London Eye: To book what British Airways calls a flight on its giant Ferris wheel, go to www.ba-londoneye.com, call (011-44) 870-5000-600, or buy a ticket at the base of the wheel. Reservations are recommended in summer, but you probably can walk right up and buy a ticket in fall and winter.

Buckingham Palace: The palace is usually open from mid-August to early October; reservations are recommended. To purchase timed tickets ahead, call (011-44) 20-7321-2233; or, in London, buy them from the office in Green Park.

More information: Contact the British Tourist Authority, 551 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10176; telephone 1-800-462-2748 or go to www.visitbritain.com.

Books and maps: The Virgin Guide to London offers up-to-the-minute advice on trendy restaurants, clubs and such. The clever Day/Night map is handy for finding theaters.

The A to Z (say zed) Map of London series offers the most complete map, with street index; it comes in book or map form. While the map is handy, the book is better for looking up addresses. MapEasy's Guidemap to London is virtually a shopping map, with many (but by no means all) shops marked along the shopping main streets. Some restaurants are marked as well.

Shopping: "Antique and Flea Markets of London and Paris" (Thames and Hudson) is one of the best guides to the markets of both cities. Suzy Gershman's "Born to Shop" Frommer series includes a London title.