Cheap Flights to London
A sprawling, thriving, diverse metropolis, London has constantly evolved during its two millennia as a major city. This evolution has created a mixture of iconic landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, and Nelson’s Column alongside modern attractions such as the Gherkin, London Eye, and the Emirates Air Line. Even the transportation carries iconic status with a trip on the tube, a London bus, or a black cab all part of the London experience. The Natural History Museum offers free entry to some of the world’s most famous exhibits, Oxford Street is a shopper’s paradise, and Hyde Park is one of the greatest city parks in the world.
For many visitors, the most compelling aspect of London is the extraordinary size of the place. Covering an astonishing 1,572 sq. km, it is both the largest and most diverse capital city in Europe, with over 300 languages spoken throughout its 33 boroughs. Immersing yourself in London is effortless with world-class galleries and museums, royal palaces, Victorian buildings, Georgian squares, dominating cathedrals, modern skyscrapers, fun-filled attractions, expansive parks, unrivaled shopping, and exquisite cuisine from around the globe all combining to create a city experience like no other. It’s thrilling to ride the iconic public transport and spot the familiar landmarks of Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, and Trafalgar Square, and fascinating to explore cultural institutions such as the Tate Modern, National Gallery, Royal Albert Hall, and West End theater's. In the end, London has the ability to intrigue, surprise, captivate, charm, and ultimately make you fall head over heels in love.
One of the best times to visit is during the London Marathon which takes place every spring and is one of the top five annual international marathons, attracting numerous world famous athletes. Spanning just over 42 kilometers, the course of the marathon is based around the River Thames. Beginning at Greenwich Park, the race crosses Tower Bridge at the half-way point, before passing The Tower of London along Embankment and finishing in The Mall beside St. James’s Park. It is also a major fundraising event, raising almost £500 million for charity since its inception in 1981.
Best Time to Travel to London
Cheap flights to London are available year round, however, there are some seasons and months when flying to the capital of the United Kingdom is slightly cheaper and you can also avoid the crowds. The three main travel seasons to London are:
The busiest time of year for flights to London is between June and September. The summer months in London are fantastic for markets, sunshine, and wonderful restaurants and bars. Other peak time include Christmas and Easter as well as school holidays which encompass half-term breaks in February, May, and October, when families fill the major attractions and museums.
The in-between season, and a great time to catch cheap flights to London and avoid the busiest crowds, shoulder season runs during April and May (excluding Easter) and from early September to October. The late shoulder season is particularly a great time to visit London as there is still some remnants of summer to go along with the less crowded attractions and streets.
There isn’t really an off season as such with London as it is a thriving European metropolis which always attracts visitors. However, the weeks immediately after major holidays such as Christmas, New Year, and Easter tend to be slightly quieter and good time to find cheap flights.
While English is the primary language spoken in London, the city is a multicultural hub and you will hear languages from all over the world spoken throughout the city’s boroughs. For instance, Chinese and Mandarin are widely spoken in the Chinatown area of the city, Bethnal Green has a strong Bangladeshi community, in Stamford Hill you will commonly hear Yiddish, and from restaurant staff to officials and simply street conversations you will hear just about anything from Urdu to Arabic.
Although London and the United Kingdom are currently in the European Union (with plans to break away by 2018), the country never adopted the Euro currency. The British Pound Sterling (£) is used in London and throughout the United Kingdom.
London is generally a safe city, however, like any other major city it is advisable to take precautions.
Here are some tips for staying safe in London:
- Only use taxis or registered mini cabs
- Don’t leave your bag unattended anywhere in the city – this can cause a security alert
- Don’t carry too much cash at any one time
- Keep electronic devices and gadgets out of sight when not in use
- Cover the keypad when using an ATM or cashpoint
- Remember that cars drive on the left side of the road in the UK
There are six airports located in the London vicinity:
Gatwick Airport – The UK’s second largest airport, Gatwick is located 45 kilometers south of London and has two terminals. There are trains every 15 minutes linking Gatwick airport with London Victoria Station with a journey time of 30 minutes.
Heathrow Airport – Located 32 kilometers to the west of Central London, Heathrow is one of the busiest airports in the world. The airport is connected to London via the Piccadilly tube line.
Stanstead Airport – The UK’s third busiest airport, Stanstead is located 64 kilometers to the northeast of London. The Stanstead express runs every 15 minutes and connects the airport to London Liverpool Street Station in 47 minutes.
City Airport – London City Airport is just 9.5 kilometers to the east of Central London and consists of just a single runway. The airport has its own DLR station which connects to all tube lines.
London Luton Airport – Located 56 kilometers northwest of Central London, Luton airport is home to many of the low frills airlines which offer cheap flights to London. The airport is connected to London via train with a journey to Central London taking around 21 minutes.
London Southend Airport – Located 64 kilometers from Central London, Southend is a small airport and the newest addition to the city’s airports. The airport is connected to London Liverpool Street with trains running every 10 minutes during peak times.
The best months for sunshine in London are the summer months of July and August, however, the British summer has a reputation for rain and sun is not guaranteed. January is the coldest month with temperatures plunging towards zero degrees. Spring and Autumn are often quite nice but chilly, while rain is the heaviest during the month of November.