london Travel Guide
Have you ever landed in a destination for the first time and debated between taking a train and a taxi? Would a taxi be faster? Would a train be cheaper? Is traffic bad? When's the next train?
Well, in a move that could potentially set a new standard in airport service, Heathrow Airport is now helping you answer that question. Europe's busiest airport has installed digital smart screens at baggage claim that display taxi and train information in real time, including prices, traffic, and travel times that will help passengers make the best decisions for onward travel.
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This week's Jaunted Field Trip will be coming from London and Liverpool. Got a question about either of these cities? Let us know and we'll answer it for you. Don't forget to check HotelChatter's latest news from London and Liverpool too.
Like any bustling metropolis, there is no shortage of good places to eat in London. But Charlotte Street in the city's Fitzrovia nabe has some of the trendiest restaurants and bars all within a few blocks of each other. And since the street is conveniently located near the Goodge tube stop, it's a cinch to get to.
Here's a shortlist of where to pop into when visiting Charlotte Street:
· Charlotte Street Hotel: Located across from the famous Fitzroy Tavern, which inspired the neighborhood's name, the Charlotte Street Hotel has the Oscar Bar & Restaurant is open all day serving meals, snacks, afternoon tea and cocktails. Grab a chair on the slim patio at the entrance and indulge in some casual people-watching. (And yes, Oscar is named after Oscar Wilde who frequented the Fitzroy Tavern.)
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Selfie sticks may be increasingly banned at destinations, but the original handheld selfie is still very much alive, even in the air. Beginning this month, Virgin Atlantic is offering "#SkyhighSelfie spots" onboard the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Virgin Atlantic teased the #SkyhighSelfie spot as early as October 2014, when their 787 made its inaugural flight from London to Boston. Now, finally, the spots are up and available, which look to be located on walls near the galleys.
If you’re in London later this month, there’s a secret owl pop-up event taking place in the Soho neighborhood. Yes, you read that correctly: A SECRET OWL POP-UP! Consider this your rare chance to learn about these birds of prey and support owl sanctuaries.
From March 19-25 from 8:30 p.m. to 2:00 a.m., people can meet Annie the Owl and her parliament (look it up, bird nerds), Darwin, Ruby, Cinders, Winston and Hootie. Although these are owls are used to mingling with the public – they’ve attended TV shows, weddings and county fairs – they’ll be escorted and protected by professional falconers.
Originally, event organizers planned to serve cocktails at the pop-up, but animal welfare groups raised a stink about pairing birds and booze. So in the spirit of animal safety, smoothies will instead be served.
So far, 64,000 people have applied for tickets for the highly sought-after chance to sip smoothies in the company of live owls. Tickets cost 20£ each and include entry, one smoothie and two hours of quality owl time. All proceeds from the event will be donated to a local organization dedicated to the conservation of owls in the UK.
[Photo: Annie The Owl]
The move comes as part of a government plan to boost the economy and live up to its 24-hour vibe. It's also good news for travelers, who will be able to avoid costly taxis when enjoying the city's nightlife.
Just the other day the city and the Board of Transport just gave the okay to spend around $240 million on new spiffy bike lanes that are intended for bikes and only bikes—like no cars allowed. Much of the spending will be focused on two new routes—these are those superhighways—that will run both up and down and across central London.
You may fancy yourself a fashion maven but perhaps the bigwigs running London’s Fashion Week didn’t get that memo. If you’re not a fashion industry insider but still want to hang out with your fellow fashionistas, here’s an alternative for you: London’s Fashion Weekend.
Held at the close of Fashion Week at Somerset House (virtually next door to The Savoy hotel), this is your chance to take in the catwalk shows, shop at plenty of pop-ups, get makeup and hair consults and ponder the trends of the season while sipping on a glass of bubbly.
It's that time of the year again, the time when the year just plain ends. Alas, we can't just let 2014 go that easily, especially since travelers spent it both up in the air and up in arms over a crazy range of topics. Now we take a brief look back at the best and worst of 2014 with the Jaunted Travel Awards,or as we fondly refer to themThe Jauntys.
2014 brought fresh airports, but one really caught our eye for more than just new coats of paint and updated design elements. London City, the little airport that is positioned so close to one of the British capital, that you might be able to wave to the Queen upon collecting your luggage, takes home the prize for the most improved airport for 2014.
The train to plane options over at London-Gatwick are about to get much improved, as officials are spending big bucks to make the transition from rail to air that much better.
Work will be ongoing for quite some time, as the plan is get things done in time for 2020. The investment will upgrade and improve the airport’s train station, and that means way better public transportation options to and from the terminals and concourses.
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We have seen some weird stuff at airports, but even the oddest things seem to have a purpose—like those sleeping pod things. Now we’re not sure about this latest addition to London-Heathrow, as officials have wheeled in some kind of globe that shares the smells of the world.
The entertainment—if you can call it that—is now set up in Terminal 2, as the scent globe shares different aromas, smells, and fragrances from around the world. Spots like China, Thailand, South Africa, and Brazil are just a few of the featured offerings. Apparently those spots smell nice, and they’re of particular interest to those heading out of Great Britain on holiday.
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Over the last few years the National Football League has sent its players and propaganda overseas, as they have kicked off a few games over in London. This year is no different, and in fact they’ve held more games than in past years. We’re not quite ready for the London Silly Nannies just yet, but there is one more overseas game during the 2014 season—just in case you want to check it out.
The final game of the league’s international series takes place during Week 10, as one of the premier franchises—the Dallas Cowboys—face one of football’s less than premier franchises—the Jacksonville Jaguars. It’s November 9 at Wembley Stadium if you need to mark your calendar, and kickoff is set for 6pm local time—that’s around 1pm ET for those back at home.
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British Airways is on a roll with tweaking entertainment for their flights. First, there was the 7-hour train trip through Norway that occupies some space in the in-flight entertainment channel line-up, which was soon joined by the cute animal-focused Paws & Relax channel.
And who can forget the mood blanket thing? (We kid--it was actually totally forgettable).
This month, the news from BA announces the launch of the "Sound Bite" menu, which pairs audio entertainment with what's on your meal tray: