London - historic and vibrant
London's lively, multicultural vibe entices visitors from around the world to explore and party.
London is great all year round
London is warmest in July and August, but in spring, parks (including of course Hyde Park with its famous Serpentine lake) are a riot of floral colour. In winter, bars and pubs are snug and welcoming. Plenty of holidays and festivals are celebrated in London all year round. Every August Bank Holiday, for example, Notting Hill Carnival comes to North West London. February sees wonderful Chinese New Year celebrations, and in April the London Marathon and the Oxford and Cambridge boat race on the Thames both take place.
What to know before you travel
London is a relatively safe city. However, watch out for pickpockets on busy trains. There is a 'congestion' charge (around £11) for motor vehicles in central London 7am-6pm from Monday to Friday. Visitors should be aware that London tends to be more expensive than other cities in the UK.
Local info: travel and connections
From Heathrow Airport take the Piccadilly tube line from terminals 1, 2 and 3 (the journey to central London takes about half an hour and costs around £6). Or, take the Heathrow Express from Terminal 1, 2 and 3 to Paddington station in 15 mins for around £26. A taxi to the centre is just over £30, with a journey time of around 40 mins. From Gatwick, take the Gatwick express from South Terminal to Victoria Station in around half an hour (cost: around £18). A taxi (from £20) takes about an hour. From Stansted, take the Stansted Express trains to Liverpool Street station in around 45 minutes (from £12). A taxi can cost approximately £100 and takes an hour. From Luton airport there is a shuttle to Luton Airport Parkway then the train to St. Pancras (around £15 in, 40 minutes). Cheap hostels start at around £20/night, hotels are upwards of £40/night. Single public transport tickets cost around £5.70. A day Travelcard works for all transport modes and costs £12-£15. Get an 'Oyster' card for a slight discount on the normal ticket price (refundable deposit of £5).