New To London

Top tips for London newcomers:

  • Buy an A-Z and use it. It's far less embarrassing and annoying than getting lost. Also, the locations and distances between Tube stations as shown on the Tube map are deceptive.
  • Be mindful of Tube Etiquette.
  • Don't stand around in the middle of the pavement (Americans: sidewalk), even if you are lost, or in awe of some impressive landmark. Move to the side and let people pass, and everyone will be happy.
  • Understand the etiquette of tipping.
  • Watch out for easily made mistakes about place names.

The Ward, Lock & Co. Guide to London, from 1929, advises:

"Visitors from abroad desirous of doing in London as Londoners do may welcome a hint or two under [the subject of dress], though great latitude is allowed, and all varieties of costume may be seen in the streets. For formal calls and social events of importance a black morning coat and silk hat are de rigueur, but City and business men are usually content with lounge suits, and "bowlers", and soft felt hats are generally worn. Evening dress is usual when dining at high-class restaurants, and is compulsory for those who desire to dance (this does not, of course, apply to dance teas). At theatres, evening dress is nearly always worn in the boxes and stalls, and generally in the dress circle."


You may well need some tips on how to pronounce London place names.

  • Gloucester Road - GLOSS-ter Road
  • Leicester Square - LESS-ter Square
  • Holborn - HOE-burn, or HOE-b'n
  • Covent Garden - the 'o' is short as in codpiece - alternatively pronounce as in oven
  • Greenwich - GRENNITCH
  • Dulwich - DULLITCH
  • Vauxhall - VOX-all
  • [Plaistow]? - PLAH-stow, although some older residents may pronouce it as PLAY-stow
  • Chiswick - CHIZZICK
  • Putney - The 'u' is pronounced as in butter, not as in butcher
  • Marylebone - Mary-lea-bone (say it fast) - Nah!, Surely it's (Bob) Marley-bone (-- Aegidian). (The Marley's have it. -- RobertBrook) I thought it was "Marry-l'bone"... -- Earle
  • River Thames - River TEMMS
  • Southwark - SUTHERK
Last edited 2008-10-11 14:47:19 (version 13; diff). List all versions.