London is one of the world’s most-visited alpha cities for its wealth of history, museums, landmarks, shopping, vibrant nightlife and culture. Ancient London is the ‘Square Mile’ of the City of London identified as the original Roman and medieval city, with all its many districts fanning out from there as far as Epping Forest to the east and the Weald of Kent to the south. Bisected by the great River Thames, London’s central areas hold the majority of attractions and historic sites.
With so many attractions, it’s difficult to know where to start a rented motorhome tour of the best London has to offer. The thousand-year old Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament are all major crowd-pullers, as are the British Museum and the National Gallery. Historic districts line the banks of the Thames all the way to Kew and Richmond, passing King Henry VIII’s magnificent Hampton Court Palace.
The heart of the city is still its Square Mile, now one of the world’s leading financial districts, with soaring skyscrapers towering over atmospheric medieval churches set in tiny, twisting lanes and linking to the mysterious medieval Knights Templars and other Orders.
St Paul’s Cathedral, the Inns of Court and the diamond district of Hatton Garden surround the Square Mile, and bohemian Bloomsbury boasts the British Museum. Covent Garden, once the city’s fresh produce wholesale market, is now a favourite entertainment hub with its theatres, boutiques, restaurants, pubs, Royal Opera House and newly renovated market area.
Heading out along the banks of the Thames, you’ll find magnificent Hampton Court Palace, built in 1514 and given to King Henry VIII in 1529. The monarch and his consorts used to travel by boat along the river from St James’s Palace in the Strand to Hampton Court.
Lea Valley Camping and Caravan Park is, along with most of London’s motorhome parks, located on the edge of the vast conurbation close to efficient public transport services. Set in Edmonton’s River Lea Country Park to the east of the city, it boasts all the usual services as well as a mini-market, a golf course, an athletic centre and a cinema.
Crystal Palace Caravan Club Site is located south of the River Thames in Crystal Palace borough, an hour or more drive from central London. Facilities include internet access and amenities for the disabled, and the site is within a short walk of shops and mini-markets.
Abbey Wood Caravan Club Siteis close by Abbey Wood rail station at Greenwich, downriver from the city, with the overland journey to central London taking around 35 minutes. It’s one of the club’s Jubilee sites, set in pretty grounds, and offers all of the club’s reliable services as well as access to Tower Bridge and the Tower of London by ferry.
The best advice as regards driving in London is – don’t. Driving on the left, congestion, restricted expensive parking, the congestion charge central district and other drivers are all best avoided in favour of public transport. That said, suburban roads outside rush hours can give easier traffic conditions. Tolerance of drink driving is very low here, and it’s best for drivers to avoid alcohol altogether.
- Speed limits in the city: 48kph.
- Speed limits on national roads: 112/kph.
- Help number: 999/112