Portray of the Destination
The great capital of England and Great Britain has grown with the eras, its residents and the
world. The ability to adapt to its people and visitors has enabled London to become a thriving
international leader in finance, politics, education, entertainment, fashion, media and the arts
making it a city for all.
London’s monuments and buildings generate great attraction for visitors and they tell the
story of London’s past in such a vivid way, making every experience personal to each individual.
Whilst also showing its past, London’s plans for the future are evident, none more so than the
plans for the Olympic Games 2012. Important aspects of London’s skyline show the integration of old
and new within the city. As you view the skies you will see history, with regards to Big Ben and
the Houses of Parliament but also the present and future with attractions such as The London Eye.
Open spaces such as Hyde Park allow people to feel like they are in a different world to the
fast paced London that is so widely recognised. This is because it is peaceful and tranquil and
shows a different side to a diverse city.
Galleries, Museums and Exhibitions are a plenty, showing the works of greats
artists such as Picasso and Matthew Barney. Also, making visitors aware of the excitement that
everyday life brings through technology and science within establishments like the Science Museum.
Accommodation throughout the city is readily available whether it be in a Bed and Breakfast
or in a five star luxury hotel, there is accommodation for everyone’s budget.
As London is the United Kingdoms hub, accessibility in and out of the city is easy as they
have 5 airports; Gatwick, Luton, Stanstead, Heathrow and London City Airport and numerous train
stations. There is also an underground metro system that operates around the city centre and all
the districts in London.
We would like to thank the "Visit London" office for the information and images
London’s most prominent geographical feature is the River Thames that begins at the Southwest of
the city and passes through to the east of the city. Other important geographical feature within
the city of London is the Thames Valley that is bordered by hills including Parliament Hill and
The River Thames is a much narrower and deeper river due to the fact that a considerable
section has been embanked over the years.
The boundaries of central London surround most of its attractions, theatres and eating and
beverage establishments. The majority of places in central London are within walking distance of
London’s climate can be very indecisive but is one of the regions within England where the climate
tends to be quite mild. Between the months of July and August the average temperature is around
18ºC (64.4ºF) but it has been known to reach 30ºC (86ººF). However, in winter, the temperature
drops to around 6ºC (42.4ºF) and below and also it does tend to rain quite a lot.
When to go
Prices are higher during the summer months due to the great amount of visitors, but you do get the
advantage of a better weather which in itself is not a certainty.
There are myths and legends claiming that London is a pre-Roman city but most evidences show
otherwise, as most of the proofs dates back to the Roman era.
Dating back to the invasion of 43 AD, the town of Londinium was erected, located not far north
from the river Thames. There was also a bridge that was built to give access to the south which
enabled the town to become a flourishing trading hub. Queen Boudica and the Iceni lead vicious
attacks on London in 61 AD when they maliciously burnt the city. The Romans successfully retrieved
the city and protected it by building a wall on the borders of the city against invasion. The area
which is situated within the wall is recognised as “The City”, also the financial centre of the
The remains of the Roman era of London are still preserved today. As the city of London grew and
grew, important monuments began to be erected within the city. None more prominent than St. Paul’s
Cathedral, the original Cathedral has been replaced at the same location. It was during the period
of Medieval London that the Tower of London was built to guard the city. It has been used for many
purposes since then, including a palace and a prison. Medieval London is still apparent within the
city with regards to street names such as Pudding Lane and Bread Street. It was in the 13th century
that London was granted permission to elect an annual Mayor. By 1600, 200 000 residents were
calculated to be living in the city under the Tudor monarchy.
Most of the city was still fields so, the Tudors founded many palaces and deer parks such as
Richmond park. During the 17th century, hard times fell upon London. In 1605 Guy Fawkes attempted
to blow up the Houses of Parliament, then, in 1640, the civil war broke out causing Charles I being
beheaded in 1649. One of the worst events of the 17th century was the outbreak of the Plague which
was introduced into the city by rats onboard trading ships.
As many residents of London lived close together, the plague spread quickly, hence chances of
survival were very slim. The plague claimed the lives of 100,000 residents. Another crisis that
struck London was the Great Fire of London in 1666 which destroyed 80% of London. The fire was
accidentally started in Pudding Lane and, as most buildings were built of wood, the fire spread
quite easily. Queen Victoria helped London to expand as she enhanced London’s world trade and
Many of the buildings that still stand in London today were built during the reign of Queen
Victoria. London’s empire also grew with the introduction of the underground railway which is also
known as the tube. The boundaries of London kept extending between 1919 and 1939 which resulted in
London doubling in size. The World War II also brought severe damages to the city of London,
especially to St Paul’s Cathedral and its surrounding area.
The blitz was a devastating time for London resulting in many people looking for shelter in
London’s underground railway stations. London is, in fact, not just one city but two, consisting of
the City of London and Westminster which is located to the west. However, these days, most areas
that immediately lie to the west are now considered to be central London.
In recent history, due to London being the most important city in the UK, it has been vulnerable
to terrorism: the IRA bombers which threatened London with bomb attacks and some of them were
carried out. However, most recently, there have been a number of planned bomb attacks such as the
bomb attack on the 7th July 2005 in the underground and buses.
London International Boat Show
New Year’s Day Parade
Russian Winter Festival
Chinese New Year
Holiday and Travel show
Classic Motor Show
Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race
London Garden Show
Chelsea Flower Show
Party In The Park
Great British Beer Festival
African-Caribbean Street Fair
River Cultures Festival
Notting Hill Carnival
Chelsea Antiques Fair Gastronomy
London Film Festival
Trafalgar Square Festival
Christmas Lighting Ceremony
Guy Fawkes Night
London’s gastronomy is very versatile and diverse due to the different cultures and communities
that have taken residence within the city. Different parts of the city have more types of cuisine
than others in places such as China Town that has many Chinese restaurants. There are many cafes
and bistros throughout the city and also fast food outlets. The types of cuisine you may find on
restaurant menu’s are Chinese, Indian, Tai, British, Italian, Greek, Spanish, etc. Traditional
English food such as Roast dinners, English breakfasts and Eels are readily available.
Pound Sterling. There are banknotes of 50, 20, 10 and 5 Pounds. Coins of 1 and 2 pounds and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 pennies.
1 Pound Sterling = 1.50 EUR
As London is the country's capital ad it has many visitors, prices are much higher than other
places in the world and the UK. Especially in the centre, prices can be quite extreme but that is
to be found all over the city.
GMT 0Official Language
2.6 km2 (1.6 sq mi)Population
8.5 million inhabitantsPolitical Regime
Constitutional MonarchyPublic holidays
1st January – New Year
March/April – Easter
1st May – May Day Holiday
Last Monday in May – Spring Bank Holiday
First Monday in August – Summer Bank Holiday
25th December - Christmas Day
26th December - Boxing DayReligion
London has a diverse community consisting of many religions but which is dominated by the Christian
community. Whilst having a very large Christian community, the city also has a large Islam, Hindu
and Jewish religious communities which have made London the hub for there religion in the UK.Religion
Christians (58.2%), No Religion (15.8%), Muslim (7.2%), Hindu (4.1%), Jewish (2.1%) and Sikh (1.5%)Arrival / Departure
As London is a transportation hub, access to and from the city could not be easier. With 5
airports of which three are in the UK’s top 5 ranking airports, inbound and outbound flights are
abundant. The city is also host to the oldest underground metro link in the world that has many
stations near to the city's major transportation terminals. Within central London there are nine
different train stations that travel to different parts of the country. The train station of
arrival or departure depends on where you are travelling to or from.Safety
As with many large cities, crime can be a problem within the city of London. It is essential that
you take care of yourself and your personal belongings. With regards to your accommodation try not
to leave valuables in you room but put them in a safety box and also take normal precautions such
as making sure that doors are properly locked.
Especially within crowded places, keep your bags in front of you and never leave bags or purses
on the floor in restaurants, bars etc. When you are out and about after dark try, where possible,
to be in well lit areas.Visa
Citizens From Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA can enter the UK for up to
six months. If you are a citizen of the EU, you do not need a visa to enter the
As London’s climate is quite mild clothes that keep you warm are most advisable. However, as the
weather in London can be indecisive clothes that you can layer would be most convenient. Within the
daytime in London any sort of clothing is expectable but please take into account that when
visiting bars and restaurants that a smart dress code will be required. Meaning no sport wear,
clothing with big labelled motifs, etc.Electricity
240V. British style plug with three pins.Radio and Television
London is a major core of many television associations' headquarters such as the BBC, ITV and
Channel Four. As the country capital, London has many radio stations and broadcasts that cover many
different types of music, topics, discussions, religions and communities. There are also many
pirate radio stations which are very popular among listeners.
Capital Radio, Heart 106.2, Kiss 100, Xfm, BBC London, LBC 97.3 and LBC News 1152.Telephone
999 or 112Ambulance
999 or 112Fire Brigade
999 or 112 Newspapers and Magazines
Newspapers within London are either free or paid for. Each district within London has a newspaper
that publishes information and news about only that area, but there are also newspapers that are
distributed to London as a whole. Newspapers that are available in London cover different topics,
matters and issues.
Daily Mail, Daily Star, Evening Standard, Express, Financial Times, Guardian, Independent,
London Daily, London Globe, Mail on Sunday, Metro, Mirror, Morning Star, News Of The World, Sun,
Sunday Mirror, Sunday Times, This Is London, Times.Postal Service
In the UK, the national postal service is the Royal Mail. Prices of mailing items now depends on
the size and weight of them as well as how you would want to send them. It seems quite complicated
but if it is all done correctly the post will be more efficient. There are other postal
companies which are more specialized in sending a specific post.
Health Care Services
Any person from any nationality has free access to any NHS A&E department and hospital
throughout the UK. Even though, travel insurance is still advisable.Airport
London Gatwick Airport is the second largest airport in the UK and the sixth busiest airport in the
Heathrow Airport is the UK’s best connecting airport, one of the busiest airports in the
world and the third busiest airport in Europe. The airport consists of four terminals with a fifth
terminal under construction and also two parallel runways. Heathrow is the largest of the five
airports serving London.
London City Airport has only one runway that is designed for short landings and take-offs. It
has plans to be redeveloped for the 2012 Olympic Games.
Luton Airport has around 9 million passengers per year making it the fourth largest airport
in and around London. Luton Airport is situated 30 miles to the north of London.
Stansted Airport is an airport that is recognised as a core for European low-cost airlines.
Many airlines such as Ryanair and Easyjet serve the average 22 million passengers that use Stansted
Two major forms of public transport within the city of London are buses and the London underground.
London Underground is also a great and fairly cheap way of getting around London as there are many
stations near to major attractions and transport terminals.Railway
The railway system within London is connected to most cities and towns within the UK and also some
European destinations. The Eurostar trains run between London, Paris and Brussels via the Channel
Tunnel. The railway system in and out of London can be very busy with thousands of passengers
passing through the stations. There are many underground and train stations that serve central
London which include Heathrow Airport, terminals 1-4, Victoria Train Station, Euston Train Station,
King’s Cross Train Station, Liverpool Street Train Station, Oxford Circus Underground Station,
Piccadilly Underground Station, St. James’s Park Underground Station. Most trains have different
levels of service and class including economy, business class and first class.
The London underground also known as the “tube” is the biggest form of public transport
within the city. Even though called the London Underground, 55% of the system is above ground. The
system has routes all over central London and also to neighbouring areas, covering 274 stations
running on an electric railway.Bus
Victoria Coach Station is London’s largest serving coach station with terminals on either side of
Eliizabeth Street. One serving inbound passengers and the other serving outbound passengers. The
two main companies that operate within the stations are National Express and Eurolines. For a cheap
option in coach and bus travel the Megabus which is operated by Stagecoach bus company offers
services between London and other major cities in the UK for basic prices.Car
Operating around in and around London are the traditional Hackney Black Cabs that are world wide
recognised. As they operate around London city, tariffs can be quite high. Also, with the traffic
congestion that London experiences daily it may be easier to take another form of transport.Car Rentals
There are hundreds of car rental companies within the central London district. Many operate from
within and around London’s airports and transportation terminals.
Avis Rent a Car
Heathrow Airport: Northrop Road, Hounslow, London. Tel.: 020-8899-1000
Park Royal: 243 Acton Lane. Tel.: 020-8453-1212 (www.avis.com).
Heathrow Airpot: Northern Perimeter Road. Tel.: 087-0846-0006, fax: 020-8759-1125
Fulham Palace Road: 201-203 Fulham Palace Road. Tel.: 020-7381-8200, fax: 020-7381-9651. (www.hertz.com).
Ship Destination Tourism Office in Spain Spanish embassy in the destination Taking pictures See climatewww.worldweather.orgCurrency converterwww.xe.com/ucc/A dinner
Heathrow Airpot: Northern Perimeter Road. Tel.: 020-8897-0811, fax: 020-8897-6111
Richmond: 197 Lower Richmond Road, Tel.: 020-8876-1155, fax: 020-8877-4983. (www.europcar.com)
£ 6 - 20 A coffee
£ 2/3 The Bus
£ 1.50 The taxi
For Black Cabs the meter starts at £1.40, and then rises by 20p every 219 metres travelled (additional charges can be added for extra passengers, front-seat baggage and for ordering a cab by phone)The Underground
£ 3 poundsThe train
Standard Day Single from London Gatwick to Victoria Station is £9