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London: weather forecast, when to go, Brexit… Le Figaro's practical guide

2020-08-04T08:43:18.290Z

What to do during a weekend or a long stay in London? What numbers to call in an emergency? What are the consequences of Brexit for French tourists? To avoid getting lost when you disembark at Heathrow Airport or when exiting the Eurostar at St Pancras Station, here is all the information you need for a perfect trip to London.



Weather in London

Year-round, the average temperature is 11 ° in the British capital. Obviously, it is summer, between June and August, that it is the hottest in London , with an average temperature of 18 °. This period is ideal for those who wish to have lunch or dinner in a restaurant on the banks of the Thames or stroll through the wide alleys of Hyde Park.

  • In spring , London warms up with an average temperature of 11 °. At the same time, the city is emptying of its tourists and the queues are shorter in museums or to attend musicals. A season that is also gentle on the wallet, since accommodation prices are lower at this time of the year.
  • Summer is also an opportunity for tourists to take advantage of the sales in London, which are in place in many stores.
  • In the fall , the average temperature felt is 10 ° in London. This time of year is a good time to visit museums, as the third weekend of September takes place the “London Open House”, the equivalent of heritage days in London. It is then possible to visit all the museums and monuments of the city free of charge for a weekend. Fashion lovers are not left out in the fall, since it is the second weekend in September that London Fashion Week takes place.
  • In winter in London, those who prefer cooler temperatures will be happy to know that the average temperature is 5 °. It is therefore important to dress warmly, but it is worth the effort. This time of year offers a unique atmosphere, especially thanks to the illuminations throughout the city, but also to admire the giant Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square or participate in the Southbank winter festival.

As tourists know, it rains regularly in London. On average, rainfall annually reaches 621mm. When visiting the British capital in winter, autumn or spring, it is advisable to bring an umbrella, just in case!

A colorful street in London Adobe Stock / Alex Segre

When to go to London?

As mentioned in the “Weather in London” section, certain times of the year are best if you want to visit London to attend festivities, avoid tourists or even enjoy the museums and monuments.

  • For a cultural visit  : from March to May. There are fewer tourists and the queues are shorter. Perfect for enjoying London's free museums or enjoying plays and musicals.
  • To party  : during the summer. The weather is fine and allows you to enjoy the bars and restaurants of the city, especially those located along the Thames.
  • To be amazed : between November and January. Christmas decorations are everywhere in London and the warm atmosphere that emanates from the city will delight young and old.
  • With the family: All year round. London offers a multitude of activities to do with the family, no matter the month of the year. Starting at platform 9 ¾ of King's Cross station. Children and parents will also be happy to visit the science museum, the London zoo or the Tate Modern museum, which even offers activities for the little ones.

Pier 9 3/4 at King's Cross Adobe Stock / Jaroslav Moravcik

Brexit in London

Despite the adoption of Brexit on February 1, 2020 by England , the habits of tourists will not be upset.
Starting with the entry conditions in the country, since it will always be possible to take the Eurostar to London with a passport or an identity card.
Concerning health, in the event of a "no deal", it is preferable to subscribe to travel health insurance, since the European health insurance card (EHIC) may no longer be valid. As for driving, no change, since it will be possible to travel in London using a French license.
As for roaming charges, if the “no deal” comes into being, they could make a comeback. Additional “roaming” costs would therefore be requested when using data or sending SMS.

City of London I-Wei Huang / Adobe Stock

Visa to London

French tourists wishing to travel to London can currently do so using a valid national identity card or passport. Brexit has not changed the rules for entering England for French nationals. It is still advisable to check with the British consulates in France or the embassy in order to obtain the latest information on the conditions of entry into the country. To find out more, just visit these two websites:

- For information on Brexit: https://brexit.gouv.fr/sites/brexit/accueil.html

- The website of the British tourist office: https://www.visitbritain.com/fr/fr

Useful addresses and numbers in London

If you need any information while in London, here are the addresses and numbers you need to know.

- British Embassy in France . 36 rue du Faubourg St Honoré 75008 Paris. Tel: 01 44 51 31 00. Website: https://www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-embassy-paris.fr

- Consulate of France in London . 21 Cromwell Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 2EN, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 20 7073 1200. Website: https://uk.ambafrance.org/-Consulat-general-Londres-

- Consulate General of the United Kingdom in Paris . 18 bis, rue d'Anjou 75008 Paris. Tel: 01 44 51 31 00. Website: https://www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-embassy-paris.fr

- Police. In the event of theft (smartphone, computer, valuables), all you have to do is dial 101 on a phone to get in touch with the London authorities. This number is free.

- Medical emergencies. If you want to get in touch with emergency services (fire brigade, ambulance, hospitals), just dial 999 or 112 on a phone. These numbers are free.

London's Soho district dilocom / Adobe Stock

Museums in London

French tourists may not know it, but all of the city's national museums are free. It is therefore possible to visit the Tate Modern , the British Museum or the National Gallery without spending a single penny. You should know that it is welcome to help preserve these museums by donating a few pounds sterling at the entrance to them. Obviously, temporary exhibitions in museums are chargeable.

Currency in London

Even before the adoption of Brexit, the British decided to keep their own currency, the pound sterling (which is also called "pound"). The banknotes range from 5 to 50 pounds, and the two high value coins are: 1 and 2 pounds sterling. It is therefore advisable to find out about the exchange rate before leaving on a trip to London, so as not to have any unpleasant surprises upon arrival in the English capital.

The British Museum Chrisdorney / Adobe Stock

Call London

To call London from France, nothing could be simpler: just dial "00 + 33 + the region indication without the 0 and finally the 8 digits that make up the London number. In the other direction, it is the same thing, but with "+ 44".

Which electrical outlet in London?

When traveling abroad, it is always important to remember to bring an adapter that works on the country's electrical outlets. In England and therefore in London, you will need a plug adapter to UK standards, namely 240 volts. Indeed, the English plugs differ from the French ones and it will be necessary to think about buying a special adapter on the spot or before the departure for London. For information, the sockets are rectangular in shape and consist of three plugs.

Time difference in London

In summer as in winter, in London, there is a time difference of one hour with France. For example: when it is 1 p.m. in Paris, it is only 12 p.m. in London. You should therefore remember to wind your watch when you land in the English capital.

Health in London

As in the rest of Europe , it is safe to travel to London. There are no compulsory vaccines to obtain permission to enter the British capital and England has state-of-the-art medical infrastructure, just like France. Following Brexit, it is still advisable to take out travel health insurance before leaving for London, as the European health insurance card may no longer be valid as of 2021.

Saint Pancras Tupungato Station / Adobe Stock

Tip in London

It is important to leave a tip in London when eating in a restaurant or having a drink in a bar. This varies between 10% to 15% of the total amount of the bill. So remember to check your bill before taking out your credit card or paying in pounds sterling.

Source: lefigaro

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