London is the capital of England and the United Kingdom, its history stretches back to Roman times. At its centre stands the Houses of Parliament and ‘Big Ben’ clock tower. Across the Thames River, the London Eye observation wheel provides panoramic views of the South Bank cultural complex, and the entire city.
Before visiting any town or city make sure you know the basics. General details and important information.
- Emergency Services: 999
- Language: English
- Currency: British Pound
- Country Code: GB
- Travel Visa: None required
- Population: 8,174,100
Researching various official sources, we perceive the risk to holiday makers and travellers are as follows;
Top travel advice and interesting tip bits of information from experienced travellers.
- The weather can be unpredictable, when going out for the day sure you can wrap up warm if needed. Four seasons in one day are not unheard of.
- The UK is known for its history, there are many places to visit. The National Trust is an organisation that looks after many sites around the UK, take a look at their website for more historic sites around the country.
- The UK has a diverse culture, there are many different English accents some easier to understand than others. When visiting cities outside London you might need to listen more carefully, you might come across English you don't understand.
For the Emergency services just dial 999 from any phone, for not so serious situations please dial 101.
British Travel Centre 00442079710027
Discover Islington Visitor Centre 00442072788787
London Tourist Board and Convention Bureau 00442079710027
London Tourist Office – London & Partners 004408701566366
Southwark Information Centre 00442074038299
St. Paul’s Churchyard 00442073231456
Tower Hamlets TIC 00442073752549
London has four major airports and is connected by one of the most amazing underground train systems in the world. The main access point for the Tube is Kings Cross Station.
How do I keep up to date with the news?
What are the top travel tips for London?
London is a busy city, make sure you know where you are going and plan your route before you set off.
Avoid carrying valuables. Use pockets and keep keys, your mobile, purse/wallet in separate pockets. Keep a separate record of all important numbers on you in case your phone is lost or stolen.
Avoid empty carriages on trains. Always try to sit where there are lots of people. If you feel uneasy, move to another carriage or seat. Have your pass, ticket or correct change ready in your hand so that your wallet is out of sight.
What are the common scams in London?
Each place has common crimes and scams. If you are aware before you visit you wont find yourself caught by surprise. Always ask the locals as they will know better than anyone.
Please beware of people selling tickets outside the theatres for shows (especially ones that are sold out!). If it is to good to be true it normally is!
The three card monte is a world wide con, anytime you see a man with shells or cards on a paper box, feel free to watch from a safe distance but never ever put your money down, it’s a sucker bet and you are sure to lose.
Where do I need to take care in London?
There are areas of every city where you can feel less safe. If you are aware before you visit you wont find yourself caught by surprise. Always ask the locals as they will know better than anyone.
Brixton is another part of London that has a reputation, keep your belongings close and stay aware and you should not encounter any problems.
Camden is a great area of London but can get very busy, be aware as pickpockets operate around the markets.
Oxford Street and Leicester Square are well known hangouts for pickpockets.
Improve Your Personal Safety
Knowledge – the more you have the better equipped you are.
Awareness – the more you see the safer you become.
Response – the right reaction can change a situation.
Every culture has its customs and traditions, they have been handed down the generations and are always held in high regards by the local residents.
Trooping the Colour www.trooping-the-colour.co.uk
Twelfth Night Celebration www.viewlondon.co.uk
Lord Mayors Show www.lordmayorsshow.org
Queen’s Birthday and Gun Salute www.royal.gov.uk
Horseman’s Sunday www.stjohns-hydepark.com
New Year Day Parade www.londonparade.co.uk
State Opening of Parliament www.parliament.uk
Annual events allow a city come together for some amazing experiences. If visiting at this time, make sure you have your accommodation booked and are always aware of your surroundings when travelling around.
Great River Race Thames Festival www.greatriverrace.co.uk
The London Marathon www.virginlondonmarathon.com
Bonfire Night www.visitlondon.com
Chinese New Year www.chinatownlondon.org
Notting Hill Carnival www.thenottinghillcarnival.com
Hampton Court Palace Flower Show www.rhs.org.uk
Henley Royal Regatta www.hrr.co.uk
Can I see great art in London?
Victoria & Albert Museum
Celebrates art and design with thousands of years worth of amazing objects from around the globe. A real must see you will find furniture, paintings, sculpture, metalwork, and textiles, and a lot more. Entry is free, some special exhibitions require tickets. www.vam.ac.uk
The National Gallery
If you love art this is the place for you, the gallery displays over 2000 paintings dating from the middle ages to the 20th century. Some world famous paintings are on display by some of the worlds greatest artists. Admission is free but you are welcome to make a donation. www.nationalgallery.org.uk
See art from some of the most influential modern and comprehensive artists in the world. There is also an amazing cafe with fantastic views of London. The building is stunning, some of the exhibitions have an extra cost. www.tate.org.uk
The museum was founded in 1753 and has an amazing collection covering over two million years of human history. It houses a vast collection, as well as hosting special exhibitions, displays and events which are all designed to advance understanding of the places and cultures they represent. www.britishmuseum.org
What else can I do in London?
Camden Lock is one of London’s most vibrant shopping areas offering live music, comedy places, cafes and bars. There is also an amazing selection of small shops and market stalls selling everything from vintage fashion, jewellery and beautiful things for your home from around the world. camdenlockmarket.com
Tower of London
Despite the Tower of London’s reputation is a place of torture and death, you will also discover the history of a royal palace, an armory and a powerful fortress. Find the priceless Crown Jewels newly displayed in 2012, take a tour and hear bloody tales, learn the legend of the Tower’s ravens, storm the battlements and see amazing weapons. A must see for any visitor. www.hrp.org.uk/TowerOfLondon
From space travel to understanding our place in the world, the Science Museum makes you think in ways you never thought possible. You can experience the major scientific advances in the last few hundred years. Free entry but some exhibitions are at a cost. www.sciencemuseum.org.uk
The Royal Parks
London is full of beautiful green areas that give a great escape from the busy city streets, when the weather is good they are well worth a visit. www.royalparks.org.uk
What are the highlight attractions?
Ride the Eye and see unrivalled views of London. This fantastic new perspective on London will be truly memorable, sunset is a wonderful time to see the London skyline. www.londoneye.com/
The official London residence of the British monarch. Located in Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal spectacles. www.royal.gov.uk/theroyalresidences
St Paul’s Cathedral
A stunning Cathedral in the center of London running along side the themes river. It has everything from beautiful windows to amazing crypts and tombs. Climb up to the Golden Gallery and enjoy fantastic panoramic views across all of London. www.stpauls.co.uk
Natural History Museum
An amazing place with a permanent dinosaur exhibition, the museum has a proud collection of the biggest, tallest and rarest animals on the planet including a Blue Whale and a 40,000,000 year old spider. Entry is free but some exhibitions are at a cost. www.nhm.ac.uk