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Driving to London

A Motorists guide to London - directions, parking and more



Area Map

Directions

Arriving / Parking

How Far from?
Home to 9 million people, London is one of the most diverse and cosmopolitan cities in the world. Most of the city's boroughs have their own unique character, and there's plenty to see in each. Buckingham Palace, the Big Ben, the London Eye and Nelson's Column are known the world over, but to truly experience what the capital has to offer time is needed.

London has certainly had its up and downs, the plague, the Great Fire of London and the First and Second World Wars threatened to destroy the city, however the city has thrived despite it all. Whilst it doesn't have the reputation in terms of beauty that cities such as Paris or Rome have, its array of restaurants, art spaces, shops and laidback charm make this one of the most exciting cities in the world.

If you like museums there is plenty on offer around South Kensington with the Natural History and Science Museums. Fans of design and fashion will enjoy the Victoria & Albert, while art lovers should head to the unmissable Tate Modern and Tate Britain. The South Bank complex by waterloo station is where you'll find the National Theatre, Royal Festival Hall and Hayward gallery, not far away from the IMAX cinema. The British Museum contains objects and artifacts from around the world.

If you're in town to shop, you might want to visit the ever-bustling Oxford Street, with its array of high street shops, Selfridges is also located here. The Covent Garden area has more high-end high street shops, while Knightsbridge and Sloane Street are for designer shopping. Portobello Road market in Notting Hill has lots of quirky jewellery and furniture.

If you're not caught in typical British drizzle head to one of London's many green spaces. Hyde Park, Regent's Park, Primrose Hill and Kensington Gardens are just a few of the parks that Londoners will flock too as soon as the sun appears.

Map of the area



London driving and parking

Driving in central London is not for the faint-hearted! During peak times it can be manic and there are few signs of courtesy or road manners as people make a mad dash for home or work. If you must drive into central London we recommend travelling either before 7am, between 10am and 4pm or after 7pm. This way you give yourself the best opportunity of missing the rush hour.

You can park in London on streets or in the managed car parks. If you're not familiar with reading UK parking signs on streets then we'd recommend that you always use the managed car parks. There are generally three types of parking on the street, free spaces, permit holder spaces and metered spaces. Free spaces are very few and far between. Permit spaces are the most abundant and you can park in these without a permit between the hours specified on the sign, be sure that you read the sign cafefully as they are often confusing and can result in your car being towed away. Metered spaces are obvious as they have a meter next to them and the cost varies depending on how central you are. Be prepared to pay something in the region of 20 pence for 5 minutes!

Car Parks are generally the best option as once your car is in there you know it's safe and you know that it's parked legally. For a list of car parks we'd recommend trying websites such as www.allinlondon.co.uk.

The congestion charge - this operates in the very heart of central London between the hours of 07:00 and 18:00, Monday to Friday. If you drive in the very centre of London between these times you need to call transport for London to pay the daily fee. If you don't your number plate will be logged and you will be sent a fine. Having had two of these fines myself I can assure they that they do enforce this! For information on the congestion charge visit the transport for London website: tfl.gov.uk.

Speed limits around London

Speed Limits

Motorway: 70 mph
Dual Carriageway: 70 mph
Rural: 60 mph
Urban: 30 mph

Distances from London to...

All of these places are within a few hours drive from London
PlaceDistance km (miles)
(Point to Point)

Attraction
Thorpe Park, England29 km (18 miles)

Attraction
Silverstone Circuit, England88 km (55 miles)

Attraction
Centre Parcs Elveden Forest, England112 km (70 miles)

Attraction
Stonehenge, England124 km (77 miles)

Town
Stratford, England132 km (82 miles)

Attraction
Centre Parcs Longleat Forest, England150 km (93 miles)

Town
Bath, England155 km (96 miles)

Town
Birmingham, England162 km (101 miles)

Attraction
Centre Parcs Sherwood Forest, England195 km (121 miles)

Attraction
Alton Towers, England203 km (126 miles)

Town
Cardiff, Wales211 km (131 miles)

Town
Bruges, Belgium235 km (146 miles)

Town
Lille, France243 km (151 miles)

Town
Manchester, England261 km (162 miles)

Attraction
Centre Parcs Port Zélande, Netherlands277 km (172 miles)

Town
Antwerp, Belgium316 km (196 miles)

Attraction
Centre Parcs Les Bois-Francs, France317 km (197 miles)

Town
Brussels, Belgium320 km (199 miles)

Town
Rotterdam, Netherlands320 km (199 miles)

Town
Paris, France346 km (215 miles)

Attraction
Centre Parcs Belle Dune, France351 km (218 miles)

Town
Amsterdam, Netherlands357 km (222 miles)

Attraction
Disneyland Paris, France359 km (223 miles)

Attraction
Centre Parcs De Kempervennen, Netherlands385 km (239 miles)

Attraction
Centre Parcs Whinfell Forest, England387 km (240 miles)

Attraction
Centre Parcs De Eemhof, Netherlands388 km (241 miles)

Attraction
Centre Parcs Het Heijderbos, Netherlands421 km (261 miles)

Attraction
Centre Parcs Het Meerdal, Netherlands421 km (261 miles)

Attraction
Spa Francorchamps, Belgium442 km (274 miles)

Attraction
Centre Parcs Moselle - Domaine des Trois Forêts, France457 km (284 miles)

Attraction
Centre Parcs Les Hauts de Bruyères, France457 km (284 miles)

Town
Dublin, Ireland461 km (286 miles)

Town
Luxembourg, Luxembourg489 km (304 miles)

Town
Cologne, Germany497 km (309 miles)

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