Wikimania 2014 bids/London/Your Journey
When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life;
for there is in London all that life can afford.
– Samuel Johnson
|Introduction||The City||Your Journey||The Team||Logistics||Legacy|
Getting to London
International travel to the United Kingdom is extensive. Access to the UK is provided by 30 international airports providing travel to 200 destinations, 8 ports with international passenger ferry services to Europe, and a rail link to mainland Europe via the Channel Tunnel.
Train (via Belgium and France)
Eurostar high-speed trains run between London (St Pancras International), Ebbsfleet and Ashford through the Channel Tunnel to Paris (Gare du Nord), Lille and Brussels. During the summer an additional weekly train operates to Avignon. Through tickets and connections are available in Lille, Paris and Brussels from many European cities to most large UK cities.
Journey times average two hours fifteen minutes to and from Paris, and one hour fifty minutes to Brussels. A second class return from Paris to London costs between €85 and €230. While it can be cheaper to fly from London to Paris using a low-cost airline, bear in mind that the journeys to the airports can be expensive and time-consuming.
Ferries run from Calais to Dover on a regular basis and a return ticket costs around £40. Journey times average at around an hour and a half. However, there are many other ports in the UK as well and travellers can access British ports from at least seven surrounding countries. Due to the relatively small size of Britain, it is not infeasible for someone to make the journey from their country to London within 24 hours.
It may be cheaper to fly on a low-budget airline but for the sightseer there are a variety of ways to travel into the country.
The United Kingdom is a member country of the European Union. All citizens of EU member states with a valid travel document (passport or European ID card) are allowed to travel freely within the European Union (including the UK) for up to 3 months.
Given the high throughput of air traffic, the UK is a highly accessible country with those travelling from within the EU, North America, Japan, South Africa, Australasia or most of Latin America not requiring a visa to visit the UK.
We've had support offered from the Mayor's Office. They have a fast-track visa service for international conference attendees, which assists and expedites visa applications.
Many people from other regions will also be able to visit the UK without a visa. To determine whether you will need a visa to visit the UK, go to www.ukvisas.gov.uk. The nature of any visa required will depend on your nationality and your current country of residence. The typical cost for a VISA for a short visit to the UK is £76. Wikimedia UK may be able to act as a sponsor for those that require one in order to get a visa.
The following individuals can enter the United Kingdom without a visa:
All the countries below have visa-free access to the EU for at least 90 days.
* - European Union member states
Getting to the Barbican and travel around London
All of London's major airport have direct train links (Examples include Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted express) into the center of the city from which local transportation is available.
The nearest tube station to The Barbican is called "Barbican", however the venue is also within walking distance of Moorgate, Liverpool Street and St Paul's stations. Travel routes may be planned using http://journeyplanner.tfl.gov.uk/user/XSLT_TRIP_REQUEST2?language=en, and we'll provide detailed instructions to get to the venue from all major hubs.
For an indicative price, to travel from Heathrow to the Barbican costs £5.50 ($8.41) Attendees will be provided with a preloaded London Oyster card (travelcard) allowing them to use public transport at a reduced rate.
There are several affordable hotels / hostels within walking distance to the Barbican center which we shall pre-book for delegates. They all have wifi, breakfast and 24 hour access.
Besides these, there are a wide variety of hotels very close to venue. A table of some may be found here: http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Wikimania_2014_bids/London#Accommodations_comments.2F_questions
The conference will provide lunch and snacks throughout the day, and all hotels provide breakfast. As the budget stands, an evening meal is not provided, but the venue contains and is surrounded by a selection of shops and restaurants where food of all kinds may be acquired for a range of budgets; to name just a few that are within a minute's walk: Tesco, Waitrose, Eat, POD, All Bar One, Itsu, Alba, Baracca, Starbucks, Costa, Pret A Manger, Wasabi, Wagamama, and Whitecross St Market.