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London advice

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First off, thanks in advance to anyone who offers their advice!

Two friends and I will be in London in September for two days. None of us have been before so I'd like to get some advice regarding transit and sightseeing.

We'll be arriving at Heathrow on a Saturday morning. What is the quickest way to get to central London? Alternatively, what is the cheapest way?

I've been reading some threads RE: oyster card vs. travel card. Can someone please make a suggestion for our situation? It seems like the oyster card is the way to go, but perhaps I'm missing something. Also, can someone tell me why it's called an oyster card? Is the initial deposit on the card still refundable?

Regarding sightseeing, I'm interested in literature and history. I realize two days in London isn't even scratching the surface. Any best of recommendations or must-sees are none-the-less appreciated. They don't have to be the obvious choices. I quite like off-the-beaten path type travel.

Good restaurant and coffee shop recommendations are always welcome :)

Cheers!

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