London Must-Sees: The London Eye, Tower Bridge & Tower Of London

If you are living or studying English in London, there are three popular spots that you certainly don´t want to miss: the London Eye, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. So, to make your life easier, here are more details about these places, like how to get there and opening hours. [hs_action id=”1744″] 1. The London Eye The London Eye, also known as the Millennium Wheel as it was built to celebrate the new millennium, is a giant Ferris wheel on the south bank of the River Thames. Today, the London Eye has become an essential part of London’s skyline; taking a ride on the Eye is definitely a breath-taking and memorable experience. Each round trip in a London Eye capsule is referred to as a ‘flight’ and the entire rotation takes 30 minutes. At the top you can take in stunning panoramic views of London, with all the famous landmarks on display at once.     London Eye Opening Times The London Eye offices open at 09:30 with the first flights starting at 10:00. There are a few variations around the year, and you can check the exact opening and closing times for your visit. Ticket Prices The London Eye works on a first come first served basis, which means that you can actually save money by booking earlier. The prices differ depending on the type of ticket you buy (e.g. Standard Ticket, Champagne Flight) and discounts you are eligible for (e.g. student or senior discounts, family tickets). You can also buy packages with London Eye and a River Cruise included. To find out more details visit the official London Eye website. How to Get to the London Eye As soon as you are in central London one of the easiest ways to get to the London Eye is to follow the … Read more

London Must-Sees: Big Ben & the Palace of Westminster

  London is a cultural treasure-trove, a stunning place where past and present meet and mingle effortlessly. From elegant dinners to unforgettable nights out on the town, majestic traditional architecture to more modern structures and neon-lit skyscrapers, bustling streets to tranquil parks, one thing is for certain: there’s something to suit every mood and personality imaginable. If you are ready for an unmistakably British experience, pack your camera and comfy shoes and grab this guide, because it will unveil the captivating face of London. To begin this series of posts on London Must-Sees, the iconic Big Ben and Palace of Westminster are at the very top of our list. [hs_action id=”1744″] 1. Big Ben Big Ben is undoubtedly the most widely known clock tower in the world and an important element of the city’s overall image. What would London’s skyline be without the distinctive Big Ben? Can you think of a single portrayal of London that does not show Big Ben? In 2008, the 96 metre (315 foot) clock tower was voted the most famous landmark of Great Britain. The impressive thing here is that Big Ben is more than 150 years old, dating back to late 1850s – it even survived the bombings of World War 2! The clock tower was recently renamed ‘Elizabeth Tower’. Despite its popularity, Big Ben is not open to the public for visits but you can always take photos in front of it (and enjoy the challenge of getting yourself and the entire clock tower in the photo frame). Only UK residents can organise ‘Big Ben tours’ through the British Parliament.     How to Get To Big Ben Big Ben is located in the heart of London, right by the Palace of Westminster and a stone’s throw away from the Thames. You can easily … Read more

London: Fun facts and Useful Info

  Have you just moved to London to learn English and are still getting used to the city? If you have, we’ve prepared a very useful list for you with all information you need to know to make your life easier, including emergency numbers, website links, and the TOP 7 APPS to use during your experience in the city. [hs_action id=”1744″] Info about London: English sockets are different from other European and US sockets, so make sure to get the right adaptor Cars drive on the left side of the road, so remember to look right first before you cross the street It can rain at any time, so be prepared with an umbrella or a rain coat Black cabs are cool but expensive, so call a registered cab company and get better rates English breakfast is cheaper before 11:00 Tower Bridge and London Bridge are not the same thing   Emergency Numbers: Ambulance: 999 Police: 999 Fire-fighters: 999   Useful Links London’s different boroughs and areas – londontown.com/LondonStreets/ Transport in and around London / tfl.gov.uk/ Oyster Cards / Travel Cards – visitlondon.com/traveller-information/getting-around-london/oyster?ref=more-ideas Getting around London / Transport – movingtolondon.net/getting-around/ / www.visitlondon.com/traveller-information/getting-around-london/london-transport?ref=nav Booking train tickets – National Rail – nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/ticket_types/44703.aspx London taxis – visitlondon.com/traveller-information/getting-around-london/taxis?ref=more-ideas Booking taxis – tfl.gov.uk/modes/taxis-and-minicabs/book-a-taxi/ www.uber.com/cities/london Printable maps and guides – visitlondon.com/traveller-information/getting-around-london/london-maps-and-guides?ref=nav British Money – visitlondon.com/traveller-information/essential-information/money/british-money Opening a UK bank account – www.workgateways.com/working-in-the-uk/uk-bank-accounts / getaukjob.com/faq-finance.php Study further – London universities/Colleges/Schools – studylondon.ac.uk/universities Staying safe in London – visitlondon.com/traveller-information/essential-information/staying-safe-in-london Electricity and plugs in London – visitlondon.com/traveller-information/essential-information/electricity?ref=more-ideas Mobile phones and communication – visitlondon.com/traveller-information/essential-information/mobile-phones?ref=more-ideas Embassies in London – visitlondon.com/traveller-information/essential-information/embassies?ref=more-ideas Visa information – studylondon.ac.uk/application-advice/uk-student-visa-information Study venues / list of libraries in London – bl.uk/reshelp/inrrooms/stp/readerbulletin/libguide/publibraries/public.html Booking theatre tickets – officiallondontheatre.co.uk/buy-tickets/ Free things to do in London – londonpass.com/things-to-do / www.timeout.com/london/things-to-do/101-things-to-do-in-london-free-things-to-do / londonist.com/freelondon Tips for surviving and thriving in London – apartmenttherapy.com/life-in-london-10-tips-for-surviving-and-thriving-193441 Good Website … Read more

Why learn English in London?

Whether you want to speak English like a local or study and live in one of the best cities in the world, there’s no better choice than the city of London. Vibrant, energetic, and full of history and culture, London offers you the chance to learn and speak a global language in a fun and engaging environment with a never-ending list of things you can do. [hs_action id=”1744″] English is spoken all over the world with a variety of regional dialects and accents, but there are two distinct types of English – British English and American English – each with slight differences in spelling, grammar, and pronunciation. British English (sometimes called ‘Commonwealth English’) is spoken in London and throughout the British Isles and is the main dialect spoken in the former British Colonies throughout the world. London is also home to some of the best English language schools in the world, with qualifications that are globally recognised and that open doors to further education or career progression. London has no less than 47 excellent universities, colleges, and tertiary education facilities where you can continue your studies once you have mastered the English language. Most of the universities, with the exception of the ICL (Imperial College London), are part of a confederation called University of London (ULU) that together with Cambridge and Oxford form the golden triangle of British universities. Here are the international university rankings – www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/. The United Kingdom has a global reputation for academic excellence and attracts over 600,000 language students every year. Most students choose to study in the capital, London, for the best language schools and the vibrant metropolitan setting. London has a charming fast-paced and multi-cultural environment with an incredible historical setting and plethora of fascinating things to do.   Here are some reasons why … Read more

Where to eat & drink in London

  In a place like London, with a multinational population and more than 300 spoken languages, you will never be short of wonderful places to eat and drink. The best part is that the choice is yours and the more you explore, the better! There is likely to be a restaurant for every cuisine in the world. [hs_action id=”1744″] Going Local When you are in London, you have to try some of the traditional English dishes! Here are just a few to consider: ● English breakfast ● Fish and chips ● Sunday roast ● Cottage pie ● Yorkshire pudding (it´s usually served as a side to roast beef) ● Steak and ale pie If you want a good, hearty English meal there is no better place to get it than at a local pub. London is full of pubs, each unique in their own way but preserving a traditional English ambience. If you’re on a budget, look for Wetherspoons which is a popular chain of pubs that you can find across the UK. The prices are usually affordable for both drinks and food (you can even find a Wetherspoons in Victoria Station). Another money saving tip is to have an English breakfast before 11:00, as it usually comes at a discounted price and with a free hot drink. If you miss that, you can still order an ‘all day brunch’ which is basically English breakfast, usually with chips, and can cost anywhere from £3 to £7 depending on where you go. Pubs will also serve the traditional lager and ales, spirits, cocktails, and finger food (e.g. chunky chips).   ADVANCED LEVEL TIP: try taking part in a pub quiz. It’s both fun and educational, and definitely a great challenge for your listening, reading and writing skills. International Foods Several great … Read more

Top 10 things to do in London

Following our special edition about England’s amazing capital city, here is the TOP 10 things to do while studying English in London:   1. Watch a Movie under the Stars at Somerset House The Film4 Summer Screen runs in August – it’s a beautiful open-air cinema with a state-of-the-art screen. If you want to enjoy watching movies under the stars, get your tickets early. You can find more information and book your tickets at www.somersethouse.org.uk/film. [hs_action id=”1744″]   2. Grab a Meal or a Drink at Brick Lane or Shoreditch While the West of London is all about magnificent theatre shows and fine dining, East London is the place to be for heavenly food and creative street art. Stop at Aldgate East or Shoreditch High Station and explore the area. You won’t just get to enjoy street art by Ben Eine, ROA, Banksy and Dcreet, but you can also grab a bite to eat or take time out to relax at one of the local pubs, spend a night out clubbing, or simply browse the street markets.   3. Eat at Borough Market For the perfect mix of eating out and a hint of history, go to Southwark. This is one the most historic neighbourhoods in London and looks like something straight out of a novel by Dickens. You can get off the train at London Bridge or Southwark station and head straight to Borough Market for some hearty street food. The George Inn is also well-known for serving delicious lunch. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL TIP: Start a conversation with the staff members at the market (ask what’s in the meal you ordered, if they get many tourists from your country, etc…).   4. Go for a Secret Night Out Just like New York, in the movies, London is full of secret … Read more

TOP 10 ways to practise your English in London

London offers fantastic opportunities to enhance your reading, speaking, and listening skills. Here are ten great ways to practise your skills – not only will you be able to improve, but you’ll also meet new people and get to know this fantastic city better!   1. Talk to Londoners Londoners are lovely people, even though they may seem busy rushing around the tube and busy streets. There’s a great group called ‘Talking to Strangers’, which organises events across London where people get to meet and talk. Join in and use the language skills you’ve learned! Here is the link to the group website – www.meetup.com/talkingtostrangers.   2. Take Part in a Language Exchange A language exchange is another effective way to boost your English skills while teaching someone else about your native language and meeting new friends. Websites like Gumtree.com and MeetUp.com have plenty of London-specific events where you can meet people who want to learn new languages and teach you English at the same time. BEGINNER LEVEL TIP: getting a language buddy is one of the most fun ways to practise your English. This is a good opportunity to work on your pronunciation one-to-one. Ask your native speaker friend to give you tips and feedback (and do the same for them in your language).   3. Visit the British Library Reading is one of the best methods to develop your knowledge of the English language, and if you are not yet ready to read a novel, newspapers and magazines offer a variety short and interesting articles. Why not join a library? The British Library is one of the most famous in London and is located close to St Pancras Station, but you can also find many other public libraries around the city. Your local council’s website should have information … Read more

Living in London like a Londoner

  London is often referred to as ‘the capital of Europe’, and as you’ve already seen there is a great deal to see and do in an effort to cover centuries of British history and culture. If you’re looking to experience London like a local, there are a variety of quintessentially English things you can try. Here are a few London secrets you won’t find in your average guidebook! [hs_action id=”1744″] Football and London The Football League was established in England in 1888, and the English simply love a good match. If you enjoy the sport or just want to experience this side of English culture, you have a couple of options: Watch a football match in a pub (goes best with a pint of lager and a side order of chips!) Experience the real thing in one of London’s football stadiums London has three main stadiums and a few others for local teams. The primary one is Wembley Stadium where the English National team plays. You can access it through Wembley Park station. You can also try the modern Emirates Stadium, where Arsenal FC play. This venue can be accessed via Arsenal, Finsbury Park, or Highbury stations. Stamford Bridge is another major stadium in London, the home of Chelsea. You can access this stadium via tube at Fulham Broadway or train at West Brompton.   ADVANCED LEVEL TIP: call one of the stadiums and ask for some information about the latest football matches and ticket prices. When you hang up the phone, have a list with everything you discussed (teams playing, match dates and times, prices). Tennis and London If you are a tennis fan you should definitely try to attend the Wimbledon Championships in South West London at the Wimbledon stadium. Find out more about it here www.wimbledon.com/index.html. … Read more

Learn English and discover London

Discover London

This month we’re very proud to announce the arrival of our brand-new London Travel Guide! This guide is a language student’s best friend; it’s packed with essential information, language challenges, and tips to help you to become immersed in the culture and live in the city like a local. [hs_action id=”1744″] Do you want to discover what makes London special while developing your language skills in the real world? Take a look at this colourful infographic for fun facts and different language challenges which you can complete all over the city!     How to use Language Challenges: • Challenging yourself is a great way to improve your English. So, read out the challenges carefully and see which one suits better for you. • The challenges are divided into different English levels, so see which one you feel more comfortable with and don´t be afraid to try them all! • Once you have chosen a challenge, check our travel guide to check for more information about the place you are going to. Good luck! [hs_action id=”1744″]

Learn English in England

Britain on a Budget: London

  Life can be expensive in many of the world’s big cities, but Londoners are particularly resourceful! Living in the capital on a student budget is not as great a challenge as some may believe, especially when you consider how many students make London their home while attending university. Going to London as a tourist can be expensive, but live like a local and use these smart money-saving tips to save your pounds and pence. Swipe that Student Card All students at EC London are given a special card. Use this card wherever and whenever you can in your day-to-day life and benefit from discounts and deals. Showing your student card at shops and restaurants could get you a 5-10% discount. In addition, EC students studying for more than 14 weeks are entitled to a Student Oyster Card. Find out more by contacting EC London for information.   See the Sights London is a treasure trove of galleries, museums, and historical structures dotted around the city. Take advantage of free guided walks around the capital (Discover Walks and Sandeman’s New Europe are two popular examples), or indulge your inner art critic and visit the National Gallery or the Tate for free. Learn all you can about British history and drop by the British Museum or the National History Museum, and don’t miss out on a chance to be inspired by the exhibits at London’s Science Museum. This full list of free museums and galleries around London is definitely worth a look!   Entertainment Capital The English writer Samuel Johnson once wrote that ‘when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life’. London remains an entertainment hotspot, with something on offer to suit every taste or mood any day of the week. You don’t have to break the bank to … Read more