On this momentous day in the history of the United States and Great Britain, we thought we’d take a look not back, but forwards. It was only a matter of time before London tourists were empowered by technology. There are now a host of apps to make your next trip to the Old Smoke that much easier/more enjoyable. We’ve rounded up some of the smartest, most useful apps available today, any one of which would have made Prince Puckler-Muskau swoon with delight.
London Bus Stop Live (screenshot above) providing live departure information for every bus stop in London – real time bus departure times as predicted by the onboard GPS system in each bus. There’s no more getting wet waiting for buses, no more missing the last bus home and no more wondering if there’s time to nip into the shop or not. In fact there’s no more waiting for a bus ever again. Welcome to 21st century London.
The London Taxi Fare Calculator allows you to check the fare for a taxi between two points anywhere in London, uses the iPhone’s GPS and iPhone maps to make the calculations and predict the best route, and has preset points of interest such as tourist attractions, landmarks, train stations, tube stations and airports.
London Mini A-Z – This map is a digital rendition of the famous “London A-Z Mini Atlas” and covers an area from West Hendon in the North West to Grove Park in the South East. Add this application to your iPhone or iPod Touch and you will have instant access to all 352 pages of the London Mini A-Z printed map.
The Time Out London app puts everything that’s great about the capital in one place, with information on gigs, events, bars, restaurants, club nights and film releases. Whether you’re out and about or planning from home, it’s simple to organise your days and nights out in London and invite your friends.
National Gallery – Take a virtual tour of the National Gallery’s collection, search by artist or time period and save screenshots of artwork on your phone or upload to Facebook. You can also listen to the stories behind the masterpieces in insightful interviews with artists, writers and experts.
Quirky London – If you want to find out where in-the-know Londoners go for a mid-week meet-up, a lively Saturday night out or an off-the-beaten-track Sunday stroll then this is the app for you. Packed with the museums, art galleries, restaurants, pubs, clubs and venues that make London truly great, Quirky London uncovers the city’s secrets and presents them to you in one easy-to-follow guide complete with maps, images and the nitty gritty info you need for your visit.
The Hidden London app will help you discover nearly 50 unusual, amazing, intriguing and surprising places to visit.
+ Discover a “Roman” bath right in the centre of London.
+ Hang out with Dennis the Menace and friends in London’s only cartoon museum.
+ Explore a mysterious crypt hidden in the depths of Fleet Street.
+ Browse through the first English dictionary in the 18th century house where it was written.
+ Investigate Sherlock Holmes’ most famous cases and consult with Dr Watson.
+ Visit Pango the pig, DJ the horse and even a few friendly dinosaurs.
The Green and Rural London app describes and maps London’s finest parks, gardens, squares, secret green boltholes, cemeteries, commons, and urban farms. Whenever you feel in need of a breath of fresh air, a moment’s repose, a wander around lawns and flowers, a playground, or a place to eat your lunch al fresco, turn to this app.
Urban Spoon – Search for local restaurants by neighborhood, cuisine or price. Find reviews from local newspapers, food blogs and fellow diners.
London On A Plate – this note-book guide contains personal reviews on some of London’s most valued food shops and restaurants, shopping pages, guiding you on must-haves to wear to dinner or ideas to dress your own dining table, from some of the capital’s most respected design talent. Markets to see and time to be inspired distilled into one pocket bible. One of the key purposes of this guide is to provide the home cook with recipes from some of London’s finest chefs, including John Torode, Fergus Henderson, Anna Hansen, Mark Hix, Peter Gordon and Sam and Sam Clark.
London City Slicker – London City Slicker brings the colour and history of London to life on your iPhone. Hours of superbly produced Video and Audio help you delve into the secrets and stories relating to London’s fabulous heritage and the people who lived there. Superbly crafted walking-tours have been created for anyone interesting in exploring or finding out more about London, without the cost of a Tour-Guide. Famous historian Adam Heart Davis takes you through important London sites on themed walks of about 2 miles in length or a few hours in duration. With integrated Google Maps, getting around the walking-tours could not be easier.
And we’ve saved the best London app for last – this one deserves its own drum roll –
The Time Travel Explorer app lets you explore historic London as it was in the past – Georgian, Regency and Victorian eras included. This version contains the mapping engine, the central area of London from Stamford’s 1862 map and a modern map of the same area. It also contains over 750 points of interest, 150 audio guides and over 1500 old and new pictures. The remainder of the 1862 map and additional historic maps from 1830 (Greenwood), 1799 (Horwood) and 1746 (Rocque) are available as separate purchases.
Time Travel Explorer – London Pro provides a bundle of all four maps at a discounted price. With TTX you can:
– follow your route on antique maps that show you the streets and buildings from centuries ago
– use GPS to show you what lies beneath the modern city and what has survived to the present day
– click on points of interest to get detailed information about your location
– get the highlights of London’s history right where you need them.
– high-quality digitised images of important historical maps*
– 750 points of interest with full descriptions
– 1500 photos including life in London over 100 years ago**
– 150 audio guides**
– expert tour information from a qualified Blue Badge guide
– seamless transfer from one era to another – travel through time