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Top events this winter:
  • Scythians: warriors of ancient Siberia
    British Museum
    (until 14 January 2018)
     
  
   
 
     
     

      

           

     
 
     




 





British Museum
 
British Museum

In the West End, just 5 minutes from Oxford Street, the British Museum is the oldest public musem in the world dating from 1753, with treasures which  cover two milllion years of history and civilisations from Ancient Egypt to the Japan of today. Admission is free.
Be sure not to miss the magnificent Reading Room in the Great Court, designed by the architect Norman Foster and once frequented by Marx, Ghandi and G.B. Shaw.

 Tottenham Court Road





National Gallery
 
National Gallery

Heading southwards through busy Soho you reach Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery with its permanent exhibition of more than 2000 paintings from the early Italian Renaissance to the Impressionists of the 1800s plus special temporary exhibitions by the great masters. There is no charge for admission.

Behind the Gallery you find the National Portait Gallery with portraits from the 1500s to the present day.

 Charing Cross





The Royal Academy & Tate Britain
 


Along Piccadilly you will find the Royal Academy holding special exhibtions by the great artists while along the Thames Tate Britain has the largest collection in the world of British artists from the 1600s to the present day.

 Green Park/Pimlico





Tate Modern
 


Modern art is on display across the Thames at Tate Modern on the South Bank with one of the most important collections of modern and contemporary art in the world. There is free admission.

Besides its permanent collection Tate Modern holds special exhibitions of modern and new artists.

 Southwark





Natural History Museum
 


The Natural History Museum, dating from 1881, presents the evolution of all the species and the Earth itself.

This Victorian structure exhibits lifelike models from dinosaurs from millions of years ago to the blue whale of our times. As with most of London's museums admission is free.

 South Kensington





Science Museum
 


The Science Museum exhibits a vast collection of scientific and technological inventions from the steam engine to the latest aircraft and provides an insight into what  may be in store in the future.

Its seven floors offer many different examples  of interactive technology.

 South Kensington





Victoria & Albert Museum
 


The Victoria and Albert Museum has the world's largest collection of art and design, 11 kilometres of exhibits on six floors, with objects from early Christianity to furniture design of the latest generation.

You should not miss the Photography Gallery with a constantly updated exhibition stretching from 1856 up to the present day.

 South Kensington





Theatreland
 


As well as offering so many places in which to eat and drink the West End is theatreland.
London is the world theatre capital with the widest possible selection of entertainment:
  • from Shakespeare at the Globe Theatre on the South Bank to the “Mousetrap” of Agatha Christie which boasts over 60 years of daily performances, from  Harold Pinter to Andrew Lloyd Webber.
     
  • American musicals like Chicago and Jersey Boys, music from Pink Floyd to world class opera at Covent Garden.
     
  • classical music at the Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank.
     
  • shows and concerts at innumerable other venues.
The standard of performance at shows and plays is so high that top stars of British and foreign cinema consider themselves  privileged to do a season on the London stage. 

 Southwark/Covent Garden/Leicester Square/High Street Kensington/Waterloo





From Madame Tussauds to Sherlock Holmes
 


The world famous Madame Tussauds Wax Museum houses the most popular (and most notorious) characters of history and contemporary times.

Next to this museum you will find the Planetarium where you can take a spectacular journey through the solar system with detailed models of planets and spacecraft.

Just a short walk away fans of Conan Doyle will find the Sherlock Holmes Museum where you can visit Holmes' apartment.

 Baker Street






The Tower of London & Tower Bridge
 


With 900 years of history The Tower of London was once a prison for traitors who were tortured and executed on nearby Tower Hill.

In 1097 the White Tower was the tallest construction in London

Today the Tower holds the Crown Jewels, guarded by the Beefeaters and the other residents, the ravens. In front of the Tower you can see Tower Bridge, constructed in Victorian London, and today one of the most famous symbols of the city.

 Tower Hill





The London Eye
 


The London Eye is located on the Thames near Waterloo Station and across the river from Big Ben and Parliament. The London Eye has 32 cabins which slowly rotate offering the best panoramic view of London.

 Waterloo





Big Ben and Parliament
 


Across the river you can see Big Ben, probably London's most famous landmark and the Houses of Parliament.

Big Ben's name derives from the  Commissioner of Works, Sir Benjamin Hall, commissioned to erect the bell in 1858. This is the biggest clock in the United Kingdom and it has kept perfect time since it was erected. The chimes of Big Ben are heard daily on BBC Radio. Once known as the Palace of Westminster originating in 1512, the present structure, the Houses of Parliament, was designed by the Victorian architect, Sir Charles Barry.

 Westminster





Trafalgar Square
 


Trafalgar Square, popular day and night, separates theatreland and the London night life from the more sober public buildings which lead to Scotland Yard, Parliament and Buckingham Palace.

As well as the National Gallery on the north side, you should visit the famous old church of St Martin-in-the-Fields on the east side of the square. This has been the site of a church since the 13th century and the present church was finished in 1726.
In this church you will find the tombs of Nell Gwynne, lover of Charles II and of the painters William Hogarth and Joshua Reynolds.

Nelson's Column dominates the square and as well as being the site of political demonstrations is London's main venue for the New Year celebrations.

 Charing Cross





Leicester Square
 


Besides Hogarth and Reynolds, the scientist Isaac Newton lived in Leicester Square which has long been a fashionable, popular part of the city centre..

Today the square throbs night and day and is the location of the famous Odeon Cinema, presenting the world premierès of blockbuster films attended by the most famous film stars.

Chinatown is attached to Leicester Square and continues to flourish, distinguishable by the exotic aromas of its restaurants and stores.

 Leicester Square





Piccadilly Circus
 


Piccadilly Circus is the focal point of the West End and the statue of Eros is another international symbol of London.

Soho starts here, an area of theatres, pubs, clubs, international restaurants and where people congregate until the small hours. A visit to the bars and pubs of Old Compton Street is an eye-opening experience, but only for the broad-minded ...

On the other side of Regent Street, you enter the most luxurious part of London, Mayfair, and in the street called Piccadilly, Fortnum & Mason have sold  luxury food products for 300 years. In Mayfair you will find the most prestigious hotels and exclusive clubs in London.


South of Piccadilly is the exclusive quarter of St James's  leading to St James's Park and Buckingham Palace.

 Piccadilly Circus





Buckingham Palace
 


Buckingham Palace is the office and the residence of the British monarch.

Queen Victoria was the first monarch to reside here but it had already been transformed into a royal palace in the 1820s. The State Rooms are open to the public during the summer and about 300 people work here.

 Green Park





Covent Garden
 


Covent Garden was once a run down part of the centre with squallid little streets and warehouses and was famous principally for its fruit and vegetable market.

It has undergone a renaissance in the last few years and has been transformed into one of the most fashionable and popular parts of central London.
Its Piazza is always crowded today with its elegant shops, its characteristic pubs, bars and restaurants and is popular also for the talented street performers who entertain the public in the square.
Naturally the square is best known as the site of the eponymous opera house.

 Covent Garden





St Paul's Cathedral
 


St Paul's Cathedral reconstructed after the great fire of 1666 by the great architect Sir Christopher Wren, is impressive both externally and internally and has long been the venue for historic events, such as the wedding of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer in 1981.

 St Paul's





Westminster Abbey
 


The site of the original abbey which is now Westminster Abbey dates from the 10th century while the present structure has its origins in the 13th century.

The abbey holds the tombs of monarchs of both past and more recent times and is the scene of coronations and other royal ceremonies.

 Westminster





The Shard & Gherkin
 


Monuments which represent the London of present day London include the Gherkin of the architect Sir Norman Foster and the Shard of Renzo Piano which, inaugurated during the 2012 London Olympics, is today the tallest building in Western Europe.

 London Bridge/Bank





St Pancras & The British Library
 


The new station of St Pancras is worth a visit with its classic Gothic exterior contrasting with the new shopping mall inside its 21st century interior. The station, next door to King's Cross Station, recently became London's Eurostar Terminal

Next to St Pancras the enormous British Library holds almost every book ever printed in the United Kingdom, more than 16 million books and its museum  exhibits many original ancient manuscripts 

 King's Cross St. Pancras





Chinatown
 


The Chinese community has been in London since the 19th century and moved to its present site in Gerrard Street in Soho in the 1950s.

It maintains its oriental atmosphere and customs and besides the typical restaurants, you will find here traditional Chinese shops and supermarkets

 Leicester Square





Central London parks
 


Hyde Park has been a royal park since medieval times. Once used by the royal family for hunting, it was opened to the public in the 1600s. Today it is the location for music concerts with performances by world famous artists but it is also used by Londoners who  relax under the trees and by the Serpentine lake during their summer lunch breaks.

The enchanting Kensington Gardens are a western extension of Hyde Park and have a small navigable lake, decorative fountains and even a dogs' cemetery. To the south, Hyde Park is separated by Hyde Park Corner from Green Park and Buckingham Palace.

Regents Park, to the north of Oxford Street  became a park in 1812, It was planned as a zone of villas and gardens and in fact today is surrounded by the most elegant houses.
In the summer it is the site of the Open Air Theatre with performances of Shakespeare plays and since 1812 has been the location of London Zoo.

 Hyde Park Corner/Queensway
/Regent's Park





Outside central London.....
 
Richmond

 


Richmond in the west part of London has the feel of a country town, with its little streets, the Green and pubs along the Thames.
This lovely area of London has long been home to celebrities of stage and cinema.

Take a walk up Richmond Hill until you reach Richmond Park, with its wide open spaces stretching towards central London and many species of wild life including the royal deer.





Kew Gardens
 


One stop from Richmond on the Underground, or a pleasant walk takes you to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, a beautiful oasis of plants and probably the most complete public garden in the world..

Here you will find trees and plants from all corners of the globe as you stroll along Kew's paths and through the greenhouses.





Hampstead
 


To the north of the city lies Hampstead, like Richmond a village inside the  metropolis but with a unique atmosphere created by the  delightful little streets, historic buildings and, of course, its characteristic pubs..

A stroll on Hampstead Heath is an enchanting way to escape from the noise of the city.

Next to Hampstead Heath you will find the magnificent Kenwood House, now a museum with paintings by Vermeer, Turner and other masters.

 Hampstead





Highgate Cemetery
 


Walking through nearby Highgate Cemetery you come across the tomb of Karl Marx and other renowned past figures.

 Archway





Hampton Court
 


Hampton Court Palace, a half-hour train ride from Waterloo, was constructed in 1514 and was the residence of Henry VIII and also Oliver Cromwell after the civil war. The palace is a harmonious mix of Tudor and Baroque and visitors can admire the  Great Hall of Henry VIII and the apartments with furniture of the period and paintings of the Royal Collection.

The surrounding gardens and maze are lovely and well worth a visit..





Windsor
 


Windsor Castle is one of the main residences of Queen Elizabeth II.

You can reach  Windsor in 45 minutes from London Waterloo. This pretty town, with its lovely medieval streets is dominated by the castle.

Take time to visit nearby Windsor Great Park, still used by the royal family today and not far away is Runnymede, historic site of the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215.


 
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