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Visiting London

What to expect         London Tourist Attractions         London Night Life

Visiting England for the first time can be a bit overwhelming. Just as in arriving in any new place, language difficulty is usually the biggest factor for non English speakers but other things may combine to make you feel overwhelmed.  The trick is to be flexible and adaptable and keep your sense of humor at all times! The British weather is well known for being unpredictable, so visitors should come prepared!  There are four distinct seasons, although these may vary in different regions of the UK, where, for example, the mildest weather tends to be on the south coast.  November to February can be cold, and jumpers, warm coats and boots are advisable, as is a raincoat and an umbrella. The south does not see a lot of snow, whereas the north and Scotland are more likely to have heavy snow falls in winter.

Arriving into London is usually via Heathrow airport, Gatwick airport, London city airport or Luton airport. The euro star also terminates at kings cross on its journey from continental Europe. Once your journey is planned and ticket for air travel is secured it is advisable to make arrangements for ground travel to your hotel or place residence. This is easily achieved be pre- booking with reputable ground transfer organizations such as www.mottolines.com  and other such services dully registered and regulated by transport for London. It is essential that you give the correct post code information when booking your transfer. This ensures that a London taxi will take you to your destination hassle free.

The lounge and rooms of most London and United Kingdom accommodation are usually well insulated and have heating systems, so the cold is not always very noticeable indoors. Warm clothing is an absolute necessity for the outdoors in the colder months.

In spring and autumn there are many bright, sunny days, but the evenings can be cool.  Summertime in the London is usually extremely pleasant, although possibly shorter and less reliable than in many other parts of the world.  Visitors to Britain between June and September would be advised to bring light clothes and footwear.

 Britain used to be famous for fish and chips. Nowadays, with the influence of modern, cosmopolitan life, there are many different styles of cooking!  Each town has a variety of international restaurants and exotic food products are widely available. This adds variety to your experience while at the same time creating that feeling of being at home while away from home.

The traditional English breakfast of bacon and eggs is still popular but it is now common for people to have a lighter breakfast of cereal and toast.  Lunch is generally “on-the-run” and is usually a light meal such as soup or a sandwich. Evening dinner is usually served from 18.00.
Generally, it costs more to live in London and the south east of England.  In London you should expect to pay a little more than in other cities, given that it is the capital city.

There is a very extensive rail and coach network around the UK, as well as local bus services within towns and cities and the efficient underground network known as “the tube” in London.But nothing is more suitable for seeing London than a taxi or London minicab .With the driver’s knowledge of the city and its special attractions, most cab journeys in London translate into a mini guided tour of the city.

There are coach services linking all major towns and cities in the UK.  Trains are normally very comfortable and faster than coaches, though more expensive.
Safety and the Law.
Here are a few tips on UK safety and law:

  • Use only licensed taxis with official council plates on the back
  • Put your litter in the bin - dropping rubbish in the street is illegal and ruins the environment
  • Do try to be considerate about noise, especially at night when people are sleeping
  • Don't carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and keep your money hidden away
  • Don't attempt to buy alcohol if you are under 18 - it's against the law in the UK
  • Be careful when sunbathing - use a high sun protection cream and don't stay out in the sun for too long
  • Look both ways before you cross the road - remember that traffic travels on the left in Britain
  • It's polite to form a queue for buses and services
  • Drugs like cannabis and LSD are illegal - the police can stop and search you if they think you are carrying them.

 Prepare for a trip to London.
The steps below should serve as a good guide on how to prepare for your visit to London.
Do a lot of research about London and what it has to offer before heading in this direction. Knowing what's available will help you narrow down your choices of what to see and do. Try travel book on the city itself, like Former’s "Irreverent Guide to London." You will find some major attractions at the bottom is this page.
Make a list of the things you want to accomplish on your trip. Narrowing it down to one or two activities per day is the most rational way to go. This will help you determine how many days you should plan to be in London.
Create your London itinerary, allowing time for travel, a day for jet lag recovery, and some flexibility in case you stumble onto something unexpected along the way.

If you're staying in London for five days or more, purchase an Oyster card at your airport's Tube terminal, ask at the information desk at the airport lounge for directions. Alternatively pre-book the rest of your taxi requirement for  a better experience  at www.mottolines.com . Grab a Tube map as soon as you enter your first Tube station, and if possible purchase an "A-Z Guide to London," which will help you out if you become lost in the city. It is the essential map of greater London, and even locals own one.

Try to book at least the first night's accommodation in advance, as well as you airport transfer from London Heathrow airport, Luton airport, Gatwick airport or London city airport. When booking a taxi request to be met inside the terminal with a name board. Also keep the number of the taxi company handy as you can make calls from most United Kingdom airport lounges to check on your taxi.

English hotels might be different than those you're used to in the States, so book only a night or two, just in case the accommodations aren't up to your standards.

If you plan to go outside London, perhaps to Stonehenge or Oxford, be sure to budget that into your travel expenses. You can take a taxi cab, a train or use the tourist buses that will take you from Central London to your destination.

London Attractions

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