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||The most famous waxworks in the world. Come and take a closer look
at celebrities from far and wide. The London Planetarium is also an
out of this world treat for anyone interested in outer space.
The London Planetarium and Madame Tussaud's
Marylebone Road, NW1
Tel. 0870 400 3000
Prices: Adults from £14.95 to £16.95 children from £5.00
Nearest tube: Baker Street. Buses 13, 18, 27, 30, 74, 82, 113, 139,
159, 274 stop nearby
Open around 9.00 to 17.30 except Christmas Day. Opening times vary so
check the website.
The Sherlock Holmes Museum
||Come and find out more about the most famous detective in literature.
See where the fictional character worked and discover more about London
in the Victorian era.
221b Baker Street, NW1
Tel: 020 7935 8866
Entry prices £6 adults and £4 children
Open from 9.30 to 18.00 every day except Christmas Day.
Nearest tube: Baker Street or Marylebone
Bus 13, 18, 27, 30, 74, 82, 113, 139, 159, 274 stop nearby
This is an ideal location for tourists, as visitors can combine an afternoon
trip to Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, the Lido (London's very own lake
for swimming in) and this famous art gallery. Built as a tea house over
a century ago, this unusual building has been recently renovated. Not
only are the exhibitions excellent, showing work by international artists,
but there is also a well-stocked, if slightly cramped bookshop. It is
a pleasant haven completely surrounded by trees, and in close proximity
to the large museums such as the V&A ten minutes walk away. It is
a welcome respite from the crowds and busy roads nearby.
The Gallery is open from 10.00 to 18.00 daily.
Nearest tubes: Knightsbridge, Lancaster Gate,
Tel 020 729 81515
The London Eye
Not for the faint hearted or sufferers of vertigo, this high tech Ferris
wheel offers one of the best and highest views of London. Built to coincide
with the Millennium celebrations, and apparently not welcomed by the
government, as the wheel looks down on their ornate 19th Century offices.
So, if you want to lord it over those in power and view the elected
British MP's down below, you can climb to a great height and gaze for
thirty minutes on the city rooftops and spires. A thrilling ride in
a glass pod above central London.
Nearest tube: Embankment or Waterloo
Buses 211 ,24, 11 and many tourist bus routes.
Prices range from £5 for children to £10.50 for adults.
Disabled visitors can bring one carer for free and pay only £8.50
Open from October to December from 9.30 to 20.00 except for Wednesday
mornings when the Eye is closed until 11.00
Tel 0870 5000 600 for advance bookings
|River Cruises on the Thames
||To complement your trip in the air, you can now take another by water.
River cruises can be booked on 0870 443 9185
||The Cutty Sark was built in 1869 to be the fastest clipper to bring
the first of the season's crop of tea home to Britain. She is the world's
sole surviving tea clipper. On the Main Deck you can see the crew and
officers' accommodation; the 'Tween Deck has displays about her history,
trade and life on board and the Lower Hold has a colourful collection
of painted figureheads. There are plenty of children's displays and
hands-on activities to do. Group discounts and free guided tours are
available. There are many other interesting places to visit in Greenwich,
from the London Observatory to Greenwich Park. Come and pick edible
chestnuts here in the Autumn or visit the many traditional pubs, market
stalls and smaller shops in this pretty district of London.
King William Walk, Greenwich, SE10
Tel: 020 8858 3445
Fax: 020 8853 3589
Open 10.00-17.00 daily, except for Christmas and Boxing Day.
Tickets: Adults £3.90, children and concessions £2.90
Nearest train station: Greenwich
|Tower of London
||Every British Child who has been to London seems to have a vivid memory
of going to the Tower when they were young. One of the oldest and most
famous buildings in Britain, and still standing by the River Thames
after 1000 years, this imposing building has seen some gruesome action
in it's time. Younger visitors seem strangely fascinated by the fact
that a number of royals were incarcerated here. However, the Tower is
not just an historical monument, it is also where the crown jewels are
held. Unless the British Queen, Elizabeth II is actually wearing them
for a state occasion, they will be on display for visitors to see. Remember
to take your camera if you want a shot of the red liveried Beefeaters,
the colourfully dressed guards of the Tower.
March - October
Monday to Saturday09.00 - 17.00
Sunday 10.00 - 17.00
November to February
Tuesday to Saturday09.00 - 16.00
Sunday and Monday 10.00 - 16.00
All internal buildings close thirty minutes after the last admission
Children 5 -15£7.50
Family (up to 2 adults and 3 children) £34.00
Tube: Tower Hill BR: Fenchurch Street DLR: Tower Gateway Boats: from
Westminster and Charing Cross
Tube: Tower Hill BR: Fenchurch Street
Bus 15 to Tower Hill
Docklands Light Railway: Tower Gateway
Boats: from Westminster and Charing Cross
|Horniman Museum & Gardens
||Situated in 16 acres of gardens, this impressive anthropological museum
was built in 1901 by Mr Horniman, from the profits of the tea trade.
It is a grand building and has some marvellous displays of musical instruments
from all round the world as well as exhibitions about indigenous cultures
and a fascinating natural history collection. Hands-on talks for children
are held throughout the year at no extra charge. These include puppet
and musical instrument making workshops. In summer it is particularly
worth a visit as the conservatory is open and concerts are held at the
weekend. There is also a café inside the museum.
100 London Rd, Forest Hill SE23
Tel: 020 8699 1822
Fax: 020 8291 5506
Nearest train station: Forest Hill, buses 176, 185, 312 and P4 stop
outside, and 63, 122 and P13 stop nearby.
Converted from the disused coal burning Bankside Power station, this
huge building has been radically transformed into one of the most impressive
art galleries in Europe. Changing exhibitions make use of the enormous
turbine engine hall, whilst upstairs the permanent displays are well
signposted around coherent themes.
Nearest tube: Southwark
Telephone 020 7887 8000
The best way to get from two prime sites: Christopher Wren's glorious
St Paul's Cathedral to the impressive Tate Modern. Now the 'wobbling
bridge' has been made safe, it is worth walking across the Thames
to admire the riverside views across the Thames. There are no charges
for crossing the bridge.
Another rather beautiful pedestrian bridge has been constructed during
the past two years over the River Thames. The old Hungerford Bridge
has been replaced y two pedestrian bridges which take pedestrians
from Embankment Station to the South Bank.
Nearest tubes Embankment and Waterloo Stations
South Bank Centre
Here you will find one of the best places to wander by the Thames
on a summer's evening. Some critics say that the South Bank Centre
is mainly a concrete monstrosity, designed for a siege rather than
a night out. However, the many restaurants, concert halls, film and
theatre venues all within a few minutes walk of each other make this
a lively, inviting part of the city. The area is home to the largest
concentration of arts and leisure facilities in the world. Within
a few minutes walk of Waterloo Station you can find Imax, the huge
cinema screen showing films for all ages, one of only two in Britain.
There is the Hayward Gallery, an internationally renowned exhibition
venue for mainly contemporary art. Just below, there is the National
Film Theatre, currently celebrating it's 50th anniversary and one
of the best cinemas in London. The NFT screens old classics, contemporary
releases and some surprising films you won't find at commercial cinemas.
If you are staying in London for a while you might want to join the
NFT to save money on tickets. (You automatically become a member of
the British Film Institute and can get information about contemporary
films, film history and can also use the BFI library and their excellent
resources). They have a reasonable Film Café and bar, with
large windows offering a good view of the river. This is a relaxed
place to meet and discuss the movies you have seen. Look out for the
brand new film centre which will be built in 2003...
The Royal National Theatre nearby is one of the world's great theatrical
institutions. With it's four auditoria, there should be something
to suit everyone's tastes, ranging from Guys and Dolls to a Shakespeare
play or the inventive Theatre de Complicité. There is a decent
bookshop and numerous cafes inside the huge building and free pre-performance
concerts are held a few times a week. Tickets are not extortionate
and can often be bought on the day.
Queen Elisabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Royal Festival Hall. The RFH
was built for the 1950's Festival of Britain and is a graceful, spacious
monument to the optimism and forward thinking at the time. The building
hasn't altered for fifty years, but it still remains a welcoming,
open space. There are often exhibitions and free dance or music events
at lunchtimes or in the early evenings, so it is a good place to drop
by in the late afternoons or weekends. The cultural diversity of London
is reflected in the range of work performed, from rhythmic Kathak
dance to stately Baroque quartets. Many international stars have played
at the South Bank Centre, and their programme encompasses jazz, world,
folk, early, experimental and classical music. Hidden on the 4th floor
is the Poetry Library, a small but excellent place where visitors
can find thousands of modern or ancient poems. This is also open on
Sundays, so if you are alone and want some literary diversion, entrance
There are also a number of sandwich counters, bars and The People's
Palace, a more expensive restaurant serving food in a large, airy
room with fantastic views overlooking the Thames.
www.sbc.org.uk (for all South Bank Centre
venues, including the Hayward Gallery and the Poetry Library).
www.bfi.org.uk (for the National Film
Also nearby are :
The London Aquarium (fish and sea creatures, large and small) Tickets
from 3.50 to 25
The Oxo Tower (restaurant and exhibition space)
||On the rooftop is the Oxo Tower Restaurant, Bar and Brasserie and
a free public viewing gallery (open daily). On the first and second
floors are 33 retail design studios for contemporary designer-makers.
This concentration of specialised studios where you can buy exciting
objects direct from the maker is a unique feature of Oxo Tower Wharf.
It is also possible to commission one off pieces and the excellent work
is recognised by the Crafts Council of Great Britain.
On the ground floor is the.gallery@oxo which hosts a regularly changing
programme of art, applied art /design and photography exhibitions.
Entry to all exhibitions is free.
Soon the new Saatchi Gallery will open in the former GLC (Greater
London Council) County Hall building. This huge listed riverside building
is currently home to a variety of tourist attractions including the
London Aquarium, Dali Universe, a permanent exhibition dedicated to
the work of the Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dali and several
Leighton House Museum
||12 Holland Park Road
Tel: 020 7602 3316
Fax: 020 7371 2467
This West London house was built using the most extraordinary turquoise
tiles and the latest designs at the end of the 19th Century to create
his stylish palace based on stories from the Arabian Nights. Owned by
Lord Leighton, the great classical painter and President of the Royal
Academy, this is a sumptuous example of what the wealthy could do if
they had a lot of imagination. Leighton House also has a fine collection
of Victorian art with paintings by Leighton, Burne-Jones, Millais and
their contemporaries. The delightful Holland Park is just round the
corner, for an afternoon stroll among the trees.
Leighton House is open daily except Tuesdays from 11.00 to 17.30.The
House is open on spring and summer bank holidays but closed on other
bank holidays, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Nearest tube : High Street Kensington
The British Museum
||One of the best collections of classical antiquities in Europe, this
grand institution is also home to a new architectural masterpiece: The
Great Court. Come and gaze at Egyptian mummies, The Rosetta Stone and
Ancient Greek jewellery made of gold.
The British Museum is free to all visitors.
A charge may be made for temporary exhibitions. For detail of concessions,
check their website or contact the Information Desk on 020 7323 8299.
Open: Saturday -Wednesday 10.00 - 17.30
Thursday - Friday 10.00 - 20.30
Nearest tube: Tottenham Court Road, buses 8, 10, 73,124, 129
Cabinet War Rooms
King Charles Street
Tel: 020 7930 6961
Fax: 020 7839 5897
For the first time since the Second World War you can now visit Churchill's
subterranean wartime headquarters including the very room where the
Prime Minister, his Cabinet and his Chiefs of Staff took momentous decisions
at the height of the enemy bombing on London. Walk through, the top
secret Map Room where military planners plotted the course of the war
while Britain's slept at night. Located in the basement of a government
building, the Cabinet War Rooms were hurriedly converted into emergency
accommodation to protect the British Government against air attacks
on the eve of the Second World War. The underground complex of twenty-one
rooms have remained relatively untouched since they were abandoned at
the end of the war in 1945.
Open Daily 9.30am (10am 1 October - 31 March) to 18.00 (last admission
17.15). Closed Over Christmas.
Nearest Tube: Westminster or Charing Cross, buses 11, 12
National Trust Properties
||2 Willow Road
This modernist house filled with work by famous artists from the
1940's onwards is the former home of Ernö Goldfinger, designed
and built by him in 1939. It is one of Britain's most important examples
of Modernist architecture and is filled with furniture also designed
by Goldfinger. The eclectic collection of art includes works by Henry
Moore, Bridget Riley and Max Ernst. You can follow your visit with
a brisk walk on the wild expanse of Hampstead Heath opposite.
Tel: 020 74356166
Nearest Tube: Hampstead
To the end of February 2003 entry tickets cost: Adult £4.40;
child £2.20; family £11. There is no parking at the house.
On-street parking is very limited. You can buy a joint ticket with
Fenton House, an exquisite 17th Century property nearby, for £6.30.
||A remarkable building in London's East End, Sutton House was built
in 1535 by Sir Ralph Sadleir, who frequented the court of Henry VIII.
It became home to successive London merchants, Huguenot silk-weavers,
and was even a girl's school. This large Tudor house has oak-panelled
rooms, carved fireplaces and an exhibition tells the history of the
house and its former occupants. A good café serves meals and
Admission prices up to 28 Feb 2003:
Adult £2.10; child 50p; family £4.70.
2 & 4 Homerton High Street Hackney E9
Tel 020 8986 2264
Bus 38 from Islington Angel tube or Victoria Station
||Kew is the home to some remarkable glasshouses, including the multi-zoned
Diana, Princess of Wales centre with it's temperate and tropical mini
climates. There is the Victorian Palm House and the Grade I listed Orangery
which has undergone extensive restoration and has now reopened as Kew's
most elegant restaurant. There are also acres of parkland, flowers and
shrubs to wonder at during every month of the year. There are a number
of shops where visitors can buy horticultural related books as well
as gifts such as cactus marmalade and stinging nettle syrup.
Children up to and including 16 years (accompanied by an adult) Free
Nearest tube: Kew Gardens, Silverlink trains to Kew Gardens or from
Waterloo to Kew Bridge
firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: +44
(0)20 8332 5655
www.rbgkew.org.uk has a very informative
Columbia Road Market
A Sunday morning phenomenon. This quiet East London Street is transformed
into a garden paradise once a week.
Take a bus to this small street to buy colourful plants, small trees
and exotic flowers. There are 52 plant stalls and around 30 garden
shops and cafes. You can buy organic cheese and breads, terracotta
pots and antique garden furniture. The atmosphere is lively and people
seem to be really enjoying themselves, whether they are stocking up
on shrubs for their garden or just savouring a croissant in a pavement
café. The market is open during every season, and is an excellent
place to find rarities or bedding plants at wholesale prices. However,
it can get very crowded after 10am.
Sundays from 8.00 until 14.00.
Parking Restrictions are in operation around the area, so it is advisable
to come by public transport.
Buses 38 and 55 to Columbia Road.
||Long Lane and Bermondsey St, SE1
Friday 05.00 to around 12.00
Tube: London Bridge, Borough
Antiques; mainly paintings, silver, jewellery. A market for dealers
and the (canny) general public. You can even bargain (politely) and
the stall holders seem to enjoy the banter.
Brick Lane Market,
||Brick Lane, E1
Sunday from daybreak to 13.00
Tube: Shoreditch, Liverpool Street, Aldgate East
Old furniture, second hand books, fresh food, contemporary clothing.
A lot of the items on sale are not as exciting as in the past, but you
might find something unusual among the stalls.
||Commercial St, E1
Open: Sun 09.30 - 17.30
Tube: Liverpool Street
Buses 43, 11
Second-hand books, art sold by the artists themselves, hand painted
objects, organic food, delicious breads, natural beauty products, homemade
West Indian chilli sauces, second hand records, Afghan rugs, retro lamps,
designer linen and velvet skirts and much, much more...Surrounding the
market are lots of places to eat, from the lively Spitz Gallery to Mediterranean
cafés, pasta take-aways and noodle stalls.
There is a smaller version of the market on Fridays, but the atmosphere
isn't as animated as on a Sunday
|Petticoat Lane Market,
Middlesex St, E1
A cheap and cheerful place to wander through. Middlesex Street is
close to Spitalfields Market so it is easy to cover both in one Sunday
morning. There are lots of stalls selling cheap copies of high street
fashion, leather goods, toys, bath linen, watches and shoes. The quality
may not be the best, but you might find a few bargains. There are
also quite a few shops selling African printed or embroidered fabrics
along Wentworth Street, for unusual table linen or headscarves.
Nearest tube stations: Liverpool Street, Aldgate, Aldgate East
Open: Sunday 09.00 - 14.00
A few stalls are also set up from Monday to Friday on Wentworth Street
Buses 253, 25, 43
Portobello Road Market,
Portobello Rd, W10
Open: Antiques: Saturday 07.00 - 17.30, General market: Monday to
Wednesday and Friday to Saturday 09.00 - 17.00, Thursday 09.00 - 13.00
A world famous market with all kinds of antiques, plenty of fruit
and vegetables, bric-a-brac, and a diverse range of new and second-hand
clothes. There are also some great places to eat along the route and
some eclectic shops to discover, too.
Nearest tube: Notting Hill Gate, Ladbroke Grove
Buses 7, 23, 52, 70