London Travel Guide

The Wright Way guide on how to keep busy while on your next trip to London.


Best time of year to visit London

London is a little on the cold side and almost constantly raining, or "drizzling". With an average temperature of 66 F in July, your best bet is to visit London in the Summer months. I visited in late May and was lucky to have some nice days with minimal rain.



Where To Stay

I stayed in a VRBO in the Holborn area - however, found that the area was too quiet for my tastes. Instead, try out the Covent Garden area for colorful and eccentric restaurants and shops. The Mayfair neighborhood is another great base for those looking to get the most out of London’s shopping scene.


Want to stay where I stayed? Check it out here!


Where To Eat

London has an amazing culturally diverse food scene. If trying new foods is out of your comfort zone, London is not for you. Mix up the traditional fish and chips and dive into London’s Indian food scene or try Thai curry at the Churchill Arms.



My Favorite Places

The Coppa Club at Tower Bridge - Best for brunch and cocktails - Make sure to make reservations beforehand to get an igloo on the rooftop terrace.

Dishoom (Covent Garden) - Indian food with an average wait of two hours, but worth every second.

Churchill Arms - A surprising Thai restaurant surrounded by hundreds of flower pots and greenery. This was some of the best food I had in the UK.

Le Petit Sud - Intimate wine bar in Kensington

The Old Bank of England - Traditional English food built over the location of Sweeny Tood’s barber shop.

Hook (Camden) - Fish and chips actually worth ordering.


Best Afternoon Tea - Make reservations beforehand

The Botanical at the Kew Gardens

The Orangery at Number 16




Day Trips

As with any large metropolitan area, being in London for your whole vacation can be overwhelming and give you a limited view of the country's culture. Spend a day or two getting out of the city and seeing what else England has to offer.


Windsor

In comparison to other European palaces such as Versailles and Schönbrunn, Windsor castle takes much less time to tour, so there’s no need to plan a full day in Windsor. Instead, arrive in town as soon as the Palace opens at 10am and be sure to pre-order tickets online to skip the line. Stay for an extra hour or two after your castle tour for shopping and lunch. My favorite spot was a small Greek restaurant called Latino.


Cambridge

Cambridge is the perfect day trip outside of London, about a forty five minute train ride, but if you get the chance, spend the night in one of their authentic bed and breakfasts to get the true feel of this quaint and charming town. This is a place I’d come back to again and again.

Wrighter tips:

- Go punting before deciding on what Cambridge colleges to visit, as this will give you a better idea of what buildings are worth seeing.

- Grab lunch a little off the beaten path at The Granta for a great meal by the river, and stop by the rooftop terrace at Six for delicious cocktails and the best views of the city.


English Countryside

Consider renting a car and visiting the many estates outside of London. Some of these include Chatsworth House, Highclere Castle, and Hatfield House.



Things to do


Although your activities will be based off your personal interest, here are some things that you may want to try out


  • Harry Potter Studio Tour Reserved for the die hard Harry Potter fans

  • Ride the London Eye

  • The Kew Botanical Gardens You can spend anywhere between a few hours to a full day here

  • Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace Gets very crowded and can be hard to see. Make sure to look up their current schedule before attending.

  • Borough Market Save money by stopping here to cook a few meals in. This international market serves anything from prepared foods to ingredients to make your own.

  • Tower of London Make sure to arrive first thing in the morning and check out The Crown Jewels before attending a Yeoman Warder tour in order to miss the lines.

  • Hampton Court Residence of Henry VIII - A great place to visit if you’re a lover of history

  • Stroll through Hyde Park and Kensington Palace

  • Westminster Abbey Buy tickets beforehand to skip the line.

  • Enjoy a museum day at The National Gallery or Tate Modern

  • Shopping in Mayfair In my opinion, London has some of the best shopping in the world. Spend an afternoon on Oxford and Regent Street for London's most prestigious shops and department stores.

  • Climb the 02 Dome Not for the faint of heart.



Things to know

Currency:

Pounds

(1 pound = about $1.22)


Phone plans:

In order to avoid expensive international surcharges and roaming fees, get an international sim card at Vodafone after arriving in London. There are multiple stores around the city.


Outlet Adapter:

Type G


Transportation:

- The London Tube system is the easiest way to get around, however this is much more pricer than subway or metro systems in other cities. Consider getting an Oyster Card if you think this is something you will use often

- Uber and Taxi services are also available in London. If traveling with a group of three or more, this may be cheaper than taking the Tube.

- If you're going to rent a car, remember that they drive on the left side of the road in the UK.


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Have your own advice for London? Leave your travel tips in the comments below!

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