Make Your Own Way As A Tourist From London To Oxford

One of the great secrets of travel is to ‘do what the locals do’. Local people will almost always know the best things to do and the cheapest way to do them.

Take the case of the ‘tourist bus’. It can be very convenient to get to know a foreign city quickly, using the local open-top bus. It can make an excellent introduction to a city and allow you to narrow down the list of places that you want to explore in more detail. However, you don’t see many Londoners on the open-top buses in London, do you? Even if they are showing visitors around their beloved city. Why? Because there are much cheaper and more effective ways of getting around the city. A day pass on the London buses is cheap and you will see at least as much, if you plan it carefully. And you won’t have that annoying, patronizing commentary.

So how about traveling to places outside London? This can seem more complicated to arrange and many people seek the safety of an organized tour. But think about Oxford, for example. This beautiful historic university city is only an hour or so from London. There is an adequate train service. But what do the locals do? They take the bus. In fact, there are two bus companies operating on the London to Oxford route in competition, which means that the fares are cheap and the service is frequent. For less than twenty pounds, you can get a return ticket on one of these services to Oxford. Go when you want, explore Oxford at your own pace and return to London when you want. This is what a Londoner would do and I’d advise you as an informed visitor to London to do the same.

So where do you find these buses? There is a convenient bus stop situated at Marble Arch, on the Hyde Park side. Look out for a service named the ‘Oxford Tube’ (as you probably know, the ‘tube’ is the popular name for the subway system in London.) Just pay the driver as you get on the bus. Take my advice and go upstairs. You’ll enjoy interesting views of the western London suburbs and see how Londoners really live. And once you cross the outer London ring road, you’ll love the views of the green and rolling Oxfordshire countryside. Remember to bring your camera!

You’ll have a great day out, save money and be more like a real Londoner. What could be better?

Oyster Cards in London

A variety of payment methods exist for purchasing permits to travel throughout the world’s greatest cities. One of the most well used methods in London is the Oyster Card.

Introduced to the public in July 2003, the Oyster card is a contactless smart card which may be recharged in different locations such as ticket offices throughout London’s rail network, vending machines, travel information points, online or by phone.

It is not unique: the Octopus card was introduced in Hong Kong in 1997 as the first contactless smart card in the world. There were also earlier prototype versions.

Over 10 million Oyster cards had been issued by March 2007, and the number keeps growing. They are credit card size and act as travel permits for more than 80% of all journeys run by Transport of London.

They make life much simpler for people regularly commuting in London. Not only can they hold season tickets, they can also act as pay-as-you-go travel cards and bus passes. They can electronically hold values of money in the same way as a pre-paid store card.

Where can you use Oyster cards?

London buses have a fixed rate flat fare; Oyster cards can be used to pay this far by touching the card to the yellow validator as you board;
London Trams operate a similar process to London buses, except at Wimbledon where the card must be used to gain access to open barriers so you may access the boarding point;
They are also accepted by River buses, however a ticket inspector with a handhold scanner will arrive to scan the card and deduct payment;
Both underground and overground rail services must swipe their card at the start and end of each journey in order to pay the correct fair or to use their season ticket. Most stations have scanners attached to the barriers when you enter or exit the station, although some smaller stations have standalone Oyster card readers.

As already discussed, cards can be used to hold season tickets or can be topped up and used to pay for individual trips in the same way as a mobile phone on a pay-as-you-go offer may be topped up before a telephone call is made. As of May 2010 it is thought that 16.5 million pay-as-you go Oyster cards have been purchased but not used during the past year. The average amount of money stored within each card is £1.80, resulting in almost £30m sitting unused.

With such high uptake, putting your design on Oyster card holders is an effective way to promote your brand. Corporate promotional items such as Oyster card holders and wallets, printed with your artwork or embossed with your design or company logo are a powerful marketing tool.

Getting Around London

London is one of the best cities in the world, and you’ll want to make sure you get around easily to see it all while you are staying in a Hyde Park hotel. London may seem a bit daunting on first arrival because it is so large and busy, but luckily there is an excellent public transport system up and running to help you get to where you need to go with as little hassle as possible. So if you are wondering how best to get around, here is a quick guide.

The London Underground

The famous London Underground is perhaps the best way to get around the city when you are staying in a Hyde Park hotel. London has the oldest underground train system in the world, with the first section opening in 1863. It now comprises 11 lines and the Docklands Light Rail, making it one of the largest underground systems in the world. There are 270 stations currently on the Underground, meaning you can get to pretty much anywhere you need to using this system. Nearly all of the major attractions in the city are never far away from a tube station, and you do not have to worry about getting lost as it is easy to work out where you are.

London Buses

The red double-decker bus is an enduring icon of the UK capital, and you will see them all over the place. The bus network in the city dates back many years, and this is an ideal way to see the sights because you can look out of the windows as you travel. Buses can also take you to more places than the Underground system, so it may be a good idea to grab a timetable and plan some above ground routes by bus.

Reduce Your Travel Costs

Travelling in the capital can be quite expensive, but there are ways to minimise the cost of getting around. A single journey on the Underground currently costs £4, so it is best to opt for an all-day travel card if you intend to travel around to lots of the different attractions during your time in a Hyde Park hotel. London is divided into six zones for travelling, and you can purchase a single paper ticket that will allow you to travel on all of the trains, buses and the underground network for one price, which is a great option for sightseers. You can also buy a seven-day travel card if you are staying for longer. Alternatively, you may want to purchase an Oyster card which you can preload with money and then use for single journeys which are cheaper than paying the standard single rate. However, this is only a good option if you only intend to make a few single journeys each day.

Cycling

Another option you may want to consider to get around is cycling, and renting a bike is a good option when you stay in a Hyde Park hotel. London now has the Barclays Cycle Hire (BHS) scheme that launched in 2010, and this allows you to rent a bike from one of the many docking stations and use it to get around the city. You can use a credit or debit card to pay for it, and it could be a very interesting way to see even more of the sights during your stay.

How to Get Around in London?

Getting around in London is very easy with different modes of transport available for your flexible London travel. Be at peace by booking central London Hotels offering various means of transport just near your doorstep. Rush to your business meetings without much traveling hassles. And if for your leisure London trip, London buses are more preferable to give you the perfect and splendid London city view. Choose from the list below for making your traveling in and around London easy.

Tube: The London Underground, or the Tube to most, is usually the quickest and most convenient way of getting around.

Bus: Bus services in London provides an easy way of getting around the city.

Train: The over ground train network links many areas not served by the Tube, as well as offering direct east-west and north-south routes.

River: There is a variety of riverboats serving numerous points and London attractions along the River Thames, as well as special cruises.

Taxi: Back cabs in London are available for hire when the yellow light above the windscreen is lit – just raise your arm to hail one.

Travel cards: Electronic smart cards called Oyster cards offer the best fare when traveling in London. These give unlimited travel on the Tube, buses and over ground rail.

By Car: London city is not the best place to explore by car; traffic in the capital is dreadful during the peak hours so London sightseeing might also become too time-consuming and annoying. Public transport is very suitable for this demanding city with local residents and tourists choosing a rapid and well-organized means of transport

Must See Attractions in London, UK

London, the capital city of England, UK is steeped in history with a unique mixture of old fashion traditions and modern attractions. It is also an expensive city to live in or travel. Yet, it is one of the most visited cities in the world.

Though there are many interesting places to visit in London, these are my top list among them.

Big Ben and Houses of Parliament – You can see both these together.
Westminster Abbey – A historic site and the resting place of many famous people.
London Eye – large Ferris observation wheel
The Tower of London – London’s original royal fortress.
British Museum – There are many museums in London. If you are pressed for time, at least visit British Museum.
Trafalgar Square – located in the heart of London.
National Gallery – When you are in Trafalgar Square, you can visit this Gallery easily.
Buckingham Palace – Try to be there on time to see the Change of Guard.
Hampton Court Palace – There is a lot to see in this historic royal palace.
London Bridge – famous 19th century bridge across the Thames River.
Hyde Park – There are several parks in London. If you have no time to visit many, at least one, which I recommend is Hyde Park.

Apart from the above, if you have some time at your disposal it will be interesting to experience wonderful night shows, shopping in Oxford Street, walking through the Piccadilly Circus, traveling in the Tube and London Bus, and strolling on the banks of Thames River. Don’t forget to dine in a pub, for which London is famous.

London Dungeon

Golden Tours cover all the well known attractions and offer a wide range of sightseeing tours, including London Bus Tours, London Sightseeing, London Tour, Madame Tussauds, London Dungeon, Tower of London and much more.

The London Dungeon is a fantastically unique and thrilling experience. Amass of live actors, interactive special effects, rides and shows provide exhilarating entertainment as well as testing your nerves! Based upon historical events of London’s past, uncover the terrifying truth behind some of the capital’s most horrific scandals! Be prepared to face your worst nightmares as you discover all from Jack the Ripper, to the Great Fire of London and Sweeney Todd.

New to London Dungeon is Surgery: Blood and Guts, the ultimate gruesome surgery experience. Be prepared for blood, guts and all the gangrenous details!

Unique to London Dungeon are its two rides; extremis and the traitor. Be transported to the dark depths by the hangman guide and embrace your doom on extremis. The boat ride from hell ensures those who are afraid of the dark and drowning are in for a terrifying experience! Face your fears on the traitor!

London Dungeon takes you back to 1666 and uncovers all about the Great Fire of London. At a cost of 200,000 peoples’ lives, the raging fire transformed the capital from greatness to cinders. Preying on London’s prostitutes, Jack the Ripper frequented the dark alleys and quiet streets of London, causing women in the 1880’s to be frightened for their lives. Not forgetting Sweeney Todd, the demon barber of Fleet Street, visitors can enjoy a unique barber experience and enjoy one of his famous pies.

Golden Tours cover all the well known attractions and offer a wide range of sightseeing tours, including London Bus Tours, London Sightseeing, London Tour, London Dungeon Madame Tussauds, Tower of London and much more.

Open Topped “London” Bus Tours, Island Cruises – Very Popular in Malta

Whatever country or city you are visiting, it is always nice to get up close and personal with the environment. And what better way to do just that than by hopping aboard one of the open-topped ‘London’ buses that cruise around the country?

Whether or not this is your first visit to Malta, we believe you have never seen the sights and sounds of the island in such panoramic and spectacular fashion. The open-topped ‘London’ buses run on two distinct routes – one covering the south of the island and one covering the north. Each tour takes approximately three hours if you stay on board the bus. However, as they run on a circular route you can hop off one bus and then get on another one later.

The South tour visits Valletta, The Three cities, the picturesque fishing village of Marsaxlokk, the Blue Grotto and the Megalithic Temples of Hagar Qim as well as many, many other fascinating sites.

The North tour takes you through the yacht marinas of Ta’ Xbiex, San Anton Palace gardens, Ta Qali Craft centre, the Aviation Museum, Mosta Dome all the way up to the Silent City of Mdina. The return journey takes you past some of Malta’s most magnificent beaches as well as the hugely popular tourist centres of Bugibba and St Julian’s.

Each bus has built in audio guides which offer commentary about all the places visited in eight languages – English, French, German, Italian, Maltese, Danish, Spanish and Japanese. We can honestly think of no better way of seeing the real Malta than on top of one of these buses with the wind in your hair, the sun beaming down on you and the locals going about their daily business oblivious to your presence…

Cruising the Island by Boat

Islands anywhere make wonderful holidays. It is as much fun to go island-hopping as it is to be able to go round them on a boat and to absorb the different views that come up in quick succession. Round-Malta and Round-Gozo cruises give you the opportunity to experience some of the Mediterranean’s most stunning sights as you sail past the imposing bastions of Valletta and Grand Harbour, the history-laden Three Cities, and the chic, commercial centres of Sliema and St Julian’s.

These full-day cruises also take you along the scenic Maltese and Gozitan coastlines viewing fishing villages, salt pans and the impressive Dingli cliffs, Popeye’s Village, several bays and inlets and then on to the crystal clear waters of the island of Comino’s famous Blue Lagoon for walking, swimming, snorkelling and sunbathing. Buffet lunches, cold drinks and typical Maltese snacks are usually included with the package as are the optional speedboat rides to the fascinating caves of Comino and other attractions.

There is an exciting range of different cruises one can choose from, all of them operated by new and established holiday companies that recruit the best crews to sail an amazing variety of boats you can pick from. You can go on a Grand Harbour Cruise or a Gozo and Comino Cruise. There are also special cruises connected with specific activities, like diving and snorkelling, fishing and skiiing. Islands were made for this.

London Bus Tours: An Overview

London bus tours have long been a popular and worthwhile way of experiencing the sights and sounds of one of the world’s most famous capital cities. Many companies operate within the city itself, usually basing themselves around well-known tourist traps such as Trafalgar Square. Whatever your interest, there is likely a London bus tour to suit you.

Guidance Options

The type of tour and how it operates is solely down to the company you choose to travel with. Some tours will be guided, others will have audio descriptions. You may also be able to travel with a company that offers children-specific guidance, providing the same facts but in a way that is understandable to children. Most tours will offer audio guidance in a variety of languages, and some operators offer means of guiding for those with hearing or sight problems.

Route

Essentially, most places in the city will be covered by a London bus tour of some kind. Below are some examples of tours offered by the top tour companies, and the sights they visit.

“The Original Tour: Yellow Route” Operated by The Original Tour company, the route encompasses:

* Statue of Eros

* The National Gallery

* Nelson’s Column

* Trafalgar Square

* St. James’ Palace

* The Ritz hotel

* Hype Park

* Wellington Museum

* Speaker’s Corner

* Buckingham Palace (and the Changing of the Guard)

* St. James’ Park

and many more.

Alternative Interest Tours

If you have a specific interest – such as museums – you should be able to find a tour that will cater to your chosen genre. Examples of interest-specific tours include:

* The Museum Tour

* Sightseeing Tour (all the famous landmarks)

* Historical London Tour

* Military History Tour

* Sherlock Holmes Tour (sites mentioned and featured in the famous novels)

* Dracula Tour (the areas mentioned in Bram Stoker’s famous novel)

* The Krays Tour (see the sites made infamous by London’s most famous gangsters)

* Harry Potter Tour (the areas mentioned in JK Rowling’s fantastic series, including guest appearances from a local magician to make the tour extra magical!)

Check with local operators both online and in the city itself to see if your interest can be catered to.

London Ghost Tours

London is a city with a rich and diverse history, and as a result has its fair share of ghostly phenomena. Specialist tours offering visits to London’s most infamous paranormal sites are a big hit in the capital, and usually take in sites such as Whitechapel (the hunting ground of Jack the Ripper) and the Grenandier Pub (said to be the most haunted pub in London).

If you are visiting London in October, it is worth checking out one of the Hallowe’en specific ghost tours. The operators go all-out on the spookiest night of the year to share London’s history and show off some of its paranormal interest sites, complete with themes and audio guidance.

Prices

Prices vary wildly between operators and the type of tour you are taking. Specific-interest tours are generally cheaper than the usual sightseeing tours, as they are shorter and more specialist. Discount rates for children, OAPs and students are usually available.

Expect to pay between £8 and £20 per adult person, depending on the type of tour you are taking.

For more fascinating information and tourism tips for those visiting London, visit London Guide Online [http://londonguideonline.com] today!

London Bus Tours

There are 2 key suppliers of Hop on Hop Off London Bus Tours and these are:

The Original London Tour
The Big Bus Company

There is another company that runs London Sightseeing Tours where you have a Blue Badge Guided Tour and this is Evan Evans Tours.

The Original London Sightseeing Tour

This Original London Sightseeing Tour company provides a simple and great way to travel and see London – you cant see much when you are on the tube can you?! The company was founded in 1951 at the time of The Festival of Britain and is now the largest single sightseeing operator in the world. It offers you choice and flexibility over what you want to see and when. The London Tour Bus allows you to board any of our tour routes at over 90 different stops with a commentary in English or a wide choice of other languages. There is also a kids club which provides an educational but fun alternative for 5-12 year olds. The services are frequent and reliable with tours running daily, every 15-20 minutes.

The Big Bus Company

The Big Bus Company offers you a similar service as the above, The Big Bus Company offer two main routes and a Green Link across London, taking in the best sights in the capital. Your ticket is valid for 24 hours so you have the time to see as much as you wish. The tour offers you a similar experience to the Original London Bus Tour with the ability to jump on and off buses and to gain an education of London by your informed driver.

Find our more about Sightseeing Tours London [http://www.sightseeingtourslondon.com].

London Underground – How to Save Time and Money When Using the London Tubes

The London Underground, frequently known as The Tube, is the first underground railway system in the world and serves a major part of London and parts of neighbouring counties of Essex, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

The London Underground was first operated in 1863 and there are approximately 270 tube stations in the London Transport system. However, the majority of the tube stations are located north of the River Thames.

Using the tube is the quickest way to get around London. You can avoid traffic jams and stresses linked to travelling on London roads especially during rush hours.

If you are a visitor to London, it is advisable to plan your journey in London. This will ensure that you have a hassle-free journey.

There are 11 underground lines in the London Transport System. They are:

The Bakerloo Line which runs from Harrow and Wealdstone in north-west London to Elephant and Castle in south-east London.

The Central Line which runs from Ealing Broadway in west London to Epping in the nort-east.

The Circle Line which used to run in a clockwise and anti-clockwise direction in Central London. From 13th December 2009 this line has been extended to include tube stations from Edgware Road to Hammersmith in west London.

The District Lines which run from:

a) Upminster in east London and ends at either Wimbledon, Richmond (both stations are in south-west London) or Ealing in west London,

b) Edgware Road in Central London to Wimbledon in south-west London.

The Hammersmith and City Line which runs from Hammersmith in west London to Barking in east London.

The Jubilee Line which runs from Stanmore in north-west London to Stratford in east London.

The Metropolitan Line which runs from Aldgate in Central London and ends at either Amersham, Chesham, Watford or Uxbridge in north London.

The Northern Line which runs from Morden in south London to either Edgware in north-west London or Mill Hill East or High Barnet in north London.

From Kennington, the Northern Line splits into two branches. One branch of the Northern Line goes via Bank tube station and the other branch goes via Charing Cross tube station. The two branches of the line then meet-up at Camden Town Station before splitting up again to end the journey at Edgware, Mill Hill East or High Barnet.

The Piccadilly Line which runs from Cockfosters in north-east London to either Heathrow Airport in the south-west or Uxbridge in the north-west.

The Victoria Line runs from Walthamstow Central in north-east London to Brixton in south London.

The Waterloo and City Line is a short line which runs from Waterloo to Bank direct (1 stop only).

All tourist attractions in Central London are well covered by the London Underground. Some of the more popular stations with lots of tourist attractions such as Piccadilly, Westminster and South Kensington stations have a few lines stopping there.

The cheapest way to use the London Transport system is to buy a one day Travelcard, a weekly season ticket or an “Oyster Card”. These allow you to travel freely in the underground trains and buses.

The one day Travelcard or weekly season ticket allows you unlimited travel on the London underground trains and buses within the zones that you purchase the Travelcard or season ticket for.

You can buy an Oyster card for as little as 10GBP and for each journey you travel, whether on the London tube or bus, a certain amount is deducted from your Oyster card. If you make lots of journeys, the Oyster card will automatically cap the day’s charges at the price equivalent to a one day Travelcard. You can top-up your Oyster card at any tube station or from most newsagents scattered around the Capital.

If you are a retiree living in London your Freedom Pass entitles you to free travel on underground and overground trains, buses, trams and National Rail Services within London.

If you are a retiree living outside London your bus pass will allow you free travel on London buses.