Take a trip to London
Who never wanted to discover London? The capital of England, its Fish & Chips, its red double-decker buses and its colorful houses of Notting Hill. Whether we go there for the first time or if we already know the city, it will always know how to make us discover new facets; as well culturally thanks to its numerous museums as by its animation, without forgetting its legendary department stores which are Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and of course the famous Harrods !
You’ll probably need more than a weekend to go around the city. But here is a schedule that you can follow to make sure you don’t miss anything of the main places in London.
Start the day at the foot of Big Ben and Tower Bridge, probably the landmarks of the city. Then continue on to the guard shift where you might be lucky enough to run into the royal family. Don’t miss to venture into the typical districts such as Camden Town and its market, Notting Hill with its big Victorian houses or Soho, the enclave of the West-end where the famous Piccadilly Circus square is located. The English capital remains in perpetual turmoil, so to better discover it offer yourself a day or a few hours with a London tourist guide.
Tour guides in London
Five ideas for London tours
Along with Big Ben,, the Tower Bridge is London’s iconic monument and probably one of the most photographed. It is recognizable from afar with its two large towers in the shape of a fortified castle and its very characteristic neo-gothic style. At the end of the 19th century, the construction of this monumental building was completed, and it became the largest weighbridge in the world back in the days (244 meters long and 65 meters high). It made it possible to connect Iron Gate, on the north bank of the Thames to Horselydown Lane, in the south. Its great particularity is its low part which can be split in two to let the biggest boats pass through. Until 1976 two large engines with water tanks were used to tilt the deck. Today the hydraulic motors have been replaced by electric motors. You can come and watch the bridge lifting by visiting here . For an even more spectacular view, come and walk on The Tower Bridge Glass Floor. A glass footbridge installed 40 meters above the ground that gives an extraordinary view of the city. It’s quite unusual to find yourself above thousands of cars and pedestrians linking the 2 banks every day!
Do you like markets and hunting for vintage things and clothes? You need to go to Camden Town! The market of Camden Lock It is a must in the English capital. People come here both to stroll around, for its joyful and festive (sometimes eccentric) atmosphere and to do business in clothes, luxury or cheap jewelry and handicrafts. At all hours of the day and night the place is very lively. You can come and have a drink or eat in its taverns and restaurants overlooking the promenade of Regents canal.
Made famous thanks to Roger Michell’s film “Love at first sight in Notting Hill” released in 1999, this district looks like a small village where colorful houses are next to beautiful shops. Discover Hillgate street and Callcott Street and wander through these peaceful streets with their typically British chic, where you will discover beautiful Victorian-style houses delicately painted in pastel tones. Don’t miss the flea market on Portobello Road. You will find more than 1000 shops or stands with undeniable charm, all competing for finds on designs, presentations and colors to attract the customer. The market is open every day for our greatest pleasure! For more tranquillity at Nottng Hill, avoid mornings or weekends. Continue your walk at Kensington Gardens, one of the largest parks in London with its modern art gallery, the Serpentine Gallery. Are you in the area on the last weekend of August? Then you will have the chance to attend one of the most beautiful parades in the country with the Carnival of Caribbean Music. It’s a magnificent show full of colors that takes place in the streets on more than 5 kilometers.
London has many parks where you can escape from the noise of the city and take beautiful walks. We can mention Regent’s Park near the Zoo or Saint James Park in the center of the city. But the best known is still Hyde Park with its 140 hectares, which remains the largest green space in the city. This magnificent garden is a must in the capital of the United Kingdom. Both a place for relaxation and walks, Londoners can go there from springtime to picnic with their families or to attend a music concert in the open air. In winter, they can even enjoy the huge ice rink at the Winter Wonderland fair. If you want to visit Hyde Park in a different way, you can borrow a small boat to take a trip on the artificial lake Serpentine and feed the ducks that will accompany you. Are you visiting the park on a Sunday? Don’t miss the « Speaker’s Corner », in the north-east of the park, where speakers freely declaim their speeches .
The heart of the English capital is unquestionably located at Piccadilly Circus. But do you know where its name comes from? It’s the tailor Robert Baker, who specialized in the high “pickadill” passes which were very fashionable at the time. In 1612, he bought a piece of land in West London to build a luxurious house. He called it “Picadilly Hall” which later gave its name to the area. Picadilly Circus is today the crossroads where everyone comes to meet. Londoners and tourists pass by and stop there to feel the bubbling of the places illuminated 24 hours a day by giant advertising screens. The square in Times Square is often compared to New-York. There are a multitude of entertainment venues all around: restaurants, cinemas and theatres of all kinds.
Feel like shopping? You’ll be in the right place because it’s from here that all the city’s most commercial arteries start. It is on Regent Street where you will find the most prestigious shops such as the Liberty store, Burberry, the accessories paradise Top Shop or Hamleys, one of the biggest toy stores in the world. We can continue the walk towards the Soho district and walk to Leicester Park.