My wanderlust is kicking in again even though I’ve only just returned from a 2-week long holiday. And it seems like I’m having a jolly good time logging my travel stories because it’s such a great way to relive those holiday memories and at the same time, I can sort and archive my photos too (just to make a mundane task seem a bit more interesting), lol.
This time, it’s all about London. 🙂
I’ve never expected myself to travel to England more than once for a holiday ‘cos I’m not one who would keep going back to the same holiday destination again and again unless it’s a place for cheap shopping and yummy street food like Bangkok. I went to London for the first time when I had to attend my former company’s dinner and dance as the head office was located in London. Thereafter I had been back several more times to visit the boyfriend (now husband who’s Brit) and his family as well as a friend who’s now living in Birmingham.
I had seen and done a lot of stuffs while in London and out of London (which I shall blog about in separate posts later) and thought it would be nice to share with you guys especially if you’re considering London as your next holiday destination.
If you’re flying to London via SQ, you will arrive at Heathrow Airport Terminal 2. From there, you can take the London Underground a.k.a. the Tube (Piccadilly line) to get to Central London. For example, the train ride from Heathrow Airport to Leicester Square station will take about 50 minutes and it costs £5.10 (6.30am to 9.30am from Mon-Fri) or £3.10 (at all other times including PH) if you buy an Oyster card (like our EZ-Link card). Single trip ticket will cost £6.00 at all times. Going by the Tube is definitely the most economical transport option if you’re on a tight budget.
Alternatively, if you would like to rent a car (so you can drive out of London too), you can consider Green Motion Car Hire. It has a branch office at London Heathrow, Holiday Inn Hotel. From Terminal 2, take the H1 shuttle bus (£5 – get the ticket from the bus driver) which is available from bus stops 9 & 10 and it will take you directly to Holiday Inn. The husband managed to rent (he booked online in advance) a Peugeot 3008 for 2 weeks for about £100 (promotional price) which was really cheap.
For peace of mind, I suggest that you also purchase Car Hire Excess Insurance (about £42 for 2 weeks from Worldwide Insure for cover up to £50,000) to cover charges applied by the car hire company if the rental car is stolen or damaged because even a small scratch on the car may cost you extra charges of hundreds or even thousands of pounds.
On the day of your departure, just drive to the same Green Motion office to drop off the keys and return the car. Someone will inspect the car for damages if any. Well, it wasn’t that bad. Nothing happened to the car so the whole experience was good. To get to Heathrow Airport to catch your flight, just take the same H1 shuttle bus and alight at your designated terminal.
It’s actually very easy to get around London even if you don’t drive. I suggest that you find a hotel or apartment that’s located near a Tube (underground train) station and use the Oyster card to travel on the Tube and also on the buses to go everywhere. London taxis are expensive so I don’t recommend that especially when the currency exchange rate isn’t in our favour.
I would normally stay with my in-laws in South Ockendon, Essex which is a 35-minute train ride away from London but if I plan to stay in London for a couple of days to a week, I like to book a serviced apartment just to save the time and hassle of travelling.
I highly recommend the Go Native London Bridge apartment (formerly known as Think Apartments) that’s just a 10-minute walk away from Borough station.
Address: 203 Long Lane, London SE1 4PN, UK
Excellent location. Still somewhat in the heart of town but away from the hustle and bustle of busy streets. Convenient to get to everywhere via the Tube station.
Apartment was spacious, well-maintained and clean. Kitchenette was well-equipped with induction cooktop, oven, toaster, kettle, fridge and dishwasher so I could make myself a sumptuous full English breakfast on some mornings.
There was also a washing machine with dryer function which came in really handy.
Wifi connection was pretty stable too.
There’s a Sainsbury’s just a 2-minute walk away and there’s also a really awesome fish & chips shop by the name of Long Lane Fish Bar (154 Long Lane, London SE1 4BS) slightly further down the road.
Unfortunately, room reservation is not available on its official website as well as all other hotel booking sites at the moment. I’m not sure if it’s closed for renovations or it has ceased operations (I hope not as I’m still looking forward to come back here next time).
Nonetheless, I discovered another Go Native apartment that’s also in the vicinity which is available for booking – the Go Native London Bridge – Southwark on 70-72 Union Street is a mere 6-minute walk from Borough station and a stone’s throw away from Borough Market. Might just check this out next time when I’m back. For more information, visit the Go Native website. For more accommodation options, there are always Airbnb and Hotels.com.
Now that you’ve sorted out your flights, accommodation and transport arrangements, it’s time to plan your holiday itinerary. In my next post, I will be sharing my recommended list of 28 Things To Do In London that will include some must-visit attractions, shopping venues, fun activities and more. Stay tuned!