Why London?

There is a lot of hype surrounding London; it is the place to go to immerse yourself in history and culture, it is the place to go to enjoy an eclectic nightlife and it is the place to go to shop. The question is, is it all worth the hype? Yes is the simple answer to that question because it is quite rare to visit a capital city that ticks all of the boxes and to experience something new every time you go, whether it is the second or thirtieth time. London casts a spell on all who visit it and it offers so much that people flock to the city to work, live and play. If you’re taking a trip to London, make sure you include these areas to explore to see the real beauty of the city.

The Paddington Area

Paddington is one of the major parts of London due to its train station and large amount of hotels in the area such as The Shaftesbury Premier London Paddington. It is a great place to start your exploration with Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens situated a few minutes walk away from the station. From Sussex Gardens you can head south and enter Kensington Gardens, one of the most beautiful parks in London, which is home to the famous Kensington Palace where royalty such as Princess Diana and King George I all resided. For a small fee you can enter the palace and explore the lavish rooms, exhibitions and gardens. The gardens are exquisite with the Italian gardens situated in the North, the Albert memorial, which was built by a grieving Queen Victoria, in the South and the Serpentine Gallery, named after the Serpentine Lake that runs through Hyde Park, in the East.

After Kensington Gardens you can either walk straight into Hyde Park and find the famous Speaker’s Corner in the North, or you can exit Kensington Gardens and walk a few minutes south where you will find yourself at the Natural History, the Science and the V&A Museums. All of these museums have free admission and will take up a good few hours of your day. The Natural History Museum is packed full of amazing specimens such as dinosaur bones and reconstructions, gems and minerals, bugs and interactive exhibitions that will have you in awe at how amazing Earth is. The Science museum allows you to be hands on and play, create and experiment with different contraptions as well as taking a look at the history behind machinery and processes that we couldn’t be without today such as trains, cars, planes and medicine. The V&A museum holds treasures from all over the British Empire as well as delights from the famous Crystal Palace Exhibition that was held in the 19th century, it really gives an insight into the strength on the empire in its day.

The Oxford Street and Regent Street Area

Shopping is an absolute must when you visit London and Oxford Street is the best place to start seems as its one of the most famous shopping districts in the world. Shopping on Oxford Street is an adventure because, not only do you have a large amount of shops to choose from such as a multistory Topshop store, Primark store and the world famous Selfridges which is the world’s first department store. Even though Oxford Street is known to cater to everyones needs, if you aren’t worn out from your shopping workout you are only minutes away from Regent Street which is home to Hamleys, the world’s oldest toy store, and Piccadilly Circus. From here the choice is yours, you could walk on to Leicester Square to take in a film or you could head down Shaftesbury Avenue where you could watch a musical, such as Les Miserables, in the West End.

Oxford Street

The Trafalgar and Westminster Area

This area is where you can find some of the most famous sights in London. Just outside the Shaftesbury Hotel London there is a bus stop where you can catch a tour bus that will take you around all the sights of London and, if you have an all day travel card, you can hop on and off the bus as many times as you like at all different spots. Trafalgar Square is a great place to start in the city because it is where you can see Nelson’s Column and the National Gallery, which is free admission. The Mall leads into St James’s Park and this is where you will see the breathtaking view of Buckingham Palace, the home of the British Monarchy. If you are visiting in the summer months, you can even take a tour of the palace. If it is a lovely, sunny day, take a stroll through St James’s Park and enjoy the scenery before exiting just outside 10 Downing Street. From Downing Street you will see the impressive structure of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament; there are many tours that can show you the breathtaking interior of Westminster Palace and explain the workings of Parliament. From here, you can go into Westminster Abbey, the burial site of many royals and influential British icons such as Issac Newton, Charles Darwin, Henry VII and Elizabeth I. There is a charge to enter the abbey but it is well worth it as it is an important structure that houses hundreds of years of British History.

Trafalgar Square

The Tower Bridge Area

This area is known for its bars, restaurants and, of course the infamous Tower of London. The Tower is a central hub of British history and is renowned for its torture chambers, execution sites, ravens and crown jewels. The beefeaters still guard the site and they also give insightful tours which allows you to learn all about the history of the tower, including its famous inmates such as Princess Elizabeth I, Sir Walter Raleigh and Lady Jane Grey. Once you have escaped from the tower, you can walk across Tower Bridge, one of the most iconic bridges in the world and take a look at the exhibition which explains the history, mechanisms and the workings of the bridge. If the bridge doesn’t take your fancy, you can walk to St Paul’s Cathedral while viewing the Monument, which marks where the Fire of London started in 1666. There is a charge for the cathedral which helps towards the upkeep of the religious house or you can visit on a Sunday and attend a service, the choice is yours.

The Tower Bridge

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