When it comes to visiting London, tourists flock from around the globe to enjoy amazing sights and sounds, from the iconic Big Ben to the infamous Houses of Parliament. Tours are available by open-top bus, guided groups, or simply pick your favourite locations and head there on foot – the centre of the city is relatively small compared to the greater metropolitan area.
British visitors heading into the city from outside London tend to know what to expect in terms of travel and hustle and bustle, however, even they may not be prepared for some Londoner quirks that you aren’t likely to find in other places around the country.
Entertaining Tube Drivers
While the chances of striking up any thrilling conversations with fellow travellers on the tube are slim, the tube drivers are an entirely different breed. Regularly trying to bring a smile to traveller’s faces, particularly when it comes to delays or the summer heat, don’t forget to listen out next time you take the tube.
You’ll often hear some slightly different announcements from the norm. For instance, there was the driver who updated his passengers on the Wimbledon final or the driver who reassured travellers that he was sorry for the delay, although it wasn’t his fault and that he still “loved them all really”. It’s hard to stay grumpy when you’re being reminded that the tube drivers are human too!
Stand on the Right
Although this may be ingrained in a lot of British city visitors, our European neighbours may be a bit flummoxed due to the fact that the British drive on the left and overtake on the right. In fact, this just makes the whole travel flow a bit reversed. Of course, though, the chances are that anyone caught standing on the left will quickly be reminded by the commuter in a rush to grab his morning coffee before making it into the office.
This might be more of a British habit as opposed to a London-specific trait, but Londoners tend to say sorry a lot more due to the increased amount of people around. Accidentally bumped into someone? Had a foot-to-foot dance on the pavement trying to get past each other? Or do you just want to get someone’s attention? Whatever interaction you have, expect to hear it preceded by an apology.
No Umbrella, Thank You
It rains in the United Kingdom, quite a lot in fact, and that’s something the British public are well prepared for. In the capital, however, you are less likely to see umbrellas and instead, a typical Londoner’s bag will usually contain a raincoat. The wind tends to make fighting with an umbrella counterproductive and there are only so many times Londoners can apologise in a day for bumping into someone else’s brolly!
London is an amazing city and really, we are quite proud of it. A multi-cultural melting pot, home to fantastic heritage and an incredible, rich history. During your visit, why not take a guided tour with us at East End Tours? Our friendly and knowledgeable team can take you on a Westminster walk past the Houses of Parliament. Alternatively, why not embark on a tour that takes you through some of London’s darker history, like our Jack the Ripper or Kray Twins tours.
Whether your itinerary includes a trip to the most popular attractions or a day visiting the iconic sites, we hope you enjoy your time in our wonderful city.