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London

Arriving in London

London has five major airports - Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton and London City airport. Most airports in London (even Heathrow) are quite a distance from the centre of the city. Taxis from London airports are quite expensive, however you can organise an airport transfer from one of our sister websites, which will be much cheaper. There are also bus and train services from each airport but subject to availability. Upon your arrival in the United Kingdom, you will have to pass through customs. Visitors, which are not member of the EU or Commonwealth will need a Visa.


London Tourist Attractions

London is one of the great tourist destinations of the world, and there is an unlimited supply of things to see and do. One could live here for years and not see it all, but here is a partial list of suggestions of the main attractions worth your time.

Banqueting House
Designed and built in 1622 by the renowned architect Inigo Jones as part of the Whitehall Palace, the Hall is the only part that survived the fire in 1698. It boasts magnificent ceilings painted by Rubens and is usually open to the public, except when in use for a state banquet or concert. (Westminster)

Bluewater
Bluewater shopping centre occupies 240 exciting acres, with over 320 shops and restaurants plus a 12 screen multiplex cinema, three unique leisure villages and breathtaking civic architecture. Bluewater could not be easier to get to, being the hub of an extensive transport network, and offering 13 000 free parking spaces. There is always something special happening at Bluewater - find out for yourself what the ultimate shopping experience is like.


British Museum

London visiting-england.comIt is perhaps the greatest museum in the world and the entry is even free (donation is requested). They have a huge collection of ancient artefacts including a spectacular Egyptian section and the famous and controversial Elgin Marbles – the collection of friezes and statues from the Parthenon in Greece. There is also a book shop, children’s gift shop and general gift shop. On December, 6th 2000 her Majesty The Queen conducted the opening of the spectacular Great Court, which is a 100 million pound project in the centre of the Museum building. (Holborn)


Brixton Market

On weekends the well named Electric Avenue comes alive with a Caribbean atmosphere and masses of fresh fruit, exotic vegetables, music, food and flowers. (Brixton)

Buckingham Palace

Besides being the official London residence of The Queen, Buckingham Palace is also the busy administrative headquarters of the monarchy and has probably the most famous and easily recognisable façade of any building in the world.London visiting-england.com Visitors are allowed access by an organised tour to some areas of the Palace.
The famous Changing of the Guard ceremony takes place in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace at 11.30 every day in summer, every other day in winter, and lasts about 45 minutes.

Camden market
This is the biggest of London’s markets with a seemingly endless array of shoes, clothes, antiques, second-hand and retro clothing, bootlegs and more. You should definitely visit it. (Camden Town)


China town
It is also known as Tong Yan Kai. You will love the food and atmosphere! (Leicester Square)


Covent Garden
What used to be a fruit and vegetable market has been transformed into a charming shopping centre with lots of different boutiques, shops and restaurants, as well as street performers, theatres and the piazza. (Covent Garden)

Downing Street
Home of the Prime Minister at Number 10. Since the end of the street was fenced off in the 1980’s there has been no direct public access. (Charing Cross)


Globe Theatre
It is a recreation of the London theatre which was built in the seventeenth century. There are regular performances from May to September and the audience can experience Elizabethan theatre in an authentic setting. The exhibition tells the story of the rebuilding of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. (London Bridge)


Greenwich
Here is the home of the Royal Observatory, lovely gardens, a vibrant weekend arts, craft and antiques market and the centre of Greenwich Mean Time. Also built here was the ship Cutty Sark accomplished in 1869, a maritime historical wonder. River cruises leave from Westminster Pier every half-hour from 10am to 4pm. (Westminster)

Millennium Dome
The Dome opened to the public on New Year’s day 2000. It is divided into zones looking at what is important to the people of Britain. Educational and fun, the Body Zone (including an escalator ride to a giant beating heart) sis proved to be a hit, unfortunately it is now closed.

Millennium Wheel (London eye)
London visiting-england.comThis giant Ferris wheel is the biggest in the world and at 200 metres high it’s taller than Big Ben. It offers a fabulous view of London. Each capsule accommodates 25 people and a full circuit of the wheel takes 30 minutes.


Hampton court palace
Outside of London, this is the grandest Tudor residence in England. Built for Cardinal Wolsey it was presented to Henry VIII who used it as a royal residence. The hallway leading to the Royal Chapel is rumoured to be haunted by the ghost of Anne Boleyn. King William of Orange and Queen Mary frequently used the Palace and had Christopher Wren design for their extensions. The palace is justly famous for its beautiful architecture, sumptuous interiors, formal gardens and maze. (Surrey)

Harrods
Much more than just a shop, Harrods is one of the most famous stores in the world, although it may also be the most expensive! The interior décor is stunning, particularly the famous Egyptian escalator. The food halls are magnificent. Please note that backpacks are not allowed in the store. (Knightsbridge)

Highgate Cemetery
A beautiful old cemetery with lots of ivy, vines and ancient graves. The cemetery is divided into two parts. The West cemetery is accessible only by guided tour and is said to have been inspirational to Bram Stoker when he was writing Dracula. It includes the magnificent Egyptian Avenue. An entry fee is payable to both parts of the cemetery but you can wander freely through the East cemetery. Among the famous graves is a formidable monument for Karl Marx. (Highgate)

Big Ben & Houses of Parliament
The home of British parliament is a superbLondon visiting-england.com piece of neogothic architecture. Visitors can attend sittings of the House of Commons to get a glimpse of democracy in action. The bell in the clock tower next to Westminster Bridge is the real Big Ben, although most people think it is the name of the clock. Its famous chimes sound out the quarter hours and the bell tolls on the hour. (Westminster)

Kensington Market
Punk/Gothic/Techno supplies, closed Sundays. (Kensington High Street)

Kensington Palace & Gardens
The Palace is the birthplace of Queen Victoria, the London home of Princess Margaret and the last residence of Princess Diana. Tours are available through some of the rooms and tea and treats can be purchased in the Orangery. The palace is attached to the beautiful Kensington Gardens which join Hyde Park. (Queensway or High Street Kensington)


Kew Gardens
London visiting-england.comThe Royal Botanic Gardens offer beautiful Victorian gardens, spectacular greenhouses and rare plants. (Kew Gardens)


Kew palace
The smallest Royal palace is situated in the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.


Leicester square
Here is the centre for cinemas and some theatres and the home of a popular half-price ticket booth. (Leicester Square)

London Dungeon
Well done horror museum, featuring the history of London's plagues, tyranny and torture. There is also a good Jack the Ripper exhibit. (London Bridge)

London Zoo
One of the oldest zoos in the world is located in Regents Park. While architecturally significant, unfortunately most of the zoo was constructed at a time that the prime aim of zoos was to show off the animals with little regard for their comfort or well-being. The aim now is conservation and education and the zoo works towards both quite admirably. (Baker St/Camden Town)

Madame Tussauds
Since 1802, this Wax Museum has been attracting the crowds. The displays include replicas of sporting greats, entertainment celebrities and members of the Royal Family. A particularly gruesome Chamber of Horrors is also featured but not recommended for the faint-hearted. (Baker Street)

National Gallery
It is facing Trafalgar Square and one of the world’s best art galleries. Get in for free entry (donation requested) and find a wonderful gift shop. The gallery houses a magnificent collection of paintings from 1260 to 1920, including many classics like the Sunflowers of Vincent van Gogh. (Charing Cross)

Oxford street
That is the famous shopping streets with big store names and department stores including Selfridges and the flagship store for Marks & Spencer. (Oxford Circus)


Regent street
This is another famous shopping street featuring the beautiful Liberty store. (Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus)


Po/london.asprtobello road
At London’s famous Notting Hill weekend market antiques, handmade gifts and lots of clothes are sold. This market can be very busy on both Saturday and Sunday. (Notting Hill Gate or Ladbroke Grove)

Queens Residence
Explore the Queen's London residence. A selection of rooms is opened to the public in August and September. The changing of the guard ceremony still takes place every day at 11:30am from April to July and every second day for the rest of the year. (Green Park)

Rock circus
Enjoy wax models of famous pop and rock stars plus animatronic performances. (Piccadilly Circus)

Soho
Here is the place for dining in London with a truly huge choice of restaurants. Find also plenty of clubs, pubs and shops. Soho’s reputation for showing London’s more seamy side is also evidenced by the presence of strip joints and sex shops. (Piccadilly Circus)


St. Paul's Cathedral

Christopher Wren's masterpiece built afterLondon visiting-england.com the previous cathedral was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666. The cathedral is an architectural masterpiece with an enormous dome. To reach some of the best views of London visitors can ascend 530 steps to the Stone Gallery. (St. Paul's or Mansion House)

Tate Gallery
This gallery displays only a small part of its large collection of British and modern art, that is why pieces are regularly rotated. Pre-Raphaelite masterpieces along with works by Blake, Hogarth, Constable and Turner make this a must see for anyone interested in British art. The gallery also boasts a very fine gift shop and basement café. (Pimlico)

Tower of London
Originally built by William the Conqueror this ancient fortress has stood guard over London for more London visiting-england.com than 900 years. Its many famous prisoners have included Mary Queen of Scots, Elizabeth I, Sir Walter Raleigh, Anne Boleyn and Rudolph Hess, many of whom ended their stay there by being beheaded. It is the Crown Jewels’ and the famous ravens’ home. (Tower Hill)

Tower Bridge
Just a little over 100 years old and one of London’s most famous landmarks the bridgeLondon visiting-england.com crosses the Thames next to the Tower of London. The bridge can be raised for the passage of river traffic. The tower Bridge Experience takes you inside the bridge to see the engine room and up onto the walkways for a fabulous view over London. (Tower Hill)

Westminster Abbey
A spectacular and ancient church, where many kings, queens, churchmen, statesmen and famous writers are buried. The tombs of Queen Elizabeth I and Lady Margaret Beaufort are not to be missed. There are so many stunning chapels and tombs that it can be slightly overwhelming. Don’t leave without visiting the Chapter House and the College Garden. (Westminster)

Windsor Castle
Just outside of London, this is the most famous home of the Royal Family.

Walking Tours
Some popular walking tours include:
COCKNEY WALKS 0208-504-9159
HISTORICAL WALKS 0208-668-4019
Operating the famous Dickens London Walk, among others do:
ORIGINAL LONDON WALKS 0207-624-3978
They have many popular walks including Jack the Ripper, Shakespeare's London,
and various pub crawls.

Boat trips
Boat trips along the Thames offer excellent views to the city from the river, and often go to other points like Greenwich. Main companies operate from:
TOWER PIER 0207-488-0344
WESTMINSTER PIER 0207-930-4097
CATAMARAN CRUISES -Charring Cross Pier 0207-925-2215


Bus Tours
The following organizations offer a sightseeing tour on their double decker buses. Those are highly recommended for first time visitors.
LONDON COACHES SIGHTSEEING TOUR 0208-877-1722
Departs from Marble Arch, Victoria Station, Baker Station and Piccadilly Circus.
LONDON PRIDE BUS CO. 01708-631-122
For more information, call London Travel Information
0207-222-1234
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