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Download a city guide of some of Europe's most beautiful cities onto your iPod, mp3 player or phone. As we guide you through the streets, along the route we've planned for you, our city guides will tell you what you're looking at and how to make the most of your city break.
We only had a long weekend to do the city and so your tour really helped us get our bearings. There's just so much to see there! I know we only scraped the surface but it worked really well for us.
Tanya Ellison - (27/08/06)
This was a great tour that took you everywhere you needed to go. Particularly liked the walk through of the mosaic frescoes on the front of the Basilica. We had a great time in Venice, made all the more special by this evocative guide. Like the speaker's voice too - one of the best I've listened to.
Andrea How - (19/02/06)
LONDON CITY GUIDE: Its history dates back to Roman times and even earlier as our Guide to London - Westminster and West End and our Guide to London - City explain. But today London is also the centre so many worlds - finance, media, fashion, politics - and shopping, as our London Shopping Guide reveals.
LONDON CITY INFORMATION:
From Heathrow Airport
Underground: Take the Piccadilly Line of the Underground (also known as the Tube) which goes directly into the West End via Chelsea and takes about 50 minutes. Trains start at about 5.30am and run until about midnight.
There is an additional ticket machine in the Baggage Reclaim area of International Arrivals in Terminal 1 which can save you queuing at the Underground station. If you plan to travel quite a bit by Tube during your staff it’s cheaper to buy an Oyster card – see Tube below. For more information visit www.thetube.com or ring 020 7222 1234
Heathrow Express: A comfortable, fast train service into Paddington station in the north west corner of central London. Services run every 15 minutes and the journey time is just 15 minutes with an extra seven to eight minutes to and from Terminal 4. Price: single fare: £14.50 and standard return £28. See www.heathrowexpress.com or ring 0845 600 1515 from the UK.
Heathrow Connect: A slower but much cheaper service that stops at stations in West London. Trains depart every 30 minutes from 4.42am until 11.08pm and take about 30 to 45 minutes. Price: single fare to Paddington is £6.90.
Coach: Most coaches pick up and set down passengers at the Central Bus Station, which is near Terminals 1, 2 and 3. Buses depart every 10 to 15 minutes from 5.30am until about 9.30pm and take 45 minutes to an hour depending on traffic. Price: single from £4 and return from £8. For more information visit www.nationalexpress.co.uk or ring 8705 808 080.
There is also a night bus, the N9 which goes to and from Central London every 30 minutes.
Taxi: London black cabs are available outside all terminals. They take about 45 minutes to an hour to get into the West End depending on traffic and cost about £45 to £60.
From Gatwick Airport:
Train: Gatwick Express trains leave every 15 minutes from 4.35am until 1.35am and take 30 minutes to get into London’s Victoria station which is on the District & Circle and the Victoria Lines of the Underground. Price: £14.90 single and £26.80 return (round trip). You can buy them at Gatwick Airport station or on the train. For more information visit www.gatwickexpress.com or ring 0845 850 1530.
A cheaper train option is the Southern Trains service which takes about 40 minutes to get to Victoria, stopping at Clapham Junction where you can change for trains to Waterloo just south of the Thames and south west London. Price: £8.90 single and £16 return. For more information see: www.southernrailway.com. Note: you MUST buy tickets before you board the train.
Coach: National Express coaches leave every 30 minutes and take about two hours. Price: single £6.60 and return £12.20. For more information visit www.nationalexpress.co.uk or ring 08705 808 080.
Taxi: A last resort from this airport. They take about an hour and half to get into Central London and cost around £80.
From Stansted Airport:
Train: the Stansted Express departs every 15 – 30 minutes and takes about 45 minutes to get to London Liverpool Street station on the Central Line and the Circle Line in the City of London which is the Financial District to the East of Central London. Price: £13.50 single and £21 return. For more information visit www.stanstedexpress.com
Coach: National Express coaches go variously to Victoria and Trafalgar Square. They depart about every 10 to 30 minutes and take about an hour and 40 minutes, depending on traffic. Most operate 24 hours a day. Price: £10 single and £17 return. For more information visit visit www.nationalexpress.co.uk or ring 8705 808 080.
Terravision coaches go directly from Stansted to London Victoria Coach station 24 hours day. They depart every 30 minutes and take about an hour and a quarter depending on traffic and cost. Price: £8 single and £14 return.
Snowdrop Travel connecting to Kings Cross, Russell Square, Piccadilly, Bayswater and Earls Court. Coaches go every hour 24 hours a day. Journey Time is about two hours. Price: single £12.50 and £25 return. For further Information ring: 020 8593 7771
Taxi: Taxis take about an hour to get into Central London and cost about £80.
Train: Trains take about 25 minutes to get into Kings Cross station which is on the Piccadilly, Northern, Metropolitan & Circle, and Victoria Underground lines towards the north of Central London. Trains depart every few minutes. Price: single £10.90 £20.10 return. There is a regular shuttle from the airport to the station which departs from Bay 1.
Coach: easybus buses depart every about 20 minutes 24 hours a day and take about one hour forty minutes to get into Central London. They arrive at Baker Street in the north west of Central London. Baker Street station is on the Bakerloo, Jubilee, Metropolitan & Circle Lines. Prices: start at single £2 and £4 return.
Green Line buses depart about every 20 minutes 24 hours a day and take one hour to one hour forty minutes to get into Central London. They arrive at Finchley Road in North London, Baker Street station, Marble Arch and Victoria Coach station. For more information visit: www.greenline.co.uk or ring 0844 801 7261.
Taxi: taxis take about an hour to an hour and a half depending on traffic to get in to Central London and cost from about £50. For more information visit www.cabcotaxisluton.co.uk ring 01582 737777 or www.lutontaxis.com or ring 01582 735555.
Via trains from Dover (into Victoria Station)
Victoria Station is on the Victoria and District & Circle Lines of the London Underground. Taxis in the form of black London cabs are available from the front of the station. Don’t be tempted to use a taxi tout. The bus station is also just outside the main entrance. Victoria Coach station which operates coaches for longer journeys is in Buckingham Palace Road, round to the left as you exit the station through the main entrance.
Via the Eurostar (into Waterloo station)
Waterloo station is on the Northern, Bakerloo and Jubilee Lines of the London Underground. Taxis in the form of black London cabs are available – just follow the signs. Don’t be tempted to use a taxi tout. There are also numerous buses from the station – again just follow the signs.
Getting Around London:
For general information about public transport in London visit the Transport for London website www.tfl.gov.uk
Underground: The Underground, or the Tube as it’s known is reasonably reliable and is certainly the fastest way to get around London. Trains run every few minutes from about 5.30am until after midnight every day.
Prices start at £4 for a single journey.
To get the best value for money, instead of buying a ticket at the station, get an Oyster card. It works for tube, bus and Docklands Light Railway. Either get unlimited travel for a certain period or load a value onto it - £5, £10, £15 etc and the appropriate fare will be deducted every time you travel. You can buy Oyster cards online before you arrive by visiting www.visitbritaindirect.com Otherwise they are available at tube stations and London Travel Information Centres. Once you’ve bought your card you can put money onto it at various shops as well.
For more information ring Transport for London on 020 7222 1234 or visit www.thetube.com
Bus: Buses are also frequent and relatively cheap. They run from early in the morning to late at night. Just check the route at a bus stop and the destination on the front of the bus. Also check whether you can buy a ticket on the bus or whether you need to buy one before you board. Prices are £2 in central London if you pay by cash and £1 if you use an Oyster card (see Underground above). A weekly pass for unlimited bus travel Central London costs £14.
Night buses: Night buses which have the prefix N in front of their route numbers run throughout the night from central London, principally around Trafalgar Square.
Taxi: The drivers of London’s famous black cabs have to ‘do the knowledge’, in other words learn every street in London before they can ply their trade. The minimum charge is £2.20 and you can expect to pay up to £15 to get any distance in Central London. The yellow light means that they are available for hire. They’re much harder to hail at night so you might want to ask your restaurant or hotel to order you a minicab.
Docklands Light Railway: At its name suggests, this railway covers the new Docklands area and offers some great views – especially from the front of the first carriage. Tickets and fares are the same as on the Underground.
Boat: There are boat services along the Thames from Westminster, the Tower of London and the Tate modern amongst other places. For details visit: www.tfl.gov.uk/river
Renting bikes: Cycling in London is somewhat hazardous but is getting easier. Look out for cycle symbols and green cycle lanes on the streets.