HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF A LONG WEEKEND IN LONDON

London Buses In Front Of The Big Ben

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If you are new to London, then let us welcome you to the city of red buses, black cabs, and grey skies. You just might not know where to start exploring when you come to this mega-metropolis. Every borough in London has a story to tell and the story is always evolving that to its people, natives, and immigrants alike.

TOUR THE CITY

While the Big Ben is one of the landmarks of London, there is more the city has to offer. Well, you can start with the Big Ben and not just see it from the outside and have a view as you do when you see it on pictures. Go inside, hear it tick, and the bells toll. From there, you can walk across Westminster Bride and the head on to catch a ride on the London Eye. Check out the British Museum and also, drop by the Whispering Gallery to enjoy some out-of-this-world acoustics. As your tire, take a lunch break at Borough Market.

A bus tour will be a nice way to stay off your feet as you tour the city in the Big Bus Tours. Another alternative is the London Duck Tours, which will see you ditch the city traffic and have a view of London from the main thoroughfare.

FOOD AND MUSIC

While London has a lot to offer regarding cuisine, knowing where to start can be tricky. However, we would suggest trying The Premises and enjoy break all day long as you enjoy some music. Once, you have your heart’s full, head to the Stoke Newington International Airport and enjoy a flight of artistic bliss of shows, concerts, and exhibitions without ever leaving the ground.You can then head to the Spitalfields Market to do some bit of shopping and have a snack and drink. Better yet, get a burger and beer as you get your feet to dancing at 93 Feet East.

If you really have a thing for music and fun, then you should go to Roller Disco and have a taste of the seventies rave as you boogie to the music of those yesteryears while on skates. If that’s not your taste, then try the Notting Hill Arts Club to enjoy a mix of great music.

ENJOY THE EVENTS AND FESTIVITIES

Our favorite pick is the Dennis Severs House, where ten rooms that take you on a journey through time (1724 – 1914). But, there also is another great way to enjoy the evolution of London; just take the Cutting-Edge Green Tour and enjoy a three-hour trip around the city and see recycle fashion, the floating gardens among other experiences. However, if you really want to visit and see the city come alive, then plan to tour in the month of August when London hosts the Notting Hill Carnival that is full of music, food, and hundreds of drummers do their thing as they walk down the streets of London. Well, you can do an early trip in the month of April to come and enjoy the annual boat race where Oxford challenges rivals Cambridge.

INTERESTING VALENTINE’S DAY IDEAS TO TRY IN LONDON

Couple clicking a photo with Big Ben in the background.

London offers a variety of dating ideas for couples. Typically, most of us wait until Valentine’s Day to prepare something special, but the following ideas can work at any time of the year.

TAKE COOKING CLASSES

It may sound strange, but you never know what might do the trick. This idea could be an ideal opportunity for two people who are obsessed with food and cooking. Take a few classes, then use that knowledge to prepare a few romantic dinners.

VISIT THE WORLD’S OLDEST MUSIC HALL

Although today it’s surrounded by rather grotesque buildings, Wilton’s Music Hall has been appealing to lovers for over two centuries. Only a shadow of what it used to be back in its day, this building has still some charm left in it. For instance, it’s a regular venue for concerts and plays which could be used as potential date opportunities.

THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE

To ensure a properly romantic evening, book tickets for some of the timeless romantic classics. To make it more interesting, get your date to dress as formally as possible. Afterwards, there is still time to visit some of the surrounding restaurants and continue the romance over a glass of wine.

UNWIND AT THE BOWLING ALLEY

Granted, it may not seem as one of the most romantic ideas, a bowling alley offers many activities which are definitely going to eliminate any awkwardness. Break the silence by playing pool, or table tennis and of course, bowling. A couple that plays together always stays together!!

VISIT A HISTORIC LANDMARK

In the very center of London, there is Dennis Severs’ House. Build in the early 1700s, but now restored and decorated to resemble its original style, this piece of history offers the possibility to roam through a true 18th century house. To spice the visit with romance, it might be a good idea to book for the exclusive night tour which allows couples to check out the house privately and enjoy a pleasant fireplace, holding a glass of wine.

THE ROYAL BOROUGH OF GREENWICH

Although not the oldest of boroughs in London, it’s certainly one of the oldest and most beautiful. There are more than enough activities offered to comply with anyone’s taste. There is the Painted Hall – a truly unique masterpiece, the National Maritime Museum, which is equipped with countless interesting exhibits. It may be a longshot, but if the weather behaves nicely, there is also the opportunity for a picnic on the peak of Greenwich Park.

WHAT’S A DATE WITHOUT DANCING

Nothing is more romantic than dancing to slow melodies under dim lights. While that might be a hard setting to find in modern London clubs, some dance halls have surfaced recently to offer people a chance to a proper dancing atmosphere.

There are so many places that inspire romance in London that the list never ends. Other possible activities include: exploring the city’s royal parks – offering a sense serenity in the middle of a chaotic surrounding; gin-tasting – there is actually a tour which provides the unique opportunity to see how gin is produced; and last but not least: St. Paul’s Cathedral with its inexplicable echoes.

TRAVEL ADVICE DUE TO LONDON TUBE STRIKE AHEAD

London Tube

(TFL) Transport for London has laid out a plan in order to tackle the situation due to the London Tube strike ahead. National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers is planning for a strike from Saturday 9pm to next 48 hours and it’s necessary to keep London moving even if there is a strike. If the strike goes as planned, then from Saturday evening till Monday the underground transportation system will suffer a lot. The strike involving Tube staff has created a confusion that would the Tube facilities will totally be off or would remain open for part of a day?

The over ground transportation services including river, tram, bus network etc. would run according to the routine but they would have to facilitate a lot more number of passengers then usual due to the strike. Extra buses will be there to facilitate the passengers in this case. There are a number of locations which are easily reachable from the mainline rail locations and National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers staff would be there in order to guide and help passengers to reach to their respective destinations.

ADVICE:

  • The passengers are advised to cooperate with the staff because due to the strike there would be extra load on the over ground transport and the staff would be there to help you out so you also need to return back the courtesy.
  • Additional cycle hubs will be provided and the current cycle hubs in the city would be given more cycles in order to provide services to more number of people. Customers are also advised to check the stations which are affected and which are not using TFL’s time travel tool.
  • Normal Tube services will start from 9th February.
  • TFL ambassadors and volunteers would be present to guide the passengers.

OFFICIAL STATEMENT OF THE CHIEF UNDERGROUND OPERATING SERVICES:

Steve Griffiths who is the London’s Chief Underground Operating Officer requested everyone to check the TFL website for recent developments on the RMT union strike as they try to resolve this situation. He said all this strike will do is make sure employees lose two days of wages and their bonus, since the ticket offices for the company already closed in December.

He continued to clearly state that all of their employees are treated fairly, worked for reasonable hours only, and they offer a stable platform on which thousands have and thousands more can earn their living. So in his mind, there is absolutely no reason why this strike should take place in the first place.

He also said that these changes helped them become more helpful to their customers through more direct interaction. Staff had to move to their ticket halls and consequently they were able to serve the customers in a more personal manner than ever before.

The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers administration is trying its best in order to help the passengers but the situation will be cleared only after the strike starts or when it ends.

Things To Do In London During Christmas

Regent Street Christmas

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London exhibits exciting events throughout the year. There is no city as beautiful as London. But England’s capital city becomes more magical during Christmas. Experience the magnificent events with pop-ups, a tour of the twinkling lights at night-time, some tasteful treats at the Christmas markets to get you in jingle bell mood. Enjoy the chilled weather with the finest festive events.

Open Top Bus Tour

View the beautiful city from the iconic open-top bus tour. Travel to the top attractions and classic sights and get a view of the sparkling city from the top of the bus. The chilly air against your face will leave you feeling refreshed.

Snowy Hogwarts

Experience the magic in reality at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour. On the Christmas festive season the Hogwarts studio is transformed for visitors to marvel the famous Hogwarts castle in Snow. Learn all about the scenes that were shot for the film. The legendary Great Hall will be decorated with Christmas bells and garlands, roasted turkeys, puddings, cakes and eight Christmas trees. Visiting the magical world on Christmas is something no to be missed.

Twinkling Christmas at Kew

Kew Gardens transforms into an enchanted winter landscape with a mile long magical night-time trail and a 50-foot Christmas tree during the festive season. The beautiful gardens open their doors after dark to reveal a trail of twinkling and sparkling snowflakes through stunning spectacles of plants and trees.

Enchanted Woodland

The gorgeous oak trees and gardens at Syon Park are lit up in an outstanding manner. The dreamlike event summons visitors to revel in an exceptional guided walk. The path guides you to the lake of 18th century, where the textures and silhouettes of the mystic winter trees are mirrored on the water surface. The dimness and enchantment of a chilly winter’s night presents a perfect occasion to immortalize the forest some incredible photographs.

Christmas Films and Theatre

Indulge in theatre entertainment during the perfect time of Christmas. It may be on the big curtain or the small, it does not matter. The popular Christmas shows such as Slava’s Snow Show, The Snowman, and Matilda.

Hidden City

Hidden City launches a festive trail ever year consisting of teams working together to solve clues and win the ultimate target. The Enchanted Mirror is this year’s trail. It is a fairy-tale adventure from an evil queen to find the secreted magical mirror. The trail usually goes on for three to four hours and it does not require local knowledge.

Christmas Markets

Every year during Christmas, traditional markets spring up all over the city. You’ll find stalls and shops selling exceptional items, foodie treats, mulled wine and much more. There is a market for every person with various unique themes. Some of the popular markets are Monocle Christmas Market, Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, Fair Christmas Fayre, Christmas Market at Tate Modern, Barbican Christmas Market, Real Food Christmas Market, Mayfair Christmas Market and many more.

London: The Capital of England

Trafalgar Square

London is the largest city of England and is located on the River Thames. It is populated with 8.63 million people who are either migrants or locals. London, being the biggest city of Middle Europe, is also the world’s largest financial center. Along with New York, London makes up for the two major financial centers of the world. The city of London enjoys an oceanic climate. In other words, the climate here is neither very hot nor very cold. It is temperate. At times, it is also cloudy. London is home to people from many nationalities. Although, a majority of the population here is British, London also houses many immigrants.

London’s History

London evolved as Londinium on the River Thames in AD 43. The Romans built it. The name London came from Celtic language, the language of ancient Britons, who lived there then. In AD 61, Queen Boudica’s army destroyed London. However, the Queen did not live long thereafter because she committed suicide when the Romans trapped her. Later, the Romans rebuilt the city and made it a trading hub. London remained uninhabited for a long time after the Romans left. The Anglo-Saxons, the inhabitants of the city liked to live in the countryside. It was not until the 9th century when people came to live there. Slowly, they turned London into the largest city in England.

Old London:

But, London became the capital city only in the 12th century. The building of the railways proved to be a catalyst in London becoming very big. Greater London comprises 33 London Boroughs and is ruled by a mayor. Although, the old city is merely a square mile in size, it has its own mayor. Westminster is another famous part of Old London, which is distinct from the main city. Here, you can find the Westminster Abbey, a famous cathedral, the Palace of Westminster and Big Ben. It also houses the habitation of the Prime Minister, 10 Downing Street.

Places to Visit in London:

London, being a diverse and vibrant city, houses some of the world’s best sights and sounds. It is very well-known for its London Theatre, which attracts the best acting talent from all over the world. It is also famous for Madame Tussauds London, a museum housing famous personalities like Lady Gaga, Shakespeare, Amitabh Bachchan, Usain Bolt, etc. Other notable monuments are the National Gallery, the Natural History Museum, the Tate Modem, the Coca-Cola London Eye, the Science Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Tower of London, the Royal Museums Greenwich.

Considering that London has a diverse population, speaks many dialects, houses many notable monuments, has excellent transport facilities, and is the financial center of the world, its nomination as the capital of England is not surprising. A survey has also brought out the fact that London will very soon replace New York to become the financial capital of the world. Its attraction as the premier city for business, finance and politics and its collection of entertainment, media, fashion and art houses give it a distinct place in the world cultural scene.

Top Sights and Attractions in Scotland

Edinburgh Castle

Think of Scotland and you’ll conjure an image of breathtaking scenery, archaeological sites, lonely castles, skirling bagpipes and a lot more. Whatever your interests might be, Scotland offers the best of everything, making it undoubtedly, a gorgeous place on the Earth. Next time, you visit Scotland, don’t miss out on these attractions, where truly heaven resides.

Edinburgh Castle:
Edinburgh Castle is the most famous fortresses in Scotland and has dominated the skyline of the capital since the 13th century. It’s set atop of an extinct volcano and can afford the magnificent views of city landmarks such as Royal Mile,  Princess Street and the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

Glasgow Science Centre:
Explore science and technology in unique and fun ways at the Glasgow Science Centre.  Here you’ll have memorable time indulging in hands-on exhibits, workshops, live science shows and various other activities.

The Falkirk Wheel:
An engineering design wonder, the Falkirk Wheel is the world’s only rotating boatlift, historically used to bridge the Forth & Clyde and Union canals in the east and west coast. Take a boat trip on this wheel and experience the thrill, adventure and beauty together.

Stirling Castle:
Dating back to the 12th century, this historic castle is one of the finest Renaissance buildings in the UK and was the favoured residence of Scotland’s kings and queens.The castle played a significant role in Scotland’s rich history and were famous for the Battle of Bannockburn.

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Built on 72 acres of land, take a stroll down the Royal Botanic Garden to experience the stunning scenery. Founded in 1670, the Garden is one of the finest in the world where unusual and beautiful plants are found.

National Museum of Scotland
Situated on Edinburgh’s Chambers Street, this museum is a treasure trove of ancient artefacts.  It’s spectacularly diverse collections will take you a journey of Scotland, world cultures and science and discovery- all under one roof.

Royal Yacht Britannia:
Come abode to the Queen’s floating residence for one-of-a-kind holiday. The Royal Yacht Britannia was the home of Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family for over 40 years. It’s rated as the no. 1 attraction in the UK in 2014 by TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards.

Edinburgh Zoo:
Established in 1913, Edinburgh Zoo is the perfect selection for the family day out. With more than 1000 animals from every corner of the globe, it’s the most famous wildlife attraction of Scotland.

The Scotch Whisky Experience:
Visit the Scotch Whisky Experience to improve your whisky knowledge. Take a barrel ride as you become part of the whisky making process.  Discover how whisky is made, and learn about the different whisky regions as well as its types.

The People’s Palace Museum:
Situated on historic Glasgow Green, the People’s Palace consists of relics and interactives that tell the story of Glasgow and its people. The adjacent gorgeous Winter Gardens is filled with exotic palms and plants for an exceptional experience.