Advice For Visitors To London

Visiting London Advice

Dos and Don’ts when visiting London

As you would expect from a proud Londoner, I love the city immensely and have an affinity with its people. However I must admit that us British are an odd race. When I originally sat down and thought about writing this short guide of the dos and Don’ts when visiting London, I realised just how many unwritten social/cultural rules there are, all of which would be frowned upon should you break them.

This makes its hard for visitors to London, and Britain as a whole, as you would probably break every single one without realising as they can be quite obscure. Please don’t think you’ll be sent the Tower of London should you fall foul of them, however you may have an irate Londoner if you do!

Things have changed more recently. As London has become more ethnically diverse, Londoners have become more accepting of etiquette slips, however other areas of U.K. may be less accepting.


Queue Jumping.

No queue jumping
Always use a licensed London taxi

Of all the faux pas, this still has the largest reaction. Queuing has become a national obsession with the British. We will form a queue for absolutely everything and if someone decides to jump the queue and walk straight to the front, there will be outrage from the people queuing. If you are unsure whether the queue is for the attraction you want to visit it is common etiquette to enquire with the last person in the line.

The last thing to remember whilst standing in a queue, is that it’s very un-British to moan about the length of the wait whilst standing in line. Instead discuss the weather or the latest football results if you wish to blend in.


London Airport Taxi Transfers
Tips are always welcome!

Tipping/ Gratuities
 Us Brits become uncomfortable about discussing gratuities as it’s socially impolite to request money. I’m often asked by passengers in my taxi what the standard tip for taxi drivers in London is and when I hear that question I can feel myself become anxious. Then I began answering the question with a simple answer “tip me as you would in your own country” which is a perfect answer as it avoids discussing a particular figure which is considered rude.

In the interests of this article, I will suppress my anxiety. Tipping London Taxis is a standard practice and most tips are 10% which is the same as waitresses and waiters. Doormen at the hotels should be tipped £1 if they have handled your luggage.

Don’t be fooled by the courteous way someone accepts the tip. Many will thank you for the gratuity with a surprised reaction but don’t be fooled as certain jobs in the travel hospitality industry will expect a tip.


Quiet Please

Talking Quietly

Historically the British have been a relatively reserved nation and that hasn’t really changed too much. Talking loudly in certain circumstances, including whilst on public transport, museums and art galleries is unacceptable. Even when walking through London you very rarely hear a raised voice, most are drowned out by the noise of the traffic (although this will change with the increased use of electric vehicles), and when there are raised voices many people will turn and look.

When sitting on the tube it is expected that you talk in hushed tones with the people in your immediate vicinity. You will rarely see large groups entering the tube and talking group wide. The tube is old and noisy, but people still manage to converse quietly.

Whilst on any form of public transport it is deemed poor manners to answer a call on your mobile. Its human nature to amplify your voice whilst on the phone which means you break the golden rule of talking quietly.


Using Escalators

Advice to visitors in London
Always stand on the left

When using escalators, particularly those on the tube, there is an unwritten rule that if you wish to stand still and allow the escalator to take the strain, then you MUST stand on the right. If you are in a hurry, as most commuters are, then use the left side of the escalator.

There have been many times when I’ve travelled on the tube, that I’ve seen tourists standing on both sides of the escalator pointing at the advertisement on the wall, unaware that they are blocking the commuters scurrying up the left hand side. This has usually ended in an argument, commuters pushing past or London Underground member of staff shouting down the escalator. All eventualities are equally embarrassing and easily avoided.



As a whole, the British hate lateness. If you make arrangements to meet someone and you are running late it’s polite to drop them a text or call to inform them of your revised time of arrival. However good time management should be employed to ensure that this situation never occurs.



As I grow older, I am noticing that common courtesies that the British are famous for, are slowly ebbing away. I think this is mainly due to our lives getting busier, as is the city. That is not to say that you can be rude and ignorant in situations as, with the whole of UK, politeness will get you everywhere.

It’s amazing how an excuse me, please, thank you will help you during a visit to London. If asked correctly most Londoners will help out visitors with directions or advice, if the situation allows.


Look right before looking left

Road safety

Jaywalking is not an offence in the U.K. making Londoners experts at crossing the road without the use of a designated crossing. Even when using these designated crossings, Londoners tend to cross without waiting for the green man to illuminate. The big thing to remember is the British drive on the left side of the road (we would say the correct side!) and therefore when crossing the road always look to your right and then to your left. Whilst crossing its always best to stay vigilant for rogue cyclists or motorcyclists who maybe travelling in the middle of roads. I have seen this catch many tourists out!


Wimbledon Tennis Championship

Can Andy Murray retain the Wimbledon Championship in 2017?

Starting Monday 3rd July and running until 16th July, 2017 will be the 140th anniversary of the oldest tennis championship in the world held at the famous All England Lawn Tennis Club located in South West London.

Having grown up in Wimbledon, and being a former ball boy, I always look forward to Wimbledon starting as the area transforms from a relatively quiet suburb of London into the centre of the sporting spotlight.

Are you arriving at a London Airport and need an Airport Transfer to your Hotel?

Blacktaxionline are offering visitors a prebooked taxi service to/from the airport at a very competitive fixed price starting at £50. Contact us now for a quote to make sure you catch all the action at Center Court.

Chelsea Flower Show 2017

Visiting Chelsea Flower Show? Take a Taxi.

London Taxi to Chelsea Flower Show

Its that time of year again and the world famous Chelsea Flower Show is due to start on 23rd May.

The RHS Chelsea Flower show, formally known as the Great Spring Show, is a garden show held for 5 days in May by the Royal Horticultural Society in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London.

Discover the eight Show Gardens, five Fresh Gardens, nine Artisan Gardens, the Fresh Gardens and more than 100 floral displays, which will make up the 2017 RHS Chelsea Flower Show (23 – 27 May 2017), sponsored by M&G Investments.

Are you arriving in London to visit the flower show? Book your airport transfer by London Taxi with Blacktaxionline.

Book a London Taxi for a 1/2 or full day to maximise your visit to the flower show. Email us your requirements and we will be more than happy to provide a no obligation quote. Email us at

2017 Chelsea Flower Show Highlights

Professor Nigel Dunnett has designed the 2017 RHS Greening Grey Britain Garden. Set within an urban context of high-rise and apartment developments, Nigel will demonstrate and celebrate the multiple benefits of plants and gardens in even the smallest of areas. He will also provide a vision for the future development and use of private, communal and social spaces in the places where we live.
Explore the full list of Show Gardens in detail

Artisan Garden highlights include the 2016 winner of Best Fresh Garden, Gary Breeze, who has designed a garden which features the replica of an 800 year old boat which was discovered in the Norfolk Broads. Meanwhile, Ishihara Kazuyuki returns for his 12th year with Gosho No Niwa inspired by the Kyoto emperors of Japan, and the work of Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí is the focus of Sarah Eberle’s Viking Cruises Garden of Inspiration.
Find out more about the Artisan Gardens

Fresh Garden highlights include Jack Dunckley’s The Bermuda Triangle which will resemble an active volcano surrounded by tropical planting. At 23, Jack is one of the youngest garden designers ever to exhibit at RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Kate Gould’s City Living demonstrates how to create a usable green space in an urban apartment block and Mind Trap by Ian Price, about his personal experience of depression.
Discover the range of Fresh Gardens in full

In the Show Garden category, James Basson will be going for his third consecutive RHS Gold medal with a re-creation of the stunning Maltese landscape for the M&G Garden: Melitense. Laurie Chetwood and Patrick Collins are teaming up for the third time at RHS Chelsea with The Chengdu Silk Road Garden which combines architecture and planting in a conceptual East-West landscape with a dramatic ‘Silk Road’ bridge linking the different elements of the garden. Lee Bestall is celebrating 500 Years of Covent Garden, while Andrew Wilson and Gavin McWilliam aim to highlight endangered heathland for Wellington College with Breaking Ground. Chris Beardshaw is going for his 12th RHS Gold medal and is working with the National Youth Orchestra on the Morgan Stanley Garden.

Information taken from

13 Reasons Why You Should Take a London Black Taxi


1. They make use of the most sophisticated technology in the world

The sat-nav goes in and out of date. The smartphone runs flat or is unable to hook up to GPS. But black cabs run on a far superior power, it’s called The Knowledge and it’s hosted by human brains. One of the hardest tests in the world and takes three years to complete – make use of it.

2. So you won’t get lost

Don’t stand on that street corner refreshing your maps app, there’s someone who knows exactly where you need to be and how to get there. Just raise your arm in the air.

3. For that sense of superiority

You can look down upon everyone else in their little, low cars driving alongside you. Yes those sitting in buses can look down on you – but they’re on a bus and you’re not. And the Tube is far, far beneath you.

4. For a fun time

What better way of transporting a gang of five around town without having to resort to a hideous people carrier? And no one has to sit up front next to the driver for an embarrassing drive. Also those super little fold down seats give you an instant group circle. Friendly travelling indeed. Just don’t throw up in one!

5. For an emergency

Need to change clothes? Need to breastfeed? Need to put some on some make up? Need a moment? Need to snog someone? Need to get away from someone? Need to get to someone?
Remember black cabs are the only cars legally allowed to ply for the trade on the streets so they’re on hand when a crisis occurs. They can travel in bus lanes for speed and they’re far safer than picking up a private car.

6. For the absolute joy and relief

…in flagging down a cab just when you need one, you’ll soon be where you have to be.

7. For a little me time

Don’t need the hustle and bustle? Can’t face shoving up the Tube carriage with everyone else? A few private minutes in the silent oasis of your own black cab will help you regroup.

8. But if you do want to talk

London cabbies always have a story to tell and most are willing to chat away. If you engage with them you’re usually guaranteed to get out with a smile on your face. ‘Guess who I had in the back of my cab the other day…’

9. You can make decisions on the fly

You don’t have to stick to specific stops and routes so that last minute change of plan that has just been texted through means you can make an about turn, making use of the cab’s very tight turning circle perfected for London’s streets.

10. You get to see the city

Not someone’s armpit in an underground tunnel. Take those moments stuck in traffic to look around at the gorgeous old buildings, the brand new structures, that unusual shop, a tiny park you had no idea existed etc.etc.
Or of course use your phone and headphones without annoying anyone else.

11. Because not everyone can use a standard car

Wheelchair? Luggage? Pram? Pushcair? Guide dog? Oodles of children? Never fear, the most spacious licensed vehicle on the road is here.

12. And black cabs are far from standard

Hackney carriages have been on the streets for over 500 years. Now the well known cars bearing their yellow lights are an icon of the streets – it wouldn’t just be us lost without them, London would be too. I couldn’t imagine the city without them.

13. Get in, you’re the chosen one

No you didn’t just summon that cab, it chose you. Out of everyone tramping the streets right now you are the one deemed worthy enough to dim that yellow light for.

Book a Black Taxi Online for a London Airport Transfer

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