London is the capital of the United Kingdom.
- Hitchbase has some information about hitchhiking out of London
Hitchhiking out of London is pretty tricky, but not impossible - the big problem is getting onto a motorway is a bit of a challenge, once you're on the motorway, stick to the petrol stations, hitching entrance ramp to entrance ramp is quite difficult, especially in the big cities.
How to get onto the M4 Motorway
- Where to: The West, The South West, Bristol, Devon, Cornwall
- Cost of public transport: One ticket to Zone 3 - approximately 3 UKP from Zone 1.
- Last verified: March 2006
Get the Underground to the station Chiswick Park - from there you can find the entrance to the motorways M4 - its about 5 miles to the actual entrance to the M4, but you can walk along the main road for a mile and theres an Esso petrol station that is on the corner next to a bridge with the main london traffic running above you, and you can stand in a layby nearby with a sign saying M4 west, and someone will pick you up.
Heading for Cornwall, its much easier hitching the M4 and changing to the M5 than trying to hitch the M3.
How to get onto the M20 Motorway (South East)
- Where to: Dover, The Channel Tunnel, France
- Cost of public transport: One ticket to Zone 1 (approximately 2 UKP from Zone 1), one train ticket (approximately 3 UKP)
- Last verified: March 2006
Get the Underground to London Bridge Station and get the commuter train to a station called Mottingham - this is very close to the entrance to the M20 to Dover, head for Great Sidcup road and around 800 yards farther down the road is a set of traffic lights (theres some car showrooms just to the left), and you can hold a sign saying Dover here and try to get the cars stopped at the lights to let you jump in.
If the showroom spot is not successful, you may prefer to walk further along Sydcup road until the next street lights (next to the Shell at the crossroad with the 'Circular Road') where the traffic is less fast and try from there. It is a certain distance to walk though.
How to get onto the M1 Motorway
- Where to: The North
- Cost of public transport: One ticket to zone 5.
- Last verified: March 2007
It is possible to walk from Edgeware tube (northern line) to London Gateway services on the M1. There are a few different ways to walk, but the simplest is: Turn right out of the station onto station rd. Follow the road along, it turns into Hale lane, keep going, then turn left onto selvage lane keep going, you will go over a bridge over the M1, then come to a big roundabout, Apex corner. Go down into the subway under the roundabout, and come out on the A1 (barnet way), just by the petrol station. Turn left just behind the petrol station onto Ellesmere ave, and keep walking until you come to a road on your left with a big sign telling you not to go down there. Walk down it and you come to london gateway services. Google map of directions
Paid transport to and from airports can be expensive. Hitching can be a good alternative.
Transiting in Greater London
Since nearly all the highway networks leads towards London you probably might have to go through that urban area somehow to reach your destination. The M25 is the ring highway that surrounds the metropole and connects with every possible highway network in destination of the country. It is then better to be left at some very specific Motorway Services to manage to catch a ride further.
Clacket Lane Services
There's several options when it comes to finding a place to sleep. If the worst prevails and you're without a place, you're still not too bad off. Central London is relatively safe and you probably wont be bothered sleeping outside.
London has such an abundance of squats that you shouldn't ever have to pay for accomodation. Don't worry about the connotation associated with squats. They generally aren't crackhouses or scabie infested punk hangouts. People of all types squat in London and their homes are usually very nice. They are especially helpful if you're planning to stick around for a while, but can also be great if you're just passing through. Zactalk ended up with a squat to sleep in on his first night, and in Mayfair of all places!
rampART is a squatted social center in Whitechapel. This place isn't a residential squat, but they have a "crash room" for visitors. They make it clear that it is not a tourist hostel so you needn't bother them unless you are interested in getting involved with their project for some time while you're there. To stay, you need to contact them well ahead of time. If nothing else, it's a great place to meet squatters and find a place to stay. They also have free internet! The address is 15-17 Rampart Street, London, E1 2LA.
The Advisory Service for Squatters is more helpful for people that are planning to find a place to live, but may be able to help you find a place to crash. It's located at the Freedom Bookstore in Whitechapel and is another great place to meet squatters as well as get online for free. The address is Angel Alley, 84b Whitechapel High Street, Whitechapel, London, England, E1 7QX. (Tel. 020-32160099)
Cheap and free food abounds in London.
Plenty of places throw out food at closing time. Always check the bags out front of Pret a Mangers and Benjy's at 5-7pm. If you feel up to it, you can even go inside when they are closing shop and explain that you're homeless and pick out all the food you want instead of getting it off the sidewalk. Feel no shame, you're helping to curb wastefulness!
The Coffee Republic on Great Marlborough Street near the Oxford Circle and Carnaby Street is reported to put out garbage bags with totally normal food--boiled potatoes, sandwiches, etc. every eveing around 8pm on weekdays and 7pm on weekends.
If you're going to self cater, stick to Sainsbury's and Tesco rather than the convenient Off-Licenses for better prices. If you get tired of peanut butter sandwiches or want to fill up for the weekend, try one of the MANY £5 all-you-can-eat Thai Buffets. Go early, they get more expensive in the evening.
Public transport (Transport for London) is ridiculously expensive in London and there are plenty of ways to avoid paying for it (of course it's at your own risk!). Look out for the new bendy buses, where you dont have to pay the driver. As for travelcards you can buy a child one for £2 (at time of writing), which will get you through barriers on the tube. In the evenings you can often pick them up off the floor outside stations or buy them from a tout for a pound or two. At British Rail stations you can often buy a 'permit to travel' for 5p when the ticket office is closed, which means if you get caught you will only be charged the fare of your journey and not fined.
The best option is to get yourself a Oyster Card for London which gives you access to all public transport within London for 50% of the price. The Oyster card is basically a top-up plastic card that you get for 3 pounds (refundable when you return the card) top-up with the amount you wish and then use as a check-in/check-out to get through the gates while the money is deduced according to the distance you travelled. As an 'intelligent system' it will always calculate the lowest fare for you during the day and you can never end up paying more than a normal day ticket at the last.