Satellite Image: Trinity Square Flat is marked with the symbol of the little yellow house. The location of the Tower Hill tube station is marked to the right of the flat and immediately above the Tower of London with a little circle with the red border, white interior and blue line running through the middle of it. On the upper right you'll see a similar symbol, except that the border of the circle is light blue - this marks the Tower Gateway DLR (Docklands Light Railway) station, which can be taken to the Excel Centre, the Docklands, Canary Wharf (the newly built area of London with most of London's tall, glass office towers), the Millenium Dome, Greenwich and its maritime museum, The Cuttysark (the world's last-remaining 19th century clipper ship), etc.
Photograph: In the image to the left, the Tower of London is in the middle, with Tower Bridge on the upper right. My building is on the extreme lower right.
Getting to Trinity Square Flat from the Airport
International Arrivals area at Terminal 1 at Heathrow.
Getting to Trinity Square flat from either Heathrow or Gatwick airports is exceedingly easy. From Heathrow, the London Underground (Tube) will take you directly from Heathrow to the Tower Hill tube station (see below), which is just 100 yards away from the flat. This route is the least expensive route to the flat, but as Heathrow is 20 miles outside of central London, the trip will take you over an hour. The Tube services all five of Heathrow's terminals. There are two Tube stations at Heathrow: Terminals 1,2 and 3 share a station, as do Terminals 4 and 5. From each terminal's arrivals area, just follow the signs for "Underground".
Entrance to the London Underground station shared by Heathrow Terminals 1, 2 and 3.
All trains from Heathrow go to London. For those arriving early in the morning, the first train to London from Heathrow leaves Terminal 4 at 4:58 a.m. and from Terminals 1,2, and 3 at 5:08 a.m. For those arriving late at night, the last train departs Terminal 4 at 23:34 and Terminals 1,2, and 3 at 23:49. Trains run every 3-7 minutes, depending upon the time of day. Tickets can be purchased either from the London Underground information desks in each terminal's arrivals area or at the Underground stations themselves. Fares to central London cost £4 for adults and £2 for children.
Entrance to Underground station from Terminal 5 at Heathrow.
To get to the flat from Heathrow via the Tube, take the Picadilly Line (the dark blue line that leads to and from Heathrow on the London Underground map, below) to Hammersmith Station, where you will get out of your train and walk 10 feet to the other side of the same platform, where you will get on the next eastbound District Line (the green line on the diagram, below), which will take you to the Tower Hill tube station, which is 100 yards from the flat.
Given that many guests' flights arrive early in the morning and they would, therefore, rather take the quickest route in to the city to the flat, for guests arriving at Heathrow I would suggest reserving an airport shuttle via the Addison-Lee minicab company. You can reserve this service from home prior to your trip to the UK by visiting the Addison-Lee website and making a reservation with your credit card. It will cost more than taking the Tube, but will save you time and the aggravation of carrying your luggage onto and off of the Tube after you may have flown all night and are tired. See more on this below in the section on London cabs.
For those arriving at Gatwick Airport, it is also very easy to get to the flat. Take the Gatwick Express train from Gatwick to Victoria Station in central London and then catch a black cab from Victoria to the flat. The Gatwick Express trains run every 15 minutes and get you to Victoria Station in 30 minutes. One way adult fares cost £16.90 and a round trip ticket (good if the return trip takes place within one month of the arrival) cost £28.70. For couples with children, up to two children (for children who are no more than 15 years old) can ride free with two adults. The family fare for this is £33.80 for a single (one way) ticket for a family of two adults and two children, and £57.40 for a return (round trip) ticket. More information is available, and tickets can be purchased, at the Gatwick Express website, located at: http://www.gatwickexpress.com
Interior of the Gatwick Express train.
Once you arrive at Victoria Station, you can either take the London Underground 9 stops east to the Tower Hill station, or take a black cab a short (approximately 10 minute) ride east to the flat. I would suggest taking a cab, as there are no lifts/elevators in Victoria Station leading down to the Tube station, making it necessary to drag your luggage down two flights of stairs to get to a train.
Directory at Victoria Station.
The arrival platform for the Gatwick Express is indicated in red on the upper right on the diagram of Victoria Station, below. The entrance to the Tube is on the left, indicated by the red circle with the blue line through the center. To take a cab, exit the station near the Victoria Bus station, near which is the cab queue, indicated by the icon of a taxi cab.
Layout of Victoria Station.
London Underground (Tube).
The station closest to Trinity Square Flat (100 yards away), Tower Hill station, is at the lower right hand corner (at about 4pm on the face of a clock) of the Circle Line (the yellow line on the map). As one example of ease of travel via the Tube from the flat, if you want to go to Big Ben, Parliament, Westminster Cathedral, etc., just get on at Tower Hill and go 7 stops west on either the District (green) or Circle (yellow) lines to the Westminster station. The trip will take you about 10 minutes.
Tower Hill Tube Station
Tower Hill Station, just 100 yards away from the flat on the other side of Trinity Square Gardens. It is serviced by both the Circle and District Lines, making it perfect for getting anywhere you want to go quickly.
The "Jack the Ripper" walking tour offered by London Walks meets to the left in this photo next to the small, curved wall that you see here.
A train leaving Tower Hill Underground Station. This is by far the quickest, cheapest, most convenient way to get around London. There are so many underground stations in central London that no matter where you go, you will never be far away from one.
Route 15 Bus
If you'd rather take one of London's famed double decker buses, the Route 15 bus has three stops within a three minute walk of the flat, one of which is just one minute away, located on Great Tower Street, which is the street that runs between my building and the Tower of London. Taking this bus west from Tower Hill takes you through the middle of The City to St Pauls Cathedral, down the famous Fleet Street to the Royal Courts of Justice, the London School of Economics & Political Science, etc.
The Oyster Card is the least expensive way to travel by public transport in London, and can be used on buses, on the London Underground (Tube), and on National Rail. Click on the following link in order to learn about the Oyster Card: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/oysteronline/2732.aspx
Oyster Cards can be purchased prior to your visit to London by ordering online. London Underground, the governing body for public transport in London, can mail these Oyster cards to almost any country ahead of your visit. For more information, click on the following link: http://visitorshop.tfl.gov.uk/
Traveling with children in London: Children can travel on public transport in London for free or discounted rates, depending upon their age.
Children under 5 travel for free on buses, the London Underground (Tube) and the DLR (Docklands Light Railway) without any kind of travel pass, as long as they are accompanied by an adult. Children 5-10 years of age can travel for free on buses and the Tube and DLR as long as they have an Oyster photocard. Children 11-15 can travel for free on buses and at the discounted, child rate on the Tube and DLR with an 11-15 Oyster photocard. Teens 16 and 17 years of age travel at the child rate on buses, the Tube and DLR with a 16+ Oyster Card. Click on the following link to learn about traveling with children in London using the Oyster card: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/faresandtickets/1063.aspx#section-5
Swiping an Oyster card at the entrance to a London Underground (Tube) station.
If public transport is not to your liking, London's traditional "black cabs" (which are not always black, as this example shows) are always readily available from any street in London. This cab is picking up a passenger near the entrance/exit to the Tower Hill tube station, on the edge of Trinity Square. There are always cabs waiting in the area of Trinity Square.
Addison-Lee minicab company: Although the "black cabs" are a London tradition, the Addison-Lee minicab company, which is the largest competitor to the black cabs, offers very punctual service, throughout the greater London area, at a rate usually significantly less expensive than do the black cabs. The firm has 2,200 vehicles and pledge to pick up any customer within 10 minutes in central London or 20 minutes in outlying areas. There are no meters - you tell them over the phone when making a reservation where they are picking you up and where you want to go and they give you a quote, which you can pay either via cash or credit card.Their website is located at: http://www.addisonlee.com
London2Airports airport shuttle: For those needing to take a taxi to or from the airport I would suggest London2Airports. A recent guest, with a family of 4 and all of their luggage, was picked up from the flat and taken to Heathrow for around £47. For those departing early in the morning, and therefore unable to take the Tube to Heathrow, this is a good option. You may also want to consider this option for your arrival if you are arriving early in the morning, have flown all night, and just don't want to sit on the Tube from Heathrow with your luggage and want a quicker trip to the flat. It will cost more than a Tube trip from Heathrow, or taking the Gatwick Express train from Gatwick, but will save you time and effort as the cabbie will take you direclty to my door. Those wishing to reserve an airport pickup before your arrival in the UK can do so online and pay ahead with a credit card at London2Airports' website located at http://www.london2airports.com
Those visiting London as tourists may also want to consider purchasing the "London Pass". The London Pass gives you free entrance to 55 separate London tourist attractions, saving you a significant amount on individual entrance fees. The pass also saves you time as it allows you to jump to the head of any line/queue at the entrance to these sites. You can also add travel capabilities to your London Pass, so that the pass can be used on buses, the Tube and the DLR.
The London Pass, as the Oyster Card, can be purchased online ahead of your trip, and will be mailed to your home address. To learn more, click on the following link: http://www.londonpass.com/
Eurostar - Getting to Europe from London
Two Eurostar trains side by side in St Pancras/Kings Cross station, a 6-8 minute cab ride north of the flat.
The Eurostar train is by far the best way to get to the European continent from London. Eurostar is a high speed passenger rail service linking London with Brussels and Paris. All of its trains cross underneath the English Channel via the Channel Tunnel between England and France. The London terminal is St Pancras/Kings Cross, station, which is just a short cab ride (or Tube ride on the Circle Line) from Trinity Square Flat. The Paris terminal is at Gare du Nord. Trains to Belgium terminate at the Brussels-South railway station. In addition, there is limited service from London to Disneyland Paris at Marne-la-Vallée - Chessy, and to seasonal destinations in southern France.
A Eurostar train at Gare du Nord station in Paris.
Car Rental - Taking Day Trips Out of London
Although having a car in central London is not only unnecessary (due to the prevalence of both public transport options and taxi cabs) but also to be discouraged (for reasons ranging from a complete lack of parking spaces in central London, to the high number of vehicles in central London competing for road space, to a daily tax, the "Congestion Charge", on operating a vehicle in central London), you may want to rent a car in order to take a day trip out of London to see a a place such as Stonehenge or Oxford. If you decide to do this, there is, conveniently, an Avis car rental agency a 5 minute walk east of the flat at the north end of Tower Bridge, next to the Guoman Hotel.
The map to the left shows the exact location of the Avis centre. The flat is located halfway between the box that says "A3211" and the marker for the Tower Hill Underground station. As you can see, you just walk around the Tower of London to get to Avis.