A trip to London with your loved one or group of friends to see a London theater show is one of the best ways to spend a short weekend break. The glitz and glamor of the West End, a great meal, a nice hotel, a wonderful theater experience – what better way is there to relax and have fun?
To make your trip as enjoyable as possible, here are a few top tips on how to get the best from your trip to a London West End show.
Getting to London
The first thing you need to ensure is that you can get to London on the date you want, and that there are tickets available for the theater on the date you wish. There would be no point in booking a train or flight only to discover the evening performance of Chicago was sold out three weeks earlier.
There are numerous ways of getting to London from all parts of the UK and London has 18 mainline train stations, 6 national and international airports, and several national bus stations. Take your pick, but bear in mind that travel pricing is more competitive now than it has ever been, so book early and chop around to ensure you get the best deal. Discounts for booking online is often a good way of saving money further.
There are numerous websites that provide this service, but make sure when you do book up, you know where you are sitting before you pay. Often the online companies are allocated seats in certain sections so you could end up with a restricted view or at the rear of the stalls without realizing it. Make sure you have a map of the theater handy and book by telephone to eliminate these problems.
There are literally hundreds of hotels at all levels of comfort and price in and around London, so be wary you don’t end up in a hole in the ground when you thought you were booking a weekend in the lap of luxury.
Obviously, large chains like the Hilton will be able to offer you top-notch accommodation, but for those of us without limitless pots of cash, how can we ensure we book a decent hotel without too much cost?
Again, booking online through reputable agencies is advisable to ensure your booking goes through securely and you have a wide selection to choose from. Word of mouth in the hotel business is something never to be overlooked, so ask your friends before you book if there is anywhere they could recommend – hotels love nothing more than having new guests as the result of a recommendation.
It is said that Greater London has more eateries within its boundary than there are in the whole of the UK put together. Competition in the food industry has never been hotter and it is now possible to enjoy a wonderful meal for much less than you could ten years ago.
There are all kinds of culinary treats for you to choose from in London; everything from Japanese to Moroccan, Turkish to Greek, or Chinese to a traditional British slap-up meal – and they all want your business.
Many restaurants, particularly in and around the vicinity of the West End, offer special pre-theater menus, where you can take advantage of the many offers they have on set meals. So treat yourself to that special meal, get dressed up and enjoy some cocktails before or after meal – or both – then enjoy your West End show fully satisfied.
Traveling in London
Getting about London is easier than most people imagine, in fact, the only people who really complain about it are the commuters who have to travel through it each rush hour.
London has around 19,000 registered taxis, making your trip to the theater generally inexpensive given the cost that taking your own car would incur in congestion and parking charges.
By far the easiest and most convenient forms of transport in London are the Tube and bus services. Both of these are cheap and run regularly to most parts of the city center until late at night, and both are generally quite safe for the theater go-er to travel on. The West End itself has numerous Tube stations, all within walking distance of most of the theaters.
If you concentrate on these five tips, you can be sure that your weekend theater trip to London will go down a treat, and you’ll want to be back to do it all again very soon.