At one point in history, London was the largest city in the world. While it has relinquished that title, London still remains at the forefront of “the world’s great cities”. London’s celebration of its dazzling history combines with its 21st Century hospitality to engage and entertain visitors from around the world.
From the arts to sports, from fashion to film to finance, London offers the world traveler a multitude of options… the only problem is choosing which options to see!
As Europe’s largest city, London is host to more than 25 millions visitors a year; yet, it is never too crowded to be enjoyable. There is always time for tea and a leisurely stroll through London’s famous parks and boroughs. Popular destinations abound including theatres, concert halls, shops, restaurants, sports venues, world famous landmarks and hundreds of restaurants with cuisine from around the world.
Part of the English charm is the fondness for children (of all ages) and this is reflected in the wide variety of attractions that will appeal to any youngster. Zoos, rides, arcades, museums, theatres and music attractions are just some of these.
Millions of visitors from around the globe attest to the continuing popularity of shopping at Harrods’s, visiting the Tower of London, recalling childhood nursery rhymes at the site of London Bridge, touring Buckingham Palace and the Parliament building, and reliving the glories of the vast expanse of the British Empire while enjoying the animals native to these regions at the London Zoo.
Evenings begin with dinners at restaurants found in dozens of ethnic neighborhoods across London, continue with an evening at the theatre or the London Symphony, and a late evening stop in a neighborhood “public house” for a refresher before the last bell sounds.
Numerous guided and self-guided tours emanate from London to the surrounding countryside, serving destinations such as Greenwich Observatory, Stratford-on-Avon and farther on to western England, Scotland and Wales. Many visitors also plan a quick round-trip on the “Chunnel”, the undersea tube connecting England with France. No visit to London would be complete without a ride on the famous “double-decker” buses.
It would take a lifetime to see everything that London has to offer. Perhaps that is why so many visitors regard each trip to London as a “once in a lifetime experience” and return often. Once you visit this “Queen of all cities”, you may agree!
Things to do
Open early August to late September.
For recorded information, 799-2331
18 rooms are available to view including the Throne Room. The famous changing of the Palace Guard is at 1130am daily during the summer months (on alternate days during the rest of the year).
Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury
Monday-Saturday 10am-5 pm, Sunday 2:30 to 6 pm. Guided tours Monday-Saturday at 10:45 am,
94 galleries contain the world’s finest collection of antiquities. The depth of each gallery and the variety of attractions is almost overpowering.
Closes at midnight.
Some 360 acres of landscaped park, tree-lined avenues and lakes in the heart of the city attract visitors from around the world. Sunday mornings find street-corner orators is fine form at Speaker’s Corner near Marble Arch.
935-6861 (call for times, which vary by season)
Travel on a journey to the stars, guided by world-celebrated experts. The Spirit of London ride is a fascinating attraction and is updated frequently.
Chessington World Of Adventure And Zoo
Chessington, Surrey (one-half hour from London’s Waterloo Station by train)
This 65-acre theme park offers rides and attractions galore. Think…Disney and think all ages!
This multi-attraction entertainment complex is popular with everyone, especially teenagers.
Call for times and prices, which vary.
Planet Hollywood restaurant (phone 287-1000) offers dining amidst the film world’s glamour.
Sega World (phone 734-2777) puts video game players in the center of the action.
Rock Circus (phone 734-7203) portrays the royalty of rock stars in wax.
Alien War (phone 437-2678) is a multimedia monster experience.
Imaginator (phone 437-5723) offers stomach-wrenching rides.
Virtual World (phone 494-1492) is a virtual reality system second to none.
London dates its history back to the Roman Empire. The “London Wall” of nursery rhyme survives to this day, albeit in fragments. A self-guided tour along the 1.5-mile walk is aided by explanatory plaques along the route. The walk stretches from the Museum of London to the Tower of London, offering unique history at every step.
London Zoo And Regent’S Park
Off Marylebone Road near Baker Street.
Open 7 am until dusk
The London Zoo, one of the world’s great zoos, is found in Regent’s Park. Zoo features include a children’s zoo, a reptile house and more. Other attractions in the Park include a rose garden, a mosque, areas for boating and tennis, and an outdoor theatre.
Monday-Friday 10 am-6 pm, Saturday and Sunday 9:30 am-7: 30 pm
Over two million liters of water house an incredible number and variety of aquatic creatures. Thousands of species are represented in a number of extensive marine habitats. The London Aquarium has rightfully earned its reputation as a world-class attraction.
Daily 9 am-5: 30 pm
Wax statues of the world’s most famous (and infamous) citizens throughout history line the galleries of this famous attraction. Recent innovations include interactive areas. Note: The popular Chamber of Horrors (murderers in history) may be too intense for some younger children.
Museum Of London
London Wall, City of London
Tuesday-Saturday 10 am-6 pm, Sunday noon-6 pm
A visit to this attraction is like reading the life story of London. Various stages of London’s extensive history are shown in the many rooms and galleries.
28-34 Tooley St.
April-September daily 10 am-6 pm, October-March closes 5:30 pm
Live actors and various realistic tableaux recreate the hard and seamy life of the underside of London in its past days. Historic representations of the tortures in the Tower and Old Gaol join Jack the Ripper. Not recommended for the faint of heart or for younger children.
Royal Botanic Gardens
Kew Road, Richmond, Surrey (in the West of London)
Daily 9:30 am-5: 30 pm. Glasshouse closes 4:45 pm
Many of the plants here were first planted in the 17th and 18th centuries, including more than a few that were sent back home to London from England’s colonies overseas. The Gardens cover more than 300 acres and the world-famous hothouses maintain a staggering variety of warm-weather and tropical species. Other attractions in the Gardens include a pagoda, an aquatic gardens and a scenic lake.