A guide to the essentials of any visit to London


Millions of visitors from around the world travel to the English capital every year, coming from countries far and wide to enjoy the city’s many charms and delights during their stay.

Being prepared for the cultural differences that can quickly become apparent, as well as the need to have all your documents and plans in order, is essential for anyone embarking on a trip to London in the near future.

Be prepared prior to take-off

Anyone planning a trip to London needs to ensure they have their wits about them before they even leave for the airport to head to the UK, with the planning and preparation needed to pack and have one’s passport, booking references and visa details all sorted well in advance.

Travel Essentials
Indeed, all visa applications for visitors to the UK should be completed at least 14 weeks ahead of the departure date, as it can take up to this long for these important documents to be processed.

Furthermore, it is important for travellers to arrange any prescriptions of other essential medications they will need during their time abroad in advance. They also must ensure they have the international phone number for their doctor or primary physician should they be required to verify the authenticity of prescriptions to border enforcement staff when they reach the UK.

Book a stay at the Grand Royale London Hyde Park Hotel

Upon arrival, it is important for visitors to have a convenient and comfortable place to relax and unwind following the rigours of travel, and the Grand Royale London Hyde Park Hotel could be the perfect choice.

Offering clean and luxurious bedrooms, with all the modern conveniences that a 21st century traveller has come to expect, the hotel also provides free Wi-Fi throughout all of its areas, as well as having a restaurant and bar for guests wishing to enjoy high-class dinner and drinks during their stay.

Berry Delicious Cocktail at Shaftesbury Grand Royal

Travel time and distances to the city’s principal airports from the Grand Royale London Hyde Park are:

  • Heathrow Airport (14.1 miles, 29 minutes via the Heathrow Express service and the District line of the London Underground)
  • Gatwick Airport (25.7 miles, one hour and 18 minutes via the Fastway 20 bus service and Southern overground rail)
  • Stansted Airport (37.9 miles, one hour and 17 minutes via Greater Anglia overground rail and the Central line of the London Underground)
  • Luton Airport (29.9 miles, one hour and 14 minutes via the 757 bus service and the Central line of the London Underground)
  • London City Airport (10.9 miles, 46 minutes via the Docklands Light Rail and the Central line of the London Underground)

Easy travel options for London’s guests

When planning to travel in London there really are a wealth of options open to visitors keen to arrive at their destination with the minimum of fuss. That said, one of the easiest and most convenient ways to get around in the city is to use the London Underground.

Spanning 270 stations and with more than 1.3 billion travellers using the service every year, the Underground network is one of the best-loved forms of transport among locals and visitors alike, with almost all areas of the city served by this extensive public transport network.

There are also overground rail services that run throughout London as well, while bus services operate around the clock to ensure travellers always have an option available should they wish to get somewhere quickly.

Full details of all public transport options for anyone in the English capital can be found by heading to the official website of Transport for London. Here visitors to the site are able to find station information, service timetables, details of scheduled line maintenance and station closures, plus much more.

Black cabs are also prevalent throughout the English capital and they are a convenient (if potentially expensive) way for travellers to easily make their way from one place to another – be prepared for possible delayed journeys though, as London traffic can be dense, especially during the busy morning and evening rush hours.

Safety essentials all travellers need to know

Finally, there are few essential pieces of information that every visitor to the UK needs to be aware of. These include:

  1. The phone number to reach all emergency services (police, fire, ambulance, etc) is 999.
  2. When travelling in London, avoid the use of unlicensed taxis. They can be more dangerous for travellers and fares can be far higher.
  3. Avoid empty carriages when travelling alone either on trains or the Tube. This means that in the event of an emergency, there will be someone nearby to provide aid.
  4. Protect personal details at all times. At ATMs in particular, it is important to shield one’s PIN, as you never know who might be watching.