London ,a cosmopolitan city!

This is again my black and white series of updates on older posts. I have several with pictures in my blog already. I have heard of the city from neons ago, but only was able to visit once living in France. My first trip was a business conference and then many more and family trips. Hope you enjoy London as I did

Its one of the World’s glamour cities,home of the British so British, expensive said some, but all darn worth it. I have been coming to London for 8 years straight on business trips, and finally made it with the family last July. And then more business trips and another family trip.

We made this family trip by car from Versailles, drove up the A16  exit/sortie 42 to terminal de Calais, get on the big Eurostar train car loader under the bay and reach London Earl’s Court in 7 hrs total time door to door. The return was just as easy coming from London and getting on the Eurostar in Folkestone, M20 road exit 11A. The usual road guides are helpful but today we have the GPS for planning from any location. It is best to pay the crossing ahead of time online, this secures best placing on the trains,easy out,and no delays.

The Eurostar webpage: https://www.eurotunnel.com/uk/

Once in London Earl’s Court area the site of our apartment the entry on the A4 road is very easy and well marked. You are just outside the congestion zone so no need to pay this outrageous fee  which has gone up from my time 8 pounds to now 15!! just for giving you right to use your car in central London!! Anyway you only needed to get to London,as once there the Tube or underground or metro or subway is the best way to travel and on foot, of course. You are smart to secure parking online ahead of arrival as onsite it can be as much as 36£ while if done reserve online is only 16£ !

More info on the congestion zonehttps://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/congestion-charge?intcmp=2053

Underground/metro as well as other types of transportation is the official city site here: https://tfl.gov.uk/plan-a-journey/

If staying for a few days, more than a week, or intend to visit the city in the near future a few times, you can opt for the Oyster cards, they are good reusable, rechargeable, and very convenient. I still have mine. More info here: https://oyster.tfl.gov.uk/oyster/entry.do

For auto parking garages, there are several but with the family using the car I stay at the Earl’s Court Exhibition Center parking  (now call Olympia)   Once here its very easy to get on the metro/tube/subway at Earl’s Court as they have the District Line and the Piccadilly line into all areas of London easily done. !Update: Difficult to keep up with changes but the exhibition centre is close, all activities move to Olympia but the parking off the area is still possible; just follow this link on the webpage to follow “If you need to secure a space for your van, lorry or car please click the book parking LINK. https://olympia.london/visiting/getting-here

For accommodations you can look into the city of London tourist office for guidance the choices are endless. For families I suggest the by owner apartment flats as the one in Earls Court Studios was excellent, the owner and family lives just above us, and was there for help and chat all the time, a great way to inmerse yourselves into the British lifestyle! Webpage: http://www.earlscourtstudios.com/index.php

The choices for food and sightseeing are endless, and as I said, the people are very friendly all over. After trying some English grout at Courtfield Pub,187 Earls Court Road;  we head to our tex mex par excellence Chiquitos, Leicester Square;  some good old fashion burgers at Gourmet Burger Kitchen behind St Paul’s Cathedral ,in addition to our own shopping at Tesco supermarket Kensignton West Cromwell store for in house eating and the time was well spent by all. These shown in other posts.

As for things to see, well again its a city to walk and be marvel in history. I have been to so many but with the family we visited the St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Tower of London, London Bridge, Victoria & Albert museum, Imperial War Museum, Kensington Palace (L Diana memorial), Hyde Park,  Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square , Piccadilly, Big Ben and saw Buckingham Palace as it was closed for a private event, Ripley’s Believe or Not, and Harrod’s store.

Other stores my teen kids enjoy the most were the Forbidden Planet for mangas and video games etc, 179 Shaftesbury Avenue just off Leicester square.

The city of London tourist office has plenty more of additional information to help you plan your trip. Webpage: https://www.visitlondon.com/

All in all it is always comforting to come here, now the kids like it too so more plans are in order for next year.Hoping for better travel times in our current world. Have a jolly good time in so British London!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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