This is the forth and final post of The London Blog Project, and today the theme is advice you’d give people coming to visit / live in London. I’m a born and bred Londoner, so I have definitely picked up some top tips and tricks of the trade for getting the best out of the Capital. (oohh sounds a bit Hunger Games!)
London is an absolutely beautiful city. Even in the pouring rain, the buildings look stunning, the people are well styled and there are iconic landmarks wherever you look, not to mention an amazing variety of street art. If you can walk and the rain’s not pouring down then definitely pound the streets rather than catching the Tube. Often walking will actually be quicker than getting public transport or a taxi too. Traffic in central London is pretty much chockablock round the clock, and don’t be fooled by thinking the Tube map gives accurate distances. Charing Cross is literally 2 minutes walk from Embankment, so you would get there much quicker by walking than you would on the tube.
TOP TIP: London is very well signposted, particularly in the centre of town. Look out for the big black street maps placed strategically around the city – as well as highlighting where you are they also show walking distance to nearby landmarks and places of interest.
|You wouldn’t catch this view on the Tube|
Now this might seem a direct contradiction to my first tip, but hear me out….
London has one of the best travel networks in the world. Wherever you are or need to get to, guaranteed TFL will be able to help you do it. If it is too far to walk (or that dreary London weather really is too much to handle) then always go for public transport over taxis, and make sure you don’t end up paying over the odds for your journey. Whilst I may have featured some fantastic tours in last week’s post Sights and Attractions, the public transport network also let’s you get around and see everything just as well (and at a snip of the cost). As well as the Tube, there are overground trains, the Docklands Light Railway (which some people hate but always makes me think of being at a theme park!), buses, boats and even a cable car! Most of these accept Oyster Card, and even the ones that don’t, like the Thames Clipper boats, do give you a considerable discount if you have an Oyster Card. Oyster is so much cheaper than buying single tickets too. A single tube ride with an Oyster is £2.20 (off peak). Without it is £4.70. If you’re going to / from an airport, there is always a public transport alternative to the overpriced airport express trains. Mainland overground trains can take you into central London much cheaper than the Gatwick Express, and the Piccadilly Tube Line runs all the way down to Heathrow, so these are some much cheaper alternatives to starting / ending your trip.
TOP TIP: If you decide you don’t want t keep hold of your Oyster Card at the end of your trip you can return it to a TFL ticket office for a refund.
|The Emirates Air Line Cable Car, and the Antony Gormley statue it crosses over|
Don’t just stick to the tourist zones, really get out and about and visit new new and lesser known areas. If you’re down for a night out, how about heading to Angel or Shoreditch rather than Leicester Square or Covent Garden? These sorts of areas (in my opinion) reflect the actual life and lifestyle of London far more than the typical tourist traps. You’ll also save money by venturing to more “local” places, bars in Leicester Square charge you ridiculous prices purely for being in the tourist centre of town. Whilst our large museums such as the V and A Museum and Natural History Museum are absolutely incredible (and FREE!) there’s also some wonderful little niche museums and galleries outside of the main museum quarter- such as the Museum of Brands in Notting Hill. Get out and about and make the most of this incredible city!
TOP TIP: Check out my other posts in the series for some lesser known places. I deliberately tried to highlight some lesser known shops / bars / restaurants / sights to give you a real insiders guide 🙂
Here are the links to the other posts in this series:
|The LEGO London Tube Map at St Pancras Station. There’s a lot of London to enjoy!|
Let me know if there’s any specific types of “London” themed posts you’d like me to write in the comments below. (Fingers crossed for food themed ones, so I’ve got an excuse to go out and “research”!)
xx emsypickle xx
I live in Brixton in London. I eat out far too much, am always planning my next trip and have a borderline unhealthy obsession with Harry Potter.