London, United Kingdom
Do Go/Don’t go
London empties out in August, but tourist sites still get crowded. Spring and summer can be lovely, even if the weather is reliably unreliable.
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Tales from our travels
PlanesLondon has several international airports: Heathrow to the west is on the Piccadilly Line or 15 minutes from Paddington on the Heathrow Express train (£14.50). Gatwick to the south is 30 minutes from Victoria via the Gatwick Express (£14.90). Stansted and Luton to the east are where most of the budget carriers land. There are trains to Liverpool Street four times an hour (£14.50) from Stansted and a regular rail service to King’s Cross from Luton. City Airport in Docklands is dominated by European business flights and is on the DLR line.
BoatsThere are commuter and leisure boats all along the river: the main service runs from Putney with regular stop-offs all the way to Greenwich Pier. See www.tfl.gov.uk/river for timetables and routes.
TrainsInternational trains arrive at St Pancras (www.stpancras.com), which has good links via the Underground. The Tube network will be your saviour, taking you anywhere you need to go (www.tfl.gov.uk/tube); your best bet is to buy an Oyster card from any station for reduced-price journeys (valid on buses too) across the capital.
AutomobilesOn weekdays from 7am to 6pm there’s an £8 daily Congestion Charge payable to drive into and around central London (www.cclondon.com); parking is easy but pricey. Beware overzealous traffic officials.
TaxisYou can hail one of London’s trademark metered hackney cabs anywhere, or ring Zingo (0870 070 0700) from your UK mobile, and the nearest one will find you. Avoid unlicensed minicabs; we recommend Climatecars (+44 (0)20 7350 5960), whose carbon‑neutral minicabs operate in central London.