London Hotels Articles

July 10, 2010

How To Pass A Day In London.

Getting to London:

Which Airline Should You Choose .

Getting To London From Heathrow

You can get to London by either:

Car Bus Taxi Train Car

It takes approximately 45-60 minutes to get to central
London from Heathrow. When leaving Terminals 1, 2 and 3,
follow exit signs to the access/exit tunnel. Follow signs
to the M4 motorway, which will eventually bring you into
London. Terminal 4 is on the main A30 road. The M4 and
M25 orbital are signposted. Again, follow signs to the M4
which will eventually bring you into London.

Bus

The Airbus links Heathrow Terminals with many London
hotels and some main line rail stations. It departs every
20 – 30 minutes and takes approximately 1 hour and 15
minutes. Airbus A1 – Serves Victoria London voa several
London hotels. Airbus A2 – Serves Russell Square via
Euston rail station and also drops off at some West End
hotels. Airbus Direct – Serves many central London
destinations from Terminal 4 with additional services
from Terminals 1, 2 and 3. One Way: £6 Round Trip: £10 Tel:
+44(0)181 897 2688 There is also an all night bus service
from Heathrow to central London. Taxi Follow the signs
in each terminal Arrivals areas for taxi ranks. The journey
time to central London is approximately 45-60 minutes and
will cost you between £35 and £45. Train Heathrow has two
rail services to central London. In addition to the London
Underground is the Heathrow Express service to London
Paddington station.

Getting Around In London:

The Tube

The Underground or the Subway is known as the ‘Tube’ in
London. It is fast and convenient and allows you to shoot
across the entire length of London without a clue as to
the traffic chaos above. It is relatively inexpensive and
there are weekly or monthly passes known as Travelcards.
Stations are easy to come by and usually within walking
distance of each other. However, because of its
convenience the tube is often crowded and can be stifling
in summer.

If you are on a commuter’s schedule, realise that so is
the rest of London.

The Tube covers Zones 1 and most of Zone 2. It also
covers part of Zone 3 in the North and West. In the case of
Heathrow airport, the Tube will take you all the way there.

The Tube conveniently links up with London Bus stops and
British Rail stations.

Red London Buses

The famous red London buses are very easy to use and a
popular means of transport. They are frequent and, because
of the lack of doors, you can hop on hop off whenever the
bus slows down enough. If a traffic jam strikes, hop off
and you’ll be there before your bus catches up. The
current mayor of London is trying to phase out the old
buses in favour of new double-deckers with doors –
let’s hope it doesn’t happen!

Buses link residential areas of London where the Tube
tracks don’t go, and also crisscross Zone 1 as an
alternative to the Tube. A ride on the bus in Zone 1 is
£1.

Travelcards can be purchased that are also valid for bus
travel. Travelcards can be bought at any London
Underground station or from News Agents bearing the
Travelcard sign. To purchase your first Travel Pass you
will need to bring a passport sized photograph.

When the normal services stop, night buses take over.
They run less frequently however are very useful services to
get you home when the tubes shut down at around 1am.

Night buses usually start around midnight and have the
letter ‘N’ before the usual bus number. They seem to
congregate around Trafalgar Square and the nearby streets
that radiate out from the square, so head that way when
the clubs close and you’re desperate to get home for
some sleep.

British Rail

British Rail is the above-ground equivalent of the Tube.
These trains can be excellent to use if you live out of
Zone 1 and just off a Tube line and want a speedier
option than the bus. British Rail will take you in to Zone 1,
but not far, as the Tube takes over from there for obvious
town planning reasons.

Main British Rail stations closest to the centre of London
are Paddington and Victoria servicing the West and South
West, King’s Cross and Euston servicing the North, and
North East, Waterloo servicing the South and London
Bridge and Liverpool Street servicing the South East and East.

If you’ll be using this service frequently, you can
purchase a British Rail TravelCard.

Black Cabs

These famously shaped taxis, where you can face the other
members of your party limousine-style, are a good way of
getting around. The drivers know London like their own
backyard and you will see would-be drivers zipping around
town on mopeds with books open in front of them. They are
studying for their Black Cab test. Quick trips in and
around Central London aren’t too expensive but this
probably wouldn’t be your main mode of transport.

Mini Cabs

Can be useful because they travel into parts of London,
i.e. Zone 2 and beyond, where you will be pushed to find
a Black Cab. But be wary of them too. These are not
registered or licensed or checked-out in any way. These
are the normal looking cars parked on the side of the
road asking if you need a lift. They are not metered and
you will need to agree on a fixed price for the ride
before getting into the car.

These are co-ops of drivers who form a cab company. If
they don’t find you first, you can call their office
number (you should see minicab business cards distributed
around) or approach the office in person. Please be
careful using minicabs for the obvious reason that they
are not licensed cabbies. If you are female and travelling
late at night, please try and find another way home. Night
buses come in handy when the Tubes close down for the
night.

On Foot

A bit of a stroll down the Thames Walk or a walk from
Buckingham Palace/St James Park over to High Street
Kensington will keep the grog and pub food from taking
too much of a toll. London is one of the best cities to
explore on foot. You see all the little lanes and shops,
pubs and theatres that you would otherwise miss Tubing
from A to B.

Where To Stay:

Brunel Hotel, Bayswater

Ideal location from which to explore central London. Close
to Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens and within walking
distance of Paddington Station. All the bedrooms have en-
suite facilities, telephone, hairdryer, television with
satellite channels and tea and coffee making facilities.

Where to eat:

Destino, a Latin-inspired restaurant, bar and deli, has
opened at 25 Swallow Street, off Regent Street. The
ground floor deli serves brunch, lunch and dinner, and has an
evening lounge bar, with a range of South American beers,
tequilas and cigars.

What To See:

Buckingham Palace. The Queen opened Buckingham Palace to
the public for the first time in 1993 to raise money for
repairs to Windsor Castle.

The Tower of London. According to Shakespeare, the young
princes and heirs of Edward IV were slaughtered here by
their wicked uncle, Richard III.

Westminster Abbey. Resting place of the royals, is one of
the most visited churches in the Christian world.

British Airways London Eye. Paris has the Eiffel Tower,
New York the Empire State and now London has the British
Airways London Eye – an extraordinary symbol for an
extraordinary city. The world’s largest observation wheel
offers a spectacular way to take in over 55 of London’s
famous landmarks in just 30 minutes!

Where To Shop:

Lulu Guinness, 66 Ledbury Road, London W11 2AJ

Manolo Blahnik, 49 Old Church Street, London SW3 5BS

Louis Vuitton, 198-9 Sloane Street, London SW1X 9QX

Gucci, 32-33 Old Bond Street, London W1X 4HH

Entertainment:

The new Red Rock Café/Bar at 12 Swallow Street, off
Regent Street, is the place to go if you’re up for something
like an “American- style biker bar meets “Coyote Ugly”
experience. Red Rock has an all-female bar staff who
dance and parade atop the bar to classic rock anthems.

Live bands perform on stage, and a juke box plays rock
and soul tracks from the mid-60s to the late 90s. Red Rock
stocks a wide range of bottled beers, spirits and cocktails has
a North American-inspired menu; and decor featuring a
1960s Harley Davidson bursting through the brick wall above the
bar.

Arm wrestling, air guitar and karaoke competitions are
among the attractions. It is open 5pm to 3am Monday to
Saturday, with a door charge from 11pm.

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