Cape Town
   

 

London Map Anyone?

So how do visitors to the capital find there way around? Firstly you need a good online london map with which you can not only search for locations but you can find routes from one location to another, and also you can view the underground tube lines as they are really located (the official london tube map is not a true location map).

Taxis are an excellent way to avoid the masses and get straight to your destination, so here are our six top tips for taxi travel:

1. The Iconic London Black Cab
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It's a sight as inherently 'London' as the red Routemaster Bus and Big Ben, but there's more to the black cab than just aesthetic value. Each Black Cab driver has studied for two years to pass 'The Knowledge' exam before becoming a registered driver, so you know you're in good hands. Black Cabs are the only taxis legally allowed to pick up passengers from the side of the road, so you can flag one down whenever their yellow 'Taxi' light is lit; or you could try out our next tip!

2. Flag No More!
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Gone are the days of standing on the pavement, wildly flapping your arms in the hope of attracting a taxi. Thanks to the wonders of modern satellite technology all we need to do now is pick up the phone. London's new 'Zingo' (phone 08700 700 700) system puts you straight through to whichever of their 800 registered black cab drivers is nearest to you. Just arrange your pick-up point with them, and 'hey presto'... door-to-door service at the click of your fingers! (Phone 08700 700 700)

3. Just For Women
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London is known as one of the safest big cities in the world - however it's still a good idea to take care. For ladies travelling alone or after dark to and from your hotel london, Lady Cabs is a popular and reputable cab service run exclusively by women for women, so you can be sure you'll be picked up safely by a qualified lady driver. (Phone 020 7272 3300)

4. Cheaper Airport Transfers
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If you're travelling in a group of four or more and are planning to take the express train from Heathrow airport, why not save yourself a few quid? As our taxi driver pointed out to us the other day - four Heathrow Express tickets at 13 = 52 plus a taxi fare to your hotel comes to a total of around 62; but a black cab straight from the airport to your central London hotels comes to about 45! Door-to-door service at a snip!

5. Engage In A Bit Of Taxi Banter
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There are few experts more up to speed on all things London than your black cab driver. Famously knowledgeable, the London cab driver makes an excellent tour guide / historian / social commentator, or even celebrity gossip. 'Taxi banter' can be first class 'in-flight' entertainment - but a word of warning: once you get them going, you're in it for the long haul, a London cabbie can talk your socks off! Before you know it they'll be telling you all about the last time they stayed in serviced apartments cardiff. You've been warned.

6. Silver Service
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One taxi company, 'Addison Lee' has taken the concept of a taxi firm to a new level. When you call them for a taxi, you can expect nothing but the best treatment. They quote you a competitive price and estimated time of arrival over the phone, send a text message to say your car has arrived, and provide air con, electric doors, satellite navigation and a suited and booted driver as standard. For expert mini cab service, these guys really are the business! (Phone 020 738 7888)

And finally some tips on where to stay. For theatre lovers the strand palace hotel is an essential destination. Steeped in history and having been transported through time following numerous refurbishments, this hotel is comfortable and perfectly located.

 


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