If you’re visiting London for the Olympics, or any other time for that matter, then you may want to bookmark this page because it contains a comprehensive list of resources you will in all probability rely on every single day of your stay. For fear of writing a 50 word essay, I had to draw a line at some point, but please feel free to add your suggestions to the comments below or via Twitter and Google +.
Getting Into London From The Airport
- Heathrow Express – Tickets & Fares
- Gatwick Express – Tickets & Fares
- First Capital Connect – Regular Train Service for Gatwick
- Stansted Express – Tickets & Fares
- Luton Trains – Tickets & Fares
- Tube (Heathrow only) – Tickets & Fares
- Coach/Bus Airport Services – All Airports
Getting a cab from the airport is also an obvious option, but if you’re heading into central London you can expect to pay at least double the cost of the Express services from Heathrow and Gatwick, if not more. A cab from Luton or Stansted will cost you a whole lot more.
You can expect to pay as little as £5 by tube from Heathrow whereas a cab would cost £50-80. Trains from other stations where there is no tube, like Luton, Stansted and Gatwick run frequently and cost as little as £15. The Express train services are more expensive, but they are fast and efficient so if you want to get on with your visit without breaking the bank, then this would definitely be my choice every time.
TOP TIP: When booking your flight and hotel in London, make sure the transport to key stations is all in order by checking the Planned Works Calendar
Getting Around London
- Getting Around
Everything you need for getting around London including safety tips, maps, accessibility information and tickets.
- Journey Planner
Plan your journey from one point to another and find out what modes of transport are available to you and how long it will take.
Quickly obtain a list of scheduled departures on various TFL modes of transport from a particular location.
Downloadable maps for every mode of transport including trains, buses, cycling, footpaths and boats as well as a special visitors guide with tips and a guide to all the sights.
- Planned Works Calendar - Check this before you book your hotel.
TOP TIP: Live Service Updates - Always check before you travel
- Compare Ticket Types - Find the most appropriate ticket type to suit your preferred modes of transport, the duration of your visit and your budget.
- Fares by Type and Zone
- Travel Cards - ideal for visitors staying between 7-10 days.
TOP TIP: Get the Visitor’s Oyster Card
Using London Taxis
No trip to London is complete without a ride in a Black Cab, but be selective about when you use them and you won’t burn your cash. To and from the airport is pretty expensive, but getting from your hotel to the airport shuttle service makes life a lot easier and Black Cabs are in abundance outside all stations.
For day to day cab use, you are probably better off using a mini cab service which lets you agree the fare before they even pick you up and this usually works out cheaper than a traditional London Black Cab.
TOP TIP: For your own safety, make sure you book cabs in advance using the specially set up Cabwise service which recommends licensed minicab and private hire operators.
Driving In London
- Congestion Charge - Information about London’s Congestion Charge.
- Congestion Charge Maps & Times - Find out where you can drive without the congestion charge and what times it is in effect.
- Congestion Charge Zone Checker - Check before you enter an area whether it is part of the “C-Charge”.
London2012 Venues, Sporting Schedules and Related Events
- Olympic Sports - Sports at London 2012.
- Paralympic Sports - Paralympic sports at London 2012.
- Olympic Schedule - Olympic sport competition schedule.
- Paralympic Schedule - Paralympic sport competition schedule.
Getting Around The Games
- Map (Requires Flash) - Interactive map showing activities around the UK with links to photos, news, blogs and including everything from building the venues to cultural events.
- How to get to venues - Although the games are branded London2012, many of the events take place in other parts of the UK.
- Spectator Journey Planner – Plan your journey so you get to events in good time.
If you’re one of the lucky ones with tickets to events at London2012 then I hope you have a fantastic time. If you don’t have a ticket, then get to London anyway because the atmosphere will be electric and there are plenty of places where you can watch the event outdoors in what one would hope will be a super sunny affair!