Well I am originally from London, England although I have lived in the Middle East and now in Japan (although these are other stories).
Oh and for the record, British people are not the miserable, grumpy stuck up characters as portrayed a lot in films etc. They are a very warm, funny and friendly. You will find, just like anywhere in a busy city, people rushing too and from work, who may look a bit uptight, but they are going to work, so what do you expect!!!!! Getting There
London is basically accessible from any country and practically any airline in the world. All major American airlines fly there and the time of travel would be around 6-12 hours depending on where in the States you are based. London Heathrow is the busiest airport in the world and has around 240,000 people p[assing through there every day. Other not so busy airports include Gatwick, Stanstead and Luton.
The easiest way to get into London from Heathrow, unless you are renting a car, is by London Underground, the Piccadilly Line runs from all Terminals. Also, there is the option of the £750 million non-stop rail link to London called the Heathrow Express, which can get you to London in around 15 minutes.Currency
The currency in London is Pounds and Pence, but be aware there is around $1.97 to GBP1, so your money will half. London is quite expensive also, but you can manage just fine on a budget if you plan well enough.Where to Stay in London
There are tons of hotels, ranging widely in price, around London, and also tons of hostels and B&B's, you are best off researching/booking these online before you travel, as there are so many. Getting Around
The easiest way to get around London is by the London Underground, or The Tube as the locals call it! Its the train system which serves the whole of London and some of the surrounding suburbs. Tube maps can be picked by from any Airport, Underground Station, Hotel/B&B etc. or can be found online or in Travel Guides. Basically the lines are all different colours to make it easier to find the right line. For example, the Central Line (red) runs from West London through Central London right out to the Suburbs of Essex and the Circle Line (yellow) runs in a circle around East Central London and is the one you would use for the Tower of London etc. or the commercial areas of London etc. Its is pretty reasonably priced. Black Taxis are also widely available, but can be costly. Traffic in London is a bit of a nightmare and can cause congestion or delays if you are in a hurry! Major Attractions
Usually the major attractions for tourists would be the Tower of London, the London Eye, the Tate Modern, the British Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum, St Paul's Cathedral or the
National Portrait Gallery. But if you want a more traditional visit, go to Roman Road Market in Bow, East London for a real feel of East End London life, or visit Brick Lane, near Liverpool Street station, which has a very Indian feel and lots of curry houses and sari shops. Also, take a tour of Jack the Ripper's London, which can be found in Guidebooks. London is a very historical city and has a lot of little hidden treasures, churches and alleyways and buildings, which have been there since before the Great Fire of London. It is an amazing mixture of old and new architecture side by side. Liverpool Street Station for instace, was built on the site of an old Plague Hospital. Each of the four areas of London have very different cultural backgrounds, the East is very traditional, working class, and now has a very Indian culture also. The North has a lot of Irish people living there, the South is predominantly black and the West is what we like to call the "posh" area, where the rich people live. Also, find out what's around London's famous parks, commons and green spaces also, yes these really do exist in London! Food and Drink
Okay, its not true that British food is terrible! It really is not! There are TONS of restaurants, bars, pubs and nightclubs in London, and I mean TONS! You will find every cuisine in existence there and then some.... from Organic restaurants to Morrocan, Japanese, Indian, Italian, French and the Traditional... Fish & Chips with Curry Sauce (It really is yummy!). A pub is a traditional drinking hole in London, and these are in abundance, you can go in and relax with a pint of beer on tap! Or if you fancy something a bit more upmarket there are a lot of noveau bars around too serving bottled beers mainly and wine and spirits! Obviously you will also find a lot of Fast Food Restaurants too! What's On in London
There is an abundance of Theatres, Clubs and DJ Bars, Art Galleries, Tours, Comedy Clubs etc. There is something to suit everyone's palate! Check locally for evets happening at the time of your trip. All accommodation will usually have brochures and leaflets available for tourists which are free and make for great planning tips. Shopping
From antiques and exotic ingredients to retro fashions and crafts, London's many markets offer shoppers a huge choice.
British Designer Fashion:
The famous Burberry check has become a favourite.
A bit of an institution these days, Jasper Conran offers beautiful classic garments as well as homewares, jewellery, scents and a more affordable range of designs for Debenhams.
Joseph's signature look is smart, tailored and modern. Shop here for beautifully made classic items that you just can't do without.
The king of British men's fashion is Sir Paul Smith and his label celebrates classic British tailoring injected with a twist. The trademark bright patterned shirts and loud cufflinks, wallets and accessories are instantly recognisable.
Oxford Street, Marble Arch, Kings Road, Piccadilly Circus etc. are all fabulous Shopping Places and see the famous Carnaby Street also. There are some wonderful department stores in London, such as Selfridges, Libertys and Harrods also.
So far as clothes sizing, if you are a US size 8, then you would buy a UK size 12! Just add on four to get your size. For men I am not too sure, but check with the store and they would always be happy to measure you. People Like You
Luxury: Indulge yourself in London. Our world class city offers the best of the best.
From super chic fashion to famous hotels, opulent restaurants, to ultra stylish bars and spas - there’s simply nowhere like it. Take your pick from our guide to London's finest
Gay and Lesbian: London is widely recognised as one of the gay capitals of the world and is home to the largest gay and lesbian community in Europe.
With the annual London Pride Festival, London's Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, and arguably the most eye-opening gay club nights you'll find in the world, there's something to keep you entertained all year round.
Kids and Young People: Check out kidslovelondon.com for more info.
If you're new to London then get ready to have the time of your life. If you're not then you'll already know how cool this city is for young people.
Budget: You don't have to spend a fortune to have a great time in London. If you're on a budget check out these great ideas and get more value for your money. From free attractions to cheap food and drink, your trip to London could be bargain filled if you know where to look!
Go Green: Climate change is big news at the moment, if you're worried about the environment then check out this section for tips on how to be a green traveller. You'll find plenty of useful information, from where to eat the best organic food to finding out which of London's many businesses have been awarded for their contribution to making London a greener place.Discover London Trails
Enjoy a great day out in London with these fun and informative trails. From historic gardens and literary houses to bright lights and city squares, there is plenty of exploring to be done! Simply download a guide and prepare to discover a different side to London.
The Historic Gardens Museum Trail: If you're a garden lover, then these 2 half day trails are definitely for you!
Arts and Crafts Trail: Follow in the footsteps of William Morris and The Arts and Crafts Movement in museums, galleries, historic houses and homes across London.
Camden and Islington Trail: Find culture, canals, fine art and more on this trail of cool Camden and trendy Islington.
London's Literary Houses Trail: London has always been an inspiration for poets, novelists and artists. This full day trail takes to some fascinating sites between Hampstead and Chelsea.
Sports Trail: London provides a showcase of sporting excellence and these themed tours will take you to some magnificent sporting venues.
South London Trail: Explore the hilltops of South London for some extraordinary sights from some of London's highest points.
London a World City Trail: This trail explores multi-cultural London, truly a world in one city.
Wimbledon Trail: Explore Wimbledon, internationally famous for its annual lawn tennis championships, this charming village has even more to offer.
Bright Lights and City Squares Trail: This full day trail takes you from the heart of Mayfair through fashionable city squares taking in some of London's greatest cultural triumphs along the way.
Notting Hill Trail: This trail takes you to the fashionable areas of Notting Hill and Holland Park with its boutiques galleries, cafes and bars.
Upper Thames Trail: This trail follows the river Thames between Twickenham and Kew. Stroll along the riverbank, visit grand houses and enjoy wonderful views and riverside pubs.
Well, I hope you find this to be of some help when planning your trip to London, it really is an amazing city. Happy Travels!