Discovering London Englandadmin
Introducing London, England: The Complete Travel Guide
Last Updated January 20th, 2019
London, the capital of UK and England, is one of the world’s favorite travel destinations. A global city, it has something to offer to every traveler, with a diverse culture that is as rich and as exciting as the many visual delights this city has to offer.
Some call it the world’s Cultural Capital, and others love London because the city has an energetic vibe to it. It’s a great place for exploring history, dining in style, feasting one’s eyes on astounding architectural marvels, shopping and relaxing; its many attractions including National Gallery, The Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and Hyde Park.
Traveling to London can seem intimidating; after all, this city is vast in size as well as scope of sight-seeing enough to be daunting. However, the city has a lot to offer to those who know what to look for, with great scope in fashion, arts, history and architecture.
London has earned a reputation as being a rainy city, and for that reason, the best time to visit is in May-June or September.
While the city is cold and dark in winters, it still offers its off-season travelers a good time, not to mention a more authentic London experience sans the tourists. April to September is peak tourist time as the weather is sunny and inviting, though it brings no relief from occasional rains.
Plan Your Trip: Getting There and Around
One can reach London using airways, buses, railways, euro stars and ferry.
By Plane – London has 5 airports, with the main Heathrow Airport being well connected to all other countries by regular and frequent flights. London City Airport caters to business travelers coming in from USA and Europe, situated just 6 miles of Central London and serviced by Delta Airlines, Cook Airlines, Emirates, Air Atlanta, Air France and other international airlines.
For international travelers getting to London, British Airways is a great option, servicing 83 countries and connecting over 175 cities with London.
By Rail – A green choice, the railways is one of the best ways to travel to London. London Euston Railway Station in Camden is busy with throngs of tourists coming in from Scotland and North Western England, while the Eurostars are a convenient and cost effective mode of travel for passengers coming in from Continental Europe and central London, guaranteeing a hassle free travel.
By coaches – For those looking for frugal means to travel between Europe and London, coaches are the ideal choice. Traveling by these also offers a chance to enjoy the stunning country side views, most reaching the largest station Victoria Coach in the city.
While National Express Coaches easily connect the whole length and breadth of England, covering more than 1200 destinations in its run, Private Coach Companies link to other small towns and cities within Great Britain.
By Ferry – If you love the sea routes, you can reach London by Ferry from East, South as well as South East coasts of England.
Distances in London are large and daunting, and travelers can use a combination of efficient and clean London Tubes, London Buses, Taxis and Local trains to travel across the city without hiring a car. Be cautioned; even if you plan to hire a car, driving in London traffic is not for the weak hearted.
By Tube: Served by 12 tube lines, the Greater London area is well connected by local trains that are fast, efficient and cost effective as a mode of traveling within the city.
Operational from 5am to midnight from Monday to Saturday, these are the best way to see the city and a look at London’s transport map will give you all the information you need. For beating the long queues and availing best fares, it’s worth getting a Travel Card or Oyster Card.
By Bus: The famous Red Bus system of London is a cheap, convenient and fast way to travel within the city, offering plenty of opportunities to sight-see on the way. With improved accessibility, these buses are a great way to experience the culture of London firsthand, and Central London Bus Guide will offer travelers all the information they seek.
What’s better is that the night buses in London cover the hours when the London Tube is not operational, giving tourist the perfect way to enjoy the nightlife this city has to offer.
By Taxi: An easy way to travel within the city, a ride in London’s iconic black cab is worth experiencing. Though the fares are metered, this is a costlier way to travel as compared to buses and tubes, but if definitely more convenient and luxurious.
By Local Trains: Where the Tube doesn’t take you, London local trains will. These crisscross the whole city and you can use Travel cards and Oyster Cards to pay for your journey.
By Bike: For those who would love to see London and its many delights up close, hiring a bicycle could be the perfect choice. A brilliant way to travel around the city in good weather, London’s public bicycle scheme offers first 30 minutes free, giving tourists the ideal way to enjoy shorter journeys.
Things to See & Do
It can be easily said that there are far too many things to see and do in London for a single visit. Yet, a good place to start would be to visit the Big Ben and the Buckingham Palace; pieces of history that let you soak up some culture. Don’t miss out on the world famous British Museum and Tate Modern, sitting on the banks of Thames.
A walk by the river is also delightful, while art lovers would love the temporary exhibitions held by top artists inside. Also, if you love art, the National Gallery is a must visit.
A trip to London is incomplete without a visit to and coming face to face with celebrities at Madame Tussauds, while a tour of tour of Tower of London is a must for history lovers. There are musicals to enjoy, plays to revel in and many parks and garden to explore as well.
A Visit To Leeds – Five Things To Do
When people think of the UK they often think that there’s London and then the rest is just country side. But, whilst London is no doubt one of the world’s best cities, the UK has so much more to offer. There are a number of cities that have become extremely popular over the past few years, one of which is the Northern city of Leeds.
Leeds, born out of the roaring wool trade and then the industrial revolution has a rich history and heritage, which accounts for some of the fabulous architecture. Today it is one of the biggest cities in the UK, with well over half a million people living in the city. As well as being large geographically and in terms of population, it is also one of the most important financial and cultural centres in the UK. It also has a huge student population which really adds to the vibrancy of the city.
Five Ways to Enjoy Leeds
It doesn’t matter why you are in the city or who you are there with, there is plenty to do. Below are just a few ideas of how to spend some time in the city.
In no particular order;
1. Shopping & Retail
Leeds is well known for its shopping. Every year it draws in hundreds of thousands of shoppers from across the north and the wider UK. The city has a number of popular shopping areas including the city centre, Kirgate Market and the famous Victoria Quarter. Outside the city centre is the White Rose shopping centre.
What will be Europe’s largest mall, Trinity Leeds, is currently under construction and is set to open in 2013.
Leeds is a city well known for its sports. It’s fair to say that times have been better in terms of performance but the passion has never died out. Football, cricket and rugby are all well represented in the city so it provides foreign visitors with a great opportunity to get to know British Sport.
3. Night on the Town
Leeds is famous for its nightlife. Since the 90’s Leeds has been known for its dance music scene. There are a number of clubs that fly the flag including Mint and Mission. If you’re no that into dance music there are hundreds of bars, pubs and clubs to go to in the city centre.
The student area of Headingley is also a popular night spot, attracting a younger crowd with perhaps a tighter budget.
4. Museums & Art
If you’re looking for something more cultural than shopping, sport or partying fear not. Leeds has plenty to offer when it comes to museums, theatres and galleries.
The Royal Armouries and the Leeds City Museum are both free entry attractions that are definitely worth a visit. If you want some live theatre then the City Varieties Music Hall, Grand Theatre and the West Yorkshire Playhouse won’t disappoint.
There is even a small independent cinema, the Hyde Park Picture House, showing art house pictures.
5. Historical Houses, Gardens & Parks
Due to its history Leeds and the surrounding area is home to some of the best places of historical loginterest in the UK. Temple Newsam House is a fabulous Tudor-Jacobean mansion located just out of the city centre. It features dozens of rooms open to the public and gardens by the world renowned landscape architect Capability Brown.
Roundhay Park, one of Europe’s biggest city parks, has been attracting visitors for over one hundred years. There are various gardens, lakes and follies across the 700 acre park and even a tropical house with birds, butterflies and reptiles.
When it comes to booking a hotel in Leeds there are plenty to choose from. Like any big city there are hotels, hostels, B & B’s and self-service apartments so whatever your needs you’ll be able to find the perfect accommodation in Leeds for you.
How to See London on a Budget – 5 Top Tips
Ah London, that great British capital – one of the most famous and most economically important capitals in the world! As anyone who’s taken a trip to the city will know, it’s a fantastic place that’s well worth a visit.
From the thriving hubbub of tourists and shoppers on Oxford Street to the famous (or should I say, infamous) West End, full of arty, theatre-going types, down to the quieter, relaxed Hyde Park – there is something for everyone to love about London! There’s so much to see and do that you could never be bored, even my friends who’ve lived there for years are discovering cool new places on a weekly basis.
The only problem…of course… is money: London is not a cheap place to visit. As a tourist on a shoestring what do you do?
Just stay for a day or two? Give the city a miss altogether?
Luckily, you don’t have to do either of those things. With a little insider know-how, everyone can afford to take a nice long break to London!
1. Find a Budget Hotel
First and foremost you need to find a place to stay, but the average London hotel costs a hefty £119 a night – stay for a week and well, you do the math!
But there are cheaper options, especially if you don’t mind staying a little out of the city centre. The Travelodge will cost you as low as £19 per night even in London, and if you’re worried about ‘getting what you pay for’ you also have the security of knowing that this is a world-famous brand with decent decor and cleaning standards!
The luxury Hoxton hotel has a quarterly £1 room sale too –you should sign up for their newsletter to be the first to hear when they go on sale!
2. Get an Oyster Card
To get the most out of London you’ll want to do a bit of travelling – there’s something to see in every corner of the city! Getting around by car is near on impossible though (unless you enjoy spending hours sat in traffic). The bus or tube it is.
When you consider that a journey on the tube costs £4.30 at minimum, travel costs can soon add up. If you’re planning to go on the bus or tube at least three times during your stay (and who isn’t?), buy an Oyster card from the ticket office instead, it costs £3 but then you’ll get tube and bus journeys at a massive discount!
3. Sign Up to Voucher Sites
There are loads of voucher sites out there such as Groupon and Living Social that offer daily deals on everything from meals out to spa days and theme park tickets.
You’ll need to make a reservation for most deals once you’ve bought the voucher, so sign up well in advance of your holiday and keep an eye out for activities you’d like to try or places you’d like to see!
4. Find Free Attractions
Not everything in London costs money! There are plenty of places that you can visit for absolutely nothing. If you fancy taking in a bit of culture, check out this list of free museums in London, it includes the world-famous Victoria & Albert Art & Design Museum, the intriguing Natural History Museum, and the enormous Museum of London with over one million items on display!
5. Rent a Driveway
I’ve already mentioned that you don’t want to be driving around in London, but if you’re visiting from elsewhere in the UK perhaps you’re planning on getting to the city by car and will need a place to park.
It can be difficult to find hotels in London with parking, but it’s certainly possible, and public car-parks are not a low-cost option in central London!
Why not rent out someone’s driveway instead? Websites such as ‘Park At My House’ puts you in touch with native Londoners who have a parking space, driveway or garage they’re not using, and will rent it out to you at a considerably-cheaper-than-public-car-parks price!
These are my suggestions but do you have any other tips for budget tourism in London?
Please tell me below!
The UK’s Top 5 Beaches
As an island nation with a long and intense association with the sea, it’s no surprise that the United Kingdom boasts an excellent assortment of beaches.
From the bustling resorts beloved of seaside holidaymakers, to remote, windswept coasts where seabirds are your only companions, there is a beach to suit every taste along Britain’s lengthy coasts.
With this variety in mind, we’ve put together a list of our top five beaches in the UK – so which are your favourites?
Bamburgh Beach, Northumberland
One of the best examples of Britain’s dramatic coastline, Bamburgh’s crescent of sand is overlooked by the atmospheric, turreted ruins of Bamburgh Castle.
Wander the three miles of shoreline between Bamburgh Village and Seahouses, and if you can, take a trip across the causeway (only accessible at low tide) to the even more peaceful Holy Island.
This wild coastal setting is perfect for walkers, birdwatchers, and especially those looking to get away from the bustle of modern life.
West Wittering, West Sussex
A perennial family favourite, West Wittering draws crowds during the summer but luckily has enough space so that you never feel overcrowded. Travel by bus or car through rolling green countryside until you reach the sea, where there is ample space for parking and picnics.
Low tide offers superb opportunities for children, with wet expanses of clean sand perfect for castle building and warm pools for paddling and exploring.
The brisk breezes coming off the coast also make the beach a popular destination for kite and windsurfing enthusiasts.
Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire
Adventurous sorts will love the peaceful remoteness of this hidden gem, reached via a narrow and at times steep path over the wooded cliffs.
Barafundle’s golden stretch of sand is worth the trek, however – sheltered from the Atlantic winds by limestone cliffs, it is a balmy, peaceful place to swim, doze, and contemplate the brilliant blue sea.
It’s recommended to take a picnic to enjoy the grand seclusion, as there are no catering facilities.
Bournemouth is not a beach for those in search of solitude. But for those looking for a family friendly seaside holiday within easy reach of urban amenities, it’s hard to beat.
Clean and spacious, with seven miles of soft golden sand, it’s a perfect setting for children; while active sorts will enjoy the range of water sports on offer.
And there’s a historic link – did you know that the iconic beach hut was invented in Bournemouth, and that some of huts you can hire there are amongst the oldest in the world?
Sinclair’s Bay, Caithness
Another contender for the title of Britain’s most atmospheric beach, this remote stretch of startlingly white sand stretches between two dramatic 16 th-century castles.
The sparkling blue waters off its shores seem to belie its location on Scotland’s far northern coast, but its scenic solitude does not. Frequented by whales, porpoises and an array of seabirds, it’s a wonderful place for nature lovers or those looking for an escape far from the bustling holidaying crowds.
Shopping & Dining
London is a shopper’s paradise, with a plethora of worthy options. The best places to shop are TopShop & Topman, Camden Market, Harrods, Primark, Lesley Craze Gallery, Absolute Vintage and Coco Ribbon for one of a kind shopping experience.
For those who love to indulge in their sweet tooth, Louis Patisserie is a must visit. This old cake and coffee shop offers some of the best sweets and pastries; a taste that you will take back home with fond memories.
There are many quaint bistros and cafes to enjoy local cuisines and delicacies, but for those who love to indulge the Tsunami and Gordon Ramsay are restaurants worth trying. If you are a vegetarian looking for a delicious meal, the Mildreds will not disappoint, offering lots of gluten free and vegan meals along with some exquisite organic wines.
Nightlife & Entertainment
Like all the big cities around the world, London has plenty to offer for those seeking entertainment and an active nightlife. It offers many stand-up comedy shows and fans can pay a visit to Amused Moose Soho or Pear Shaped to have a night of laughs. Other great pubs worth visiting are Captain Kidd and Ten Bells.
If you are looking to enjoy some intellectually stimulating plays, the Royal Court Theater is one of the most progressive theaters in the world.
Five of the Best Pubs in London
London is famous for many things; Big Ben, Fine Dining, Theatre, Night Life. The list goes on. One thing that it is perhaps best known for, and that has become a symbol of the UK capital is its beer and pubs.
There are thousands of pubs in London and finding the one worth visiting can be difficult if you don’t know the city well.
If you are planning a visit to the city and want to visit a few of the best pubs then here are five of the best.
The Punch Bowl, Mayfair
This Mayfair Pub has been around since 1750, making it the second oldest pub in the area. It is now run by film director Guy Ritchie, but don’t expect to see movie memorabilia adorning the walls. The décor is very traditional English pub.
There is a selection of wines, beers and spirits to choose from. Good food is also served. It gets very busy on weekends.
Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, Fleet Street
This is a real landmark and has been a pub for almost 500 years, including a rebuild after the great fire in 1666 so it really is ‘Olde’. It is well known for its association to many of the great literary figures including Dickens, Twain and Conan Doyle, who all spent time there.
It’s well worth a visit, even if you’re not into literature.
The Princess Louise, High Holborn
This is another London landmark pub that is famous for its interior. It was refurbished (not redesigned) in 2008 and has received a number of industry awards for the work, that preserved the Victorian interior. Even the men’s toilets are listed!
This is a regular appearance on top London pub lists.
The Southampton Arms, Kentish Town
This is THE pub to visit if you are a fan of real beer and cider. They have real ales into double figures and almost as many ciders. There are no mass breweries or cheap lagers available. It has received awards from CAMRA and is heralded as the number one destination in London for proper beer.
It can get busy at weekends and they don’t accept cards – cash only.
Sir Richard Steele, Belsize Park, NW3
Sir Richard Steele, Belsize Park
If you are looking for the epitome of a ‘London boozer’ then this is it. Its full of interesting artefacts and miscellaneous objects. It is named after one of the founders of the Spectator, which is still going strong today.
It can get a bit crowded at weekends but this just adds to the vibrant atmosphere.
As mentioned above; there are literally thousands of pubs in London and these are just a handful of the best. Everyone likes different thing so why not let us know which London pubs you like?
Top Five Iconic London Clubs
London is a clubber’s paradise with world-renowned venues like Fabric and Ministry of Sound sitting alongside smaller clubs playing every kind of dance music imaginable. It’s by far the best place in the UK to get your groove on to dubstep, minimal techno or house – but you have to be prepared for steep entrance fees and occasionally long queues.
45 St Martins Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2N 4HX
One of London’s most popular celebrity haunts, Bungalow 8 is a small but glitzy club in the basement of a London hotel with luxurious décor and fancy cocktails aplenty. It’s technically membership-only so can be hard to get in if you’re not famous, but luckily doesn’t fill up till after midnight. Expect to find top-notch DJs playing 60s, 70s and 80s music while wealthy people sip cocktails.
200 York Way, London N7 9AP
If you’re after a great night out that doesn’t break the bank, Egg is always a good choice. This great club is home to four rooms and one heated garden playing house, techno and dubstep. It may be a bit of a trek from the nearest station, King’s Cross, but it’s worth it for some of the best sound and lighting in the city. Entrance fee: around £15
77a Charterhouse Street, Smithfield, London EC1M 3HN
In my opinion, Fabric has to take the title of London’s biggest and best club. It was voted number two in DJ Magazine’s ‘Top 100 Clubs in the World’ and has been a launch pad for many of the best new techno and dubstep DJs over the years. Friday night is ‘soundclash’ which mixes up many styles of music, while Saturday has a more minimal techno and house focus.
It’s a good idea to buy tickets in advance (or blag your way onto the guest list) as it has been known to take up to three hours to get in. Be sure to check out their vibrating dance floor in room one with bass inducers beneath! Entrance fee: £15-£20
Ministry of Sound
103 Gaunt Street, London SE16DP
Going strong for over 20 years, Ministry is London’s oldest and most iconic nightclub. It started out as a UK version of New York’s Paradise Garage playing house music from Detroit and Chicago, and continues to excel as a place to dance till dawn to one of the city’s best sound-systems. It does sometimes feel a little bit touristy, but that’s more than made up for by the fact that some of the world’s best DJs play there. Entrance fee: around £20 Heaven
Under The Arches, Villiers Street, London WC2N 6NG
One of London’s greatest gay clubbing experiences can be had at Heaven, a long-running clubbing institution under Charing Cross railway station. Going strong since 1979, the club attracts a mixed clientele, especially gay guys, but really takes off on Monday for Popcorn –one of the city’s best student nights.
Expect cheap drinks aplenty and people dancing like maniacs to pop music and house. The club also regularly doubles as a live music venue. Free entry before 1am
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— VR Experts (@VRPExperts) June 16, 2018
Post by Angella Grey, the marketing manager at The Vacation Rentals Experts – an online and offline digital marketing agency that creates marketing solutions for vacation rentals, holiday homes and brands.