Pinay Flying High's London Guide

You’re probably wondering why I even bothered creating my own London guide when there are so many guides out there which are far more detailed than this. What sets this guide apart from everything else? Everything you’ll find here are based on my own personal experiences.

 

I’ve been receiving a lot of London questions recently so I thought of compiling everything I know (and everything I’ve done) about this wonderful city so it’ll be easier for me to direct them here. I don’t claim to be an expert of London because I’m far from it, like you – I am still exploring this city at a much slower pace.

a Little Bit About Me

I moved to London August of 2016 and I promised myself that I will not take it for granted. I will make the most out of my time here, making sure that I am exploring something new every week. The good news is I kept to my promise and found treasures in and around London every time I’m off from work. This city is amazing, you’ll never run out of things to do and places to see. I will be updating this page from time to time to add all of the adventures that will come my way in the future.

Getting a UK visa

Depending on where you are and the passport you’re holding, the process of applying for a UK visa may be slightly different. I have written about my own UK visa application from Dubai and from Doha. I’ve also written about my EEA FM Residence Card when I arrived here. It is definitely recommended that you double check with the UK Embassy to make sure that you have the correct details.

Traveling To and From The Airport

Whichever airport you’re taking, London will have a public transportation available to you and you can immediately use your contactless card or you can also buy an oyster card upon arrival. 

To learn more about your options with public transportation, you may access it here: 

From London Heathrow
From London Gatwick
From Stansted Airport
From London City
From Luton Airport

Where To Stay

There is no BEST place to stay in London unfortunately because it’s all about individual preferences and budget. Budget is a huge deal if I’m being honest because prices can drastically change based on what postcode your choice of hotel is in. To make it even more confusing, the farther you are from the city center the cheaper the price will be but the transportation fee to get to Central London will be more expensive.

London is very well-connected by public transportation so whichever area you choose to stay in, you’ll be able to see all the London sights easily. Be aware as well that the sights in London are spread out, there is no particular area where you will see everything the city has to offer. This means that even if you’re staying in Central London, you will have to take a public transportation to see some other sites or if like me you enjoy walking around, you can do this as well if you have a lot of time here. London is a very pedestrian-friendly place.

I stayed in a very small hotel in Kensington when I visited as a tourist in 2012 and from my hotel, I basically walked almost everywhere. Unlike the central city of London where 4 to 5 star properties are dominating, Kensington offers a lot of accommodation range depending on your budget. Having said that, I’d say that Kensington would be my personal choice if I ever visit London as a tourist again.

Also, I would highly recommend any Premier Inn Hotels in and around London. I have stayed in so many Premier Inn’s across England and I have to say that it’s very basic but ticks off most of my requirements for a short stay – location is always central, rooms are always clean and breakfast is hearty!

London, UK

Getting Around London

As previously mentioned, the whole city of London is very well-connected by public transportation. It may be daunting for the first timers to see the very complicated tube maps or bus routes so let the Citymapper app do the dirty work for you. Seriously, this app is the best thing ever! It can get you from point A to point B without any hassle. If you don’t have enough space in your phone to download yet another app, google maps work perfectly as well.

Some people would advice you to get an oyster card but if you have a contactless card, you may also use it. I prefer to pay as I go and not buy the Travelcard since most of the time, I’d be walking around the city anyway. Pay as you go is also the cheaper option as it has a daily limit depending on which zones you’ll be traveling to. This means that once you’ve spent the limit amount, you won’t have to pay for any more journeys for the rest of the day.

The price cap for a day of a normal oyster/contactless card for zones 1-4 is £9.5 while the 1-day travelcard is £12.30.

Self-Guided Walks In London

While I love London’s public transportation system, my favourite way of exploring it is by walking. I have created quite a few self-guided walking itineraries in different boroughs of London which you might want to use. 

Hampton Court Palace, PinayFlyingHigh.com

Historic Royal Palaces

Evidently, there are lots of palaces across the UK and in London alone there are six palaces that you can visit. My favourite is definitely the Hampton Court Palace as it’s the most interactive and prettiest (for me).

Kew Gardens JApanese Garden

Kew Gardens Reopens To Public

A full day out destination in London, Kew Gardens is as pretty as a picture rain or shine. The beautiful and well-maintained garden will give you your much-needed green and flower fix.

Read More »
Chiswick House and Gardens

Chiswick House and Gardens

A great day out from Central London is the beautiful 18th-century Palladian villa of Chiswick House and its 65-acre gardens. An amazing riverside retreat if you’re seeking a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Read More »
Kew Gardens JApanese Garden

Kew Gardens Reopens To Public

A full day out destination in London, Kew Gardens is as pretty as a picture rain or shine. The beautiful and well-maintained garden will give you your much-needed green and flower fix.

Read More »

Parks in London

So many parks in London and most of it are free to public! It’s a beautiful place to have to get your green and flower fix specially after all the walkings you’ve done in the city. 

Liar Liar Tour - PinayFlyingHigh.com

Unique Tours In London

Although I’ve lived in London since 2016, I still go on tours from time to time. I love how there’s always an applicable tour for you based on your personality and likes – be it a murder mystery, food, art or history. 

Bell and Crown - Strand-On-The-Green, Chiswick, London

Riverside Pubs in London

Visiting a pub in London is an absolute must, you’ll see one in every corner (almost!). I do however prefer riverside pubs more than the ones in the city – I mean what’s not to like? A pint, in a beer garden with the view of the River Thames. If you’re lucky enough to be in London when it’s sunny and hot (which is rare), you should definitely take advantage of it and visit a riverside pub.

The Weir Hotel

The Weir Hotel in Walton-On-Thames, Surrey is one of the prettiest pubs we’ve been to with its massive outdoor seating area and a riverside location. #theweirhotel #riversidepubs #surrey

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Restaurants in London

London is a foodie heaven, at the time of writing there are more than 15,000 restaurants in the city which means you need more than 40 years to visit all of it if you’re going to dine in different restaurants every single day. I haven’t scratched the surface unfortunately but I’m trying my best. 

Christmas in London

If you find yourself in London during Christmastime then you’re in luck because the entire city becomes more festive and prettier during this time of the year. Streets and buildings covered in Christmas lights, ice rinks and Christmas markets will sure make your visit worthwhile.

Regent Street, London
View of Castle Combe from Bybrook.

Day Trips from London

There are loads of places to visit outside of London if you find yourself looking for a different scenery. In this case, train journeys are your best bet if driving isn’t your thing. Most of these places can easily be visited within the day if you’d like to be in London in the evening. 

Windsor Castle

London Day Trip To Windsor

Whether you like the royal family or not, a visit to Windsor Castle will fascinate you. Explore the beautiful grounds and staterooms which stood the test of time from as early as the 11th century.

Read More »

That's it for now!

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