Having useful knowledge to hand when planning a trip to London will help you to better plan your holiday. It will also help you to avoid potential bottlenecks when clashing with other tourists, and will simply make your trip more enjoyable overall. London is an incredibly popular city for tourists, so you can expect it to be quite busy.
If you're planning a holiday with a large social group, or as part of an educational tour, it is important that you are fully prepared when looking at where to go, how to get there, and how long it may take to get to each point of interest. Getting a good idea of all the transport options available throughout London will help you to get organised. We have listed a few of the more common (and a few uncommon) options for getting across London. Take your pick!
Why not take the train? London has its fair share of train stations, so you can easily travel between North, South, East and West London by using the train. This is a helpful way of travelling if you have certain points of interest you need to see, on opposite sides of the city.
The London Underground is an extensive network of stations and stops that will help you get to anywhere you want within the city (and beyond the city in some areas). It is one of the fastest ways to travel across London, and while it isn't the most attractive method of travel, it is certainly one of the more convenient.
Not really sure where to go? A tour bus will give you a good idea of places you can see and visit, without you having to worry about getting lost! The London Bus Tour also provides a hop-on, hop-off service that means you can easily experience London's attractions without having to find them on your own. If you've finished visiting attractions for the day, a bit of sightseeing atop the bus is a great way to end your evening.
If you have already spent the better part of five hours on a coach or on a train just getting to London, perhaps walking around and just seeing the sights on foot for a few hours is the best course of action. Piccadilly Circus and Covent Gardens are both nice areas for pedestrians, if you are looking at seeing a few landmarks, watching a show or grabbing a bite to eat and a few souvenirs for friends and family back home.
Hiring a coach to travel across London feels very much like taking a bus, although there are luxury and VIP coaches and minibuses that you can hire if you fancy splashing out a little. Having a hired coach means that you won't have to worry about figuring out where to go; often your driver will have an extensive knowledge of the London area, so they will be able to help you get to where you need to go. Certain coaches also provide pre-arranged pick up and drop off times, making it more convenient for those in large groups.
If you're travelling from home, it is likely that you'll be taking your own car, but if you're coming to London from abroad, you may need to hire a car if you want to drive in and around London. It is not often recommended unless you know London really well, but it is a travel option. It is also important that you are aware of the various 'congestion zones' throughout London, as you will have to pay a congestion charge if you enter into any one of these.
Tired of walking around? Gotten a bit lost? You are never very far away from a taxi in London, particularly if you find yourself near a tube or train station. Taxi drivers know their way through the busy streets of London quite well, so they are a good option for travelling if you are really bad with directions. However, as they are London taxis, they are likely to be rather expensive. Good for getting you where you need to go, but at a price!
Horse Drawn Carriage
You may have to see it to believe it, but it is still possible to hire a horse-drawn carriage if you are looking for a more traditional tour of London. There are a number of tour options available, but most will include a visit to several London landmarks, including places such as Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Big Ben, Trafalgar Square and more. If you want to take a slightly less conventional travel option, this is a fantastic way of seeing London and as it sets a rather leisurely pace, you'll certainly have a lot of time to see it all!