London is certainly one of the most popular travel destinations in the world and perhaps because of this, it also comes with its fair share of urban myths. Whether these are folk tales which have been altered and changed over the years or simply stereotypes which have somehow taken root despite very little evidence of their accuracy, London is awash with stories and myths and in today’s post we are going to expose six of those myths for the tall tales they really are:-
This is one which is bandied about by lots of travel websites and whilst it’s true that there are many ways to spend a lot of money in London, it is no different from other large cities such as Paris, New York or anywhere else in the world for that matter. But there is the extravagant way to visit somewhere and the normal way to visit somewhere and London has plenty of options for those who need to travel on a budget. Taking some time to plan out what you are going to do, where you are going to stay and making sure that you take advantage of any special offers which are available can all help you to save those all important pennies. One of the great things about London is that some of the best and most well known attractions are also free including many of the museums and art galleries and plenty of the attractions which charge for entry offer reduced rates if you book online and in advance. Likewise there are plenty of ways to buy cheap souvenirs, such as at the markets, to eat cheaply, and to even see a theatre show for a fraction of the price you could otherwise pay by visiting the TKTS booth in Leicester Square. In short, London can be pricey, but it doesn’t have to be.
So let’s be real, grey skies are probably more frequently spotted in London than the average Londoner would like to admit but that doesn’t mean that the only weather type you can expect when you are in the city is rain, rain and a bit more rain. London can also be incredibly warm and, dare we admit it, sometimes even the sun will shine. July and August are generally the best months to visit if you are hoping for summer weather and there are plenty of wonderful outdoor spaces in the city for you to enjoy the nice weather in too (more on that later…). Even during winter you don’t need to anticipate rain, you are just as likely to be met with a crisp and clear winter’s morning than with rain clouds overhead.
London is a busy and vibrant city with plenty of businesses and sky scrapers being built but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t also a very picturesque place to go. There are some stunning examples of historical architecture to be admired as well as more than 35,000 acres of public parks to be enjoyed, more than any major European city in fact. Whether you are staying in East London at the Montcalm hotel Shoreditch or somewhere more central, you are likely to only be a short distance away from a wonderful public park, hidden gem of a garden or a beautifully tranquil waterway which makes you feel as though you are a million miles from a large capital city.
This has to be one of the most common misconceptions which crops up repeatedly when people talk about London. The truth of the matter is that British people, and Londoners in particular, are actually incredibly helpful, approachable and friendly people. Whilst you may find that British people aren’t as open with their public displays of affection as other international cultures, we are still more than willing to chat to perfect strangers, whether that’s to offer directions to one of the hotels in London city, to recommend somewhere to eat out or just for the sake of striking up a conversation whilst ordering a pint in a local pub. So if you are lost, looking to make friends having just moved to the city, or simply want to know a good place to enjoy the night life, don’t be put off from asking a local Londoner for help.
Somewhere along the line, tea became the drink of the British and visitors began to believe that this was the only type of hot drink you could come across when visiting the UK. Whilst it’s certainly true that we do love a good cup of tea, if that isn’t your drink of choice then don’t panic; there are plenty of decent cafes which offer up a more than decent cup of coffee instead. In fact some of the best coffee in London can be found once you step away from the major chains such as Costa Coffee and Starbucks and instead head for an independent coffee shop. You may even be surprised at the delights on offer in the city.
When you consider that London has a resident population of more than 8.5 million people, and is visited by millions of tourists each year, it’s likely that you are going to find the city to be a busy place to head. And yes, if you are planning to visit some of the major landmarks and attractions then you will probably have to queue, or join the throngs of tourists trying to see the highlights of the museums or wanting to ride the London Eye. But this is exactly the same as any major city and shouldn’t take away from your enjoyment of London’s atmosphere. For centuries London has opened its doors to people from cultures all over the world and this is evident in every single part of the city; which is certainly something to be enjoyed and not looked down on.