Holidays in London

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What to Do in London – Visit the Royal Parks

On your holidays in London, include a visit to at least one of the beautiful parks. London has so many stunning parks and you really need to take the time to enjoy them.

The largest parks are Hyde Park London and its neighbour Kensington Gardens both of which are located at the western part of central London.

Other lovely parks are St. James’s Park and Green Park which are smaller but closer to Buckingham Palace London.

What to Do in London Saint James Park
Beautiful Scenery and Wildlife in St. James Park near Buckingham Palace

A trip to the London Zoo is another great place to visit during your holidays in London, as this is the world’s oldest scientific zoo and is located within Regent’s Park.

Holidays in London near the London Zoo
Avenue Road Bridge on Regent’s Canal near Regent’s Park which is part of the Little Venice canal tour attractions in London

Gleaming white Georgian terraced houses overlook Regent’s Park and there is a beautiful rose garden in the centre. You can see open air performances of Shakespeare’s plays during the summer.

Holidays in London visit Regents Park
Little Venice Waterboat approaching the Regents Park Roadbridge

You could also include a canal cruise of Little Venice on your London vacations on the charming Regent’s Canal and stop in at the London Zoo, as there is an entrance to the zoo and Regent’s Park from the canal.

Make sure you have purchased a ticket to the zoo before you take the canal cruise.

Holidays in London Regents Canal Patios
Romantic and Cozy Backyard on Regent’s Canal

Visit Hyde Park London, Speakers Corner and Kensington Gardens on your Holidays in London

The largest of all the central Royal parks with luscious 600 acres, Hyde Park London is divided by the Serpentine and is neighbour to Kensington Gardens, which home to Kensington Palace.

The Serpentine Gallery holds free exhibitions of contemporary art.

What to Do in London at Marble Arches
The White Carrara Marble Arch which stood in front of Buckingham Palace London until 1851

Another feature of Hyde Park London is the infamous Speakers Corner in the north-east corner of the park near the Marble Arch, where “soap box” orators speak their minds on Sundays.

By crossing a little bridge you enter Kensington Gardens. Here you will find the site of the Albert Memorial and an exquisite statue of Peter Pan. To the west lies Kensington Palace.

More Historic Landmarks and Attractions in London

Visit a Red Telephone Booth on Your Holidays in London

  • Abbey Road Studios
  • Barbican Centre
  • London City Hall
  • Horse Guards
  • Jewel Tower
  • London Aquarium
  • London Dungeon
  • London Planetarium
  • London Silver Vaults
  • London Zoo
  • Millennium Bridge
  • The Monument
  • Nelson’s Column
  • Royal Albert Hall
  • Royal Courts of Justice
  • Royal Mews
  • Royal Opera House
  • The Temple
  • Vinopolis – City of Wine
  • Southwark Cathedral
  • Westminster Cathedral
  • Somerset House
  • Spencer House
  • London’s Transport Museum
  • Museum of Garden History
  • Museum of London
  • National Portrait Gallery
  • Queen’s Gallery
  • Royal Academy of Arts
  • Sherlock Holmes Museum
  • Wellington Museum at Apsley House

Visit Buckingham Palace London and Changing of the Guards

Originally built in the 18th century as a town house for the Duke of Buckingham, Buckingham Palace has been remodelled three times by various architects, including John Nash.

Buckingham Palace London Monument
In front of Buckingham Palace and London Taxi Cabs

The side of Buckingham Palace seen by the public, the east facade, was redesigned in Neoclassical style in 1913. Part of the palace has been open to the public since 1993.

Buckingham Palace London Guards
Make sure to get there early to be able to see the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace as the crowds will quickly block your view

The Queen’s Gallery at the south end of the palace exhibits selections from the Queen’s collection of paintings.

On your holidays in London, you can stroll through the Blue Drawing Room, the Throne Room, the Picture Gallery filled with pictures by Rubens, Rembrandt and Van Dyck, and the Music Room where Mendelssohn played for Queen Victoria.

Buckingham Palace Changing of the Guards
Check the Changing of the Guards schedule as this Ceremony does not always take place every day and can change last minute

In the opulent White Drawing Room, the large mirror to the left of the fireplace conceals a door used by the Royal Family to make a grand appearance before formal dinners.

Changing of the Guards Schedule

The Changing of the Guards takes place at Buckingham Palace London from April to August and only on alternate days from September to March so you really have to check the schedule in advance and plan ahead for your holidays in London.

Houses of Parliament and Big Ben

Its official name is The Palace of Westminster and was the royal residence from the time of Edward the Confessor to that of Henry VIII (1509 – 1547).

Holidays in London Parliament
Spectacular London Eye View of the Parliament Buildings

The magnificent Westminster Hall has survived from the old palace which was destroyed by fire in 1834 and rebuilt in neo-Gothic style.

Its Clock Tower, known as “Big Ben” is an iconic landmark in the United Kingdom and is seen in many photographs of holidays in London, being one of the most popular tourist attractions in London.

Holidays in London Big Ben
Beautiful Big Ben with the London Eye in the Background

Big Ben is the largest four-faced chiming clock and the third-tallest free-standing clock tower in the world with 334 steps to climb.

Exhilarating Views from the London Eye for Fun Holidays in London

The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel located on the south banks of the River Thames, in London, England. This is not a typical Ferris wheel but one with large futuristic glass capsules which can hold up to 25 people.

Holidays in London Eye Capsule
London Eye Champagne Party in the Sky overlooking the River Thames and the Parliament Buildings

Being the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe, it is the most popular paid tourist attractions in London and UK and a great London landmark.

If you have a fear of heights, don’t worry, the wheel moves very slowly and one revolution takes about 30 minutes to go around.

Holidays in London Eye River Thames
View of Hungerford Bridge and the River Thames from the London Eye

The panoramic photographs you can take from within the capsule are spectacular and definitely worth the cost and the flight.

Want to experience a unique flight on your holidays in London? The London Eye offers private parties of various kinds, both romantic intimate moments as well as group parties, treating the guests with a choice of Champagne tastings, Wine tastings, Mulled-wine experience and Chocolate tastings, and served by your own private host.

Attractions in London at Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square is at the center of a busy traffic roundabout.

Attractions in London Trafalgar Square
This square is major London attraction where all the tourists and the pigeons congregate.

This roundabout is one of the major stops for the London Bus Tours.

The National Gallery, with Britain’s collection of the Old Masters, is situated in the square.

Nelson’s Column, a fluted granite pillar, is the centerpiece of Trafalgar Square with four majestic lions guarding the base.

On the north-eastern corner of the square, opposite the National Gallery, is the church St. Martin-in-the-Fields, dating from the 1720s, St. Martin has a gilded but simple interior with chubby cherubim.

Nelsons Column and Statue of King George IV in Trafalgar Square

St. Martin-in-the-Fields church also has its own world-renowned chamber orchestra.

Relax at Covent Garden on Your Holidays in London

In the heart of London and near The Strand, Covent Garden is a large square with the Covent Garden Market and home to the Royal Opera House.

Holidays in London Covent Garden Market
Covent Garden Market has many Fabulous Eateries and Charming Shops

Formerly the square had its beginnings as “convent garden” where the monks of Westminster Abbey grew their vegetables.

Holidays in London Opera House
Enjoy an Evening at the London Opera House on your Holidays in London

Today, Covent Garden is filled with many boutique stores and fashion shops, popular bars, restaurants and outdoor cafes.

Covent Garden Entrance to the London Royal Opera House
The Royal Opera House hosts major performing arts venues and perhaps is the most modern theatre facility in Europe.

The cobblestone streets are full of fun and laughter.

Starting early in the day the buskers begin their entertainment and in the afternoon the visitors and locals alike look for bargains in the many boutique stores.

Covent Garden’s Grand Entrance to the Royal London Opera House

Before and after the London Opera performances, Covent Garden becomes a stage for the well-dressed theatre goers or the after-work crowd and is great place for partying and people watching. Relax at one of the many charming pubs, restaurants and cafes.

Holidays in London Restaurants Covent Garden
Maxwell’s Bar Grill is One of the Covent Garden Theatre Restaurants

It features pedestrian friendly walking streets with great shopping, eating, laughter and live music bands and buskers.

Holidays in London Covent Garden Shopping
Great Shopping in Covent Garden

With lots of pubs, cafes and trendy shops, the streets are bustling, and Friday and Saturday nights are busy with the theatre crowds.

What to Do in London Covent Garden Cafe
The Fabulous Fuel Cafe in Covent Garden London

Equipped with stand up heaters, the outdoor terraces and cafes of Covent Garden are equipped to keep you comfortable on those chilly afternoons and evenings on your holidays in London.

Covent Garden is walking distance to Soho, The Strand, Trafalgar Square and Victoria Embankment.

Top 15 Attractions in London Along the Victoria Embankment

The Victoria Embankment is a stretch of the road along the north bank of the River Thames in London from Westminster Bridge over to Blackfriars Bridge.

This is one of my favourite places to visit in London, even if I am flying in for a one day stopover. I leave my baggage at the airport and take the Tube down to the Thames.

Great Ideas of What to Do in London along the River Thames:

1. Houses of Parliament and Big Ben

2. The beautiful Westminster Bridge

3. Riverboats to the Tower of London, Greenwich, Thames Barrier, Kew, Richmond and Hampton Court

4. Former County Hall and the London Aquarium

Holidays in London Aquarium
Stunning View of the London Aquarium from the London Eye

Holidays in London Aquarium on Thames
London Aquarium from the Westminster Bridge

5. The London Eye

Holidays in London Eye
Tattershall Castle Bar is parked at the Victoria Embankment and has a fantastic view of the London Eye while you are Dining on Board

Holidays in London Royal Horseguards Hotel
Tattershall Castle Bar and the Royal Horseguards Hotel on the Bankside

What to Do in London Embankment

6. Tattershall Castle Bar

7. Hungerford Bridge and Golden Jubilee Bridges

8. Royal Festival Hall

9. Queen Elizabeth Hall

10. National Theatre

11. Charing Cross Pubs and Eateries along Villiers Street

12. Cleopatra’s Needle

13. Courtauld Institute Gallery and Somerset House

14. The Temple Church, a medieval church built by the Knights Templar and featured in the novel and film The Da Vinci Code

Charming Cafes along Villier Street between Embankment and Charing Cross

15. Victoria Embankment Gardens is a quiet park in the heart of the busy activities of the River Thames and the Embankment.

This a wonderful getaway spot in downtown London.

I enjoy wandering around these fascinating sites when I’m on holidays in London, and for a change of scenery, I cross one of the spectacular bridges and have lunch and a glass of wine at one of the eateries or cafes on the south bank of the River Thames, opposite the Victoria Embankment side, and watch the people and the boats go by.

What to Do in London Victoria Gardens
Read a Book or Enjoy a Picnic at Victoria Embankment Gardens

Or, if I stay on the north bank along the Victoria Embankment, I pick up a meal- to-go from one of the charming cafes along Villier Street and retreat to the Victoria Embankment Gardens.

Tower of London and Nearby Attractions in London

One of the most impressive buildings in London, the Tower was used as a royal residence from William the Conqueror to James I (1603 – 1624).

This has been a palace and prison of English monarchs for over 500 years and was the site of the first observatory, the Royal Mint, the Crown Jewels, and the Royal Arsenal.

Attractions in London Tower of London
Visit the Magnificent Tower of London

The enormous fortress is well known for its many famous prisoners. The Queen’s Crown Jewels, robes and crowns have been stored at the Tower of London for over six hundred years.

Holidays in London Tower of London Gates
From the Tower of London you can see the London City Hall

Originally, they were housed in the Jewel House, but due to the lack of space for all the visitors, they are now exhibited in the magnificent setting in the Waterloo Barracks built in 1845 in the Tower of London.

From the Tower of London you can also see the Tower Bridge and the London City Hall, which are walking distance from here.

Tower Bridge

Visit one of the most famous bridges in Europe in the fairy-tale style of Victorian Gothic (1894) on your holidays in London.

Holidays in London Tower Bridge
Striking Tower Bridge of London

The granite and steel Tower Bridge resembles a castle and is a masterpiece of engineering with the centre piece and two drawbridges which can be opened in 90 seconds.

Holidays in London Tower Bridge Arches
Fascinating Arches of the London Tower Bridge

The two towers provide magnificent panoramic views of London.

City Hall of London

While you are at the Tower of London, directly across the River Thames is the City Hall of London.

Holidays in London City Hall
Futuristic London City Hall from the River Thames

Built to look as if the building is slanting, the London City Hall has unique architectural details.

Explore All Hallows by the Tower Church on Your Holidays in London

This is London’s oldest church and contains relics dating from 675 AD. Just inside the south entrance is an arch from the 7th century Saxon church.

It was from the top of this church that Samuel Pepys witnessed the Great Fire in 1666. The tower also survived the bombs of World War II.

In the under croft Crypt Museum are various exhibits from London’s 2,000 year old history including Roman coins, a model Roman London, fragments of Roman paving, a part of the original wall of the church and the remains of two Saxon crosses.

All Hallows by the Tower is near the Tower of London and Tower Bridge so be sure to include a visit to this ancient church on your holidays in London.

Holidays in london Victoria Embankment Park
Escape to the Solitude within the Victoria Embankment Gardens

London is a dynamic city, rich with history, magnificent art and architecture, diverse culture, evolving science, fun and entertainment, and the quiet beauty of nature. You will want to come back for many holidays in London.

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