With over 6 million tourists in the city a year, London has always been one of the go-to European destinations for international travellers. What with its alluring tourist attractions and luxury accommodation such as the Park Grand Hotel, London is undoubtedly a city which offers an all catering great holiday. Whatever your interests, London can accommodate. It’s wading through the crowds which becomes the problem. With the British penchant for queues, it’s no surprise that if you’re not careful, you could spend half of your holiday waiting for your entrance into whatever venue or attraction your visiting that day. Whilst you’ll never be completely crowd free, there are ways for the touring agoraphobe to remain stress free in the city. Here are our top tips for avoiding long waits and queues in London.
Avoid rush hour
Rush hour in London is between 7.30 am and 9.30 am and 4.30 pm till 7 pm./ It is at these times that the public transport in the city becomes increasingly busy, as many locals rush to leave work. This can lead to massive queues to get on to tubes at particularly bustling stations, as well as crowded conditions on the streets, roads and stations. What’s more, rush hour means that the public transport prices are hiked up, sometimes rising to £5 for a single train journey. Paradoxically, the worst conditions for travel cost you more, sparking a greater incentive to avoid the early morning and late afternoon like the plague.
Travel off peak
We’ve talked about off peak public transport travel, but we haven’t spoken about annual off-peak times. Avoiding the holiday season means that not only is the transport less crowded, but the city too. Finding those cheaper rooms outside of the holiday season means that you can enjoy a quieter London which costs a little less money. With flights also being cheaper, there is an allure to travelling off peak. You might find yourself in a city which has turned its focus to local interests, giving you a far more honest depiction of a city made of millions of cultures. There’s something multicultural about London, and whilst the tourist seasons give a faced of Britishness, which of course the city does hold dear and earnestly, a deeper perspective of the city will reveal a collage of influences.
Have a lark in the park
To escape the tourist traps of the city, there is always the possibility of escaping to one of the many parks. London is well known for its large green spaces, and most of the time they cost nothing at all. A picnic in Richmond Park or Hampstead Heath offers an experience unique to the location, and one which will no doubt stick in the mind as a standout experience in the city.
Enjoy the lakes, ponds and lidos of London
With the parks of London, come to the opportunities to explore the refreshing outdoor water features. With Hampstead Heath ponds offering fresh water swimming and the many lidos situated around the city offering up refreshing fitness activities, you’ll never be short of peace and quiet when diving under water.
Binge on the city fringes
If you’re forced to visit the city during peak times, then why not explore the city fringes? There are a wide range of areas lesser frequented by tourists which allow you to make the most of London as it’s never been seen. Whether it’s Dalston and Hackney’s cultural hubs, or the diverse area of Peckham, the outer areas of the city promise a lot of unique experiences. With hotels such as the Park grand Hounslow situated on the city outskirts, you can still live in style, even if you can’t hear Big Ben chime.