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General London Questions and Answers

What good bits of advice can you give a person about to go to London on vacation?

London is a great city to visit and for the most part very user
friendly.  You need a Tube map and to know your colours after that a sense of
direction is not a prerequiste.  Get a centrally located hotel and read
your guide book and pick the things you want to do.  Open top tours
are a good way to get a good flavour of what you want to see and tour
around the entire city.  

What hotels would you suggest staying at that's close to popular

Right well that depends on what you want to see and there are so many
and truly as a local I don't stay in them. There are Bed and Breakfasts
which are really big over here just usually out in the surrounding
As far as public transport which yanks think is grand and it's thorough
but for a local it's pretty pathetic in terms of the actual service and
the prices are outrageous.  it's set up into concentric circles so that
1&2 are the middle central zones and B&B's would be in zones 4-6

Where are some good places locals go to for breakfast, lunch,

Two favourites are the Stockpot it's a real pub food kinda place in
central London you can find the details on and another
would be a place called Wagamama that also has a website if you do a search -
it's Japaneese and technically a noddle bar but it's in the basements
of buildings and when you order stuff just comes out as and when so you
could have desert first and your friend could be getting his drink
after dinner --make for amusing meals and it's pretty cheap as is the
Stockpot.  Otherwise favourite London food is simply a good curry --in fact
the uk is joked of as having curry as it's national dish and many would
say you can get better curry in london than Delhi.  and finally pub
food --yanks might find it a bit odd but you have superb food in pubs and
that is truly english staple --steak and guiness pies and bangers and
mash etc.  good stuff

How's the transportation from the airport?   Is there a
good public transportation system within the city?

Again yanks will think it rocks and it goes many many places.  There
are four airports lhr -Heathrow (I think it's 15 min but it's been awhile
since i took it) and you can take the underground up to town for
cheaper but longer journey and then there is the Heathrow express that is
quick and dumps you into Paddington.  LGW-Gatwick has cheaper but longer
service into London Victoria and then the Gatwick express as well.  then
there is Stanstead which is in the direction of Cambridge in Bishops
Storford and it's more or less the other end of the earth and whilst
there is a stanstead express the first one leaves at 6am which for some
budget airlines won't work.  and the tube just starts then so you have to
be careful of the times.  

Where's affordable housing/rentals in a decent area for
people looking to relocate?

There is no affordable housing in London!!! gum tree (
is a good place to start looking and the place is so big that you
really have to just check an area out by post cose (
is another good for getting a feel for areas.  As compared to the us
the place is completely safe and whilst there are dodgey areas there are
no guns.  Some bad sections are Brixton & Brick Lane.  

What are some fun thing for a family visiting the area to
do?  fun things for singles?

Most tour books will do the basics as there are so many -- my personal
favourite for singles would be Camden Market it's - tough to find info on
it but there is a site for Camden Lock but not sure of the address.  
It's just a huge market but it's got lots of punks and crazies and its
more interesting than the Portabello and had it's own Tube stop.  

What are some things to beware of?

Pickpockets on Oxford street.  
Tube stops at around midnight --make sure you can get back to your
Pubs close have last call at 10.30 so the English culture starts and
evening out very early
Fully educate yourself on the different tickets that are available for
travel like a weekend travel card
The open top bus tours are good for 24 hours so you can use it as your
form of transport for a day

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