Getting around, London
I can't state this enough for people, but in the UK, people drive on the left, which absolutely baffles North Americans and Europeans, but then again, this can be applied on the North American/European habit of driving on the right. This can be espeically hard in London, as one is surrounded by so many sights and people; some tourists unconsciously look to the left and just walk across the street, unknowingly stepping into onbound traffic! I heard a story at my hostel that an Estonian kid staying there got hit by a red bus because he didn't look to the right. Ouch
So please everyone, look to the right before crossing the street. Better yet, look both ways and stay on the safe side. Londoners know that a lot of people who visit their town aren't from places that drive on the left, so they've written down where to look on virtually every major pedestrian crossing in the city.
Britian is famous for lots of its different transport. Here are some photos of 4 vehicles you will see if you ever come london.
1) Mini cooper, Made famous by the film "The Italian Job", but have come back in fashion dramatically recently.
2) Black Cab, You will see these EVERYWHERE in London, just like the yellow taxis in new york. They are very exciting to ride in, just watch out for the price.
3) Double Decker Bus, Every tourist to London has probably travelled on these, they are great fun, they have improved recently with the introdruction on the COngestion Charge, It will cost you £1 per ride, whether you are going 25 miles or 1 mile.
4) The British Police vehicles, You probably will see these driving around London, Not only do they move when needed, but they now patrol the streets ensuring everyones safety!
Greenwich is a borough of London situated on the right bank of the Thames.
Here you can visit the Royal Observatory; the Queen's House and the National Maritime Museum.
The Royal Observatory was founded by order of king Charles II to study astronomy and to fix longitude. The oldest building there is Flamsteed House, designed by Wren in 1675. Inside the observatory there are many instruments used in the past and a collection of time-telling devices.
The Queen's House; was originally part of a royal palace. It was meant by king James I to be the home of his consort, Anne of Denmark. Its construction started in 1616. It was enlarged in 1662.
In my opinion the best way to see London (particularly if you have never been before) is to take one of the open top bus tours available. There are a couple of different companies running these tours but the one I would recommend is the Big London Bus. Others are The Original London Tour and Golden Tours.
They have two routes - red and blue and you can change between the two at a few different points on the journey. The buses are hop on-hop off meaning that you can alight at any of the scheduled stops along the routes, visit whatever sight you want then get back on the bus again.
The Big London Bus is unique in that it has a live guide providing commentary (and often a few laughs!) rather than a recording. They also have language buses.
Included in the ticket price (£30) is a river cruise on the Thames plus three available walking tours which all begin at Trafalgar Square
Directions: The pick up points are dotted all over the city but the office is on Buckingham Palace Road very near Victoria Station. You will find that they have reps at most of their bus stops who can give you information or sell you a ticket there and then.
In order to celibrate the Queen's Silver Jubilee, they created a self-guided walkway. This walkway is created in 1977 and brings you along an important part of London's architecture and history.
This silver jubilee walkway is ideal for a first visit to London, as it brings you to the highlights and is great to get a good first impression of the city.
I did not walk the complete walkway, but I did parts of it.
The Giant Peenarse (spelling changed for firewall reasons) or those who are a little less vulgar would call it the giant Gherkin has saved many a traveller lost in London. Don't think any less of me for calling that... honestly hand on my heart you can ask any person in london where this is and they'll know exactly what you're talking about!
Like a Lighthouse saving sailors on stormy nights this piece of architecture shows up like a beacon on the london skyline. Basically if you're ever lost head in the direction of this and it will take you to the City of London near Liverpool St station. On the way you may even find other landmarks that will guide you closer to your destination but if comepletely lost just remember...
"Look for the Giant Dong in the skyline"
If you need to leave bags, luggage etc in London whilst sight seeing then I find that the short trek down to the Victoria Coach Station from the train station is worth a saving of approximately £4 on a small backpack left for over 2hrs.
For more information:
Favorite thing: It all depends that how long and where are you staying in London. Travelling could prove very expensive in London if one decided to travel with organising their journey. If you are staying for a week in London, the best thing would be to buy a weekly card. One-day cards are also very handy and could you save money. If you are staying in central London, you could buy Zone 1,2 travel card and it’s valid from 0930 hrs to midnight.
Favorite thing: Most of London's roads seem to be more difficult to follow than the ordinary European standard. Getting lost here is easy; finding your way back not so easy. Unlike America with its city blocks founded on right angles, Europe tangles its thoroughfares deliberately. One of the few straight roads that runs for any appreciable length in London is "the Mall," which runs a considerable distance from the front gate at Buckingham Palace to one of the centers of London activity at Trafalgar Square. The common link is the 20th century Admiralty Arch (pictured in the background).
Favorite thing: The best way to get to London if you have little time and little money, is to fly with RyanAir and use the Standstad Express. For very little money you fly to London Standsted and from there it is 45 minutes to the city centre with the train connection Standsted Express. 45 Minutes in which you can get a perfect impression of the English countryside.
It was my first visit to London and it was a big problem for me this right direction movement.
Fondest memory: I soled the problem when mentioned words “Look right” or “Look left” before each crossroads. This really helped to save myself from accident.
Getting around London can be quite difficult in the beginning. However, if you get more familiar with the transport system and has a good map, you should be alright.
Fondest memory: Driving is a nightmare in London Zone 1 to me. The traffic lights for green is amazingly fast, about 4 cars can get through each green lights along the busy shopping streets.
Continuation of my BLUE TOUR:
15: COVENT GARDEN – Big Bus stop outside No.1 (Aldwych Royal Opera House, London’s Transport Museum, Somerset House).
16: ALDWYCH – Stop K, Aldwych (The Law Courts, St Clement Danes, Fleet Street).
17: ST PAUL’S (The City, Barbican, Museum of London, Millennium Bridge).
You can watch my 4 min 13 sec Video London trip by double-decker excursion bus part 4 out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
Continuation of my BLUE TOUR:
21: WESTMINSTER PIER – Stop M, Victoria Embankment (River Cruises)
22: WESTMINSTER BRIDGE – next to the Lion Statue (River Cruises, Dali Universe, London Aquarium)
23: LAMBETH PALACE – Stop outside Lambeth Palace (Imperial War Museum, Museum of Garden History)
24: PARLIAMENT SQUARE – Stop M, Abingdon Street (Houses of Parliament, Victoria Tower,Tate Britain)
25: WESTMINSTER ABBEY – Stop outside 43 Tothill Street (New Scotland Yard, Westminster Cathedral)
26: BUCKINGHAM PALACE – outside No.1 Buckingham Gate
27: ROYAL MEWS – outside No. 31 (Buckingham Palace Rd Big Bus Information Centre)
28: VICTORIA – outside Westminster Thistle Hotel (Big Bus Information Centre)
29: VICTORIA STATION – outside Grosvenor Hotel
30: MARBLE ARCH – Speakers’ Corner (Oxford Street, Hyde Park)
31: MAYFAIR – Park Lane (Oxford Street, Little America).
32: GREEN PARK UNDERGROUND – Stop PE (St James’s Palace, Bond Street).
33: HYDE PARK CORNER – Stop opposite Hard Rock Cafe (Constitution Hill, Green Park, Wellington Arch).
34: HYDE PARK CORNER – Stop L, outside Lanesborough Hotel (Wellington Museum, Belgravia, Hyde Park, Wellington Arch).
35: HARRODS – bus stop outside Harrods, Brompton Road (Knightsbridge, Harvey Nichols, Sloane Street).
36: SOUTH KENSINGTON – Stop N, near Rembrandt Hotel (V&A Museum, Natural History Museum, Science Museum).
37: GLOUCESTER ROAD – Stop GR outside underground station
38: KENSINGTON PALACE – Stop N, Kensington Road (Kensington High Street).
39: NOTTING HILL – Stop M, Notting Hill Gate (Portobello Road Market, Holland Park).
40: KENSINGTON GARDENS – Ramada Hotel, Bayswater Rd (Queensway, Whiteley’s Shopping Centre).
41: PRINCESS DIANA MEMORIAL PLAYGROUND – Bayswater Rd (The Elfin Tree, Round Pond).
42: BAYSWATER – Stop by Elizabeth Hotel, Lancaster Terrace (The Italian Gardens, Serpentine, The Long Water).
43: PADDINGTON STATION – Stop on London St (next to Praed St)
You can watch my 4 min 28 sec Video London by double-decker part 6 out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
The tour along London by double-decker bus is another fondest memory about the city. Paul stayed in the hotel and I took a tour alone.
Your Big Bus Sightseeing Tour is created around a carefully designed route that takes you to the key places of interest, and a hop-on hop-off facility that lets you discover them.
Your open-top bus tour takes you to all of London’s famous landmarks and reveals London’s colourful 2,000-year history. The tour offers you a choice of a recorded commentary or a live commentary delivered by entertaining guides.
The hop-on, hop-off facility will enable you to get on and off the bus at many places of interest. Choose from the 24 or 48 hour ticket to see the city and its sights at your own pace.
Your sightseeing tour of London also includes a free cruise on the River Thames and 4 guided walking tours for you to enjoy; plus Big Bus Reward Vouchers that offer a range of discounts at attractions, shops and restaurants.
The Big Bus Sightseeing Tour is a safe and relaxed way to experience this great city and it is the perfect introduction to London and a fun day out for all.
London Bus Tours Tickets & Prices:
Normal Price for 24-hours tour - £30
Normal Price for 48-hours tour - £36
Fondest memory: My BLUE TOUR – with COMMENTARY IN A CHOICE OF 8 LANGUAGES^
4: MARBLE ARCH – Speakers’ Corner (Oxford Street, Hyde Park).
5: MADAME TUSSAUD’S – Big Bus stop, Marylebone Road (Sherlock Holmes Museum, London Zoo).
6: OXFORD CIRCUS - Stop RF, Regent Street (Oxford Street, Fitzrovia).
7: REGENT STREET – Stop V, Regent Street (Soho, Chinatown, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!).
9: HAYMARKET – Big Bus stop, outside No.11 Haymarket (Leicester Square, Planet Hollywood, Trocadero).
10: TRAFALGAR SQUARE – Stop Z, by the National Gallery (National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Nelson’s Column).
I got off here to visit the National Gallery
You can watch my 4 min 18 sec Video London - trip by double-decker bus part 1 out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.