Visiting London

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Whether your reasons for visiting London are for business or pleasure, you’ll never get bored in England’s capital. A rich and ancient history, a haven of art and culture, the breathing hub of so many of the country’s big businesses and restaurants serving food from all corners of the globe are just the start of it.

London is a glorious collection of villages in close proximity to one another, each having its own identity, making a city that takes a lifetime to truly explore. From tourist hotspots and landmarks, just a short hop and skip away you’ll find quiet high streets, independent stalls and an ever-moving city keeping one step ahead of the competition. As Samuel Johnson said: ‘if a man tires of London, he tires of life’.

Below you’ll find everything you need to know to make the most of your stay in the capital, however long or short your visit.

  • Hotels
  • Things to see
  • Shopping
  • Nightlife
  • Restaurants
  • Beyond London

If you're visiting London for a business trip, take a look at our Business in London page to help you find a meeting room or conference venue to impress.

Hotels

Flybe works in partnership with Booking.com so it’s easier than ever to find the perfect hotel in London for your visit. Whether you’re just in need of a place to rest your head or after a little glamour and luxury, there is accommodation in London to suit all needs and preferences.

Have a browse through some of the best London hotels on Booking.com and find the perfect accommodation for you to unwind in after your Flybe flight.

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Things to see in London

So where does one start? London has history in abundance, combined with a finger on the pulse of modernity and all things hip. From grand parks and green spaces to the remains of the Roman wall, Wren churches, the residential home of the British monarch and ancient Palace of Westminster, not to mention some of the most famous museums and galleries on a world level, London is steeped in history. And if it’s modernity you’re after, London is forever on the cusp of the next big thing.

If you need any assistance on reaching the city from London Heathrow, take a look over our London Heathrow Arrivals page and find all the information you need. One of London’s great advantages is its excellent public transport system; the Tube network reaching as far as the Home Counties. If you’re after a bit of culture, take your pick from London’s museums and galleries, many of which are free to visitors. With artefacts from around the world and a history dating back to before the modern USA was declared, the British Museum is an excellent place to start. Trafalgar Square’s National Gallery houses one of the greatest collections of paintings worldwide, and the Victoria & Albert Museum is a feast of art and design. And that’s without mentioning the Tate Modern, Natural History Museum or London Zoo!

Shoppers will find much to please in London’s West End, with the likes of Selfridges, Liberty and Hamleys just three stores to while away a few hours. Oxford Street, Regent Street, Bond Street, Mayfair and Soho are all within easy walking distance of each other, with famous brands rubbing shoulders with independent fashion retailers and eateries. Take a ride to Chelsea’s King’s Road for a browse round its chic boutiques and see where punk fashion began, or visit Knightsbridge and experience the joys of Harrods and Harvey Nichols. Of an evening, London’s West End comes alive with theatre, the city houses some of the best music venues in the country and whatever cuisine you have in mind, London will be delighted to serve you.

Shopping

Shopaholics will never run out of places to visit in London, with every village and suburb housing its own high street and flavour. The West End remains the heart of London’s shopping experience, with Oxford Street known worldwide. Take a short jaunt to Soho and find more specialist fashions and record shops amid a relaxed bohemian air. Knightsbridge and Chelsea are two other famous shopping hotspots, with high end fashion stores competing for space alongside independent boutiques. For a quieter experience, try Canada Square’s shopping centres – there are over 100 stores in total, yet a little more room to get around at your own pace.

Head out to Spitalfields Market for a taste of something different, with a wonderful array of stalls beneath a Victorian exterior, or try Portobello Road Market with its mile-long street. Camden Lock boasts some of London’s quirkiest shops for an original souvenir, and Greenwich Market is well worth a visit for its shops both new and vintage. And that’s just a taste of what the city has to offer! Wherever you stay in London, a fabulous shopping experience is just around the corner.

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Nightlife

Much of London is just as busy at night as by day. Whatever you’re into after hours, you’ll be able to find it in London, from theatres to nightclubs, music venues and even homely pubs dotted across the city. The hub of London’s theatre scene remains the West End, with Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House perhaps the most famous of all. Discover the country’s best new writers at the South Bank’s National Theatre, and mix history with culture at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, open from May until October.

Music lovers will be in their element in London, with Camden’s Roundhouse, Brixton’s O2 Academy and Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in Soho just three venues to bear in mind. Dance music fans will relish a night at Farringdon’s Fabric or Elephant & Castle’s Ministry of Sound, and if you fancy mixing things up, try Leicester Square’s Salsa for South American cuisine and dancing, or Kensal Green’s Paradise by Way – the food is classically English, but once the dining is finished, away go the tables and out come the DJs.

For anyone in the mood for something a little different, why not take a walking tour? Jack the Ripper tours commence at Spitalfields and give a fascinating overview of one of the most famous criminal cases in history. Or play the tourist and take an open-top bus tour – London is just as delightful on the eye by night as by day!

Restaurants

If you're craving it, you'll find it in London - every cuisine and type of bar and pub imaginable is located somewhere in this incredible city, and your only difficulty will be choosing where to go first! From exquisite fine dining restaurants at the pinnacle of skyscrapers for that all-important business lunch, to super-trendy burger and beer joints for catching up with friends, there's nothing that London doesn't offer when it comes to drinking and dining.

Why not try Sketch Lecture Room and Libraryfor its delightfully OTT decor and sensational tasting menu that promises to take your taste buds on a journey of their own. It's no wonder that Sketch is one of the most in-demand restaurants in London. Whether its for afternoon tea, a special dinner or just drinks, there couldn't be a cosier place to enjoy it than Dalloway Terrace under its green, leafy canopy. Visit in the winter to enjoy its 'wonderland' transformation! Or for a dining experience that reaches new heights - literally - the Duck and Waffle on the 38th floor of the Heron Tower offers sweeping views across the city. What's more, it's open 24 hours a day.

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Beyond London

Although London has enough going on to fill up several lifetimes, it doesn’t end with the city. The surrounding Home Counties are full of lush, rolling landscapes, castles and stately homes, and the coastlines of Kent, Essex and Sussex are all within an hour or two’s drive from the capital.

Other highlights reachable in a couple of hours from London include Stonehenge (Salisbury), the Roman ruins of St Albans (Hertfordshire), the quaint and rather beautiful Henley-on-Thames, and Hampshire’s New Forest – miles of winding roads and walks taking in some of England’s greenest and most beautiful scenery.

For more information on flights to London Heathrow with Flybe, have a look at our dedicated London Heathrow Airport page, as well as Getting to London Heathrow Airport for advice on how best to reach the airport for your flight.