I'm a great believer that the best way to see a city is to go on foot. It is relatively slow, but for ths reason you get to see things that you would otherwise miss, and you get a much better feel of the place.
OK, you don't have to run, lke the couple in my photo, you'd probably miss stuff if you did, but certainly consider walking between sites that are close together, and with London having so much history, you'll probably find you discover something really interesting you didn't even know was there!
I believe the best way to see any city is by foot - because there are some places buses and cars can't go. London is a huge playground to explore, with beautiful streets (a lot of them cobbled - so don't wear shoes with no grip, you'll end up on your butt!), paths and parks.
For a better idea of walks to go on see the London page below or the London Walks page for a theme tour.
Whilst surfing the net just now, I came upon the website listed below. I oculdn't believe what I was seeing!
Their estimates of how near Tube stations are to anything are so far out as to be unbelievable. For example, I checked the Wapping Project restarant near where I live. The site says that Shadwell Station is 3 mins walking to the South East. It is actually about 15 minutes walk at a reasonably brisk pace. The fact that the restaurant is shown in entriely the wrong place doesn't help.
It also says that Stepney Green station is ten minutes walk. Maybe if you're an olympic athlete it might just be, but for us mere mortals half an hour would be about right.
If you use this site, bring your running shoes!
In 1902 workers coming from Greenwich needed access to the Isle of Dogs. The tunnel was built because the ferry which had operated here since 1676 no longer existed and other routes were impractical.
The tunnel is 1,217' with a 12' diameter.
200,000 white glazed tiles were used in its lining
It is situated approx 40' below the surface
As a public highway, 24 hour access is provided via lifts to the tunnel.
Why be stuck in the tube or a bus if you can just use your own feet to explore the city? Of course it is not the most advisable means of *transport* for everyone, but I find it the best. By walking, you can discover so much more - stop when you see something interesting, take your time to view the buildings and people around you. Just make sure that you have comfortable shoes and enough water in the bag! Happy walking:)
I will always explore a city on foot because it gives me the best option to wander and just stop wherever I want. London is a fantastic city to wander around in because most of the major attractions are located in close proximity to each other. If my hotel is located further away from the attractions I would like to see, I will take the public transportation to a central area and explore on foot from there.
During this most recent trip I decided to walk from Waterloo Station to the London Eye, Dali Museum, along the banks of the River Thames to the Tate Modern, across the Blackfriar’s Bridge to Victoria Embankment to the Temple Inn and Temple Church then walked along the Aldrych to Trafalgar Square where I visited the National Gallery then walked to Westminster Abbey.
Phew, my feet were begging for some relief, so I decided to take the tube back to the hotel to get ready for an evening out.
You see these TV antennas on perched like meercats on top of buildings all over the place.
In London, they are pointing towards Crystal Palace in South London which has a large TV mast serving most of London. Crystal Palace is more or less directly south of central London. Not as good as accurate as satellite dishes for navigation, but you will still impress your friends.
Ok. Fellow New Yorkers, let's review: When we cross the street, we ever so casually glance to our left and if we can gauge the distance x the speed, we can tell if its safe to cross. Then we look straight ahead and walk briskly (and confidently) to the other side. We don't pay attention to whether the pedestrian light actually says to Walk or not. We just go. OR, if we're feeling cautious, we take a glance at the traffic light FACING the oncoming traffic. In America, our light sequence goes as such: Red will turn automatically to green to GO and to stop, it will go from green, then BRIEFLY to yellow (slow down) and THEN to red for Stop.
Ok. Crossing the street in LONDON. For one inexplicable reason or another, the pedestrian light is almost always red. It's confusing because it takes far to long to turn green! Thus, here is my theory, which I DO use in practice. Take a glance at the traffic light for the oncoming traffic (which is to your RIGHT, NOT YOUR LEFT). As long as it's RED, you can cross. HOWEVER...DO NOT CROSS WHEN IT TURNS YELLOW. When approaching the corner, you may notice the light turn from Red to Yellow. Do not cross, because 2 seconds later, it will turn green and before you know it, a crazy red double-decker will be veering right towards you!
In short, cross when its red. Don't cross when its yellow. And obviously, don't cross when its green. Use common sense and learn to gauge distance x speed. But don't be overly cautious and end up waiting on a street corner for 10 minutes waiting for the pedestrian light to turn green and there are no cars moving. It's annoying, so save yourself the frustration.
Walking in London is one of the best ways to get around, and it is so easy! You might want to get a map, just so you know exactly which streets you need to take, but once you are in the city centre, you can get almost anywhere by walking! It's feels like you are on a monopoly board!
You can easily walk from the museums at South Kensington (Science, Natural History and V&A) to Hyde Park then Harrods then to Marble Arch, then to Buckingham palace, and from there you can see the 'London Eye' in the distance as well as Big Ben and Westminster, and walk right to them! This saves you on public transport/taxi costs, as well as letting you soak up the atmosphere and justify an indulgent lunch!
There aren?t any enormous hills, so it?s an easy walk, not to mention in the city centre there are tubes and busses everywhere in case you get tired!
I would highly recommend walking in London ? and hopefully the infamous London weather will be on your side!
The shortest way from Buckingham Palace to parliamentary Westminster is a walk through St James Park. On a hot day, you can also mingle with a lot of picknicking and suntanning Londoners -- including a bunch of Pelicans! There are signs reading "do not feed the Pelicans" but the fact that some of these Pelicans are not exactly thin and probably fly like a clump of lead suggests there might be some loopholes in following/enforcing that order :))
It's easy to get misplaced when you are strolling through London. It's useful to have a structure that you can use as a point of orientation when you might otherwise be lost. For a number of years I've used Centre Point Tower to help me orient myself on my London walks. It's the tallest structure in central London, visible from many places, and located at the important crossing where Oxford Street runs into Charing X Road. It's no one's favorite building in London - in fact many people hate it with a passion. But it does make for a helpful landmark.
It was great to discover the City on foot.
Make sure you wear good shoes, as you can walk rather big distances, and without good shoes, you'll get blisters and painful feet.
All over the City, there are signboards which show you the direction to the nearest underground station, and to the nearby attractions and cities highlights.
With budget airlines all over the place it´s sometimes more expensive to take the train from the airport to London than the actual plane ticket.
I decided to give it a shot at walking from central London to Stansted airport in october 2005 and spend a joyful 2 days walking through the northern suburbs of London before reaching the airport to catch my flight back to Copenhagen.
On top of getting free transport to the airport, it´s also a nice way to see lesser known parts of London and you will finally convince all your friends that you are totally crazy :O).
Sometimes due to unforseen circumstances (like people jumping in front of trains and overcrowding) stations can close. so instead of thinking your trip is ruined or that you need to transfer to another line change and change again go overground and try walking it.
as a general rule tube stations aren't too far apart (although i wouldn't try walking clapham to camden) so if it's near by on the tube map then it could take about 5-10 minutes to walk it and you never know what you'll see on the way.
What can be a better way to explore a place other than walking? It's free and it brings you to tiny lanes and streets with hidden gems where no public transports can bring you.
The pic was taken on one of my walking excursion. I don't remember where it was. :(
Clue: The photo was between pics of Charing Cross station and Royal Academy of Arts.
If you know can you please tell me? Thanks!