London is a unique location for a city break. From fascinating historical architecture to cutting edge cultural treats and world-famous nightlife, London is a world capital combining modernity and heritage in equal abandon.
The central hub
London is separated by the River Thames and many of both its historic and modern attractions are within short walking distance from its shores. A morning spent wandering around the Tudor King Henry VIII’s Hampton Court palace and it luscious grounds in the south west can be followedby a slow meander down-river into the heart of the action. There you will find Westminster Bridge, the Houses of Parliament, and the iconic Big Ben. Walking north you can take in Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, and the National Gallery, before taking a late lunch in China Town or the gastronomic Soho. With the London Eye, Tate Modern, and Imperial War Museum a short walk or bus ride away, London will be your oyster.
London has shopping facilities for all budgets and interests. Smithfield Meat Market has stood for centuries and is worth a visit for anyone wanting to connect with the Ancient City’s heritage; get there early before 7am to see a historic tradition in full swing (and maybe pick up supper). Portobello market and Brick Lane cater for fashionistas looking for the London look, whilst Mayfair and Oxford Street house up-market fashion boutiques from Topshop to Saville Row suit makers.Harrods is a British institution and worth a wander just for the experience.
London is a world capital which is reflected in its cuisine. Brick Lane is home to a large Bangladeshi community who offer the best curry in the city; be sure to get your bartering boots on as you can negotiate great deals with the restaurant managers who stand onthe street enticing people in. Fish and chips are an absolute must and people in the know head to The Golden Hind in Marylebone; get there early as its gets extremely busy and is always a good place to see celebrities. For more special occasions, London has numerous Michelin-starred hotel restaurants offering classic French, Indian and modernBritish cuisine; highlights include Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley, Gordon Ramsey’s host of restaurants, and Simon Rogan who has just taken over at Claridges.
The City’s lungs are dotted all over, with the deer-laden Richmond Park in the West to Primrose Hill in the North with its second-to-none views of the City, a great place for a romantic evening walk. Hampstead Heath is packed in the summer months and is a great place to spend an afternoon in the sun, but remember to take your swimming costume to enjoy the outdoor pools. St James’s park is centrally located, stunningly maintained and is a gateway to the majesty of Westminster Abbey.
A sense of history
History buffs are spoilt for choice. London is the only City in the world where you can wander round Westminster Abbey in the morning and then head to the streets of Whitechapel for a guided tour of the Jack the Ripper hotspots. With world class art galleries, Royal Palaces, and free museums, London is a world capital with something to offer all tastes.
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