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London Attractions
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London attractions

London is a huge City with more attractions and more variety than probably any city in the world. In fact there is so much to see, you would need at least two weeks to see just the well-known attractions.

Much can be seen on foot so bring some good walking shoes. If you plan on staying for a few days it might pay to take an open top bus around the City first . This is a 2 hour trip and any bus can be picked up anywhere on the circuit. This will allow you to see the main attractions from the outside first, and afterwards you can decide if you want to see them in detail.

If you want to read up about London’s sights before you arrive, and to avoid walking around with your nose in a book, I would recommend the DK Eye Witness 2018 edition available on Amazon. It’s well written and designed, and just enough information for a short visit. For current entertainment, theatre, film, events etc I would recommend a weekly issue of the magazine Time Out. It‘s very informative but beware, the content can be quite broad-minded .

Here is a recommended list and if you need to know anything more, they all have websites for detailed description, opening times etc.

Main attractions

Westminster Abbey
Houses of Parliament
Westminster Hall
Buckingham Palace (closed but Royal Mews and Queens gallery open)
St Paul’s Cathedral
Tower of London (take river boat)
Tower Bridge (some think this is London Bridge)

Other attractions

Apsley House (Duke of Wellington residence)
Wallace Collection (one of the world’s finest collections of art)
London Eye (best aeriel view of central London)
St Pancras station (stunning Gothic architecture)
The Rose Playhouse ( identical copy of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre)
Old Curiosity Shop (maybe the original from Dickens’ novel


It might take nearly a month to see all this. The secret is not to do too much and to plan it geographically, so that you are not crossing town, only to have to go back on yourself. If walking is too much, use the Underground (Tube). Traffic is bad during the day in London and black cabs inefficient and expensive, although a good way to see London while you are travelling across town. Uber is also a good alternative.

Shopping

Covent Garden (beautiful Georgian market place)
Burlington Arcade and Royal Opera arcade (classic Victorian shopping arcade)
Liberty’s
Harrods
Fortnum and Mason
Oxford Street (popular)
Bond Street (smart)
Tea at the Ritz Hotel (classic British indulgence - book ahead)

Markets

Portobello (Antiques)
Berwick Street (salt of the earth London street traders)
Borough Market (ethnic variety, great atmosphere)
Leadenhall Market (site of old Roman Forum)
Camden Lock (large shopping market place)
Shepherd’s Market (good for small restaurants)

Pubs

There are hundreds of old pubs in London, nearly all have a great welcoming atmosphere, but the more well-known ones are:
Ye Olde Cheddar Cheese (Fleet St)
The Jamaica (City)
The Anchor (Southwak)
The George (Borough)
The Coach and Horses (Bohemian Soho)
Fox and Anchor (Smithfield meat market traders pub-excellent British breakfast from 7.00 am)
Lamb and Flag (Covent Garden-very old).
(The best way to enjoy pubs is just to try the nearest one, but bring your drinking boots, you’ll need them)

Entertainment/Concert Halls

Royal Opera House (book well ahead)
Albert Hall (book well ahead)
Coliseum (English National Opera)
Queen Elizabeth Hall
Theatre. (Approximately 25 main theatres in central London showing some of the most exciting plays and musicals in the world)

Art galleries and museums

Royal Academy (Home of British artists)
National Gallery (the nation’s collection)
Tate Britain ( also nation’s collection)
Tate Modern (modern art and sculpture
British Museum (World culture and history)
Victoria and Albert museum (global design and classic sculpture)
Somerset House and the Courtaulds collection (excellent collection of Impressionist Art)

Parks

London is blessed with hundreds of parks. The central ones, which are huge horticultural delights, are
Hyde Park
St James’ Park
Regents Park (London Zoo)

Military and Naval:

Imperial War Museum
Household Cavalry and Guards museums
Army and Navy museum
National Maritime museum (Greenwich as in GMT- 4 miles west of centre)

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