ENGLAND EMERGENCY AND COMMUNICATIONS
Emergency: Medical, Police, and Fire 999; no coins required.
Hospitals: Charing Cross (8846 1234), on Fulham Palace Rd.; enter on St. Dunstan’s Rd. Tube: Baron’s Ct. or Hammersmith. Royal Free ( 7794 0500), on Pond St. Tube: Belsize Park. St. Thomas’s (7928 9292), on Lambeth Palace Rd. Tube: Waterloo. University College Hospital ( 7387 9300), on Grafton Way. Tube: Warren St.
Pharmacies (Chemists): Most pharmacies keep standard hours (usually M-Sa 9:30am-5:30pm). Late-night and 24hr. chemists are rare; one 24hr. option is Zafash Pharmacy, 233 Old Brampton Rd. ( 7373 2798). Tube: Earl’s Ct.
Police: London is covered by two police forces: The City of London Police (7601 2222) for the City, and the Metropolitan Police (7230 1212) for the rest. There is at least one police station in each borough open 24hr. Call to locate the nearest one.
Internet Access: Try the ubiquitous easyEverything ( 7241 9000). Locations include: 9-16 Tottenham Court Rd. (Tube: Tottenham Court Rd.); 456459 The Strand (Tube: Charing Cross); 358 Oxford St. (Tube: Bond St.); 9-13 Wilson Rd. (Tube: Victoria); 160-166 Kensington High St. (Tube: High St. Kensington). Prices (from £lper hr.; £2 min. charge) vary with demand. All open 24hr.
Post Office: Post offices are everywhere; call (08457) 740 740 for locations. When sending mail to London, be sure to include the full postal code, since London has 7 King’s Roads, 8 Queen’s Roads, and many other opportunities for misdirected mailings. The largest office is the Trafalgar Square Post Office, 24-28 William IV St. (7484 9304). Tube: Charing Crass. All mail sent Poste Restante to unspecified post offices ends up here. Open M-Th and Sa 8am-8pm, F 8:30am-8pm. Postal Code: WC2N 4DL.
No matter where you plan to stay, it is essential to plan ahead, especially in summer; London accommodations are almost always booked solid. Be sure to check the cancellation policy before handing over the deposit; some are non-refundable. Hostels are not always able to accommodate every written request for reservations, much less on-the-spot inquiries, but they frequently hold a few beds it’s always worth checking. Sheets are included at all YHA hostels, but towels are not; buy one from reception (&3.50). YHA hostels also sell discount tickets to theaters and major attractions. No YHA hostels have lockouts or curfews. The best deals in town are student residence halls, which often rent out rooms over the summer and, less frequently, Easter vacations you can often get a single for a little more than the price of a hostel bed. Book as early as possible. Don’t expect luxury, although rooms are generally clean and well equipped. The term Bed and Breakfast encompasses accommodations of wildly varying quality and personality, often with little relation to price. Be aware that in-room showers are often prefabricated units jammed into a comer.
The streets between Queensway and Paddington station house London’s highest concentration of cheap accommodations, with countless hostels, B&Bs, and budget hotels. The neighborhood is fairly central, with plenty of nearby restaurants, but accommodations vary in quality be sure to see a room first.