London UK
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London is frequently likened to a collection of villages. Clusters of local shops, markets, parks, leisure centres and other venues help foster a feeling of local community within a conurbation of seven million people. Some areas have a particularly strong identities and associations making London a world in one city. The capital continues to draw newcomers all the time and it is a city that is always changing.
The old adage that ‘London doesn’t have a climate, it has weather’ refers to the fickleness of the atmospheric conditions in the region. Plan a picnic in a park in the morning and it will be raining by noon; go to a film to escape a wet and dreary afternoon, and you’ll emerge to bright sunshine in a blue, cloudless sky. You just never know. 
But London does have a climate in fact, among the mildest in England known as ‘temperate maritime’, with mild and damp winters and moderate summers. It’s wise to expect cloudy weather and rain even in the height of summer. 
In July and August temperatures average around 18°C but can occasionally soar to 30°C or more. During most summers, however, you’ll be lucky if the mercury tops the mid-20s. Even so, the summer of 2003 was one of the hottest ever on record for Britain and much of Europe. London sizzled at a record-breaking 37.9C in August, breaking once and for all the stereotype of the mild English summer. 
In spring and autumn temperatures drop to between 11° and 15°C. In winter they hover just below 6°C; it very rarely freezes in London these days and snow is a very infrequent visitor. It may seem mild, but the dampness can often make it feel much colder.
London Markets

London is one of the most interesting and exciting capital cities in the world attracting millions of visitors each year. It's also one of the safest.
As in any large, busy city, however, crime can sometimes be a problem so you do need to take care about personal safety and looking after your belongings. These pages give advice on what you can do to make your visit to London safer and more enjoyable.
In your hotel
• Avoid leaving valuables in your room - keep them in the hotel safety box or safe. Keep a record of your personal belongings such as cameras, credit cards, passports and travellers cheques. Note down the numbers - it may help police to identify them if they do get lost or stolen.
• When you leave the hotel, make sure the door of your room is firmly closed. Always hand your key in to the reception staff or use the key box - don't leave it on the reception desk.
• Remember that hotel lobbies and reception areas are open to the public so don't leave your bags or any valuables lying on the floor unattended at any time. 
Out and about
• Keep your bag or camera where you can see them by wearing them in front of you, not over your shoulder. This is especially important if you are in a crowded area such as on a bus or an underground train.
• When in restaurants, bars, theatres or cinemas never leave your bag on the floor or over the back of your chair. Keep it where you can see it.
• Only buy theatre or concert tickets from reliable sources and not from 'touts' in the street.
• If you're out and about at night on foot try to keep to busy, well-lit areas.
• When travelling by bus or train try to avoid using stations in isolated places. When possible sit near the driver on buses, and on trains try to make sure you sit in a compartment where there are other people.
• Only use taxis that have been licensed by the police. These are easily recognised by a licence on display and the driver wearing a badge.
• Take extra care when crossing the road. Always remember to look both ways as traffic may be coming from a different direction than you are expecting. 
Weapons and drugs
Be aware that it is a criminal offence to carry weapons such as knives and guns in the UK.
Unlike some other European countries it is also illegal to carry CS spray.
Remember that it is against the law to be in possession of 'classified' drugs this includes cannabis, marijuana and hashish.
• Although few in number there are some types of bars in the Soho area of the West End that you may wish to avoid. These bars sometimes advertise sex shows and may charge very high prices for non-alcoholic drinks, often served by hostesses. In addition to the cost of your drinks you may also be charged for the company of the hostesses and the drinks consumed by them. So be aware of what sort of premises you are entering and if in doubt don't go in.
• You may be approached by persons offering sexual services for money. They will ask for money first and then make an excuse to leave telling you to meet them shortly at a nearby address. You should have nothing to do with them. You will most likely never see them or your money again. If you do get caught, report it at once to the local police who will deal with the matter sympathetically. 
Remember the police are there to help you. If anything does go wrong and your possessions are lost or stolen then contact the police at the earliest opportunity.

London shop

Cool Bars
Whether you want to plan a special celebration, impress someone with your knowledge on the latest hang outs, or simply have a cracking night out with the girls/lads, these are the coolest places to drink in London. Officially! (OK not officially but just the ones we like best.)
Ice Bar
Book your slot, don your poncho and settle down for a nice-cold, ice-cold vodka cocktail at the Ice Bar. Everything in this bar is made entirely out of imported Swedish ice, including the stools, tables and glasses. This novelty bar is the first of its kind in London and perfect for those needing to chill out (geddit?).
Le Pigalle Club
If you’re looking for sophisticated elegance, you can’t go far wrong with Le Pigalle Club. This new supper club will take you back to the glamorous era of the 1940s. Dine on home cured salmon with gravalax sauce and pan seared gingered tiger prawns with crab rice, and listen to live acts from up-and-coming artists to big named veterans like Shirley Bassey and Van Morrison. 
OK, listen up: this bar is seriously cool. Loungelover is the sister bar to the lavish Les Trois Garcons (which is just around the corner). The beautiful lounge is adorned with unique pieces of antique furniture and colourful details that will have you marvelling all the way to the cocktail list, which is also superb. Sip on Eastern Promise made with Sputnik rose petal flavoured Russian vodka and lychee liqueur, and Thai Breakers, made with coriander, ginger, passion fruit, kalamansi juices and coconut liqueur.
Lucky Voice
Choose from over 5,000 classic songs, and sing in your own plush, private booth with your favourite (and most out of tune to make you sound better) friends at Lucky Voice. This is London’s coolest karaoke bar by far. It features nine individual rooms, each with an ‘I’m Thirsty’ button to hail the waiter and order drinks like Ginseng Margarita, Love Hotel and Lucky Destiny. But make sure you plan in advance. This place is popular.
The Play Room
This Piccadilly watering hole features showgirls, comedy, cabaret and drag queens who perform in your midst while you relax with tasty cocktails or even a meal if you fancy. To picture the luxurious surroundings at the Play Room think: zebra print chaise longues, velvet curtains, mirrors and chandeliers. And late at night there’s live music and DJs so that those who like to flaunt it can shake their burlesque tail feathers.
Shochu Lounge
Underneath Roka, you’ll find the chic Shochu Lounge. This bar is a cut above the rest. You can even have a bespoke shochu cocktail mixed up from all of your favourite fruits, scents and colours. Ask at the bar for details (but only if you’re feeling flush).
Chic and elegant, Sketch has an egg-shaped bar with a bit of a retro feel. The venue is made up of a number of different bars and restaurants so, from luxurious opulence to informal fun, there's a setting to suit every mood. Something of a temple to food, drink, music and art, there's even a gallery thrown in for good measure.
Trailer Happiness
Self titled as ‘a retro-sexual haven of cosmopolitan kitsch and faded trailer park glamour’, Trailer Happiness is a great little hideaway on Portobello Road. The cocktail menu is kicking. Try the rum-based Scorpion Bowls and Zombies, both designed for sharing. You can even purchase your own tiki shot mug and keep it at the bar.
Volupte Lounge
This sexy burlesque cabaret club will jazz up any night out. Drink Japanese Slippers and French Martinis then kick back and enjoy fabulous cabaret acts. And best of all (we think) are Volupte Lounge’s afternoon teas made up of apricot scones, frosted lemon butter cakes, mini raspberry custard tarts and double chocolate and hazelnuts brownies.
London streets
Top Shopping Destinations
London has a number of distinct shopping districts, some of which have their own themes or specialities. The descriptions below will help you find what you’re looking for, whatever it may be.
Oxford Street (W1)
Bustling Oxford Street has about 300 shops and landmark stores. Home to the legendary Selfridges, it also has a range of recognised department stores amongst every well-known high street chain imaginable. 
Slip into a side street, however, and it’s pretty easy to leave the crowds behind. Check out St Christopher’s Place, South Molton Street and Berwick Street for some real treats.
Nearest tube: Oxford Circus
New Bond Street (W1)
If you have plenty of money to spend and want to sport the very best in designer clothes then Bond Street is the ideal place to go for some expensive retail therapy. Often chosen by celebrities on a spree, it is one of London's most exclusive shopping areas.
London streets
Nearest  Tube: Bond Street
Regent Street and Jermyn Street (W1 and SW1)
An impressive shopping street, Regent Street offers a good range of mid-priced fashion stores including some of the city's oldest and most famous shops. Jermyn Street has long been renowned for its men's clothing shops, particularly bespoke shirtmakers. 
Nearest Tube: Piccadilly Circus
Carnaby Street (W1)
The birthplace of the fashion and cultural revolution of the Swinging Sixties, Carnaby Street is still home to some of the world's most exciting fashion and design talent. Filled with shops selling urban and street clothing, it is the place to go for a trendy atmosphere.
Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus
Covent Garden (WC2)
Covent Garden is a great place to shop, packed with speciality stores and quirky finds. You can stock up with the latest urban street wear or buy some gourmet food. Check out the arts and crafts at Covent Garden Market.
Try the stores in Floral Street, Monmouth Gardens, Shorts Gardens, Seven Dials and Neal’s Yard for a taste of how hip the neighbourhood can be.
Nearest Tube: Covent Garden or Leicester Square
Kings Road (SW3)
The Kings Road is a more leisurely shopping option, with new stores and cafes and a good blend of high street and designer shops thrown into the mix. With unique labels, it is also home to some top designer stores, and a great place for inspirational interior design.
London streets
Nearest Tube: Sloane Square
Knightsbridge (SW7)
Visitors from around the world flock to Knightsbridge and Brompton Road to see the illustrious shops and department stores. This is the place to head to if you are looking for prestigious brands and up-to-the-minute trends from the world's fashion elite.
Nearest Tube: Knightsbridge
Notting Hill (W11)
If you’re in search of unusual or vintage clothing, rare antiques and a vibrant, multi-cultural atmosphere, then Notting Hill is for you. It has a good selection of eclectic and alternative shops, but is also famous for its market which takes place along Portobello Road. 
Nearest Tube: Notting Hill Gate, Ladbroke Grove or Westbourne Park
Canary Wharf (E14)
Canada Square in the heart of Docklands is home to many of the UK’s leading businesses, but also has a great shopping centre open seven days a week. Sleek and modern, it has over 200 shops, cafes and restaurants offering a relaxed shopping experience with a good combination of high street and designer stores.
Nearest Tube: Canary Wharf
Bluewater (DA9, Kent)
An enormous shopping and leisure complex, Bluewater is located just outside of the Greater London area. The largest of its kind in Europe, it has over 330 stores and 40 cafés, bars and restaurants plus a 13-screen cinema. It is the ideal haven for any shopaholic.
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