London's Calling! Home to a whole bunch of famous historic attractions, galleries and museums, London is a cultural hub with a split personality. More like a series of distinct villages than one city, Londoner's are often keen to show off their own particular patch.
Vibrant and diverse, London may once have been best known as the heart of the British Empire, viewed as a place where aristocrats and royals enjoyed an afternoon tea and Dickensian characters frolicked and strived, but today it is a culturally diverse metropolis.
There almost as many Londons, it is said, as there are people living there. London can be almost anything you want it to be and whatever you are looking for in London, there is little doubt that you will find it. The streets may not really be paved with gold, as legend once had it, but this is still an exciting place – a place laden with history, legend and myth, where dreams have and do come true.
When To Visit London
While London can be lovely at any time of the year, it is worthwhile remembering that the British Isles can be rather chilly in the winter months. That said, London is warmer than most of the UK and there are plenty of places to warm up and get out of the wintery weather. Another thing to bear in mind when visiting London is that things get much busier (and prices will often be much higher) during the school summer holidays, so if you want to keep costs down, this period in July and August is best avoided.
The Weather in London
The winters in London are chilly but not excessively cold. The coldest months are December and January, when the average high is around 9 degrees Celsius and the average low is around 4 degrees C.. Spring and autumn are temperate and variable, with weather patterns that can vary considerably from year to year. The weather can be very pleasant any time between May and September, though July and August are the warmest months they are usually not excessively so, with average highs of around 23 degrees C. and average lows of around 15 degrees C.. Rain can come at any time of the year in this temperate, oceanic climate.
While there are no specific vaccine requirements for travel to London, or to anywhere in the UK, it is recommended that you make sure you are up to date with routine vaccines before every trip . These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and perhaps a yearly flu shot.
Top Tourist Attractions
London is a treasure trove for history lovers. Top historic tourist attractions include Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben & the Houses of Parliament, St Paul's Cathedral, & the Tower of London. Those interested in London's past, in art, culture and learning should also visit popular museums, such as the British Museum, the National Gallery & the Tate Galleries, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Churchill War Rooms and many, many more institutions throughout the city.
Secret Gems in London
Here are five secret gems in London – shh – don't tell anyone!
- Camden Passage – hidden in behind Upper Street in Islington, this is a treasure trove of cute boutiques, vintage shops and cosy cafes.
- Kyoto Gardens in Holland Park – London has loads of lovely green spaces and this Japanese garden in leafy Kensington is one of them.
- Chelsea Physic Garden – this is another 'secret' London garden. It was established in 1673!
- Liberty's Rug Room – hidden on the fourth floor of this famous store you will find a stash or rare rugs, which feels like a souk in Morocco.
- Ruislip Lido – a beach, in the city! A great place to swim or sunbath, and while popular with locals, there is still always space to spread a towel.
5 Tips For Your Visit to London
- Don't just stick to the city centre. Visit different boroughs to really get to know London.
- Easily get around London on the London Underground (Tube), the underground railway network.
- Remember that many of the main museums are free to enter.
- Save money on entry to many key attractions with the London Pass.
- Eat and drink away from major tourist centres to save money while in the city.
What Not To Do While in London
- Don't hire a car and try to drive in the city. It is congested, expensive and pointless, since the public transport system is generally perfectly adequate for getting around.
- Don't spend money on expensive tourist tat as souvenirs, find genuine handicrafts and unique, beautiful items at one of London's marvellous markets.
- Don't waste money on tickets from ticket touts, buy genuine tickets if you want to see a musical or a West End Show.
- Don't try to strike up a conversation on the Tube – it is just not done. Londoner's can be friendly – but only in the right setting.
- Don't get into an unmarked, unofficial cab. If you want to travel be taxi, take one of the traditional Black Cabs.
Budget Accommodation Options in London
There are plenty of places to stay in London for all tastes and budgets. Though the capital can be very