London – Introduction

London has five airports, Gatwick Airport, Heathrow Airport, London City Airport, Luton and Stansted Airport. London City Airport is the closest airport to Central London located in the Royal Docks however both Gatwick and Heathrow Airport have direct, express train services which reach Central London in less than 30 minutes.

Tower of London

Tower of London

Visit the Crown Jewels, spot the legendary six Ravens and take a Beefeater tour around this historic castle

London Eye at Night

London Eye

The giant 135m wheel on the South Bank offers panoramic views across London.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

The Queens’ official residence, tour Buckingham Palace and watch the Changing of the Guard.

Other things to do in London

London is known for its vast selection of museums, the majority of which are free to visit. The Science Museum, National History Museum and the British Museum are some of the best in the world. For fashion and the arts you will have the Design Museum, the Fashion and Textile Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum which one of the most influential art and design museums in the world with an exciting selection of temporary fashion and arts exhibitions. London has an abundance of speciality museums; the Pollock Toy Museum, The Vault at Hard Rock Cafe, the Magic Circle Museum and the Bank of England Museum are just a few of the many you have to choose from.

Read more: Top 10 things to do in London

For shopping in London there’s the world famous Harrods department store, and of course Hamley’s for toys. Oxford Street is the main shopping street in London full of popular brands, Bond Street is the spot for exclusive designer brands and London’s markets are a must for something a little different. Some of the must visits include Alfie’s Antique Market is an indoor market in a bold Edwardian building with over 70 vintage and antique vendors, Camden Market – London’s most popular market and Covent Garden Market.

Escape the busy streets of London with the city’s many parks. The 350 acre Hyde Park is home to Serpentine Lake which offers pedal and rowing boat rides, and lots of sculptures and fountains, including the Diana Memorial Fountain. You will find the London Zoo and Queen Mary’s Gardens which has over 400 varieties of roses in Regent’s Park and St James’s Park which has daily pelican feedings is a great place to stop off after watching the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace.

Although many of London’s attractions appeal to all ages there are lots of things especially for children throughout the city, including Kidzania, Shrek’s Adventure, Hoxton Street Monster Supplies, the Sea Life Centre and Ripley’s London.

Read more: 10 things for kids to see and do in London

Eating and drinking in London

London is a cornucopia of cuisines, from street food to Michelin-starred restaurants with celebrity chefs, and champagne bars to historical pubs you will be spoilt for choice.

Read more: 12 of the Best Restaurants in London

For a truly London experience, you can’t miss out on a traditional afternoon tea during your visit, served at hotels and restaurants throughout the city. Fortnum and Mason is the place to go if you want a great selection of teas, head to The Ritz if you want to enjoy a traditional formal tea, and The Shard for views over London and an oriental take on the traditional afternoon tea.

The street food in London is easily some of the best in the city, offering a range of worldwide cuisines to suit everyone’s tastes. Take a look at our guide to the best London street food.

Read more: Best London Street Food

London climate

London has a temperate climate which results in warm summers and mild winter. London has an urban heat island effect, the hottest month is July with average highs of 24°c, and the coldest month is January, with average lows of 5°c.

Rainfall is low when compared to the rest of the UK and other European cities such as Rome and Naples. Between October and January there’s on average 10 days of rain, this falls to 8 days each month during March to September.

When to go to London

London’s mild climate, relatively low rainfall and abundance of both indoor and outdoor attractions means London is the perfect destination no matter what time of year it is.

London has a full events calendar with numerous exhibitions, events, carnivals and festivals happening throughout the year so it’s worth checking to see what’s on in advance of your trip. The famous Notting Hill Carnival takes place each August, and the London Bushstock Festival is in June.

If you’re heading to London in winter for shopping you will see the city come to life with Christmas spirit through ice-rinks, lights, Christmas markets and fairs.

Flying to London

As one of the world’s premier cities, flights to London are readily available from destinations around the world.  Heathrow and Gatwick Airport offer direct bus, train and taxi links to the capital.