Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Introduction


London Bridge

You have thought of visiting London for the next bank holiday or long weekend. This blog intends to help you plan your visit and to give you some advice on what you can do and see there.

In London there are many well-known landmarks and in this blog you will find some of them. Actually, these are some of the places you are interested in visiting during your stay in London.

Can you pronounce London correctly? If not, click on it.

Flying to London


In London there five airports. Click on them if you are not sure about their pronunciation:

·         Gatwick
·         Heathrow
·         London City
·         Luton
·         Stansted

Decide which aiport you want to flight to, taking into account:

  • The distance to the city centre.
  • How easy it is to get to the city centre using public transport.
  • The airlines that fly to each airport.
  • The airport from which it is cheapest and fastest to get to the city centre.
  • Other aspects which you may consider relevant.
         For example,
        • Which is the newest.
        • The least busy.
        • The smallest.
        • The easiest to get around.
        • Etc.
You might find the following links useful:

Public transport in London

When you are in London, the best way to get around is either walking or using public transport. Among public transport, the most popular modes of transport in London are the underground - or the tube, as it is commonly known -, the bus and the taxi or cab.

Therefore, it is important that you become familiar with them so as to use the most suitable one on each occasion.

The underground


The London Underground is the oldest underground railway in the world. The Underground serves 270 stations  and has 402 kilometres of track, making it the second largest metro system in the world in terms of route miles, after the Shanghai Metro. It also has one of the largest numbers of stations.

Learn more about travelling by underground at:


Buses

Double-decker bus
London Buses is the subsidiary of Transport for London that manages bus services within Greater London. Buses are required to carry similar red colour schemes and conform to the same fare scheme. All services are provided by private sector operators.

Buses in the London Buses network accept both Travelcards and Oyster card products including bus passes, as well as single cash fares. Cash fares used to be charged in relation to length of journey, but are now charged as single flat fares (Flat, entry 2) for any length of journey. Cash fares are considerably higher than Oyster fares for the same journey.

Check out:


Cabs or Taxis


A hackney or hackney carriage (also called a cab, black cab, hack or London taxi) is a carriage or automobile (pronunciation) for hire.

In the United Kingdom, the name hackney carriage refers to a taxicab licensed by the Public Carriage Office in Greater London or by the local authority in other parts of Great Britain, or by the Department of the Environment in Northern Ireland.

Motorised hackney cabs in the UK, traditionally all black in London and most major cities, are traditionally known as black cabs, although they are now produced in a variety of colours.

For further information: Wikipedia

You will find this information useful if you decide to travel by taxi:


With all the information you have gathered, decide how you will prefer to get around during your stay in London.

London Eye




It is situated on the banks of the River Thames (pronunciation). It is the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe, and the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom, visited by over 3.5 million people every year.

For further information: Wikipedia

How can you get to London Eye?

Check out its website and decide on how you will get there:

London Eye. Visitor Information

St Paul's Cathedral


St Paul's Cathedral is an Anglican cathedral dedicated to Paul the Apostle. It is situated at the highest point in the City of London. The present building dates from the 17th century and was designed by Sir Christopher Wren. It is one of London's most famous and most recognisable sights.

Important services held at St Paul's include the funerals of Lord Nelson, and Sir Winston Churchill. The British Royal Family holds most of its important marriages, christenings and funerals at Westminster Abbey, but St Paul's was used for the marriage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. St Paul's Cathedral is still a busy working church, with hourly prayer and daily services

For further information: Wikipedia

Supposing you want to bring a souvenir home for your family, what would you like to buy?

Decide it after visiting the shop at St Paul's cathedral online:

Tate Modern



Tate Modern is a modern art gallery located in London. It is Britain's national gallery of international modern art and forms part of the Tate group (together with Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool, Tate St Ives and Tate Online). It is the most-visited modern art gallery in the world. It is situated in the former Bankside Power Station, in the Bankside area of Central London.

For further information: Wikipedia

As you can easily imagine, Tate modern is a huge art gallery. Therefore it is advisable to plan your visit beforehand so as to make the most of it.

What would you like to do and see?

Decide it after learning about various options.

Covent Garden


Covent Garden is famous for its shops, street performers, bars, restaurants, theatres and the Royal Opera House. Covent Garden is an Italian-style piazza packed with restaurants, bars and fashionable boutiques. Surrounded by Theatreland, in the heart of London's West End, the area is recognised as the capital's premier entertainment and leisure destination.

For further information: Wikipedia.

Once in Covent Garden you feel like having a bite to eat, but you do not know where to go. Why not choose what suits you best?. You might get some help from:

Piccadilly Circus



As there are several of you, each one wants to visit different places. You can split for some time and then meet at Piccadilly Circus (pronunciation) where you can take a photo of all of you.

Watch this video and decide on what the meeting point will be:

The Big Ben and The Houses of Parliament



The name Big Ben actually refers to the clock's hour bell, the largest of the clock's five bells, the others being used as quarter bells.

The clock was the largest in the world and is still the largest in Great Britain. It is known for its reliability, since it has rarely failed during its long life span. The tower was constructed between 1843 and 1858 as the clock tower of the Palace of Westminster, now better known as the Houses of Parliament.

For further information: Wikipedia.

Do you think it is allowed to visit the Houses of Parliament and the Big Ben?

Find out at:


Would you like to visit them?

Shopping in Oxford Street

Oxford Street on a busy day

Oxford Street is a shopper's paradise. It is one and a half miles from end to end. Most shops open 10am until 6 or 7pm. Many also open on Sunday from 12 to 6pm with late nights on Thursday. Oxford Street is best known for Selfridges and the other big department stores which are all found in the section from Marble Arch to Oxford Circus, along with most of the big-name multinationals. It is more of the same towards Tottenham Court Road, but generally on a smaller scale. Oxford Street is said to be the busiest shopping street in Europe.

To learn more about it:


Once you have more information about what you can find and buy in Oxford Street, decide on the most likely shops and stores where you can find:

  • Designer clothes.
  • The cheapest clothes.
  • The trendiest clothes.
  • The type of clothes you like.

Shopping in Harrods


Now you would like to go shopping in London’s most famous department store – Harrods.

It is one of the world's most famous department stores, established in 1849 as a humble grocery store employing two assistants. Today, it offers everything from food to fashion, furniture to sportswear plus 20 in-store restaurants serving every kind of cuisine imaginable from pizza to sushi. Services range from piano tuning to fitting saddles. Must-see sights include the Food Halls, the Egyptian Hall and the Pet Department. At night the store is illuminated by 11,500 light bulbs.

For further information: Wikipedia.

But when can you shop in Harrods?

Is it open on Sundays and Bank Holidays?

Find out at:

Visiting the Store at Harrods London

Then decide when you prefer going shopping in Harrods.

Camden Town

 

Maybe you do not what to spend so much money, or you are looking for something absolutely different from what Harrods offers. Then Camden Town Market might be the right place to find it.

Camden Lock Market, by the canal, was the original craft market, established in 1974, but now has a much wider spectrum of goods on sale. Both this and the ever popular Camden Stables Market - centre of the alternative fashion scene, Camden (Buck Street) Market, the recently improved Camden Lock Village and Inverness Street Market - are all open every day, making the area well worth a mid-week visit. But it is at the weekend that the market scene jumps fully into life with all stalls and shops at the markets fully trading. The indoor fashion market at the Electric Ballroom opens on Sunday only.

For further information: Wikipedia.

How can you get there? Plan your journey at:

Leicester Square and the West End


Before you finish your stay in London, you cannot miss visiting London's West End, and particularly Leicester Square. Beware of the tricky pronunciation of Leicester.

In London's West End you can watch a film at one of the numerous cinemas, see a musical, have a drink, go clubbing, or all of them if you want.

What do you want to do to relax after a hectic day in London? Have a look and decide for yourself:


What Londoners recommend

Just to make sure you do not forget anything, watch this video so as not to miss the most important sights during your visit to London

Plan the rest of your stay in London



You still have some spare time to do and see more things in London. Decide what you would like to do and visit before you leave London. You might like to go to some of the places you saw in the video.

These websites will help you: