If you’re Australian, visiting London is an amazing experience. In fact, the same would likely apply to any nationality. But touring a city on the other side of the world comes with its own challenges, so it’s best to prepare for what lies ahead. For obvious reasons, there are many similarities between Australian and British cultures, but also many differences. We’ve compiled some advice for those who want to take the plunge.
Prepare for the weather
The key to surviving British weather is versatility. It’s not unlikely to see a sunny day turn stormy, nor the other way around. Sunny days are rarely as intense as they are in Australia, even in the summer.
For most seasons, carrying a small umbrella is near enough a requirement. It’s hard to predict when rain will come, and also how intense it will be. Dressing in layered outfits is also a good idea, because you’ll want to be able to warm yourself up and cool down at short notice, at the whim of the weather.
British people love Australian accents
And they’re going to mention it, frequently.
Figure out where and when to shop
It’s easy to be impressed by Oxford Street. It’s one of Europe’s most popular shopping destinations, and it’s filled to the brim with every high street brand known to man. It’s also filled with eager shoppers, so that may be an inconvenience if it’s a peaceful trip you’re looking for.
There are less busy shopping districts scattered around Central London, however. Covent Garden and Camden are great for boutique shops and some high street brands too, and Westfield in both Shepherd’s Bush and Stratford boast a wide range of popular retailers; there are also some good restaurants and cinemas there, so it’s a great place to spend the day. Try to go mid-week for a less busy time.
If you decide to head to Oxford Street anyway, why not take a rest at one of the hotels close to Paddington Station London? The Park Grand Paddington Court Hotel London is a good choice for travellers of all nationalities.
Bring a strong pair of shoes
London is one of the best cities in the world for transport. There are convenient links to other areas on just about every street corner. Despite this, you’re still likely to spend a lot of time walking. There’s so much to see and experience on foot, so make sure your feet are covered in something comfortable and durable.
Christmas is fantastic
During the holidays, Londoners like to wrap themselves up in warm jumpers and watch overhead Christmas lights with a mulled wine or cider in hand. You’ll find plenty of vendors for these warm and spiced holiday amenities, and practically every pub in the country will be glad to serve you one.
Though it’s unlikely to actually snow, it’s still a very cosy time of year, so remember to make the most of it!