London Journals

4 Days in London

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An April 2011 trip to London by Joy S

Royal Wedding fever hits London Photo, London, England More Photos
Quote: A short break in London with our 7 year old - exploring museums and the sights of the city in the run up to the Olympics and the Royal Wedding

Overview and Highlights

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Story/Tip

Royal Wedding fever hits London Photo, London, England
Quote:
London has been called "The World in One City" - this is the slogan that won it the right to stage the 2012 Olympic Games. Ethnically and culturally diverse, there is something for everyone here, no matter how many times you visit.London is hosting its third Olympic Games in 2012 and the whole city is gearing up for this. There is a real hint of expectation and excitement in the air. This, together with the Royal Wedding makes it a great place to visit right now.Locals mix with millions of tourists in restaurants, theatres and shops. You are bound to be able to spot at least one landmark, no matter which street you get lost on. It is noisy, vibrant and truly multi-cultural...Read More

Tips and Hints

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Story/Tip

Quote:
* Use the buses - this way you see more of the city than if while underground on the tube. Be aware though, buses can be slow, thanks to traffic jams and the 4 million commuters that get on and off them every day. Single journey adult tickets cost £2.00 and children under 16 years travel free. Travelcards are valid on all buses. Children under 11 years travel free on every form of transport in London.* Definitely do not drive in London. The traffic jams, the fact there is nowhere to park and the congestion charge all add to the general expense, not to mention the frustration. Traffic wardens and wheel clampers also operate with great efficiency.* The Tube is incredibly ea...Read More

Presidential Apartments

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Hotel | "Presidential Apartments, Kensington"

Presidential Apartments Photo, London, England
Quote:
We found these servied apartments on the internet and booked directly with them through their website. The cost - £980 for 4 nights is not cheap, but London hotels seldom are, and this place gave us the luxury of space.The apartments are located in an exclusive neighbourhood, tucked away in a quiet residential square overlooking Barkston Gardens. They are in a period property which has recently been modernised. The minimum stay is one night and there is no maximum stay.The reception staff were helpful and efficient during our check-in and we had no problems with this.Our apartment was on the first floor - number 601. We were really pleased with just how spacious...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 19, 2011

Presidential Apartments
6-12 Barkston Gardens
Kensington and Chelsea, England
866-539-0036

Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens

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Attraction | "Kensington Gardens"

Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens Photo, London, England
Quote:
It was about a 20 minute walk from our apartment to Kensington Gardens, so we went there twice. The first time we had a lovely stroll around the park in the evening, then we went again on a sunny Sunday morning to let our young son play and let off steam in the wonderful Princess Diana Memorial Playground.We entered the gardens through Queens Gate. Almost the first thing you see is the Albert Memorial - a very impressive statue. It was commissioned by Queen Victoria in memory of her husband, Prince Albert, who died of typhoid in 1861 aged just 42. It was opened in 1872 by Queen Victoria, but the statue of Albert was "seated" in 1875. It took over 10 years to complete and cost £120,000...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 20, 2011

Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens
W Carriage Drive
London, England W2 2UH
+44 20 7298 2100

Natural History Museum

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Attraction

Natural History Museum Photo, London, England
Quote:
This is one of three large museums on Exhibition Road, South Kensington. There is a high concentration of museums in South Kensington, all well signposted from the Tube. This one is home to life, earth and science specimens. It is a purpose built Romanesque colossus - some say this is London's most handsome museum - I can see why - it is a really beautiful building.The museum is open daily between 10:00 and 17:50. We arrived at 11:00 and found quite a long queue to get in. We stood in line for about 20 minutes, but when we got inside, although it was busy, there was plenty of space for everyone.There is no admission charge. We bought a children's guidebook costing £5.00 a...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 22, 2011

Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road
London, England SW7 5BD
+44 20 7942 5000

Harrods

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Attraction

Harrods Photo, London, England
Quote:
Harrods is an institution. There are 300 departments and 20 restaurants spread over 1 million square feet - it is huge. The UK's second largest shop - Selfridges on Oxford Street has a little over half the size of Harrods selling space. More than 5,000 staff from 50 countries work in Harrods. It is not as cutting edge as it used to be, but despite this, it is still an elaborate emporium and is a real emblem of England.Mohammed Al Fayed used to own the shop, but he sold it in May 2010.The range, quality and variety of goods for sale in the shop is dazzling. The 5th floor is sports and leisure. We had to make a beeline for the 4th floor and Toy Kingdom. Here they have a wo...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 23, 2011

Harrods
87-135 Brompton Road
London, England SW1X 7XL
+44 (20) 7730 1234

Tower of London

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Attraction

Tower of London Photo, London, England
Quote:
This is London's original royal fortress by the Thames. It is over 900 years old and contains the Crown Jewels. It is guarded by Beefeaters or Yeomen of the Guard as they are formally known and is a World Heritage site. It is also considered by many to be the most haunted building in the world. It was founded by William the Conqueror in 1066 and has been enlarged and modified by various sovereigns. Today, it is one of the world's most spectacular fortresses.The Tower of London has macabre associations with legendary figres imprisoned and/or executed here. Centuries after the last head rolled on Tower Hill, a shivery atmosphere of impending gloom lingers over the Tower's walls. Peopl...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 23, 2011

Tower of London
Tower Hill
London, England EC3N 4AB
+44 (207) 709 0765

The Monument to Great Fire of London

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Attraction | "The Monument"

The Monument to Great Fire of London Photo, London, England
Quote:
Our son has recently been learning about the Great Fire of London at school, so a trip to see The Monument while we were in London was a must do for him.It is only a very short walk from the Tower of London to The Monument. It is a 202 feet high, stone Roman Doric column in the City of London, near the northern end of London Bridge at the junction of Monument Street and Fish Street Hill.It is located exactly 202 feet from where the Great Fire of London started in 1666. It is the tallest isolated stone column in the world. It was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and is exactly 202 feet from the bakery in Pudding Lane where the fire began. The bakery belonged to Thomas Faryno...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 24, 2011

The Monument to Great Fire of London
Monument Street and Fish Street Hill
London, England EC3R 8AH
(020) 7626-2717

A Walk Around the London Sights

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Story/Tip

Westminster Abbey - complete with war protesters Photo, London, England
Quote:
In just over half a day, you can easily stroll past all the major postcard sights in London. On a sunny Saturday afternoon in April, we decided to do just that.First we got the tube to Westminster and went straight to Westminster Abbey. This is the shrine of the nation. It is early English gothic in style and the place where most of England's kings and queens were crowned, and many are also buried here. The shrine to Edward the Confessor contains the tombs of 5 kings and 3 queens and Poet's Corner is where people like Robert Browning, Chaucer and Alfred Lord Tennyson rest.There was already a large queue of people at the entrance when we arrived at 10:00am, so we decided not...Read More

London Palladium

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Attraction | "Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium"

London Palladium Photo, London, England
Quote:
The West End of London, especially the areas around Leicester Square, Covent Garden, Shaftesbury Avenue and Haymarket is one of the world's premier destinations for theatre and musical theatre. It is also famous for tourist attractions and shopping. No visit to London would be complete without some time soaking up the atmosphere. It is one of the city's most vibrant areas.There are 50 plus theatres, with performances which tend to be musicals, classical plays and comedies. Alongside Broadway, West End theatre represents the highest quality commercial theatre in the world.The Wizard of Oz, Andrew Lloyd Webber's latest production opened on 01 March and we managed to get ticke...Read More

London Palladium
Argyll Street
London, England W1A 3AB
+44 20 7494 5020