Choosing where to stay and which realms of London to explore can often be the most stressful and time-consuming aspect of city breaks to London. One of the best options is to base yourself in one of the comfortable and luxurious Central London hotels, allowing you a conveniently-located base for heading north, south, east and west and capturing the myriad of attractions located across London.
From shops and restaurants to grand landmarks and historic bridges – transporting from retail-friendly areas to those boasting some of London’s top sites is made easy by the wonderful public transport system. A short hop down to the iconic River Thames will expose you to the grandeur of Westminster and the captivating history found around Tower Bridge. The former is the seat of the UK parliament and is home to famous sites including Big Ben, The Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and Westminster Palace, while the latter, located by the City, has an engrossing past and is one of the most exciting and engaging attractions to visit during city breaks in London.
While the west isn’t considered as trendy as those scallywags out in the east, there are some fantastic sites around the eastern districts of London that omit important artistic heritage. Back in the cultural centre, visitors should try and walk the stretch from Marble Arch down to Buckingham Palace during city breaks to London, strolling beside Hyde Park on Park Lane and stumbling across the palace through the tranquillity of Green Park. The parks encompass one of the most relaxing and scenically-beautiful areas of London, as well as being a mere stone’s throw from the grand palace of the Royal Family.
First-time visitors are likely to be overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of London attractions on offer. The city boasts an array of world-class art, theatre, dining, and a rich and varied history; ensuring that the biggest decision visitors will encounter is where exactly to start. An obvious place to begin would be Buckingham Palace and Westminster which sit within comfortable walking distance of each other and the Royal Parks. From there it’s really about choosing what sort of London city break you want – you could focus on the many excellent free museums around South Kensington, or indulge in some serious retail therapy on bustling Oxford Street. There are countless things to do in London, you’ll be sure to tailor your trip to satisfy your every need.
London enjoys a fantastic food and drink scene with virtually every food culture under the sun on offer to hungry tourists. If you’d like to splurge on some classy up-market fare, then there are some excellent high-end restaurants and bars to be found in Chelsea and Mayfair. Soho in central London offers a huge range of choice, and London’s Chinatown sits next door should you fancy something slightly more exotic. If you’re feeling adventurous, then head over to Brick Lane in east London and sample some of the spicy Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani food that has become such an important part of modern British cuisine.
London’s attractions will excite sports fans who should definitely try and secure tickets to an English football match. London is home to a number of high-profile teams including Chelsea and Tottenham. Pick a team, purchase a ticket and the relevant football shirt, and roar until your voice is hoarse alongside tens of thousands of other fans. Alternatively, for another sporting experience, head out to the Olympic Park at Stratford and relive those glorious days of 2012 all over again.
For a more culinary-focussed adventure, try visiting one of the many bustling markets that London has to offer. Borough Market near London Bridge is arguably the most famous, allowing to sample all sorts of dishes from around the world, as well as a sip or two of some forward-thinking beers from London’s burgeoning craft beer scene.
There are plenty of things to do in London to tempt the romantics out there. A stroll along the South Bank, watching the world go by, is a staple of many a London date. Alternatively head to Greenwich Park or Primrose Hill near Regent’s Park for stunning views of the London skyline – time it to coincide with the sunset for bonus romance points. Transform a traditional cinema date by watching the latest romantic comedy at one the several rooftop cinemas that open during the summer months. And if it’s said best with flowers, then take your other half to the Columbia Road Flower Market on a Sunday and treat them to a bouquet of their favourites.
London’s numerous, and largely free, museums and galleries will cater to virtually all tastes. Kids and adults alike will love the Natural History and Science Museums, set a short distance apart on Exhibition Road in South Kensington. The National Gallery covers art from the 13th through to the 20th centuries, whilst the Tate Modern is home to more contemporary offerings. The British Museum is definitely not to be missed, housing treasures from across the globe. Its Ancient Egyptian collection is second-to-none, although you will have to fight through the crowds to get there. If you fancy something a bit different, then consider the John Soane Museum, home to the famous architect’s drawings and diagrams, as well as his personal collection of antiquities. Aim for the first Tuesday evening of the month, where the museum is lit by candlelight, providing a truly unique experience, but be sure to get there early to avoid the crowds.
For the party animals amongst you, there are numerous things to do in London after dark. The trendy area of Shoreditch has a great number of cool bars, restaurants and clubs – check out the Book Club on Leonard Street, where something a bit different is always going on. Upper Street in Angel is also well worth a look – restaurants and bars of many different flavours line its pavements from top to bottom. 69 Colebrooke Row, a quirky and spectacular cocktail bar, lying on a side street in Angel, is one of our favourites.
London is full of beautiful architecture and historical culture; it’s a thriving hub of activity in which it’s very difficult to get bored. Take a long walk around one of the cities beautiful parks, ambling through rose gardens and groves of ancient trees, or take a ride down the river Thames on a dinner cruise. A wonderfully historical jaunt to St Pauls will lead up to the Whispering Gallery with acoustics that allow murmurs on wide side of the room to be heard on the other. Careful what you whisper!
If you fancy a cosy night of wining and dining than look no further than Covent Garden’s Clos Maggiore, often described as an ‘oasis’ in the heart of the city, it’s particularly famous for its expansive wine list. Afterwards why not take the tube down to the West-End and catch a one of the many shows? Finish off in one of the cities many trendy wine bars for a wonderfully balanced evening.
London’s famous for its shopping. With the shopping-centres ranging from the sublime to the bizarre there truly is something for everyone. Big stores not quite you thing? That’s fine too, why not check out one of London’s many markets and pick up some fresh produce or bargain deals?
If you’re looking for somewhere to be alone with your partner then Hotel 41’s intimate blend of high technology and sophisticated style could be for you. With views overlooking the Royal Parks and the Royal Mews and being just a short walk away from Pall Mall you’ll really be nestled in the heart of London. For style and comfort in central London try the Ambassadors Bloomsbury, it’s an easy walk to most attractions and is very popular with couples.
Drop into the heart of UK government. The Houses of Parliament are a set of magnificent old buildings which are open to the general public in the summer months. If you fancy climbing Big Ben or touring some of the many chambers then you can do so by contacting your local MP who'll help you organise it.
If you’re interested in historical works of art than the National Gallery is the place to go. With over 2300 pieces on display, you can lose yourself for hours amongst the winding corridors and vaulted ceilings. The Tate Modern is a bastion of modern artists and often hosts weird and wonderful exhibitions meant to expand our understanding of art and the world around us, well worth a visit.
London has a museum for everyone. With the British Museum hosting the works of man from pre-history to modern times, The Science Museum asking questions about the future of space travel, The Natural History Museum offering fantastic displays of dinosaurs and a life size blue whale and many other museums offering varied looks on just about everything you won’t run out of places to visit.
What better way is there to see London than from the river which winds through it? Many of the city’s historic buildings sit on the rivers banks and there are a variety of different tours you could take to see it all. There are also a range of boats which offer food and drink on their tours, so enjoy a three course meal as you’re taken along one of Britain’s most famous waterways.
London is known for its educational and exciting days out for the whole family and offers some of the best attractions in the UK for people of all ages. Visit the Tower of London, this ancient prison was founded in 1066 during the Norman conquest of England and is still standing today, the Tower is best known for its Beefeater guards and for holding the Crown Jewels.
With easy access from both the Westminster and Waterloo tube stations, the Aquarium has plenty to do for an educational and exciting day out. Take a look at the new Shark Reef Encounter exhibit, a glass walkway winds above a shoal of sixteen sharks that prowl the waters beneath! Or if sharks aren’t your thing, check out the myriad of others exhibits. Penguins, octopi, sea horses, giant sea turtles and more are awaiting discovery within.
Meet you idols at Madame Tussauds, found a two minute walk from the Baker Street tube station the museum is known across the world for its astoundingly lifelike waxwork models of celebrities and other famous personalities. From David Beckham to Spiderman and from the Queen to Einstein, there’s someone to see for everyone!
If you’re looking for a little bit of opulence situated in in the heart of London, then look no further than The Grosvenor. Just five minutes from both Vitoria Station and Buckingham Palace, it offers a wide array of facilities in a beautiful and pristine setting, well worth a look!
If you’re looking for something a bit more cheap and cheerful then try the Airways Hotel Victoria. Its location is superb for family sightseeing and with a warm and comfortable atmosphere you can feel safe and secure using it as a base for your holiday.
For a wonderfully classy European atmosphere why not try Baranis in Covent Garden, the drinks list is known to have a number of exciting and unusual cocktails along with a unique wine selection. If you fancy something smaller then head down to Soho and check out 22 Below, a cosy little cocktail bar famous for its regular Electric Mouse comedy night and intimate charm.
One of the best ways to get a real taste of British culture is in its pubs, London boasts a wide selection ranging from more classical old style pubs to the newer gastro pubs. For traditional charm visit The Mayflower, a 16th century building which boasts original oak beams and a brilliant range of food and drink. For a slightly more exclusive drink, venture up to the Heights and its wall of ‘windows’ which is said to have some of the best views of central London.
As the country’s capital city, London has perhaps the most varied and expansive club scene in the UK. From huge mega-clubs with multiple dance floors and themed rooms to smaller, more intimate halls meant for live music and more obscure sounds you'll be spoilt for choice.
London has everything from Michelin star restaurants owned by some of the world’s tops chefs to more traditional pub food made in a true English style. Somewhere in between are the plethora’s of international eateries and chains which can be found in most of the world’s major cities. Needless to say, if you’re hungry in London you won’t be for long.