Capital city and home to the royal family, London is
renowned worldwide for its historic buildings, museums
and galleries, shopping, theatre and nightlife. Enjoy
new attractions such as the BA London Eye; old ones
that have been given a new lease of life, like beautiful
Somerset House; and the hugely acclaimed Tate Modern.
Top 10 things to see/do:
1. Ride on the world's largest and most stylish
observation wheel, the British Airways London Eye, and
enjoy incomparable views of London.
2. See Tate Modern's controversial exhibits,
minimalist architecture and fabulous river views - art
was never given so much room to express itself!
BA London Eye
3. Get familiar with
the city's famous landmarks, like Tower Bridge and the
Houses of Parliament, on a river cruise or an open-top
4. Shop big, shop small, shop labels, shop quirky
and then have a rummage through the markets, in the shopping
capital of the world.
5. From Arabian falafel to Zairian stew: the cuisine
of 60 different countries is represented in London, so
let your taste buds loose!
6. See a medieval palace, the crown jewels, infamous
prison cells and 900 years of history at the Tower of
7. Take in some culture with your cappuccino -
in the magnificent glass-domed Great Court at the British
8. Experience the magic of the theatre: whether
a Shakespeare play at the Globe, a West End musical, a
fringe production or a summertime performance in the park.
9. Discover a different side to London's history,
perhaps learning about the ghosts that haunt it or the
famous authors who wrote here, by taking a guided walking
10. Explore one of London's villages: try Greenwich
via the River [link to River Cruise] with its maritime
links, Hampstead's fine bookshops and fashion boutiques
or the riverside pubs and restaurants of Richmond.
Changing of the Guard
Visit Buckingham Palace, the grandest of
all the Queen's homes, and remember to look out for the
Royal Standard; if it is flying, she's at home. Your chance
to see inside the palace is during August and September,
when the Queen holidays in Scotland and the richly decorated
state rooms and beautiful gardens are opened to the public.
Guarding the palace, in their distinctive red uniforms
and tall black hats, are the Foot Guards of the Household
Division, who delight the crowds with the Changing of
the Guard ceremony at 11.30am, most days in summer and
alternate days in winter.
Kensington Palace has seen a succession of royal owners
since 1689, including Princess Diana the Queen's sister,
Princess Margaret. The palace is open every day, so take
the opportunity to see the great works of art hanging
in the state apartments and the fine clothes of the Court
Royal weddings have taken place in both St Paul's Cathedral
and in 900 year old Westminster Abbey, the site also of
royal funerals and coronations.
Look for labels in Bond Street, high fashion on the King's
Road, and retro clothing in Carnaby Street. London shopping
is all about knowing where to go: Covent Garden has fashion
boutiques and quirky, unusual shops; Notting Hill has
antiques and Charing Cross Road is lined with bookshops.
For department stores you can't beat Harrods or Selfridges:
Harrods has 300 different departments and world-renowned
food halls, whilst the newly refurbished Selfridges now
offers no less than 7 zones of cutting-edge fashion for
Spend Saturday browsing among antiques at
Portobello Road or Camden Passage and save Sunday for
the East End! Start with Columbia Road Flower Market -a
riot of colour - then stroll down to Brick Lane to rummage
through anything from broken sinks to art deco furniture!
Camden Town, in north London is still tops for retro clothing,
latest fashions, craft stalls and people watching!
Fine dining to fun dancing
Glitzy restaurants, buzzing theatres, smart hotels and live
music venues jostle for space in London's West End. The city
has a truly fabulous variety of restaurants serving food of
all nationalities and in all price ranges, so take the opportunity
to sample a totally new cuisine like Korean or Afghan; go
sophisticated with a trendy modern European restaurant or
maybe experience authentic Chinese from one of the many restaurants
in London's Chinatown. Make time also to have a traditional
British roast lunch at a cosy pub.
Enjoy the thrill of world-class theatre, whether a big time
musical, a modern drama or a classic Shakespearean production.
Be mesmerised by superb opera and ballet or make your sides
ache with laughter with a night at a comedy club.
Join the throng of Londoners and enjoy the lively ambience
of the city's pubs and bars: trendy, boisterous, relaxed and
sophisticated, the city has it all. If your energy level is
still high, why not try a nightclub? Clubbing is a popular
pastime and London boasts a sensational selection of venues,
from the huge 'superclubs' to small intimate ones.
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