Life in London

Malvern House London

Introduction

Malvern House provides support on all aspects of London life. We are here to help you before you leave home, when you arrive in London, and throughout your time studying with us.

At Malvern House we offer students the opportunity to buy Merlin Attraction tickets at a very competitive student rate. Please ask our team in the Study Centre, who will be happy to help.

For many students at Malvern House, it is their first time visiting the city. London is the capital city of the United Kingdom and people have lived here for more than 2,000 years. It is a very large city filled with opportunity and exciting things to see and do, sometimes it might be difficult to know where to start – this page will help you understand a little about living in London!

student life in malvern house london

The EDF Energy London Eye offers breathtaking views of London from high above the River Thames. See Big Ben towering above the Houses of Parliament, follow St. James Park as it sweeps down to Buckingham Palace. Is the Queen at home? You’ll spot the flag flying if she is. A Standard Ticket on the London Eye lasts for approximately 30 minutes, the time it takes for the London Eye to revolve completely. Relax in one of the 32 high-tech glass capsules and enjoy the London skyline at your leisure.

The London Eye 4D Experience is a groundbreaking 3D film with in theatre effects, such as wind, bubbles and mist, to make the 4D.

Take a London Eye River Cruise and see London from a different perspective. Enjoy a unique 40-minute circular sightseeing cruise on the River Thames with fascinating live commentary that brings the city to life, presented by specialist guides. Highlights include Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London.

Filled with 14 exciting, interactive zones and the amazing Marvel Super Heroes 4D movie experience, Madame Tussauds London combines glitz and glamour with incredible history.

Walk down the red carpet and strike a pose with Kate Winslet, before challenging your favourite sportstars like David Beckham or Lewis Hamilton. Start your royal experience with an audience with the Queen, before planting a kiss on Prince William’s cheek.

For the brave, get face-to-face with scary serial killers in our live fear experience SCREAM. After a sneaky behind-the-scenes look at how our World-renowned sculptors create the figures, relax in our taxis and relive the rich history of London.

Then step up to your favourite Marvel Super Heroes before getting ready to experience the spectacular and exclusive Marvel Super Heroes 4D movie, where our Marvel Super Heroes battle it out to save London from impending doom.

Exciting, scary and fun – Delve into the ancient capital’s bloody history at the London Dungeon. We know that when it comes to history – the horrible bits are the best. Experience live actors, dark history, thrilling rides and special effects… are you brave enough to face 90 minutes of London’s goriest past?

Prepare to face the most sinister characters from our past, from serial killer Jack the Ripper, barber Sweeney Todd and regal Bloody Mary. Feel the shadow of the black plague and the fearsome torture chamber.

Plus, with three thrilling rides, there is something for the whole family: Traitors Gate underground boat ride; Vengeance, the UK’s first 5D laser ride and the ever popular Extremis Drop Ride.

Enter the world of The London Dungeon and take a journey with twists, turns, screams and laughter – a fun day out, unlike any other.

Dive in and be wowed by the many strange, beautiful and fascinating creatures of the deep as you journey through the amazing underwater world of the SEA LIFE London Aquarium. Prepare for astonishingly close views of everything from Gentoo Penguins to tropical sharks. To get any closer you’ll have to get wet!

The ancient stones reverberate with dark secrets, priceless jewels glint in fortified vaults and pampered ravens strut the grounds. The Tower of London founded by William the Conqueror in 1066-7 is one of the world’s most famous fortresses and has seen service as royal palace, prison, armoury and even zoo! It is still home to the Crown Jewels and Beefeaters.

The flamboyant Henry VIII is most associated with this majestic palace, which he extended and developed in grand style after acquiring it from Cardinal Wolsey in the 1520s. Its many royal occupants have ensured the palace has fabulous furnishings, tapestries and paintings. It is set in 60 acres of formal gardens, which include the famous maze and the Great Vine.

Kensington Palace has been home to royalty for over 300 years. Take a journey back in time and discover the secrets of the last reigning Stuarts and the extravagance of the Georgians. Learn about the life of Queen Victoria in the 19th century and the fashion trends of the royals in the 20th century. Kids go free.

Walk in the footsteps of a dazzling company of courtiers who once danced, drank and partied beneath the magnificent Rubens ceiling paintings. This revolutionary building was created for court entertainments, but is probably most famous for the execution of Charles I in 1649.

Step inside this tiny doll’s house of a palace and sense the joys and sorrows of past royal lives in intimate detail, as King George III and his family come to life through a soundscape and display of fascinating personal artefacts.

Eating and Drinking

If you want to try typical British food you’ll need to visit a pub, most pubs offer food but in particular you’ll want to visit pub restaurants, gastro pubs, or a carvery to try traditional food.

Some common dishes that you should try are:

In addition to British food, you will be able to discover international food at London’s many markets, at Borough Market you’ll find food from Venezuela to Vietnam.

malvern house london eating and drinking

Travelling around the City

It’s easy to get around London as there are plenty of transport options that connect every part of the city.

When you arrive in London you need to buy an Oyster Card, the card is available to buy at all the main stations. You can use the card on all transport options in the city including: the underground, the overground, buses, trams, riverboat services, and the cable car.

You can add money before your journey and pay as you go, or you can buy a monthly or weekly travel card which is cheaper. You can buy these cards in the study centre at Malvern House.

London Underground

This is the oldest subway system in the world, it first opened in 1863. There are many lines which go all around the city, each line has a name such as The Piccadilly Line, The Victoria Line, and the newest line will be called The Elizabeth Line.

The Overground

 This is a circular railway that goes all around and through the city, many stations on the overground easily connect to the underground and most Londoners use a mixture of overground and underground trains to reach their destination.

malvern house london city metro trains
malvern house london city buses

The Buses

London’s buses are famous for their red colour and the fact they have two levels, they’re called Double-Decker Buses. There are thousands of routes, you tap your oyster card when you get on the bus and you’ll never get lost as each bus clearly announces the stops and destinations of the bus as you ride on it. There are also lots of apps for your phone to help you if you don’t know what bus to get.

Cable Car

The cable car is a recent addition to the city, it helps you cross the river at Greenwich, using the cable car provides you with magnificent views of the business districts of the city.

Riverboat services

These boats are almost like buses, they run east to west along London’s famous Thames River. It’s one of the easiest ways to see London’s beautiful sights without paying for a tour.

malvern house london cable cars

Interesting Places and Attractions

With thousands of years of history there is plenty to see and do the city, including many things which are completely free. Here are some ideas for your first visits:

Southbank

This is where you’ll find London’s most famous sights, The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, the London Eye, and much more! It’s one of the first places that visitors to London go, walking along the river with some friends, or even by yourself can be a great way to relax after class!

malvern house london southbank
malvern house london british museum

The British Museum

The British Museum is one of the largest museums in the world, the museum houses interesting cultural artefacts from all over the world including Egyptian mummies, Greek statues, and Celtic swords. There are lots of free tours so it’s a great way to practice your listening skills.

Buckingham Palace

The Queen spends part of the year in Buckingham Palace, and several important events and announcements usually take place at the palace. Whenever a new leader for the United Kingdom is selected, they also need to go to Buckingham Palace to be accepted by the King or Queen before they officially become the Prime Minister.

malvern house london buckingham palace
malvern house london the museum of london

The Museum of London

If you’re interested in the history of the city then visiting the museum is must, it offers an interesting and interactive discovery of everything you need to know about London’s past, present, and future. You can even explore a typical Victorian London street with shops and a pub.

The Royal Parks

Despite being a large city, there are several large parks around London, some famous ones include: St James’ Park, Hyde Park, and Regent’s Park. Lots of events take place in the parks throughout the year, for example in Hyde Park in the summer there are concerts, but in the winter it becomes Winter Wonderland, a magical Christmas-themed park.

malvern house london royal park
malvern house london city

The City of London

A city within a city, this is the historic centre where London originally began. All the famous places today such as the area around Buckingham Palace or Big Ben used to be separate cities! Nowadays, the City of London is one of the business districts, not many people live here as it mostly consists of commercial buildings. People who work here usually say they work “in the city”.

The People of London

More than 8 million people live in London, and during the working hours there can be up to 20 million people in the city at any moment. People from London are usually called Londoners, they have their own identity and culture distinct from others parts of the UK.

The speed of life in London is generally quicker than other cities in the UK, but perhaps slower than other big cities around the world. It’s very common to see people walking very quickly in the streets, but almost everybody in the city is polite and friendly, if you need to stop someone and ask for directions it’s absolutely fine!

In addition to the locals, you will find Londoners who come from all over the world and you can hear many languages in the city, of course English is always the most common, but you may also hear Chinese, French, German, Korean, Spanish, Arabic, and many more. According to estimates, there are more than 200 languages spoken around the city.

Airports in London

Heathrow Airport

Buses and trains run from Heathrow to central London from early morning to late at night, but the cheapest option is to use the metro system, the London Underground, which takes about 45 minutes into the centre. London Underground trains run to central London every ten minutes. There are 3 stops for Heathrow airport, depending on your terminal and they are all on the Piccadilly line (dark blue).

For more information visit: http://www.heathrowairport.com/  & for information on transport and directions visit : https://www.heathrow.com/transport-and-directions

Stansted Airport

The Stansted Express is a train service which goes to London Liverpool Street and stops at Tottenham Hale. There is a coach service (National Express) which runs from the airport to many locations in London. Please follow this link for information about times and prices.

Gatwick Airport

The Gatwick Express is a direct train service to London Victoria. Please check the website for prices and how to book tickets in advance. Southern Trains and First Capital Connect offer a train service to London Bridge. There are also First Capital Connect trains to St Pancras International. In addition, there is a coach service (National Express) which runs from Gatwick airport to many locations in London. Information on transport and directions visit https://www.gatwickairport.com/to-and-from/

Outside London and around the UK

The UK is a well-connected country with regular trains going to every city, town, and most villages across the nation. Here are some ideas for exploring:

Edinburgh – travel time from London: 5 hours

Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland and home to Scottish culture. Famous sights include Edinburgh Castle and Arthur’s Seat. You can easily catch a train from King’s Cross station which is only five minutes from Malvern House.

Cardiff – travel time from London: 2 hours

Cardiff is Wales’ capital city. Home to a distinct culture and language, the city is much more relaxed than London.

Oxford – travel time from London: 1 hour

The educational centre of the UK, Oxford University is the oldest city in the English-speaking world. You’ll also find spending architecture and sights throughout the city.

Brighton – travel time from London: 1 hour

If you want to see the sea, then head to Brighton. The town is filled with arcades, attractions, restaurants and cafes, and more. It’s definitely the destination of choice if you want to have some fun.

Windsor – travel time from London: 40 minutes

Another of the Queen’s homes, Windsor Castle dominates the town – but the centre is also beautiful with many traditional buildings.

Finally, if you fancy visiting a European destination – you can take the Eurostar, a train that goes from King’s Cross station and under the sea to Europe! In two hours you go from the centre of London, to the centre of Paris! The train also connects to other beautiful European cities such as Amsterdam and Brussels. The service also easily connects to European railway services, enabling you to travel anywhere in Europe.