Car hire in London

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Car hire in London

Pick up your hire car at Heathrow Airport, Gatwick Airport, Stanstead Airport or one of many other locations and you're ready to enjoy the thumping heart of Britain.

60-second guide to London

in its own head

"Leave your pyjamas behind, baby. London's the best, most cosmopolitan, fashionable city in the world and we're on the go 24/7."

but more realistically

You can party, for sure, but London is massive and there's plenty more on offer than two-for-one cocktails.

the vibe

Whatever you're into you'll find something to tickle your fancy, from classic museums to modern burlesque and a world of cuisines to fuel your fun.

the natives

Londoners are in a hurry. Always. Avoid stopping to take pictures at the top of stairs or in the entrance to the Tube and you'll be fine.

the weather

Ah, the great British weather. Pack an umbrella, a scarf, gloves, some shorts and sunglasses at all times.

the local speciality

Pie and mash is having a well-deserved renaissance. The more adventurous should also seek out the classic London treat 'liquor' - a lurid-green parsley-based gravy.

the celebrity

Just the one? It's wall to wall celebs in London town. It's also got the queen of all celebrities - the Queen.

did you know?

The oldest man buried in Westminster Abbey is Thomas 'Old' Parr. He died in 1635 at an alleged age of 152.

they say

"When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford." - author Samuel Johnson

5 to see in town...

1. Buckingham Palace

Do take a turn around the state rooms and imagine the royals padding about in their slippers. Don't break into the Queen's bedroom, as Michael Fagan did back in the 1980s.

where to park?

There are car parks in Arlington Street, Horseferry Road and Belgrave Road - all walking distance from the palace. Prices start from £2.

2. Big Ben

Arm yourself with the fact that Big Ben isn't the iconic gothic clock but actually the bell inside it and you'll impress the locals no end.

where to park?

Abingdon car park on Great College Street is just a few minutes walk from Big Ben. It's £3.

3: The London Eye

Get an eyeful of London in all her glory on this giant Ferris wheel. The 'journey' takes half an hour but feels like it's over in seconds. You might want to do it again.

where to park?

Abingdon Car Park in Great College Street and Trafalgar Car Park in Lockspur Street are both nearby.

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4: Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

Renovated to give you an idea what it was like listening to the Bard back in his hey day, without the running sewage.

where to park?

There is an NCP car park over Southwark Bridge on Upper Thames Street.

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5: St Paul's Catherdral

Prolific architect Christopher Wren's most famous offering and one of London's most iconic landmarks. Prince Charles married a certain Lady Diana here.

where to park?

There are NCP car parks in Lower Thames Street (£1)

and 4 to drive to...

1: Brighton

Put on your best sandals and socks and join the Brits ramming fish and chips into their mouths before dancing the night away in a happy, sweaty club.

how to get there?

Head south on the A23. Via a short stretch on the M23, it goes all the way to Brighton.

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2: Stonehenge

Release your inner hippie at these mystical stones. Prime time is summer solstice on 21 June but you can get your chill on all year with a private tour booked through English Heritage.

how to get there?

Head out of London towards the M3, which leads to the A303. Stonehenge is about 86 miles away.

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3: Bicester Village

The spiritual home of catwalk queens feeling the credit crunch. A whole village dedicated to shopping, it offers both high street and designer stores without the WAG price tags.

how to get there?

Follow the A40 onto the M40 towards Oxford. Turn right onto the A34 and you're there.

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4: Windsor Castle

If you didn't catch the Queen at Buckingham Palace, try your luck at her other gaff. It's the largest occupied castle in the world and has a massive doll's house too.

how to get there?

Find your way onto the M4, which, after turning onto the A332, takes you to Windsor in approximately 45 minutes.

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