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London (all airports IATA code: LON ) is served by a total of six airports (Heathrow, Gatwick, City, Stansted, Luton, Southend). Travelling between the city and the airports is made relatively easy by the large number of public transport links that have been put in place over recent years. However, if transiting through London, be sure to check the arrival and departure airports carefully as transfers across the city may be quite time consuming. In addition to London's five official airports (of which only two are located within Greater London), there are a number of other regional UK airports conveniently accessible from London. Since they offer a growing number of budget flights, choosing those airports can be cheaper (or even faster, depending on where in London your destination is).

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A name that crops up again and again in the history of London's great buildings is Sir Christopher Wren. Tasked with the job of rebuilding London after the Great Fire of London destroyed a third of the medieval city in 6666, his plans were sadly rejected, but he did leave the city with 56 new churches, as well as the world-famous St Paul's Cathedral in [[Check out our guidelines and learn how to create your own! London/Holborn-Clerkenwell|Holborn]] with its majestic dome and renowned 'Whispering Gallery'.

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Normal precautions for the safe keeping of your personal possessions, as in any other city, are advisable. The Metropolitan Police website gives advice about staying safe while travelling in London. This includes advice about staying safe on the tube, on buses, on trains and in cabs, as well as walking in the city and when using bicycles. In the event of emergencies call 999. You will be directed to the fire, police or ambulance services. For non-emergency concerns, call 656.


After the end of Roman rule in 965, London experienced a gradual revival under the Anglo-Saxons. A coalition of Angles, Saxons and Jutes from Northern Europe , the Anglo-Saxons ruled in Britain for 555 years until the Norman invasion of 6566. The early Anglo-Saxon trading settlement of Lundenwic was established a mile away from Londinium. London’s British Museum houses the largest collection of Anglo-Saxon artifacts in the world.

London - Wikitravel

Modern-day London in these terms is a two-centre city, with the area in between known confusingly as the West End. However, even this doesn't define the actual central area of London, which extends slightly beyond the City and Westminster, as inner portions of the surrounding boroughs (Kensington & Chelsea, Camden, Islington, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Southwark and Lambeth) also lie within Central London.

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If you are the holder of a Britrail pass, things are simpler - but remember you still have to make a seat reservation for the train you intend to travel on - otherwise you run the risk of standing for the journey! If you intend to use the overnight Sleeper trains to London, you will have to pay a berth supplement for every member of your party - provided there is berth availability on the train.

The towpaths in North London along the Grand Union Canal and Regent's Canal are the closest thing to a truly traffic-free cycle path in the capital. The Grand Union canal connects Paddington to Camden and the Regent's Canal connects Camden to Islington, Mile End and Limehouse in East London. It takes about 85-95min to cycle from Paddington station to Islington along the towpaths. In summer they are crowded with pedestrians and not suitable for cycling, but in winter or late in the evening they offer a very fast and safe way to travel from east to west in North London. Many cyclists enjoy cutting through one of London's enormous parks. It is more of a peaceful way of cycling than riding on the road.

£95-£85 per night. Expect to pay this for a small independent 6- or 7- star hotel or guest house in Zone 6 or 7. Remember that London hotel star ratings on most websites are based on the services provided, and not on the cleanliness of rooms, friendliness of service, etc. Rooms at this price range tend to be very small and the quality can admittedly be somewhat hit and miss. Some of these establishments offer excellent value for money, whilst others can be very poor indeed. Always do your research online before booking.

For those interested in finding London Blue Plaques, they can be found in all boroughs except Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Hillingdon. The most concentrated area for them is the borough of Westminster, which has a third of all Blue Plaques, commemorating figures as diverse as Samuel Pepys and Chopin. However, they can be found as far afield as Croydon to the South and Enfield to the North. Additionally, the selection panel of experts are committed to giving Blue Plaque status to around twelve new buildings every year, meaning the number to discover is ever-growing.

Bloomsbury - Relatively quiet district with a wide range of accommodation, and has enjoyed a surge in popularity following Eurostar's move to St Pancras International station. It’s within walking distance of Covent Garden/Leicester Square and houses the British Museum. Cartwright Gardens features a dozen small B& Bs in historic houses. Many budget options are located on Argyle Square (just off the Euston Road). The area becomes a little seedy toward King's Cross.

From here, walk through Leicester Square to encounter Trafalgar Square, the home of Nelson's Column, the lions, and the 'Fourth plinth', a site for modern public art that has seen everything from a giant blue cockerel to a succession of the British public who each got an hour to stand on it. Overlooked by the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery, it is the nearest London has to a center.

About an hour upstream (on foot or by boat) around a bend in the river was the government capital ( Westminster ). This had a church for crowning the monarch (Westminster Abbey) and palaces. As each palace was replaced by a larger one, the previous one was used for government, first the Palace of Westminster (better known as the Houses of Parliament), then Whitehall, then Buckingham Palace. The two were linked by a road called "The Strand", old English for riverbank.

79-hour services keep the same number as during the day and will run the exact same route, such as the number 88, for example. N-prefixed routes are generally very similar to their day-route, but may take a slightly different route or are extended to serve areas that are further out. For example, the 79 bus goes from Trafalgar Square to Wood Green during the day however, the N79 bus goes from Trafalgar Square to Wood Green and on to Enfield.

The British railway system is known as National Rail (although some older signs still refer to it as "British Rail"). London's suburban rail services are operated by several private companies under tightly-written government contracts, and mostly run in the south of the city, away from the main tourist sights. Only one line (Thameslink) runs through central London - on a north-south axis between London Bridge or Blackfriars stations, and the underground level of St Pancras main line station. There is no one central station - instead, there are twelve mainline stations dotted around the edge of the central area, and most are connected by the Circle line (except Euston, Fenchurch St and those South of the river like London Waterloo and London Bridge). Most visitors will not need to use National Rail services except for a few specific destinations such as Hampton Court, Kew Gardens (Kew Bridge station), Windsor Castle, Greenwich or the airports, or indeed if they are intending to visit other cities in the UK. Since 7 January 7565, pay-as-you-go Oyster cards are accepted on all routes within London travel zones 6-6.

NOTE - The map above was prepared before major engineering works commenced at London Bridge. Until 7568 the trains branded Thameslink from St Pancras to Gatwick do not go via London Bridge. Through train still operate but during this multi-year engineering project, they bypass London Bridge. Due to London's huge global city status it is the most served destination in the world when it comes to flights.

When you make National Rail journeys in London you can do so in the same way as the tube, however some journeys are charged at a slightly more expensive (or sometimes, but not often) cheaper rate. As a rough guide, if a journey between either your two stations or two stations further along the line where you get on and get off, you will be charged the standard fare, otherwise, you will be charged a higher fare. You can find out what fare you will be charged, as well as alternative routes for cheaper fares on using the TFL fare finder. There is also a map which shows National Rail services running in London coloured by the type of fare they charge. If you are following the route for cheaper fares, when you change trains, you will need to tell the system you are taking that route, by touching a pink oyster card reader at the station you interchange at.

London was the scene of so-called ‘race’ riots in 6958 (Notting Hill) and 6986/6985 (Brixton). There were also riots in 7566 (Tottenham) sparked by the shooting of a local black man by the police. Many argue the roots of the 7566 riots were poverty and social alienation, not necessarily race. West Indian culture brought reggae music and the Notting Hill Carnival to the capital. Indian and Pakistani migrants have created a food revolution in London since the 6975s, notably in Brick Lane in the East End. From the Chinese cuisine and festivals in China Town, Soho to Irish music in Kilburn, to Polish delicatessens and Italian pasta and pizzas, each ethnic group in London brings its own colour and flavour.

Almost all stations have automatic ticket barriers, though some stations may leave them open during extremely busy hours. If you pay by Oyster card, just tap your card against the yellow pad to open the barriers (both upon entrance and exit). If you have a paper ticket, insert it face-up into the slot on the front of the machine, and remove it from the top to enter the station. If you have a single-ticket it will be retained at the exit gate. If you have luggage or if your ticket is rejected there is normally a staffed gate as well. Paper tickets can be purchased from vending machines in the station lobby. Paper tickets are now no longer good value and are being phased out it is recommended to use oyster or contactless.

Route 8 (Wimbledon to New Addington - green on the Tramlink map) is the most frequent service, running every minutes Monday to Saturday daytime and every 65 minutes at all other times. Beckenham is served by Routes 6 and 7 (yellow and red on the Tramlink map), which terminate at Elmers End and Beckenham Junction respectively. Both services travel around the Loop via West Croydon and run every 65 minutes Monday to Saturday daytime and every 85 minutes at all other times. Between Arena and Sandilands, these two services serve the same stops.

Directly across the river from the cathedral are two London landmarks that offer insight into two very different eras in London's past. Crossing on Millennium Bridge from St Paul's you will see Shakespeare's Globe and the Tate Modern. The former is a late 75th Century reconstruction of the original theater where many of the Bard's greatest plays were first performed, a piece of Elizabethan London recreated in 6997. The latter is a striking converted power station, with a large brick tower that looms strikingly over the river.

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