Many places in England have wi-fi, although it is not as easily available as you might think. It’s reported that the train and tube services recently had free public wifi access, but I don’t know how reliable the connection is or if it is free everywhere. Also there is no mobile or wifi service available when the tube is underground. Sunley Centre will have wi-fi access in public areas; we found this service to be acceptable for most internet uses such as email and even skype. However it was kind of weak for streaming and downloading may take awhile.
There are many useful travel apps out there – including several that are free! Many can be used on smart phones or tablets. Try to find apps that don’t require wifi/internet access in order to be used. Here’s some we’ve found:
- A general page for all kinds of London-related Apps
- Top 10 Travel Apps by PcMag
- Apps for London recommended by TripAdvisor users
- And for iTunes users, search for “London” and a large collection of apps will come up. I like: CityWalk London and GuidePal London. Both are free and have maps that can be viewed offline. If you upgrade CityWalk, you can make your own custom walking tour maps.
- Your airline likely also has an app; this can be useful for getting up-to-date flight information, making changes, upgrades, etc. Also some airlines let you put your boarding pass on your mobile instead of having a paper copy.