Essential Guide
London is packed full of accommodation options. You can stay in a five-star hotel, an intimate B&B (Bed & Breakfast), a self-catering apartment or a quality hostel. There is no shortage of beds and even in the luxurious and fashionable areas you might find something to suit your price range.
Type of Room
Double rooms, single rooms, twin rooms, family rooms. the choice can be overwhelming. Just know that London’s hotels offer a range of standard room configurations. Your hotel or B&

&B might offer simple singles and twins or may stretch to luxurious suites covering hundreds of square feet.
Top of the Range
If money is no object then London can offer you some of the best hotels in the world. The likes of the Ritz, the Dorchester and The Savoy are world-famous and command a high tariff. Expect to pay over £200 for a night of unrivalled luxury here.
Mid Range
Best Western is a good choice if you want to combine comfort with ex
xcellent service, at a price that won’t break the bank. There are a number of Best Western hotels in fantastic locations across London, such as the Mostyn Hotel.
Boutique hotels like the acclaimed K West and chains such as Novotel ha
ave sprung up all over the city and offer a stylish experience with their carefully chosen customised interiors and fashionable locations. Best of all they are often reasonably priced, with frequent offers making their rooms cost just under £100.
Essential Guide
London has the greatest concentration of major attractions in Britain and offers an amazing variety of places to visit.
It needn’t cost a lot to get out and about, with 238 attractions that are completely free to enter there’s nowhere else in the world where you can see so much for so little. Visit everything from the thousands of historic exhibits at the British Museum to the stately Kenwood House, the award-winning Imperial War Museum or even Hackney City Farm.
The British Museum, V&A, Na
atural History Museum and Science Museum can each take a day to explore, but you will still be inspired if you only have a couple of hours to spare. As well as famous permanent exhibits, look out for topical displays featuring a variety of special interest subjects. ‘Interaction’ is the key to many of these so you don’t just stand and stare.
London’s more famous attractions such as the British Airways London Eye and Madame Tussauds are well worth visiting if yo
ou’ve never been before, but you can also branch out and visit some less well known attractions. Places like Kensington Palace, Dali Universe and the Photographers‘ Gallery also have much to offer.
If there aren’t enough hours in the day to explore as much as you’d like, take in late night opening on Friday or Saturday nights at some of London’s top galleries and museums such as Tate Modern, Saatchi Gallery, Royal Academy of Arts and National Portrait Gallery.
BFI London IMAX Cinema, Dali Universe and Geffrye Museum are some of hundreds of attractions for people with special needs. Although all attractions are not 100% accessible for wheelchair users, many make extra efforts for individual requirements such as signed shows for the deaf, induction loops, Braille guides, as well as special tours for those with learning difficulties.
Open space accounts for 30% of the London area, and the city contains 143 registered parks and gardens. Short walking paths and nature trails can be found in places like Hampstead Heath and Mile End Park, and at the end of an exhausting day walking, they’re a great spot for a picnic – weather permitting!
Just south of the River Thames is Battersea Park, featuring a Japanese Pagoda which was a gift to the nation. Or head further out to Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew where you can explore four acres of magnificent conservatories displaying plants from rainforest to desert.
Sports fans are also well taken care of. From the Museum of Rugby and Twickenham Stadium Tours to Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum or Arsenal Museum and Stadium Tours, you’ll never get bored between matches.
Most attractions are open daily from 1000-1700, although some attractions may have shorter opening hours on Sundays. Seasonal opening times also operate at attractions including, Buckingham Palace, Houses of Parliament and Leeds Castle, and make sure to take note of public holidays. Always check times before you make the journey.
Essential Guide
London is a paradise for lovers of great food with over 6,000 restaurants to choose from. Sample cuisine from over 50 countries or visit one of 36 Michelin-starred restaurants. And if that doesn’t whet your appetite there’s always fresh, reliable fish ‘n’ chips close on hand.
Lunch is normally served between1200-1400 and restaurants and cafes will be at their busiest between these hours. Many restaurants serve an all-day menu particularly in central London and near major attractions. Eating times in the evening vary. Restaurants usually open at 1800 with busiest times between 2000-2200, and booking is recommended particularly on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.
Soho is the eating out hub of London, with restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets, however many areas of London offer specific cuisine as well as great value. East London’s Brick Lane has been renamed ‘Banglatown’ there’s Chinatown in the West End and Southall, in West London, is the heart of London’s Punjabi community and a great place to eat out.
Stoke Newington is known for its Turkish restaurants and delicatessens, while Edgware Road is the place to go for Lebanese and North African cuisine. New Malden in South London is home to Korean eateries, and the Portuguese community serves up fantastic food in Vauxhall .
Throughout the city, restaurants such as Café Rouge, TGI Fridays, Spaghetti House and Bella Pasta offer good value menus in a child-friendly atmosphere.
Vegetarian options are widely available. Carnevale in central London serves Mediterranean dishes with unusual oriental twists or try Food for Thought for delicious veggie meals and snacks at great prices.
Some of the world’s finest restaurants are in London, though dinner here will not come cheap. However, there are plenty of places to go to for really cheap eats in the city where a hearty meal can be yours for under £10. It is just a case of knowing where to go.
Pre- and post-theatre menus offer a cheaper alternative to choosing à la carte from the main menu and are widely available throughout central London particularly around The Strand and Shaftesbury Avenue.
But if you are planning to indulge yourself with a gastronomic blowout but don’t want to carry around hefty quantities of sterling, the majority of places will take major credit cards, such as Visa, MasterCard and Amex.
Service is discretionary at most restaurants and cafes but it is common to see a service charge included on your bill. This is usually a charge of ten to fifteen per cent of the total meal cost. Normally you should, of course, pay service but you don’t pay over the odds. ——-Essential Guide
With 233 venues to choose from, the London club scene is more exciting than it’s ever been.
Throbbing Soho has been the heart of London’s nightlife for centuries, with a glamorous media crowd and thriving gay scene. Start the evening at The Lab Bar on Old Compton Street with the best cocktails in town, then make your way slightly east to The End, one of London’s coolest nightclubs.
Head further east for London’s answer to New York’s cool former industrial scenes. 333 in Hoxton is at the centre of the area’s club life. Join hip trendsetters with eclectic musical tastes at Shoreditch’s Plastic People, or Cargo and Herbal just around the corner.
Two of London’s finest and largest clubs, Fabric and Turnmills in Clerkenwell have top international DJs playing the latest tunes until late. —–Essential Guide
A trip to London is a trip into the edgy and unpredictable, and with over 40,000 shops and 83 major street markets to choose from, the sheer variety on offer is hard to imagine. The city that gave the world the mini skirt, punk and Alexander McQueen continues to bubble over with excellent fashions, from in-the-know East End boutiques to the world-famous Selfridges.
London’s central shopping street is Oxford Street. Here you’ll find well recognised Debenhams, Marks & Spencer and John Lewis, all showcase department stores stocked with floors of products. In between these retail giants you will find every well-known high street shop. Visit multi-level versions of HMV, Borders and Gap and of course, the trend-seeker’s favourite, Topshop. Slip into a side street, however, and it’s pretty easy to leave the crowds behind. Check out St Christopher’s Place, South Molton Street and Berwick Street for some real treats. Nearby Covent Garden is similarly funky. Try the stores in Floral Street, Monmouth Gardens, Shorts Gardens, Seven Dials and Neal’s Yard for a taste of how hip the neighbourhood can be.