Visiting London

The following information may be of interest to visitors coming to the Institute:


The Institute is unable to help visitors find accommodation. However, there are a number of resources and websites available to visitors:

Cost of living

Getting a visa

  • UK Border Agency - the 'do I need a visa?' section is useful
  • See also the UK Border Agency section on Visitors, including academic visitors (Visiting Doctoral Fellows are not included in this category) and parents with children

Childcare and schools


Childcare places can be difficult to find in central London, so enquire early


  • UK Schools and Colleges database, including a map of the Local Authorities (helpful to know when doing a search)
  • Schools in London
  • Overseas visitors should note that state-funded UK schools are for UK residents only, and a special visa is needed for students to attend such schools. Visitors should contact the UK Border Agency before enrolling children in state funded schools to avoid immigration issues.


Local residents and students of the University may register with the Gower Street Practice, which is very close to Senate House. The National Health Service (NHS) provides advice via telephone and online through NHS Direct

Getting around London and beyond

Transport for London has a tube map and a useful Journey Planner tool to help find out how to get from one part of London to another. The best way of getting around London via tube and bus is to buy an Oyster card (£3 refundable) and either buy pre-pay credit or a travelcard (daily, weekly, monthly, annual). See also an article on the Oyster card.

For travel further afield, is a useful site for finding out train times and the duration of travel between two destinations as well as for buying tickets online.

Streetmap is a useful search engine for maps. You can enter postcodes to pinpoint locations, as well as street and place names. Multimap is a similar site. Up My Street offers profiles of different parts of the UK, including photographs of local areas and a useful 'find my nearest' function.

Library access

Senate House Library - as a visitor to the Institute you will be eligible for a free library card.

  • Activating your Library card
  • Senate House Library catalogue
  • The National Archives

Academic events

School of Advanced Study conferences and seminars

Eating out and shopping

Eating out in London can be expensive, but there are restaurant deals that can help reduce costs. The Brunswick Centre near Russell Square station has a number of restaurants and cafes as well as a supermarket, cinema and a range of other shops. Nearby Tottenham Court Road has a range of electronics and homewares shops.

UK weather

The Weather Channel

UK news

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)