Posts Tagged ‘London’

Perfect Weekend in London

Perfect Weekend in London

The UK capital is a great destination for a city break offering something for everyone from families to couples to groups of friends. With cheap flights to London often on offer, the city is easily accessible from across the UK and further afield.

What visitors want to see in London will depend on their tastes, but the truth is that no one will leave this city disappointed with most people wishing they had more than a weekend to explore and enjoy.

 

Traditional London Attractions

For traditional types there are a number of must see stops on a visit to London, take a trip to the Queen’s London residence at Buckingham Palace and see the Changing of the Guard, or head to the Tower of London where the Crown Jewels are watched over by Beefeaters in traditional costume. From here visitors can also view the iconic Tower Bridge that forms part of the city’s identity.

Art and Culture Attractions in London

Art lovers are spoiled for choice on a weekend in London with the amazing installations at the Tate Modern and the awe inspiring collections at the National Gallery (set on the world famous Trafalgar Square) with a plethora of galleries and exhibitions on offer in various other venues across the city.

The culture vultures may also enjoy touring the city’s world famous museums, with popular choices including the Science Museum, Natural History Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum all of which are located in Kensington and easily accessible by tube train.

Relaxed Weekend in London

If a busy round of  tourist packed venues is not your style then visitors can discover London at their own pace, with lots of laid back alternatives on offer.

Why not take a spin on the London Eye, the world’s tallest big wheel and check out the city from another perspective. Take a stroll through one of the stunning Royal parks that are open to the public providing open space in the heart of the city, or even take a boat trip along the Thames to Greenwich, home to the National Maritime Museum, as well as some of the best traditional Pie and Mash in the city.

Fashionable London

Once known as Swinging London, the city has been at the vanguard of the zeitgeist for decades and remains there today, with bright young things flocking from across the world to see and be seen in some of London’s trendiest spots. Hot spots for celebs and stars include Camden, a favourite hangout of musicians including Pete Doherty and Amy Winehouse. Alternatively, head for newly-hip South London to mix with the next generation of bright young things. Bars and clubs along the Kings Road Chelsea are also popular with those who move in influential circles.

Theatrical London

The West End stage is rivalled only by New York’s Broadway for its calibre of productions and presentations, visitors with an interest in the theatre will want to take in a show during their weekend, with tickets for many performances offered through agents located across the city.

Westminster, London

London’s Westminster area is packed full of the capital’s most famous landmarks. You’ll find Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and the River Thames in this area. There are also lots of other attractions for tourists in and around Westminster.

To start with you could visit the famous London Eye, which is located on the South bank of the Thames. The world’s largest observation wheel was completed in 2000 and is an impressive 135 meters in height. From the very top and on a clear day you can reportedly see views of up to 25 miles in any given direction. You’ll definitely be able to spot a few of London’s landmarks from here like Windsor Castle, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Palace of Westminster. The wheel has a total of 32 viewing capsules and these take up to 25 people each.

Another place worth a visit in the Westminster area is The London Aquarium. Here you will find 3000 different types of aquatic and marine life housed in huge tanks. The impressive stingrays and sharks amaze children and adults alike, and shark-feeding time is a popular daily event. The aquarium covers 3 floors and daily talks about the sea creatures are given during the day.

Originally part of St Thomas’ Hospital, the Florence Nightingale Museum is a treasure trove of unique artifacts relating to the famous Lady of the Lamp. Here you will find fascinating items such as Athena, her pet owl that was stuffed by a taxidermist after it died, the medical chest she took with her to Turkey and of course the famous Turkish Lantern she carried when doing her rounds during the Crimean War.

Westminster Abbey has been used for every coronation in England since 1066 so this historical landmark is well worth a visit. The building as it stands to day was started around 1245 and has a mix of architectural styles. The organ inside the abbey is stunning and was built in 1937 and the nave is the resting place of notables such as Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling, Geoffrey Chaucer, Charles Darwin and Sir Isaac Newton. This is a working abbey and it is possible to attend services here or you can choose to look around outside of service times.

The Tate Britain Gallery is another tourist attraction you can visit in the Westminster area. This museum opened in 1987 and you will find British art by Turner, Blake, Hockney and Bacon to name just a few of the artists featured here. There is so much to discover and wonder at in this fascinating art gallery.

If you fancy a break from the hustle and bustle of London’s busy streets then St James Park is a good place for a bit of tranquility. The park has a café and a children’s play area, peaceful gardens and the lake is home to birds including pelicans, black swans and geese.

Now Try – Westminster Hotel

What To See And Do This Christmas In London

There’s no doubt about it – the UK capital London is a magical place at Christmas time, with endless opportunities to enjoy the festive season whatever your age and interests. It’s packing it all in before the festive season is over that is more of a problem! Shopping, concerts, pantos, markets, ice-skating and carol services to name just a few – there is something for everyone to enjoy.

One un-missable part of Christmas in London and also free of charge is to simply go and view the giant Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square. The tree has a long history; it is given each year as a gift by the people of Norway, in a tradition that started in 1947 as a way of showing gratitude for Britain’s support of Norway during World War 2. The tree is always beautifully decorated in lights and will help to stir up all those wonderful Christmassy feelings.

Christmas isn’t Christmas without the shopping and whether you love it or hate it there is no getting away from it. Bustling and busy, London’s main shopping areas are beautifully lit-up and adorned with festive decorations for the Christmas season. So even if you hate the dreaded Christmas shopping it’s hard not to get into the festive spirit when you see the city all lit-up. It is possible to book guided Christmas Light tours that take you on a walk around the city to admire some of London’s famous architecture that has been specially lit up for the Christmas season.

For a truly magical shopping experience a visit to Hamleys, London’s most famous toyshop, is a must. This enormous toy store is literally a children’s paradise at this time of you and you should not be short on ideas for what to buy any little ones after a visit here. Then there is the Christmas Shop, which is located at London’s Hays Galleria. This wonderful place is devoted to all things Christmas, all year round!

London’s Southbank Centre houses the very popular Cologne Christmas market throughout December and is well worth a visit. With German Christmas Markets increasing in popularity in recent years the Cologne market is a fine example of this wonderful Christmas tradition. You will find traditional German wooden crafts here and all kinds of foods from Bratwurst to gingerbreads and deliciously warming mulled wine.

Of course Christmas would not be complete without listening to some traditional Christmas Carols. There are various Carol Concerts held all over the capital with the Royal Albert Hall’s Candlelight concert being one of the most famous. There are usually around five Carol Concerts held at the Royal Albert Hall in the run up to Christmas Eve.

Now Try – London Hotels

What London (England) Offers Tourists

London is full of wonderful places to visit and things to see but there are several attractions that every visitor must see.

– Big Ben: the bell in the clock at the north end of Westminster Palace. Big Ben is the largest chiming clock with four faces in the world. It is the largest free standing clock tower in the world.

– The Tower of London: is on the north bank of the River Thames. It was founded in 1066 during the Norman Conquest. The White Tower, from which the castle takes its name, was built by William the Conqueror. It became a prison in 1100 and has been used as one since. The tower of London is a group of building set within two concentric rings of walls and a moat that surrounds it.

– London Bridge: spans the River Thames. It connects London City and Southwark in central London. The present bridge opened in 1793, one of many bridges to have appeared at the same site. In fact, a bridge has existed at or near the present site since the time of the Roman occupation, which was nearly 2,000 years ago.

– The Changing of the Guard: probably the number one tourist attraction in all of London. It was built as the London home of the Duke of Buckingham in 1702. You can visit Buckingham Palace’s state rooms from late July to September. The two groups of infantry and cavalry that guard the royal homes in London are called the Queen’s Guard and the Queen’s Life Guard.

– The London Eye, or the Millennium wheel: is an enormous Ferris wheel that stands 443 feet or 135 metres tall. It is the number one paid tourist attraction in the UK and the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe. It can be found at the western end of Jubilee Gardens, in the borough of Lambeth, on the South bank of the River Thames.

– Princess Diana’s Memorial: can be found in the southwest corner of Hyde Park. It was designed to express her love of children. Princess Diana’s Memorial was officially opened in July 2004 by Queen Elizabeth II.

There are a myriad of incredible places for any visitor to London to visit. The attractions mentioned above are just a few of London’s top tourist attractions.

Now Try – Budget Hotel London

London : Ideas For Things To See And Do There

New York City has been described as the city that never sleeps, but you could easily apply the moniker to London as well. Since London was first a city, it has been teeming with life and anything you could possibly want to do can be done in the city’s center. A city so rich in tradition, activities, and history needs more than a cursory glance of course, but much of what the city has to offer can be experienced in a few day’s time. London is rife with history, and anyone who visits must drink in the past. Appreciate London’s shadowy, medieval past alongside the majesty of the crown jewels. With so much history to offer, everyone from a history buff to a novice is sure to find something that makes them take pause and appreciate its richness. Say hello to the lifelike wax statues in Madame Tussauds museum on your way to the London Dungeon. Here, you can become acquainted with some of Britain’s most infamous past criminals while you experience the horrors of medieval London.

Inside the Tower of London, you will discover the crown jewels and hear tales of prisons made especially for only the most important prisoners. The National Portrait Gallery brings history and art together with exhibits of portraits depicting Britain’s most famous historical figures. Plenty of small museums and art galleries are found in London’s city center that are worth a stop, so make sure to leave time in your schedule to peek your head inside.

Oxford Street is the ideal place for the experienced shopper. If shopping is too strenuous, Hyde Park is found nearby to bring the peace and quiet of the country right into the city. Portobello Market is one of many outdoor markets and is located northeast of the park. Nestled inside all of the hustle and bustle are quiet, charming side streets full of London’s past. Here you can find gems such as Covent Gardens. For a bird’s eye view of all that the city center has to offer, you can head over to the London eye. From above, you can see an overview of the wonders of the city.

As for the evening, you should start your night at one of London’s thousands of pubs, enjoying the local beers on tap with a group of friends. As midnight approaches, things really start to getting going in London’s countless dance clubs. Whatever your musical preferences, you will not be disappointed, as London provides it all – techno, trance, hip-hop and Latin to name just a few. Of course, if it is a football or rugby night, you have a great opportunity to watch a game before starting your festivities, as London is home to lots of teams.

Now Try – Budget Hyde Park Hotels London

London Airports – Information & Advice

London is serviced by 5 major airports, simply because of the huge number of tourists that visit the capital each year. Each of these airports offers good links to the city centre; a fact that makes them popular destinations for visitors and commuters alike.

Heathrow Airport – Heathrow is located approximately 20km from the centre of London and benefits from its own London Underground station. The journey into the city centre takes up to 50 minutes however the cost is minimal at around $6 each way. Heathrow is by far the busiest of the 5 airports, with 5 terminals catering for 90 airlines that between them fly to over 170 worldwide destinations.

Gatwick Airport – Gatwick, located 45km south of the city center, is London’s second-largest airport. It is the main hub for discount and charter airlines. The journey from Gatwick Airport to central London, takes anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes depending on traffic. To avoid potential traffic problems, you might want to consider a train instead, which will take you directly from the airport to Victoria Station.

Stansted Airport – This popular airport is very much a budget airline destination however it is still the third busiest of the London airports. The transport links to the city centre are understandably very good and the 48km journey can be made in a variety of ways. Companies such as easyBus, Terravision and Stansted Bus run frequent services to many London sites including Baker Street, Marble Arch and Victoria Train Station.

Luton Airport – Luton Airport is located 56km north of London. It is a small airport (it has just a single runway airport) and it is predominantly used only by budget airlines flying to various destinations around Europe. As the airport is relatively far from central London, and involves going through busy areas, getting there by care or bus requires time and planning. There is a train station near to the airport though, which will get you to the city center in less than an hour.

London City Airport – Although this small inner-city airport only offers a single runway it is highly popular with business travelers destined for the financial district of London. Located close to Canary Wharf the London City Airport is just 11km from the city centre and is well connected via the Docklands Light Railway and a plethora of bus services. It is worth mentioning that planes landing here must be able to perform short take-offs and equally short landings.

International airports outside London include Birmingham and Manchester, both of which offer an alternative to the airports of London. Birmingham airport is central to the UK while Manchester is located in the north. Both have outstanding transport links to all the major cities of the UK, including of course London.

Not Try – Gatwick Hilton Hotel

London – The Most Popular Places To Visit

London is a large city, so you will be able to find many great activities to do based on where you are visiting. It is effectively lots of towns directly joined onto one another, with these being some of the highlights:

Camden Town – Attracts a huge amount of visitors even though it is not very visually appealing. People like to go there to see its lively market and its large underground music scene. Each weekend, approximately 100,000 visitors go to the market to find objects that they would not otherwise be able to purchase in one shopping trip.

Camden Town @ dofekus.blox.pl

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Bundle up for six winter nights in Paris and London from $1,107

Bundle up for six winter nights in Paris and London from $1,107

In winter, Paris and London are quietest – and coldest. You could spend a week exploring the great indoors without the summer crowds when visiting the British Museum and the Louvre or shopping at Harrods and Galleries Lafayette. A six-night hotel and airfare package that takes you to both capital cities in January and February starts at $1,107 per person, but act quickly because the deal ends June 8.

The deal: I found this Europe Vacations package on Travel Zoo. Based on double occupancy, prices start at $1,107 per person, including taxes and fuel surcharges. The trip includes round-trip airfare from Los Angeles to Paris, three nights at a hotel in Paris, a flight from Paris to London, three nights at a London hotel and continental breakfast daily. Use the promotion code “TZPAR3″ whether you are booking online or over the phone to get a $50 per person savings that’s part of this low rate.

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Celebrity Spotting

Celebrity Spotting in Britain has become a national pastime. Each year thousands of visitors gather on the streets of London, clutching Timeout magazines; hoping to make some sense from the many pages of where to go and what to do in the City.

@ nypost.com

Say, you’re a celeb spotter! You’ve come to London for some serious celebrity action. Where would you go to spot the Stars?
Here are some Celebrity Hotspots: some are relatively easy to get in to; but you need to book at least 6 months in advance. Others are membership only, so to land a seat at the bar will require some serious networking on your part.

Celebrity Hotspots
Most people go to The Ivy for the name and the status. You will spend more than the food is worth, but that is to be expected! You’re not there for the sumptuous fare, but for the celebrity action… hopefully! Oak panels, soft lighting, and 1920s stained glass windows enhance the idea that it’s all terribly snobby. The service and attention to detail are exemplary, the menu is eclectic, mainly British/European with a few far-flung influences. But it caters mainly for people who know what they want. Simple ingredients prepared to perfection have earned The Ivy its coveted reputation of serving delightful ‘comfort food’. The cosy dining area almost certainly means if a celebrity is at the next table, you’ll be sitting a stones throw away from them.

Celebrities often seen enjoying the famously diverse menu at The Ivy are David Bowie & Iman, Tom Cruize, Elton John and George Michael

@ coventgardenlife.com

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Britain eases ash restrictions for flights; British Airways blocks planned cabin crew strike

Britain eases ash restrictions for flights; British Airways blocks planned cabin crew strike

The volcanic ash plume again briefly shut airports and snarled air traffic Monday in London and in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Amsterdam, but a bit of relief may be on the way. Britain’s top aviation authority on Monday eased restrictions on safe flying zones within the ash cloud.

British Airways, meanwhile, obtained a court order to block a 20-day cabin crew strike planned to start Tuesday.

Icelands Eyjafjallajokull volcano is still smoking, but Britain’s Civil Aviation Authority announced the creation of a new flying zone – the “Time Limited Zone” – that changes the level of volcanic ash concentrations considered safe and puts in play airspace that previously would have been off-limits to commercial airlines. Translation? More safe airspace means more flights and fewer delays.

The authority’s chief executive, Andrew Haines, credits the rule change to an international aviation conference May 13 with major airlines, a release said. Flybe, a British domestic carrier, apparently worked with plane engine and aircraft manufacturers to develop protocols that led to the revision of what’s considered a safe concentration of volcanic ash  for planes to fly through.

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