Cheap flights to London are available throughout the year. International flights to London usually land at Heathrow or Gatwick airports, whilst local and regional flights to London arrive via Luton or Stansted. The Heathrow Express gets you to Paddington Station in about 15 minutes. The London Underground is the most cost effective method of getting into London, with a one-way ticket costing about £5. Piccadilly Line services will bring you into Central London within an hour. Gatwick and Stansted airports both have similar Express train services which take about thirty minutes to get to London. From Luton, get on a National Express or Green Line bus to get into London, or a train for connections to any part of the UK. Tickets can be bought online ahead of time.
The distinctive black cabs can be flagged down in the street or taxi rank for journeys throughout London. Private minicabs can also be hired ahead of time, either at the minicab office or by telephone.
Purchase an Oyster card for use on the London Underground, as well as journeys on buses, trams and local trains. The London Underground – affectionately known as the ‘Tube’ – serves most areas of Greater London, with many stations located within central London. Oyster cards can be purchased and topped up from ticket machines and windows in stations, from some newsagents on the high street, as well as through the Oystercard website.
Visit the London Eye on a day clear for bird’s eye views around London. The imposing bulk of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben are visible just across the river. Near the Eye, the South Bank area is one of London’s cultural hubs. The complex houses the Hayward Galleries, the Royal Festival Hall and the National Theatre, as well as shops, restaurants and pubs. Stop off at the London Dungeon for a macabre dose of history before heading across the Thames to catch the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. The Queen might not be in, but her likeness can be seen at Madame Tussuads.
Topshop on Oxford Street is a fashionista’s mecca – its five levels practically overflow with the latest must-have clothes and accessories. Visit Bond Street for exclusive boutiques, or make your way to Regent Street to visit Hamleys, the seven story toy store. Shoreditch has plenty for fans vintage fashion and antique furniture. The weekend markets along Brick Lane often feature work by young artists and designers. Fill up on fresh produce and tasty delights at Borough Market. The sprawling market complex houses artisan bakers, handmade preserves, international food stalls and a variety of restaurants. Dance the calories away at the massive Ministry of Sound club, or go sample a range of cocktails at LAB in Soho. Take in a blockbuster musical in the West End, or watch some of the world’s finest actors tread the boards in the Old Vic Theatre.