Frequently Asked Questions

What if my plans change after making a reservation?
How do I get to you from Heathrow Airport?
How do I get to you from Gatwick Airport?
How do I get to you from Luton Airport?
How do I get to you from Stansted Airport?
How do I find you after leaving the Tube?
What do I get with my "English" Breakfast?
Where can I get information about travelling around London?
Where can I get information about theatres?
Where can I park the car?

General questions on electricity, tipping, etc., in the UK.

 

What if my plans change after making a reservation?
Reserve with confidence as there are no problems if your plans change and you need to cancel or change your dates. Your deposit will be refunded in full provided you have let us know not later than two days before the date you were due to arrive.
 
How do I get to you from Heathrow Airport?
Heathrow Express Take the non-stop Heathrow Express train straight into Paddington Station, leaves every 15minutes (journey time approximately 15 minutes) and costs 14.50. Children up to 15yrs are £6.70. From Paddington Station take a 5 minute taxi ride to the hotel - approximately 6
Private Hire Car  
Taxi (Black Cab) There are always plenty of taxis lining up waiting for customers, takes about 50 minutes depending on traffic delays, i.e. costs a bit more in the morning and evening peak periods. Costs about £45.
The Tube

Get a ticket for Marble Arch and take the Piccadilly Line Tube into London, leaves about every 5 -10 minutes. Change at Holborn onto the Central Line and take the westbound train to Marble Arch. Costs £4 (Children 5-16 yrs - £2) and takes about 55 minutes.
(Note - Temporarily, until approx. October, 2006, the Tube service to and from Heathrow Terminal 4 will incorporate a free bus shuttle from Hatton Cross which will add approx. 5 minutes to the journey. If you have trouble with climbing stairs get off the Tube at either of the Heathrow Terminals 1, 2 or 3 and use the free Heathrow Express Service to link to Terminal 4. Passengers using this route should allow an extra 30 minutes to complete their journey.)


How do I get to you from Gatwick Airport?
By Rail - Take the Gatwick Express train direct from the airport to Victoria Station. It leaves about every 15 minutes and costs £14. The trip takes about 30 minutes to reach Victoria Station and then take a taxi (about 10–15 minutes £9).

By Private Hire Car (Minicab) – .

How do I get to you from Luton Airport?
By Rail – Luton Flyer to Kings Cross, change onto the Victoria Line to Oxford Circus and change again onto the Central Line to Marble Arch. Costs about £12. Takes approx. 70 minutes. Alternatively to the Tube from Kings Cross take a taxi, 15 minutes approx. £6.
By Greenline Bus – Ticket to Marble Arch, £6 - £11. Takes about 75 minutes and leaves every 20 minutes. See http://www.greenline.co.uk/

How do I get to you from Stansted Airport?
By Rail – Stansted Express, which runs from the airport every 15 minutes from 0800 to 1700 weekdays and every 30 minutes early morning, evening weekdays and weekends. Ask for a ticket to Marble Arch and change trains at Liverpool Street onto the Tube (Central Line). Journey time - approx. 1 hour. Cost - £15, children £7.50.
By Private Hire Car (Minicab) –

How do I find you after leaving the Tube?
Take a print of our local map with you. Just turn left out of the station and walk along Oxford Street for about 20 yards and turn left at the KFC. Walk up Old Quebec Street and we're opposite the end of that street, about 100 yards from the station.

What do I get with my "English" Breakfast?
Our policy is to make sure you start the day with a full and satisfying breakfast consisting of a choice of various cereals, choice of fruit juices, tea and coffee, toast, choice of jams, marmalade and honey, eggs (fried, scrambled, poached), grilled bacon, sausages, tomatoes, baked beans. If you're still hungry when you're finished, have more of whatever you want.

Where can I get information about travelling around London?

London Buses and Tubes - Tube and bus fares are based on a six-zone system. Check http://www.londontransport.co.uk for full details, tube maps, bus maps and the latest prices. Tube and bus maps and other information are also available free at our reception desk.
Smoking is forbidden in the Underground (on the cars and the platforms) and on buses.
Travelcards - It usually saves money to purchase a daily or weekly Travelcard which allows unlimited travel in Greater London on the rail network, buses, Underground and the Docklands Light Railway. You can then travel on any combination of tube, train, bus and DLR within your selected zones as many times as you wish, for as long as your card is valid. The standard card for central London covers zones 1 and 2 and this should be quite sufficient for the general tourist. With a Travel Card you can just get on and off trains and buses in the zone you've chosen as often as you like at no extra cost. They also entitle you to 1/3rd off the cost of travel on scheduled Riverboat service.
It's a considerably cheaper way to get around if you are intending to do any more than two journeys in a day. The Travelcard, although also valid for use on buses, can only be bought at Underground and railway stations, and at selected newsagents. The weekly cards need a photo ID, which can be obtained at the station.
An on-the-spot fine for not having the correct ticket on a bus or train is £20 so make sure you don't stray outside the zones that your Travelcard covers.

Taxis - Black-cab drivers tend to know central London very well and can be hailed in the street when the yellow Taxi sign on the roof is lit.
Black cabs are expensive but are fully insured and low-risk. A standard journey across the West End will cost about £8 - £12 outside rush hour. A 10% tip will be expected.


Where can I get information about theatres?

There are more than a 100 theatres in London and you can see a full list of what's on, maps of theatre locations, seating plans and theatre box office telephone numbers at http://www.officiallondontheatre.co.uk/ . It’s important, before you pay for any tickets with your card, that you check the seats you’ve been allocated against the seating layout to ensure that they’re OK. If you’re booking on the ‘phone have the seating layout on the screen in front of you before you call.

Buying from the theatre box office - There is usually no booking fee when you buy tickets in person. If you telephone the box office direct to order tickets, you may be charged a small booking fee. At busy periods, some box office telephone numbers ‘trip over’ to ticket agencies. In this instance, any fees should be identical to those charged by the box office.

Buying from the Half Price Ticket Booth in Leicester Square - This ticket booth in the clock-tower building in Leicester Square is the best way to buy discount tickets on the day of performance. Have a look at http://www.officiallondontheatre.co.uk/tkts for further details. Warning - make sure you go to the correct place in Leicester Square, ignore the booths you pass getting there.

Buying tickets from a ticket agency - Most legitimate ticket agents are members of STAR (The Society of Ticket Agents & Retailers), an organisation that aims to encourage best practice among ticketing outlets. Ticket agents always charge a booking fee, up to 25% of the price you would pay if you bought the ticket direct from the theatre box office in person. These fees vary so compare this cost from their websites before committing yourself.

Where can I park the car?
It's worth pointing out that the roads in London are very crowded and the cost of parking is prohibitively expensive so we strongly recommend that you do not bring a car unless you really have to and don't hire one unless you intend to take it out of the centre the same day. London now has a “Congestion Charge Zone” in the very centre and the Edward Lear Hotel is just within that area. Payment of the congestion charge allows you to enter, drive around, and leave the charging zone as many times as you wish that day. Congestion charging applies between 7.00a.m. and 6.30p.m., Monday to Friday. You can pay the £8 congestion charge either in advance or on the day of travel before, during or after the journey but you must pay by 10.00pm on the day of travel to avoid penalty costs. For further information - http://www.cclondon.com/index.shtml
Street parking on a single yellow line is free from 6.30pm - 8.30am. Metered parking at other times and traffic wardens are predatory in central London so don't over-run the time on your meter. You have been warned!

General Questions

Electricity - British current is 240 volts, AC, so you'll need a converter or transformer for U.S.-made electrical appliances, as well as an adapter that allows the plug to match British outlets. You can buy a transformer/adapter at many places in London and we recommend "Boots the Chemist" as their prices are reasonable and they have many branches close to the hotel.

We supply hair dryers and an iron.

Time difference in America - Most of the year Britain is 5 hours ahead of the time observed on the East Coast of the United States. When it's noon in New York, it's 5pm in London.

Tipping
- In restaurants, service charges around the 10% range are usually included in the bill. Sometimes this will be clearly marked but, if it isn't, waiters won’t mind if you ask and you can decide for yourself how much to leave. There's no tipping in fast-food cafes, pubs or theatres.


 

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