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COUNTLESS PLEASURES IN LONDON
Live the high life in London! Reside in style at the luxury Radisson Blu Portman Hotel in the fashionable West End. This elegant hotel makes a great base for hitting the shops on Oxford Street, strolling in Hyde Park, visiting Buckingham Palace and exploring London’s other major attractions. Finish up your trip on a high note with a spin in the London Eye and a visit to the superb Tate Modern London!
Even if you’re staying in London for just a few days you can pack a lot into one trip. This is one of the most exciting, diverse and fast-paced cities in the world. It’s the capital of the UK, a financial and cultural powerhouse and a city dishing up daily dramas and worldwide headlines. London has stood the test of time battling off the Great Plague, the Great Fire of London, the Blitz, and more recent economic downturns. It is home to world-class museums, theatres, Michelin-starred restaurants and wonderful creative people, not to mention Paddington Bear, Sherlock Holmes and Oliver Twist.
You’ll need to plan your days well to make sure you don’t miss out on any hidden gems. You could jump on and off one of the tour buses, which take in the main sights like Buckingham Palace, the houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London. You can ride the Underground or take a boat trip on the River Thames. Head to Camden Town and the famous market along the canal, Bond Street for some serious shopping or Oxford Circus for big high-street names. Take in an opera at Covent Garden or see London from above from the London Eye at Southbank.
From your central hotel, London neighbourhoods are easy to discover on foot. Discover the West End, Chinatown, Theatreland, the Bloomsbury neighbourhood, the famous Liberty’s department store and Carnaby Street. Some of London’s best museums are also walkable or a quick tube ride away; don’t miss out on the British Museum, the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, the Natural History Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Science Museum. London is a city of colour, education, action and peaceful green spaces, and after your big day out you’ll have some of the best restaurants, bars and pubs in the world to cheer you on late into the night.
There’s so much to do in London it’s hard to know where to begin. We’ve picked ten attractions you should experience while you’re here.
- Head for Green Park and Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s official residence – check for the flag to see if HRH is at home. From there you can enjoy St James’s Park with lovely views of the Palace from the bridges over the water.
- Visit the National Portrait Gallery for some famous faces on canvas. It is around the corner from the National Gallery so make sure you pop in there for a dose of art and culture.
- Get on a bike and explore London on two wheels with the popular sponsored cycle scheme – free for the first 30 minutes.
- Head along the River Thames and Southbank. This is a great way to spend an afternoon and discover the art, culture, book stores and theatre from the Millennium Bridge to the London Eye.
- You have to see one of London’s famous shows! Choose from musicals to comedy to thrilling drama.
- Shepherd’s Market in Mayfair has boutique shops from florists to leather makers and there are a couple of pubs you can relax in on the bustling square.
- Don’t miss out on the Science Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Natural History Museum – three of London’s top attractions. You could spend a couple of hours or a couple of days in each one!
- Hit the markets – from Camden Market on the canal, to Borough Market on the river or if you’re looking for something special head to Hatton Gardens – the diamond centre of London.
- Head east to Shoreditch to enjoy a bit of youth and colourful culture – there are lots of independent shops and bars and this area is a top choice for a great night out.
- If you have a head for heights visit The Shard. There’s a spectacular view of London. If you don’t like the clouds head underground to the London Dungeons – the scariest attraction of all.
London’s West End is a diverse, vibrant and colourful part of the capital oozing with history, culture and drama. It is a playground for the young and old, with lively bars and pubs as well as opera and theatre venues and fantastic restaurants and shops. Even if you only explore this small corner of London, you are sure to experience a big part of the city’s character.
The West End encompasses Charing Cross, Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, Soho, Chinatown and Charing Cross Road. It’s the heart of Theatreland and no visit would be complete without a dinner and a show in one of the city’s historic theatres. After the show there’s a pub on nearly every corner for you to enjoy a tipple, or head back to the hotel bar to continue your evening.
Trafalgar Square has the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery not to mention the activity taking place on the square: from clowns and jugglers, to street artists and musicians, Trafalgar Square is a great place to sit with a sandwich and take it all in while you plan your next move. Just north of here are the bright lights of Leicester Square, possibly one of the most popular places to go in the West End. It’s here you’ll find the red carpets laid out for movie premieres and Chinatown – some people queue for hours to shake hands with their idols. A step further north is Chinatown and then Soho – London would not be the same without the rich culture and diversity which gives the West End such a memorable character.
If you fancy a bit of shopping after all the excitement of the streets, the West End has plenty of variety for you to choose from. There are the book shops on Charing Cross Road, the big designer names on Regent Street just off Piccadilly, the quirky arcades, the independent stores of Soho and you’ll find a wonderful range of cookware and spices in Chinatown.
The West End of London is a great place to wander and there is no doubt you’ll find something unique to write home about.