We went to London with the Lady de Gloves and a sibling and had a great time. In this post we will tell you about how to do it. It the next one we will tell you what we did.
We think there are N things you should plan about your stay in London:
- Get an Oyster Card for each person.
- Use the Underground
- Stay near transportation.
- Physical handicaps will be a problem.
Really, you are thinking, MWG put Oyster Card first suggesting it is the most important. Yup. London is a big place, over 600 square miles, with lots of people, almost nine million, and very difficult to drive in because it is an old city that was not designed for vehicles and you have to drive on the wrong side of the road. Public transportation and walking is the way to go. The link will give you details on everything you can ride with it but the Oyster card can get you from the airport to where you stay and all around London cheaply and easily. The Oyster Card is like having E-Z Pass on a toll road. It is cheaper and faster than paying individual tolls.
The card can do lots for you but we recommend emphasizing the Underground. The subway in London is called the Tube or the Underground but we like the latter. The stations, like King’s Cross where six lines meet, can be enormous. This means three things. First your map app will underestimate the time by a few minutes because of the walking within the station. Second, you need to pay careful attention to the maps on the way down to the trains. The trains are usually identified by the last stop so the Victoria line southbound is Victoria – Brixton. Third, you need to pay careful attention on the way up because you can end up in a variety of places. It takes a little work but the Oyster Card and the Underground can get you almost anywhere in London. According to our map device, it was usually quicker than driving without the worry of trying to park.
We didn’t like busses because the signs are not as obvious and announcements are harder to hear. In addition, they get caught in traffic. You can ride busses with your Oyster Card but we much preferred the Underground.
For lodging, price is a critical issue that might overwhelm any other considerations. We went Air BNB because our party of three needed two bedrooms. A flat (apartment) is much cheaper and has its own kitchen compared to two hotel rooms. It is hard to be far away from the Underground but being near a big station, and especially King’s Cross which is close to another big station, Euston, with Underground, trains, and busses means that you can be anywhere in London in a few minutes, and in a few hours anywhere in country or even Paris. We walked by several hotels each day so there are a variety of places to stay in the King’s Cross and Euston area. It is far from the only good choice but was great for us.
London is an old city with lots of steps and many of them are beautiful marble staircases but there are not as many ramps. If you have physical limitations it can be a problem. Rest rooms in restaurants and pubs are often on a different floor. Not all the Underground stops have lifts (elevators). If you have physical limitation you need to research you plans very carefully.
London is a wonderful city to visit. Get an Oyster Card. Ride the Underground. Stay near a big station like King’s Cross. Next time we will give you some ideas on what to do in London.