So you’ve already taken a look at the luxury homes in London and decided where you would like to stay, and you’ve also decided what you’re going to do when you get to London. But did you know there are a few bits of information about London that could prove to be very useful, especially if you knew them beforehand? This is where we can come in and help you out by letting you in on a few secrets so your stay in London is a little less daunting, and a lot more exciting.
Polymer Bank Notes
The UK has recently introduced pound notes that are made of polymer, and feel slightly similar to Australian bank notes. Many vegans have protested against the use of these notes as they contain tallow, a fatty substance which is taken from animal fat. However, the protests have as yet fallen on deaf ears as it appears the Royal Mint are happy to keep churning them out. The bank notes are thought to last longer than the older notes that would occasionally become torn and start to look a little worse for wear.
You may want to be aware that the old £5 and £10 notes are no longer accepted in shops around the UK, so you won’t be able to spend your leftover cash from your last visit.
The Beauty of Public Transport
Getting around the capital city is very easy. You don’t have to struggle to find a taxi, and if you miss your train you can always hop on a bus. With reasonable prices, and the chance to save up to 50% on your journey if you use an Oyster card, the most you’re likely to pay is around £4.40 per day, although this is subject to change.
Please note that you cannot pay for your bus journey with cash, you’ll need to purchase an Oyster card before you jump on board. The good news is that you can buy these money-saving cards from many shops, railway stations and bus stations too, which means you can jump on a bus, or a train whenever you please.
London can be Pricey
A trip to London can potentially be quite expensive, as with any capital city. The great news is that there are a lot of free or low-priced activities and destinations that are just waiting to be explored. For example, the city is home to a lot of museums that don’t charge an entrance fee, and there are a lot of parks that are simply beautiful and ideal if you want to enjoy a picnic and a leisurely stroll.
The London Pass
If you would like to see as much of London as possible, you need to buy a London Pass. Used by approximately 3 million people, and offering you the chance to enjoy free entry to more than 80 different tours and attractions, you could potentially visit as many tourist destinations as you please. No matter how long you are going to be staying in London, you can buy a pass to suit. Offering you the chance to buy a 1-day, 2-day, 3-day, 6-day or a 1-0day pass, you simply need to buy and show the pass upon arrival at the destination of your choice. Please note that the pass should be used on consecutive days, so if you buy the 3-day pass, for example, on a Monday you will have all of Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday to use it. If you want to use the pass again, you will have to purchase another one. At the time of writing, the price of the London Pass started at £69 for one adult and £49 for a child. The good news is it usually works out cheaper if you buy a pass that lasts a little longer, and you’ll have the opportunity to visit the following attractions for free:
- The Tower of London
- Thames River Cruise
- Windsor Castle
- Kensington Palace
- Westminster Abbey
- Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour
- Tower Bridge
- London Zoo
- and so much more!
Many of the above attractions cost at least £20 for you to enter, so if you spend £69 on a 1-day pass and you visit 4 destinations on that day, you’ve saved yourself quite a bit of money, and have a great time!
Avoid Shopping on Oxford Street
Unless you really aren’t averse to very busy streets and shops, you may want to think about avoiding Oxford Street. Although the street is home to some internationally known stores it can get extremely busy, especially on a Saturday. If you really want to shop ‘til you drop you may want to think about heading to Westfield shopping centre, Covent Garden, or Regent Street as they’re usually a little less busy.
If you really must head to Oxford Street make your way there as early in the day as you possibly can, and make sure you head somewhere else during lunch time as the restaurants and cafés tend to become very busy.
Know you know how to save money, where you can visit for free, and how to get around London with relative ease you can start planning your vacation and use your knowledge to help you avoid the crowds while seeing all that this wonderful and vibrant city has to offer.