Quick Guide to Visiting London
Quick Tourist Overview of London
When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life. So said Samuel Johnson, who compiled the Dictionary of the English language. This was back in 1777, but it is as true today as it has ever been. London is full of things to do, places to see and experiences to enjoy, whatever your interests.
Historians will find themselves overwhelmed, with ancient monuments, statues and links to the past around every corner. Theatre lovers have a wealth of entertainment at their fingertips, from serious play to West End musical. There are comedy nights where you can have a laugh, street entertainers to enjoy and of course a wealth of shopping opportunities.
What to See
Art lovers can take in everything from portraits and Old Masters at the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, while everyone should have their photo taken by the lions that guard Nelson`s Column. While you`re in the vicinity, stroll under Admiralty Arch and take a walk down the Mall, or through St James`s Park (stopping off for a look at the famous pelicans) before standing outside the gates of Buckingham Palace. If you time your visit right, you can enjoy the spectacle of the Changing of the Guard.
Victoria & the West End
Walk through to Victoria (home to a couple of theatres famed for hosting big-name musicals such as Billy Elliott and Wicked). If you want cut-price theatre tickets, the best place is the kiosk in the centre of Leicester Square, which sells half-price tickets to many West End theatre performances on the day. Next to Westminster, where you can look up for a glimpse of Big Ben (actually it`s the bell inside the tower, not the clock itself, which bears the name) and see the Palace of Westminster, home to the UK Parliament. Here you`ll also find Westminster Abbey, venue for the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
The Banks of the Thames
The Palace of Westminster sits on the banks of the Thames, so don`t miss a chance to take a boat trip along the river. You can take a short trip down to the Tower of London, or choose a longer journey to Hampton Court, the Palace of Henry VIII, or to Greenwich, where you can stand with your feet astride the Meridian Line, which divides the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. Rather like this, the Thames divides London in two the North and the South. In recent years, the South Bank has become a real attraction and a wonderful place to spend a Sunday.
As well as the National Theatre, you will find all kinds of street entertainers, from real-life statutes to musicians and a man who makes his living by catching a ball on a stick. It`s also home to the London Aquarium, the London Eye a slow-moving giant Ferris wheel that offers a bird`s eye view of London and Vinopolis, a wine tasting adventure.
Around South Bank
Take a stroll further along the South Bank and stop off at The Clink, an ancient gaol and pay a visit to the recreation of Shakespeare`s Globe theatre. For more modern culture, take a turn away from the riverbank in search of the Globe pub and Bridget`s flat in the movie Bridget Jones`s Diary. This will also take you to Borough Market a foodies` paradise selling everything from pizza and curry to breads, cheeses, meat and fish.
If you`re flying into London, you are likely to land at Heathrow airport. For an easy journey from the airport to your London hotel it`s worth looking into car rental at Heathrow before you leave home.
Stay in a professionally managed apartments for a few days during your London break, in these stylish short stay London Apartments