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As one of the busiest cities in the world, London can be a challenging city to drive in. If you do want to bring your car to the city, there are plenty of places to park across the UK capital, but there are several tips you should know before attempting to navigate London’s busy roads.
Car parks close to the Montcalm Royal London House
If you’re staying at the Montcalm Royal London House hotel in Finsbury Square, there are a number of NCP car parks situated within close proximity of your accommodation. These are typically pay and display, with charges varying depending on how long you want to leave your vehicle there for.
The closest place to the hotel to park is the Finsbury Square NCP, meaning your car will be close at hand for all of the exploring you want to do during your trip to the UK. Meanwhile, Clere Street, Paul Street and Leonard Street in nearby Shoreditch all have NCP car parks, while you can also leave your car at the nearby Barbican Centre for a fee.
Spitalfields, which is around a ten-minute walk from the Montcalm Royal London House, also has several NCP-run car parks for your vehicle if you don’t mind a short journey by foot to the hotel after parking up.
London driving tips
London’s roads can get extremely busy, which is why local authorities have developed such good public transport networks in and around the city centre.
But if you are going to drive around the UK capital during your visit, there are a few things to bear in mind:
- Cyclists – There are many accidents involving cyclists and cars in London each year, so make sure you’re always double-checking your blind spot before moving off.
- Traffic – London is a busy place, so remember that travelling by car is likely to lengthen your overall journey time. Make sure you set off much earlier than it’s necessary to avoid being late, especially during the daily rush hours.
- Drive on the left – If you’re visiting London from overseas, remember that the UK drives on the left!
Other ways to get around London
If you don’t feel that you can face the constant traffic jams and incessant beeping of horns of London’s roads during your visit to the city, there are luckily plenty of other ways to travel across the UK capital.
The London Underground network, known colloquially as the Tube, is arguably the best way to get around the city. There are currently 270 stations where you can catch an underground train throughout the capital, with a total of 11 lines taking you from the South of the city in Morden to Chesham in North London, and just about everywhere else in between.
Purchase an Oyster travel card and keep it topped up with cash; you’ll be able to tap in and out of Tube stations and on buses with this handy card throughout your stay in London.
There’s also an efficient train network running in and out of the city, which is generally referred to as the Overground by locals. King’s Cross, Euston, Paddington, Fenchurch Street and Charing Cross are among the busiest train stations serving London, with Liverpool Street station closest to the Montcalm Royal London House, situated just a few moments’ walk away.
Scarlet double-decker buses are one of London’s most iconic images, so if you want to get from A to B and enjoy a traditional British experience at the same time, riding the bus is the way to go. There is an extensive bus network operated by Transport for London throughout the city, with stops positioned along most roads.
Black cabs are almost synonymous with London. The city’s cabbies are required to take a test known as ‘the knowledge’ before getting their taxi driver’s licence, meaning they know all the shortcuts and fastest ways to get you to your destination. Just remember there’s nothing they can do about traffic jams, so the Tube might be a better option if you’re in a hurry.
Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from walking around the capital. This can often be quicker than catching the Tube if you’re only going a short distance and it can allow you to take in even more of the sights, sounds and smells of this wonderful city.
Too attached to your car?
If you can’t bear the thought of abandoning your vehicle in a car park and not using it during your visit to London, then why not celebrate your love of motors with a visit to the London Transport Museum?
This museum features exhibitions showcasing the history of the Tube and red London buses, with displays of vintage posters from across the networks, providing you with a glimpse into life in the UK capital during times gone by. The museum also looks into the future, exploring how driverless trains could one day be a possibility.