London Travel Tips
London is considered one of the world's greatest cities. Families shopping online for London vacation rentals by owner may have a lot of questions about where to go, what to do, and how to travel. This guide can give you some tips regarding which neighborhoods to shop, what sort of activities you can do, how to move about in the city, and what sort of events to look out for. Vacation Home Rentals is your guide to London holiday rentals. Vacation Home Rentals is a trusted source for by owner rental opportunities and offers a Happy Rental Guarantee.
If you look for a "subway" in London, it will probably take you to an underground walkway for pedestrians. The "tube" is a very easy-to-use subway system. If staying for more than a few days, consider getting an Oyster card. The subway of London is honestly the best way to get around. It is fast, reliable, and unlike New York City's Metro, very easy to use for tourists. As long as families stick together at stations and getting on and off the train, this is a wonderful way to travel. When looking for vacation rentals in London, try to see if it is near a tube station. London also has a great network for buses. Riding one of the city's famous double decker red buses is an experience not to be missed. When using public transport, however, be mindful of the etiquette of quietness.
As stated before, many attractions in London are very close to one another, and walking is often the best way to get about. Unless you are looking specifically at London rentals far outside the main city, renting a car is not really recommended for a first-time London traveler, for the obvious reason of needing to drive on the opposite side of the road. There are also a great deal of driving and parking rules and regulations that make this an unattractive option.
Parents can sometimes have a difficult time looking at holiday rentals. London is a huge city, and it can be hard to tell which neighborhoods are both safe and economical. The city is generally broken down into four parts: the West End (which includes Soho and Covent Garden), the City of London, which is an actually a small section of the wider city, the South Bank, which is on the other side of the Thames, and the East End. Generally speaking the further west you go in London, the wealthier the area is. You may want to stay somewhat near the Thames. Generally people like to stay on the north side of the river, however, if you are a Shakespeare buff, the South Bank is a great choice for you, and you can get across the river easily with the Millennium Bridge.
- London Neighborhoods and Towns - This list has convenient information for each town/neighborhood and can serve as a great guide when looking at London rentals.
- London Boroughs Map - This map includes all of the London boroughs. When looking for vacation rentals, London locations near the main sights usually are in and around Westminster, Camden, the City of London, Chelsea, and parts of Islington.
Months can be spent in London without seeing all of the sights. Full days can be spent in the British Museum
alone. If you want to maximize your London vacation, rentals can provide a home base, but try to get out of them as much as possible. Definitely plan ahead, and keep your interests in mind. Some activities, like the Jack the Ripper walks, may be too intense for young children, so be sure you carefully research all activities prior to doing them with kids. Some very family friendly activities that can be enjoyed in London include:
- The London Eye, which is basically a giant Ferris wheel bordering the Thames, can give your family a full view of the entire city and get them excited about where they want to go during this trip - bring your camera!
- Some of London's main tourist attractions are within a few miles of each other. Do all or a section of the Jubilee Walkway to see Westminster Abby, the House of Parliament, the Millennium Bridge, and Trafalgar Square. Remember to bring a small, discreet tourist map with you.
- Watch the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. This free, ritualistic, huge spectacle draws a crowd every single day. It involves a band, horses, swords and a great deal of ceremony.
- Go to West-End Theater - For rainy days, London has a rich theater presence, with Broadway and off-Broadway hits.
For the most part, if there is a United States holiday, it's probably also a London holiday. Rentals will be very exciting during Christmas, New Years, and Saint Patrick's Day. There are obvious exceptions like Thanksgiving and Independence Day that won't be celebrated in England. Instead they have holidays like Bonfire Night and the Boxing Day. With regards to events, London, like New York City, is a buzzing metropolis with lots of things going on every day. Here is a listing of some of the major holidays and events:
- 5, November - Bonfire Night - The simplest way to think of Guy Fawkes Night is to think of it like the 4thof July. It involves lots of fireworks, drinking, and bonfires.
- 1, January - News Years Parade - This annual parade can attract half a million people to Piccadilly.
- In June - Trooping the Colour - The Sovereign Queen's birthday is celebrated with a traditional service.
- British Film Institute - London Film Festival - This event is somewhat comparable to the Oscars and happens in London annually with some films premiering in London at the festival.
- Wimbledon - This event is the oldest tennis tournament in the world and for two weeks every year attracts athletes and spectators from around the planet.