London is a well known hot spot for tourists and cultural attractions. Millions flock to the city each year from abroad and within the UK, bringing heaps of capital to the capital, itself spurring on more attractions to draw people to the city. As with all popular holiday destinations, the original influx and marketing of the city as a holiday destination has subsided; London is now an obvious must-visit and rests easy at the top of many bucket lists, and so it has been since the swinging 60’s. In the present day, London no longer needs to advertise itself as a holiday destination, what with its countless London hotel packages, and has now given way to crowd management.
During the summer months especially, you’ll see London become increasingly busy, irking agoraphobes city-wide. This means that if you want to fully enjoy the city, then you must do a little bit of planning yourself, working out the best times to visit attractions so that you’re not swamped with other London holidaymakers.
Best time to travel
London’s public transport system is a mostly efficient machine. Except for the occasional delay, the tubes and bus system have grown in efficiency, especially with the recent introduction of the night tube service every weekend, giving you 24-hour services on selected tube services. Whilst these night tubes on the Jubilee, Northern, Victoria, Central and Overground lines have led to increased space, the time you should try and avoid if possible, is peak times. Peak times, between 6.30 and 9.30 am and 4 pm and 7 pm are the times when an influx of commuters enter the tube system. The prices for single journeys will increase during these times, and the tube system and roads will be far busier.
Seeing the Royal Sites
One of London’s best known and most popular sites is Buckingham Palace. With this magnificent palace, located just off St James and Green Park, you can find thousands of tourists flocking to the area to take photos from the palace gates. For the most royal experience possible at Buckingham Palace, turn up just before 11.30 am, when you can witness the changing of the guards daily (weather dependent). The changing of the guards is the time of the day when the red suited palace guards march up and down the courtyard between shifts. This tradition has become one of the most anticipated events of the day for those looking for a glimpse into the British Monarchies day to day routines.
Most shows in London begin between 7 and 8 pm. On weekends, there are often matinee performances, depending on the show you’re seeing. At Fringe Theatres and those off-West End, you’ll see a wide variety of timings for their shows due to venues having multiple stages. Regarding buying tickets for theatre and performance shows, one tactic you can sue is to turn up early in the morning on set days (theatre dependent) and queuing up for the box offices opening around 9 am. At this time, you can find box office returns being sold at a fraction of the price of a normal ticket. This means that you can buy often expensive West End tickets for a very small price indeed. Get to your selected theatre early though, box office returns are often very popular, and many people will diligently queue from very early to ensure a cheap ticket to a new play. With the Paddington Hotel London based in the centre of the city, you’ll find most West End theatres to be only a short walk away.