April 2016 Jump to London 2015 postings.
Arrivederci Firenze. We leave Florence and embark on a 2½ hours flight to our next destination, London City Airport (LCY). We had previously been to the observatory deck of the Shard on the 72nd floor and noticed planes making turns around it to start their descend into LCY. We tought this would be a great way to get a magnificent view of London. We booked seats on the right hand side of the plane to get the best view. On City Jet’s Avro RJ85 aircraft, avoid seats nos. 5-10 as your view will be partially obstructed by the jet engines. Seats nos 1-4 would be best as you avoid blurred images caused by the heat trail of the engines.
A short while after taking off from Florence, we were rewarded with fantastic views of the iced-capped Alps against the deep blue sky. Crossing the French coastline later, our plane flew over the White Cliffs of Dover proceeding North. Presumably, at the mouth of River Thames, the plane turned towards central London where it made a final right turn around the Shard and started its final approach into LCY.
True to my expectations, we got great views of London from above. The Shard, Monument, Gherkin, Sky Garden, Tower of London, Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast, City Hall were all within clear sight. Leaving central London, we flew pass Canary Wharf, over the O2, Emirates cable car and finally when the Thames Barrier were to our right, the plane was into its short final. What an incredible tour of London within a few minutes. Definitely a photographer’s delight with most of the photo spots captured into a single frame. We’ve purposely chosen to get into London City Airport instead of the other airport just for this. Worth every cent of the €78 ticket.
We know it isn’t an easy landing into LCY as it requires tight turns, bumpy rides and short runway. Anyway, thanks to the pilots for their nerve of steel and the many hours of training they undergo to bring us in safely.
If you would like to see a cockpit view of an approach into LCY, see it below :
Our chosen mode of transport in London, by convenience is by tube. We’ve calculated our transport expenses will be more than £30. Thus we opted for a 7 day anytime, zones 1-2 Travelcard at £32.40 loaded into an Oyster card. The Oyster card itself cost £5 (refundable). Since we are now in London City Airport which is in zone 3, we need to ‘top-up’ £1.70 to enable us to cross into London zones 1-2. You can get your Oyster card at their counter just after exiting arrival hall to your right just before going up the escalator to the DLR tube station. The counter only accept card payments.
Our hotel is in Pread Street, Paddington and we require 2 change of tube lines. 1st change was at Canning Town for the Jubilee line to Baker Street and then onto the Bakerloo line for Edgware station. For our flight home from Heathrow, we’ve purchased advanced tickets for the Heathrow Express @ £8.80. We will be taking the Heathrow Express from the Paddington train station which is about 10 minutes walk from our hotel.