London Etiquette – Things to Do or Not Do in London

There are plenty of great things to do in London, but before you visit it is a good idea to take note of some of the things not-to-do while in the capital.
Here are some words of wisdom from Londoners about London’s etiquette.

Stand on the right on the tube escalator is a rule you will soon become aware of. The left hand side of the escalator is for people moving faster than you and want to pass you by walking up or down. This also means all your baggage also needs to be on the right to avoid blockages.


Avoid travelling at peak times on the tube as it is busy and full of Londoners trying to get to or from work. It is cheaper to travel on the tube after 9:30am so wait for the rush hour to die down and then start your day. If you really want to be out and about early, then explore the area near your hotel first. There is plenty to see and do near the Shaftesbury Hyde Park International hotel and other Hyde Park accommodation.

Always put luggage in designated areas on the train. Don’t just leave your bags by the door and then go and sit down. Your luggage is your responsibility so you need to make sure it is stored correctly to avoid disruption to your journey.

Do not stop in the entrance or exits of shops and museums to wait for the rest of your group. That small space if for everyone to use and blocking the way is just going to cause problems.
Do not just stop in the middle of a pavement to study a map or app o your phone. Move to the side to avoid causing an obstruction.

Don’t walk in a line of 3 or 4 or more on a pavement, especially if it is narrow, as no-one can pass. Keep children on the inside.


Don’t walk too slowly. London has a fast pace of life. Londoners usually have their heads down concentrating on getting from A to B. walking slowly, especially more than 2 abreast, just causes obstruction when other people are trying to move past you.

If you are out late into the evening, don’t buy a hot dog or burger from the carts that are wheeled out at night. There have been many exposes about the poor hygiene standards of these temporary stands.

Never leave your handbag open or your wallet in your back pocket. Be vigilant at all times and beware of pickpockets. Also ensure your handbag fully zips up. Zips delay a thief so use them.
Never swim in the River Thames, no matter how tempting it is on a hot day in the summer. The Thames is busy with boats travelling in both directions all day and the water is deeper than you may think. The river is tidal so the depth varies during the day and the tide does come in quickly. It is also a dirty river for swimming in.

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