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London is the capital of England and the United Kingdom.

Hitching Out

  • 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 (West)

  • Directions:

Get the Underground to the station Chiswick Park (District Line) - 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. Gunnersbury Underground Tube (District Line) is also convenient.

Heading for Cornwall, it is much more easier hitching the M4 and changing to the M5 in Bristol than trying to hitch the M3 through Dorset.

How to get onto the M20 Motorway (South East)

<map lat='51.43983124736507' lng='0.0528717041015625' zoom='15' view='0' float='right' />

  • Directions

Get the Underground to London Bridge Station (Northern Line - Jubilee Line) and get the commuter train to a station called Mottingham (direction Dartford) - this is very close to the entrance to the M20 to Dover - head for 'Great Sidcup Road' around 800 yards further down the road is a set of traffic lights (corner of 'Sydcup Road' and 'Court Road'), and you can hold a sign saying Dover from that crossroad and try to get the cars stopped at the lights to let you jump in. You can also stand by 'Sydcup Road' at the Shell Gas Station entrance. Remember that the Shell Gas Station is the only place that a car can pull aside before the highway, it is therefore flaw to try to walk further down 'Sydcup Road'.

The train to Mottingham (zone 4) departs from Charing Cross Station (downtown zone 1) through Waterloo (zone 1), London Bridge (zone 1), New Cross (zone 2) and Lewisham (zone 2) stations on its way to Dartford and Gillingham. Mottingham Station (as well as the previous station of Lee in zone 3) does not have a check-in/check-out gate, which means that it is better not to use a Oyster Card when going to that station as you won't have the chance to 'touch out' and be charged consequently. Therefore, it is also possible to simply buy a ticket to the previous station in zone 3 (Hither Green or Lee) and bring the cost of the ticket beneath the 3 pounds. The distance between each stations is no longer than 5 minutes.

The best ride to accept from Mottingham is one that brings you directly into the South-East along the M20 and past the M20-M25 junction, most likely to the Maidstone Services. Many drivers said that many hitch-hikers happens to stand and hitch at the junction, but the police might be more likely to pick you up.

There is also a BP Gas Station Services (Swanley Services) before the M25 junction but the cars still goes in every direction from there and catching a ride might reveal difficult; although it would not be advised to go until there, someone might want want to do so if he feels he needs to change landscape (gathering more information needed). Drivers have also said that some people do hitch-hike at the M20/M25 Interchange Roundabouts, though this sound more likely to be illegal, more information would be welcome.

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How to get onto M2 Motorway (South East)

  • Directions:

Get the Underground to London Bridge Station (Northern Line - Jubilee Line) and get the commuter train to a station called Mottingham (direction Dartford) (Note that you can hitch along the M20 and changing to the M2 in Maidstone)

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How to get onto A21 Highway (South East)

  • Directions:
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How to get onto the M40 Motorway (North West)

<map lat='51.55322' lng='-0.4508' zoom='17' view='0' float='right' />

  • Directions:

M40 is different from other motorways originating from London, as it starts quite close to M25 as a continuation of the dual-carriageway A40.

A40 has a number of entrances with heavy traffic, and the following 2 places have been successfully hitched from:

    • Hanger Lane Underground station (Central Line, West Ruislip branch, zone 3)

As you exit into the main hall of the tube station, have a look at the local area map and find an exit by the Westbound A40 slip road. Once you are out of the underground, keep walking along the slip road, and then A40. There are two good places to hitch from:

One of them is a bus stop just past the junction with Lynwood Rd. It has a long lay-by, which is a good place to hitch from as long as there's nothing parked there. Legally, it's a "non-stopping except buses" lay-by.

The other place is half a mile further on - a little lay-by with no restrictions. I (Lnx) have not personally hitched from there, but it looks like a good spot and has an advantage of being open to the entire A40 (the Lynwood Rd bus stop has a separation between the incoming slip road and the main carriageway, so you can only be picked up by traffic emerging from North Circular Road, or Lynwood Road).

    • Hillingdon Underground station (Piccadilly/Metropolitan Lines, zone 6).

As you exit the tube station and go to the end of walkway, turn left and walk until you reach big traffic light-controlled crossroads of 'Long Lane' and 'Western Avenue' (NOT the A40 Western Avenue). Cross the road, then turn right and continue to the roundabout, whose primary exit is the slip-road to A40. Stand on the grass next to of the hatched area - the hatched area is a good and legal place for a vehicle to stop. The area is also well-lit which makes it a perfect place to hitch at night.

It is advisable to have a sign saying "Oxford" or something, as a lot of traffic leaves M40 at junction 1a to continue on M25.

There is also an Oxford Tube coach stop in Western Avenue/Freezeland Way nearby. If you happen to get really stuck (which I think you won't - I waited only about 12 minutes for a ride on an evening during a post-Christmas season) and only need to get to Oxford, this might be an alternative.

How to get onto the M1 Motorway (North)

  • Directions:

It is possible to walk from Edgware 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 Road'. Follow the road along, it turns into 'Hale Lane', keep going, then turn left onto 'Selvage Lane' and keep going, you will then go over a bridge over the M1 and 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 Avenue', 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.

<map lat='51.572129' lng='-0.230595' zoom='17' view='0' width='500px' height='300px' float='right' />

    • Option 2 - Staples Corner
    • Cost of public transport: One ticket to zone 3.
    • Last verified: March 2008

Another option is to take the tube to Brent Cross (Northern Line). From there you follow the 'North Circular Road' westwards for about 1km (along Tilling Road), and you get to the bottom of the M1 (don't get confused with the A1 which also passes nearby, although if this road is more convenient for your destination, you can also hitch from here). After passing the shopping centre, you should see the M1. It is possible to hitch at the first entrance you see, which is the traffic coming off the 'Westbound North Circular' (there is a bus stop just after the slip road joins the North Circular, and a small lay-by further on - both adjacent to the lane for M1).

However, it tends to go slightly quicker if you walk 2 minutes more around the roundabout (Staples Corner West ). You'll see a railway bridge, go under it and there is a bus stop beside a car repair place (the bus stop itself is near Adrian Avenue and is by the Western side of the railway bridge). It doesn't look like such a great place, but it works quite well if you have a sign (worked for Lnx - a 5-minute wait in the dark!). Certainly it is better than the entrance to the M1 used by traffic going eastbound on the 'North Circular', which has a big camera pointing right at where you would stand.

How to get onto A1 Highway (North)

  • Directions:

(See information for M1, Option 2 - Staples Corner. Hold the sign saying "A1 North". There must be better places to get onto A1, though...)

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How to get onto M11 Motorway (North East)

  • Directions:
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How to get onto M3 Motorway (South West)

  • Directions:

M3 is not an easy motorway to get to, although the following worked for Lnx:

Take the train bound for Shepperton from London Waterloo and exit at Kempton Park station. Exit the station (do not go on the footbridge), cross the racecourse car park and turn right into Park Road, which goes into the slip road coming off A316. When you reach the A316 itself, walk on the pavement in the opposite direction to the traffic. You will immediately see a lay-by (chances are some lorries will be parked there). You can hitch from there. The position is not perfect, as the road is going downhill, and the traffic is travelling very fast (50-70mph).

Kempton Park station is just outside London Transport Zones (Hampton, the previous station on the Waterloo-Shepperton line, is in zone 6), but it has no ticket barriers and the chances of meeting a ticket inspector between Hampton and Kempton Park should be quite remote.

How to get onto A3/A24 Highway (South)

  • Directions:
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Possible site along the A3 would be located between Putney Heath/Roehampton and New Malden/West Wimbledon, New Malden offering the best opportunities

The A24 is best reached directly in Leatherhead outside the M25, there is a on-ramp to the M25 as well

How to get onto M23 Motorway/A22 Highway (South)

  • Directions:
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For the M23, possibly Purley For the A22, possibly Kenley

How to get onto A12/A13 Highway (East)

  • Directions:
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Paid transport to and from airports can be expensive. Hitching can be a good alternative. The exits to the airports can also be good places to get lifts to other places. For example, if you get stuck on the western part of the M25, try to get to Heathrow, from there people are going all over the country. If you are coming from Brighton, and trying to get around London, you may get a ride quicker to where you want to go if you get dropped at Gatwick Airport than at Pease Pottage services.

Transiting in Greater London

Since nearly all the highway networks lead 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.

Be careful: there are only 3 service stations on the M25, and on the whole western part there are none at all. If you get dropped at a junction rather than at services you can get really stuck, as a large part of the traffic is only going round the road a short way. If it is not possible to get a lift to one of the services, consider waiting for a ride that takes you actually to the road you want to be on, rather than just stopping somewhere random on the M25.

Clacket Lane Services

Possibly the best place to get lifts on the M25. There is a bridge here to cross from one side to the other, which can be useful to know if, for example, you are trying to hitch from the M4 to Brighton but get a lift with someone who is going to Dover.

Public Transport

See specific article for Transport for London


There are 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.

Wild Camping

Its quite possible to sleep out in London in considerable privacy despite its gigantic population of 10 million. Go North East to Trent Park (Picadilly Line North, second to last stop before Cockfosters. Find the directions for the university (middlesex) campus and walk (or take the free bus) up the hill. Beside it and beyond the lake are quite a few miles of woodland and and it is incredibly beautiful. Jason lived here for 7 months during his final year of university. Be careful with park waldens, they eventually discovered him during the last few weeks of his studies. Build camoflage from ferns if staying for long. People are unlikely to be your greatest threat...dogs are. Dogs! A lot of people walk them here but you can find amazing places if you search hard enough. And if you search really really hard, you'll find a tree with the dates of the past dweller's residence...;)

Also, outside this station (Trent Park), there is a Greek Bakery. Behind it lie huge sacks of bread every night. Please go. Its crazy that this could possibly be wasted every night.


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! There is a strong community of squatters especially in the north east parts of London where a new group have been set for recistens and solidarity. The North East London Squatters Network are having meetings every month as well as a mailinglist etc... For more info, get in tuch with the Hackney social centre that are listed below...

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. BE AVERE THAT rampART AT THE MOMENT HEVE MOVED BECOUSE OF EVICTION. THE NEW PLACE IS ON THE SAME ROAD BUT SOME HOUSES AWAY, GET IN CONTACT WITH THEM TO GET TO KNOW THE NEW DIRECTION...

The yet unnamed Hackney Socail Centre are a newly squatted social centre with plans of opening to the public by the 14 of feb 2008... The top floor is residantial while the bottom floor is going to be used for all different things that might come. Showing up with ideas, help, skills and a smile will probebly get you a place to crach for some nights!

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.


In the uk, the term for eating food that would otherwise be thrown away, is called skipping. Lots of people do it, all from people that come from poor countrys and see all the food that goes to waist, to people that are political in there way of living. Many people, especially in the squatt sceen live totaly out of food from the bins...

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.

The sandwich company "Eat" throw away lots of stuff everyday all over town. Have a look in there bins or outside the shops on the street.

The bakery 'Paul' in Blackfriars and Paddington throw out a lot of cakes, all extremely luxurious and scrumptious. From Blackfriars station walk up the main road, and Paul's will be on your right after a few minutes.

Wholesale vegetable markets at New Covent Garden Market and New Spitalfield Market have tons of stuff lying around on the floor that they cant sell but you certainly can eat... Go early in the morning, you probably run in to some other people skipping...

Places like Sainsburys, Marks and Spencers, Tesco and so on have a marking system on there packedge food that says when the food should be thrown away and when it should be eaten before. The gap between this days are often two days and you can still have it more or less a week more depending on what it is.


If you're going to self cater, stick to Sainsbury's and Tesco rather than the convenient Off-Licenses for better prices. If you are a bit out of Central London, you might as well look for Lidl, Morrisons, Netto or Asda. Anyhow with a decent and wise grocery, you can get your grocery for nearly a week for about 10-15 pounds at any of the mentioned supermarket with decent, fresh and healthy food (to cook). Be awere though that thees supermakets not in any sense are "etical". They are wiping out local shops, taking monpoly on feeding us, destroyng the enviorment and throwing away food every day that could feed hundreds of thousends of people. Better to eat out of there bins or steal from them!

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 witch are almous always totaly vegan! (some good all-you-can-eat start at £3,50). Go early, they get more expensive in the evening. While downtown, you can also get a '6inches sandwich of the day' at Subway for 2 pounds. Bear in mind though that Subway is a company not etical better than Mc Donalds!!! Food in the supermarket is margined higher than in any other shop located in the countryside, a margin also applies to shops banded 'Express' or 'City' (Tesco - Sainsbury) compare to larger surfaces stores.

The markets in Camden Town have cheap food around 5pm, especially in the Lock Market where, if you walk for a few minutes past all the initial food courts, you can easily find dishes of noodles for £1.