live close enough, or are fit enough, to walk or cycle in!
Plan What you Want to do in London
There is just so much to do in London but why waste your time thinking about what you want to do when you arrive! Plus some attractions will need booking up (such as Monopoly Lifesized).
By planning you will fit more in and make sure you do not miss out. For example there are many free museums but because we did not plan our time last time we went we were unable to go in because we had our luggage with us! Apparently there are places to lock it up in the train stations but we just changed our plans.
It might just be as simple as knowing what attractions are in the area. Or if there are lots of things you wish to visit which ones are closest to each other. Again this also includes how you want to get around. There’s again so many options – hire a bike, take the tube, take a tour bus or boat, normal buses and trains or even walk!
This may also be determined by how long you are staying in London, and if you have a hotel room or other accommodation. Then you can leave things there and decide how far away from it you are travelling. Rarely do you need to be in a certain place or central London because the transport is so good.
Finally factor in how busy it might be. Buckingham Palace will be busier during Changing of the Guard for instance. Or when there are road closures like during the London Marathon.
Toilets in London
Things are changing but you used to have to pay for the toilet in most places in London. Nipping into McDonalds or the Royal Parks used to be the only way you could pee for free. Now I know London Victoria train station has free toilets. Either way maybe plan some toilet breaks on your route. The parks are also very beautiful and great for children.
Walking around London
When walking around London you get to see so much. Plus there’s plenty of maps everywhere! Don’t be fooled though some of it can take ages to get from A to B resulting in you being on your feet a long time. Make sure you are prepared for the weather and have something decent on your feet!
The same goes for eating in London – there are many places to eat, so you will not go hungry. But there’s also some pretty amazing places and you might be better to ensure you have booked. Or at least know what and where they are! We recently discovered Dishoom, but other favourites are Planet Hollywood and The Rainforest Cafe.
Thank you to Lighthouse Clothing for gifting me some socks and a coat for our next trip to London to ensure we are prepared for the British weather.