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Best bus stop

The W5 stop (school journeys only) on the Archway, high above the A1, or the 271 stop halfway down Highgate Hill, have the best views of the capital. But the top stop offers the guarantee that there really will be another one along in a minute.

Westbound stop 'X on New Oxford Street is the capital's busiest: six routes call here, together with the odd night bus and, on Wednesdays only, route 925 for disabled travellers.

Add the stream of 22Bs and 134s which terminate here, and at least 60 buses an hour are scheduled. Most alluring is the chance (Sundays only) to queue for the No 7 to Kew.

Rail terminus

Forget the rush-hour crowds at Victoria and King's Cross. Early evenings at Marylebone station are positively serene, with just nine trains departing between 5 and 6pm. Liverpool Street, the busiest station, despatches more than 80 in the same hour.

The most calm and civilised station, however, is Waterloo International, where the 8.23 from the Gare du Nord is running several months behind schedule. It will be some time before Euro-commuters are crowding out the new terminal.

Tube station

At least for foreigners: Heathrow Terminal 4. There is but a single platform, trains depart in one direction only, and you can't miss London.

Postal district

You can travel the world from Arctic Street NW5 to India Way W12 with just a glance at the London A-Z. Easily the most exotic postal districts are in south-east London: SE1 offers an itinerary stretching from Snowfields via America Street to Jamaica Road, but SE16 takes the prize with South Sea Street, Greenland Quay and Russia Walk - and a trip up Paradise Street.

Bicycle parking

Covent Garden's bike park in Stukeley Street, WC2 (071-430 0083) offers secure facilities for 10p per hour (open 7.30am-10pm Mon-Thurs; 7.30am-11pm Fri; 8.30am-9.30pm Sat/Sun).

Trouble is, cyclists like to leave their bikes right outside the door, for nothing. Leicester Square, with hundreds of yards of sturdy railings, is the closest that the London cyclist can get to parking perfection.

Car parking

The south side of Leonard Street, EC2, has five parking meters. One is in operation, and the remaining four have been decapitated by some meter-maimer: only the stumps are left. Out of town, the prize goes to Hatton Road in Feltham, parallel to the A30 and south of Heathrow airport.

If you are plan your journey so that you arrive early in the day, you can create your own park'n'ride scheme by strolling over to Hatton Cross and taking the Piccadilly Line to Central London, or to Heathrow.

Taxi rank

Taxis have to queue to get into Waterloo Station, and the punters have to queue for the taxis. So both groups (or at least the smarter members of them) have conspired to create an 'unofficial taxi rank on the roundabout at the top of Waterloo Road.

In the morning rush-hour, the inside lane on to the roundabout is devoted to the black cabs.

Road

London's thoroughfares seem mostly to be heading in the same direction: towards the pot-holed dereliction of Bogota or Bangkok.

So the chance to motor unimpeded for a mile is too good to be bypassed, and the newly opened Limehouse Link, the fast route to nowhere and back, takes the best road award - from London Wall, the mini-motorway north of the City which has won it every year since 1964.

Airport

In terms of exotic destinations, Stansted is surely the place to be. Only the Essex airport can boast flights to Timisoara (Romania) and Kortrijk (near Ostend but down a bit). Stansted also scores highly for being part of the weekly Havana via Spain via Essex via Newfoundland route operated by the Cuban national airline.

But Biggin Hill takes the top prize. You can go anywhere you want from this former RAF base outside Bromley, as long as it's Le Touquet. Love Air (reservations: 0279 681435) flies daily to the French resort for pounds 97 return.

Formalities are simple: you can be airborne within 15 minutes of leaving your car in the free car park, and touch down in France 30 minutes later.

Gatwick is officially the travel agents' favourite, but the uncharitable point out that they don't actually have to use it - they just send people there. And while the huge Gatwick processes around 54,000 passengers on a day like today, small friendly Biggin Hill handles just 16.

(Photograph omitted)

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