Category Archives: London

London City Airport.

London City Airport, London

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.

London City Airport.

Ice-capped Alps.

London City Airport.

White cliffs of Dover and the Dover Ferry Terminal. You’ll still be able to get a glimpse the French coast from inside the plane at this point.

London City Airport.

English township from above. The heat trail of the engines blurs the upper portion of the photo.

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.

London City Airport.

Our plane making a turn around the Shard. HMS Belfast, City Hall and Tower Bridge clearly visible.

London City Airport.

London icons. The Monument, Gherkin, Sky Garden, Shard, Tower of London, Tower Bridge and Canary Wharf. All in a single frame ….. nothing beats this.

London City Airport.

The O2 and the Emirates cable car right underneath.

London City Airport.

Thames barrier close-by to London City Airport.

London City Airport.

Our aircraft safely parked in LCY.

London City Airport.

Passport control straight ahead.

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.

London City Airport.

Oyster cards for our tube rides.

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.

London City Airport.

Heathrow Express ticket cost much cheaper when purchased in advanced and even more cheaper when travelling on weekends.

London City Airport.

DLR tube map.

London City Airport.

London City Airport DLR tube station. Consider the DLR as an extension of the tube line, even the great length of its track is not underground.

Tune Hotels, Paddington.

Tune Hotels, Paddington. Our accommodation for five nights.

London City Airport.

So where is LCY compared to LHR ? Click to enlarge.

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London repeated

London Repeated

April 2016

Whilst our visit to London last year (2015) was a frantic dash from one attraction to the next, this year’s itinerary is more relaxed. In our 6 days stay, we covered 9 new London’s attractions and the rest are repeates of places we’ve been.

London repeated

The unmistakable London red buses.

We have never repeated a same destination two years running, but London has an unexplainable aura of drawing me and my wife back. Probably due to the extensive & efficient transportation network, the ease in obtaining halal food, the friendly & helpful locals, those charming road and town names …. arrrgh, we don’t know what exactly. Don’t mind going once more next year.

London repeated

Edgware Road. Along this stretch, you’ll find plentiful of halal eateries.

Oxford street, the shopping street known to travellers. Not that the prices are cheap, but this is where the crowds are. For affordable and value for money shopping, try Primark at reet. They sell most of those things we’ll wear regularly.

London repeated

You must be crazy not to be at Oxford Street when in London.

London repeat

Debenhams at Oxford Street. You’ll need a bigger wallet/purse here.

London repeat

Street entertainment along Oxford street.

For those with fat and bulging wallet/purse, you can shop your heart’s content at Harrods. About what we could afford here, are the green Harrods shopping bag. Ouch!

London repeat

Those medium signature shopper bag at £21.95.

London repeat

A beautifully decorated cake at Harrod’s food section.

At Portobello Road, the world’s largest antiques market, you’ll probably be able to find some interesting and affordable item to buy. You can also find souvenirs and food stuff here, just like any other street market elsewhere in other countries.

London repeat

Colorful section of buildings at Portobello.

the world’s largest antiques market

All Saints is a British fashion retailer you’ll find along Portobello Road. Inside, they have floor-to-ceiling display of sewing machines. Awesome.

This year we once again made our way to Arsenal Stadium to get a T-shirt for our son an ardent fan of Arsenal. The same designed T-shirt we purchased last year has gone up by­ ­£5. This time around, our son wanted a training jersey instead.

London repeat

Emirates stadium, home of Arsenal FC.

London repeat

Training jersey are the ones with stripes. Match jerseys are in yellow.

Travelling by underground tube is one of the most efficient transportation in London although not cheap. The London bus is cheaper, but one must know which one to take and any change of bus required.

London repeat

Empty tube station passageway.

London repeat

Reminder to the passengers.

London repeat

Upgrading should be completed by the time you read this.

London City Airport.

You’ll need these for your tube & bus travel.

Some of the different tube stations we got on or off. Edgware has two stations nearby each other. One serves the Bakerloo line while the other the District, Circle & Hammersmith lines.

London repeat

Most frequently used tube station. Close by Tune Paddington Hotel.

London repeat

Bayswater. Another area to easily get halal food. Souvenirs are cheaper in Bayswater area.

London repeat

Tower Hill tube station for Tower Hill & Tower Bridge.

London repeat

Imagine the crowd on match day at this small Arsenal tube station. Emirates stadium is 5 minutes walk away..

If not for the Tower Bridge Exhibition, we see no necessity to be here again. But to be up on the Tower Bridge glass walkway is something else. What more when we were able to witness the drawing of the bridge right underneath our feet.

London repeat

Tower bridge repeated.

London repeat

The HOHO bus as seen through the glass walkway of the Tower Bridge.

Common signposts in UK.

London repeat

Trafalgar Square bus stop.

London repeat

Street directions.

Landmarks around Oxford street.

London repeat

Crowds at Marble Arch.

London repeat

‘Still Water’. A bronze sculpture of a horse’s head nearby Marble Arch.

London repeat

Legendary red post box.

London repeat

A bicycle with disc brakes.

London repeat

Foldable bicycle.

London repeat

London fridge magnet to bring home.

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Tune Hotels Paddington.

Tune Hotels Paddington, London

April 2016

Our accommodation for the entire stay in London was at Tune Hotels, Praed Street, Paddington. In actuality, the hotel is much closer to both the Edgware (District & Bakerloo) tube stations rather than the Paddington station. Please note there are two separate Edgware tube stations, one running the District line and the other the Bakerloo line. They are not far apart.

Staying in Paddington is not cheap as we had stayed around here before but a promotional room rate offered by Tune made it worth it. The rate includes two single beds, room with window, WiFi, flat-screen TV, air conditioning/heater, safe, hair dryer, private bathroom with hot/cold shower and toiletries. Housekeeping is done on every 3rd day but should you require fresh towels, they are available at the check-in counter.

We have requested in advanced for a room on the 3rd or higher floor to avoid the rumbling of the tube that runs close by. We were given a room on the 4th floor facing the back and was quiet for a good night’s sleep. Lift is available but no free parking on site. However, public parking is right in-front of the entrance. Tesco Express is just across the street and right below the hotel there is a halal deli. Exiting the hotel to your left heading towards Paddington station, there are a couple of halal eateries a few lots away. Nearby, two halal Malaysian restaurant operates and the whole stretch of Edgware Road is cramped with halal restaurants mostly middle eastern. Makes deciding really difficult.

One lesser known London attraction, the Paddington Basin is right in-front of the hotel although not visible. Well, actually you need to go around Tesco, a few shop lots away and you’ll be at the Paddington Basin where  several canal boats are moored right in the middle of London.

Tune Hotels Paddington.

Tune Hotels Paddington.

Tune Hotels Paddington.

Entrance to Tune Hotels Paddington. Public parking right in-front of the door.

Tune Paddington map.

Tune Paddington and Paddington Basin are within walking distance. Bus stand are maked with arrows.

Tune Hotels Paddington.

Two single beds and window.

Tune Hotels Paddington.

Flat TV with various channels.

Tune Hotels Paddington.

Hair dryer and safe included in our package.

Tune Hotels Paddington.

Tesco Express right across the hotel. Great to buy mineral water, bread and the like.

Paddington Basin.

Paddington Basin just behind Tesco. Live-in canal boats surrounded by apartments and modern office building.  London’s secret?

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