Practical Matters

London Airport

London Airport

Accommodation. London has hundreds of hotels but suitable accommodation is often very difficult to find during the season. Such bodies as the British Travel Association (64 St. James’s Street, S.W.1) are helpful, and help is also offered by the Hotac Hotel Accommodation Service (93 Baker Street, W.1) and Hotels Bookings and Information Ltd., West London Air Terminal and 47 Charing Cross Road, W.C.2. In any case it is always wise to book well ahead.

Travel. London Transport officials are on duty at the main railway termini to advise visitors about the buses or trains serving their destinations. From Gatwick airport electric trains run up to Victoria station, but from London (Heathrow) and Southend airports it is usually best to use the coaches provided by the airlines. Long distance coaches operate to and from coach stations opposite King’s Cross railway station and near Victoria railway station.

London Transport, the organisation responsible for London’s trains and buses, issues (free) very useful maps and leaflets. Apply at any London Transport station.

It cannot be too strongly stressed that visitors should not attempt to travel by bus or railway during the ‘rush hours’ 7.30—9.30 a.m. and 4.30-7.00 p.m. when vehicles are filled to capacity and travelling is, to say the least, uncomfortable.

Buses follow numbered routes (see London Transport free bus maps), halting only at specified points to drop or pick up passengers. Passengers awaiting a bus should form queues. Fares collected on bus. Underground. A source of puzzlement both for visitors and Londoners alike due to the system not having been planned as a whole so that it is frequently necessary to change from one train to another. Interchange stations are clearly labelled and station staffs are very helpful.

Coaches. ‘Green Line’ coaches operated by London Transport are useful for trips out of town but are less convenient and more expensive than buses for short runs. Details of other coach services from any travel agency.

Taxis. Quick, traffic permitting, and comfortable. The fare is calculated by meter and every cab displays a schedule of special charges for luggage, etc. Cabby expects a tip of not less than 10 per cent.

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