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Travel Tips - London
 
 
   
 

 


   

London ... what can I say? When a man is bored of London , he is bored of life. London makes for a wonderful and action packed visit, so ensure you have both time and money to enjoy the jewel in England 's crown. With the Olympics to come, London can only expect to see improvements to all infrastructures and despite the recent terrorist attacks the city still remains upbeat. In fact there may not be a better time to visit.

Beck Piper investigates...


 

What to eat?
Well, hmmm, erm, crikey... despite Britain's woeful culinary reputation, tourists may be pleasantly surprised to find edible and even delicious food in London. The sandwich is a British staple and when well done can be a gastronomic feast. Traditional English cooking is once again in fashion, meaning that pubs and restaurants alike are wooing customers with the delights of a Sunday lunch (roast beef, yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes and vegetables) bangers and mash, fish and chips, toad in the hole, you name it, it's back and it's better than ever before! You can also choose from an endless range of ethnic cuisines, and there is a great choice for vegetarians.

What to drink?
Beer is famous and separated into two camps, lager (light-coloured beer) and bitter (dark coloured beer). Most pubs will serve an interesting choice - although a trip outside London is much better for sampling local beer. Other quintessential English drinks to quaff include gin and tonic, Pimms (in the summer) and of course TEA. London and the UK actually function on tea. Without it, they would be lost. Tea is the drink that solves all problems, tea is to comfort, to celebrate, non class-specific, the drink that unites this often very divided land. You can choose from a myriad of blends from English breakfast, through Darjeeling and Orange Pekoe to Earl Grey. Whittards of Chelsea is probably one of the most famous tea vendors, although you might like to visit Harrods Food Hall.

Where to go out?
London is clubland extraordinaire. From salsa to gay clubs to hardcore to fetish, whatever you want you can find here. Pubs are the centre of the British social life and you will find one on every street corner. Other London nocturnal activities could be catching a show or a play in the West End, seeing a ballet, visiting late opening hours at the Tate Modern Art Museum or checking out the cinemas in Leicester Square. Live music abounds in all forms - jazz, punk, gothic, rock, techno, cabaret... the list really is endless...

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Where to go shopping
Oxford Street for the best of the high street and more... Covent Garden for high quality goods, boutiques and curios, Camden Market for student/goth/hippy chic. Harrods, just for the "blingbling" of it. Chelsea for posh goods. Really shopping possibilities are endless. But with the size and bustle of London a personalised shopping trip may be the most comfortable solution.

Where to chill out?
Hyde Park is a huge inner city park perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle of London. It is an exhausting city and immense. When I go to London I always feel in need of a bit of pampering, so a visit to a day spa or even a swim and sauna are the perfect antidote to London life.

What to see?
Deep Breath...
Buckingham Palace, Tate Modern Art Gallery(free), Oxford Street, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square, London Eye, Westminster, Big Ben, Tower of London, London Dungeons, Madame Tussaud's, West End, Camden Market, Covent Garden, Saatchi Gallery, St Paul's Cathedral...London is huge and there are so many things to see from great architecture to historical buildings to modern hip fashion.

Where to stay?
Your travel agent can usually secure better rates by booking accommodation with flights. There is a wide selection of accommodation for every budget, ranging from 5 star hotels to motels and hostels. London is a city though were cheap accommodation can be hard to find. There are budget accommodation booking sites which may be able to do the hard work for you if you would prefer to shop around.

Danger signs
London does have some dangerous areas but if you avoid taking the Tube at night, walking in parks alone (especially women at night) and stick to tourist areas it is unlikely you will meet any trouble.

 
 
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