London has many different boroughs and neighbourhoods; each offering a unique experience of the city! Each time i visit London, I try to make sure I explore different areas and catch a few West End shows.
Some of the most popular areas that we find worth a visit;
Covent Garden: Covent Garden is one of the most popular areas of the city with some of the best theatres, fashion and beauty stores. Look out for Neal street which is a shoe lover’s wonderland. I loved visiting the stores of ladies UK fashion labels Hobbs and Karen Millen. My daughter loved visiting H&M, Urban Outfitters, Benjamin Pollock’s Toy Shop and Pineapple
SoHo: Central London is an exciting part of the city and a great place for entertainment with pubs, jazz and blues bars and the heart of London’s gay scene. You can expect to find the whos who partying in SoHo.
Westminster: The tourist centre of London, sights include the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey.
Kensington + Chelsea: This neighbourhood is home to some of London’s most posh shops and luxurious residents. It’s also home to Notting Hill, which has become an up-and-coming, trendy neighbourhood.
Camden: Famous for being the alternative centre of London where hippies and punks tread the streets together. It is home to a lively mix of music venues, markets, eateries, tattoo parlours and boutiques.
The City of London: The City is home to London’s biggest skyscrapers and financial district. Also located here and worth visiting are St Paul’s Cathedral, The Tower of London and Museum of London, Barbican Theatre and Guildhall School of Music and Drama .
Westminster: The tourist centre of London, sights include the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and across the bridge, The London Eye.
Shoreditch: London’s creative and trendy hub in the East End. You can find great food, nightlife, street art, and vintage shopping.
Helpful Transport Tip: The Tube is an easy way to get around London although note that most of the Tube maps look deceptive and stations are actually a lot closer together than they look. Refer to the handy map with walking distances between stations that will help you decide whether it’s worth the wait for the train or quicker to walk.
London is a big city and getting across from East to West can take time.
The Tube: The best way to get around London is the Underground, or “the Tube.” You can even take the Tube from Heathrow Airport (LHR) into the city centre. which I would recommend. It is easy to navigate and you can get to all the sights you’ll want to see. Be sure to buy an Oyster card that you can reload and use on both the Tube and city buses.
Bus: The bus system is a great way to visit major London sights while going from one place to another. You can use your Oyster card on the network.
Taxis: London’s “black cabs” are found across London and do run off a meter although can be costly.
Hop on Hop off bus tour: There are several companies that operate this service and its a really great way to see London from the roof top of an open air bus. We have used both Golden Tours, Big Bus Tours and The Original Tours.
You can purchase a 24-hour, 48-hour ticket or 72 hour pass and enjoy unlimited travel around London in that period. Plus, get a free walking tour and a free river tour included with your bus ticket.
The buses cover many different routes with over 70 stops, and a great opportunity to see London’s most famous places. You can hop on and off as many times as you want, giving you the chance to explore areas and sights in more detail.
On the hop-on-hop-off tour, you will see and explore:
- Tower of London
- Buckingham Palace
- Westminster Abbey
- Oxford Street & Regent Street
- Shakespeare’s Globe
- St Paul’s Cathedral
- Trafalgar Square
Buses depart every five to 10 minutes from the main tourist points, and every 15 to 20 minutes elsewhere.
SOME OF OUR SPECIAL PLACES
Open from Wednesday’s to Sunday’s and London’s biggest market which has been going for 1000 years. Here you will find local artisans of all food related produce. My favourite things here were the speciality cheeses, mushrooms, truffles and fresh seafood where oysters are so fresh and shucked to order.
HARRY POTTER STUDIOS TOUR
For Harry Potter fans, a must on your BUCKET LIST when visiting London. The Studio was home for over 10 years to the cast and crew during the making of the Harry Potter films. The studios are located a 45 minute drive out of London and tours can be pre-booked, make sure you book well in advance as tours book out months in advance. This is where you get to see how the movies were filmed, some sets, props and special effects tricks. Be prepared to spend a minimum of at least 4 hours during your visit.
CHRISTIAN DIOR EXHIBITION AT V&A MUSEUM
Like all museums in London, V&A Museum is free to enter, although special exhibitions do charge a fee. We were lucky enough to visit the Christian Dior and Mary Quant exhibitions in August. You could easily spend a full day here exploring all the collections. The best way of seeing the museum is to start with the top 20 museum items in their collection. TIPS – If the special exhibition is booked out you can become an annual member and gain entry and pack a picnic lunch to enjoy in the gardens.
SHAKEPEARE’S GLOBE – LONDON
The Globe is a world-renowned performing arts venue and home to the Globe Theatre and Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. It is a reconstruction of the Globe Theatre an Elizabethan playhouse for which William Shakespeare wrote his plays, and located in the London Borough of Southwark. on the south bank of the Thames. The original theatre was built in 1599, destroyed by fire in 1613, rebuilt in 1614, and then demolished in 1644. The modern Globe Theatre is an academic approximation based on available evidence of the 1599 and 1614 buildings.
Executive Travel Management