Join our host Brianna Barnes as she visits Britain’s exciting capital city which seamlessly blends its rich and varied history with a modern day culture which is perpetually evolving into the London of today.
Beginning her tour at the iconic Buckingham Palace, home to the Queen of England and various Royal Family members, we see the changing of the guards before heading over to Soho for a spot of afternoon tea above a traditional London pub. Next Brianna heads over to the National Gallery, home to over 2,000 paintings and one of Europe’s finest collections of art.
Day two and our roving host heads to the East End to check out the fashionable Spitalfields Market and try out a British favourite dish ‘Bangers & Mash’ served at the nearby S&M café. Brianna next takes a tour of London’s street art and checks out some of the modern-day masterpieces by famous British street-artist Banksy and his contemporaries before heading to the Town Hall hotel in Bethnal Green which has stood since Edwardian times and boasts luxury suites costing up to £2,500 ($3,900) a night.
Beginning the following day with breakfast at the famous Ritz Hotel, Brianna heads out into Mayfair to check out some of London’s finest retail establishments such as Berry bros wine shop, Lobb the Bootmakers, and Lock Hatters – the oldest hat-makers in London. They all have royal warrants due to their popularity with the royal family. Moving on to Covent Garden we take a look inside the London Transport Museum – home to over 370,000 objects concerning urban transport and London’s wealth of transportation history. Using one of the oldest, and one of the most popular ways to get around London, Brianna takes the number 15 heritage bus through some top locations in central London. She also jumps on a bicycle and heads along the canal from Regent’s Park all the way to the Olympic Stadium via Camden Lock.
Taking advantage of the wealth of transportation links in and out of London, Brianna heads out on a day trip by rail to one of the many historic towns which sit less than an hour’s ride away. The following day Brianna takes a day-trip to Oxford, home to one of the most famous Universities in the world, and takes a tour of the largest of all the Oxford colleges Christchurch, with its awe inspiring architecture and beautiful surroundings. After checking out the markets and ascending to the top of Carfax Tower, we check out the most traditional way to see Oxford, via a punt and find out just how easy punting along the river is.
Back in London, and back on the river Thames, we check out Lambeth Palace opposite the Houses of Parliament and the Garden Museum next to it before speeding off down the river on a boat to Greenwich to check out the Royal Naval College, Queen’s House, and the Royal Observatory. We then head over to the Tate Modern, a magnificent converted power station housing contemporary exhibitions of art dating from 1900 to today. After a day trip spent in Buckinghamshire visiting Cliveden House – a stately home which sits on the Thames, we take a trip to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, home to the biggest botanical collection in the world before checking out the delights of 1,000 hectare area Richmond Park via horseback before rounding off the day in the Victoria Inn, famous for being the smallest pub in Richmond.
In her final day in London, Brianna rounds off the trip with a visit to the annual Thames Festival and hires one of the hundreds of rental bikes available to check out the festivities which include a feast on Southwark bridge, carnival style dancing, and a night time firework display.
MUST SEE & DO…
1. The London Eye
2. Buckingham Palace and the Change of Guard
4. Speed boat tour of the River Thames
5. Brick Lane for an authentic Bengali experience
6. Spitalfields Market on a Sunday
7. The Olympic Park Stadium
8. Richmond Park to see Henry VII’s deer
9. Boris bike ride
FESTIVALS & EVENTS
1. Notting Hill Carnival
2. Thames Festival
3. Open House London
4. London Fashion Week
5. Frieze Art Fair
6. St Patrick’s Day Parade
7. Wimbledon Tennis Championships
8. Trooping of the Colour
9. Hampton Court Palace Festival
10. London 2012 Festival
You can trawl Oxford street from the Oxford circus end to Tottenham Court Road and take yourself on a shopping experience which typifies London; crowds, the best fashion stores in Europe, and more souvenir shops than you could ever want to visit in one life time! You’ll find everything from a Prince William mug to union jack underpants.
- When to go: May to October are the best months, but be ready for wet weather any month of the year.
- What to wear: London is one of the fashion capitals of the world- so anything goes! Bring casual and formal wear as traveller activities in London vary considerably! Bring a change of clothes for all weathers- Londoners can experience all four seasons in one day at any given time of the year. So come prepared to use your umbrella, sun cream, shorts and sunglasses in one day!
- Getting there: Most airlines will do a very regular service to London, it’s one of the best served airports in the world.
- Getting around:The London Underground (also known in slang terms as The Tubeor The Underground) is a rapid transit system serving most of London. It is the oldest underground railway in the world, the first section of which opened in 1863. It is the most effective way to get around London and the most cost effective. The London bus and the London taxi are also great ways to get around town, while the bus is reasonably prices, taxis are quite a lot more expensive. But can be a great ‘London’ experience.
GLOBE TREKKER ITINERARY
- Brianna travels to London and visits:
– East End and Brick Lane
– Buckingham Palace
– St James Street
– Regents Canal
– Regents Park
– Olympic Park Stadium
- Next she visits the markets of Spitalfields out East and Camden in north London.
- Briana ventures out to London’s leafy, green southwest and visits Kew Gardens andRichmond Park.
- Briana also takes a day trip to Oxford to visit the set of Harry Potter and see the dreaming spires.
– The population of Greater London is around 8 million.
– Great British Pound- known in UK slang terms as ‘quid’. For example, it something costs £10, locals would remark ‘that will cost you ten quid!’. And £1000 is referred to as ‘a grand’.
- Don’t forget to pack:
– An umbrella
– A rain mac
– An Oyster card for using the London Underground
– A London A to Z (everything is much closer than you think in central London.)
– Trainers or good walking shoes
– High heels for the nightlife!
– A cure for hangovers
– A sense of humour
– Your credit card for the best shopping experience of your life