Luxury holidays in London
When to 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.
PlanesLondon has several international airports: Heathrow to the west is on the Piccadilly Line or 15 minutes from Paddington on the Heathrow Express train (www.heathrowexpress.com; tickets are cheaper if booked online). Gatwick to the south is 30 minutes from Victoria via the Gatwick Express (www.gatwickexpress.com). Stansted to the east and Luton to the north are where most of the budget carriers land. There are trains to Liverpool Street four times an hour 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 use your chip-and-pin card to touch in and out, or 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 a daily Congestion Charge (£11.50 if paid on or before the day you're travelling; £14 if paid the following day) 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 download and book using the Gett app (http://gett.com/uk) and a black cab will arrive to whisk you from A to B for a pre-arranged fare. Avoid unlicensed minicabs.