London is among the most widely travelled cities of the world. There is a regular footfall of historians, scholars, celebrities and of course businessmen, tourists, and bureaucrats. There is something new to offer every time you visit this great city. It could be a festival, a performance, a sporting event, or even a novel dining experience. To know about the ins and outs of London you need to reside here. As such a probability is low; you should make the most of your London stay even if it is for 36 hours. The inimitable charm of this historic place is overwhelming and would hold in awe. The warmth of English hospitality is all pervasive and could even be enjoyed while staying in a budget hotel in London.
Getting to London
London is among the most well connected of country capitals. There is no international airline that does not have flights to London. Be it spring, summer, autumn, or winter this city is always accessible, except of course if there are no interruptions in the form of storms, volcanic eruptions, or heavy snowfall. In case you want to access this capital city from countries of Western Europe like France, Belgium, or Holland you could avail road or train service. There are regular coach and rail services between European mainland and British Isles.
Staying in London
After reaching London you should head straight for your chosen accommodation. Most London hotels have pick up and drop facilities. You could also arrange a vehicle rental service directly. The car model would be as per your demand, and the driver would also be as you want. You could ask for a driver conversant in a language of your choice. Having a driver speaking in your language would make your journey more enjoyable. As these drivers are knowledgeable they could also act as guides while taking you around the city.
London has a huge selection of hotels and apartments for accommodation. You could opt for luxury hotels, economy properties, bed and breakfast, and even backpackers hostel. In case you are planning for a lengthy tour then you could seek furnished apartments. The choice is actually immense and you just need to find these out patiently. Online reviews and guest comments serve as guidelines of London staying. You should make your hotel reservations in advance as leading hotels offer attractive discounts on online booking.
Things to do on a short break
To enjoy London thoroughly you need to have an extended stay of several months. As this is unlikely, you should make the best use of the time you spend in this city. If possible break your stay into hours and then plan your tour accordingly. You could take the assistance of an experienced tour operator in this regard. London is full of historic buildings, incredible tourist attractions, and irresistible activities. Your hands would always stay full if you plan your trips well. You should know that the appeal of this city does not lie with its architecture or cultural heritage, but because of its affable residents. This city boasts of 7.5 million residents speaking as many as 300 dialects among them. With this in the back of your mind, you should plan your tour accordingly.
Tate Modern – You could begin your London discovery in a non-conventional way. Instead of visiting the Tower of London or the Buckingham Palace in the first place, you could begin your city tour with Tate Modern. This modern art gallery housed in a disused power station on the southern bank of River Thames was designed by architects De Meuron and Herzog. Every year a prominent artist is invited to create something unique in its turbine hall.
From Tate Modern you could proceed to Borough Market, a heaven for food lovers. Thereafter you cross over to the Northern bank along Millennium Bridge, popularly termed ‘Woobly Bridge’ to visit St. Paul’s Cathedral, the most celebrated creation of Sir Christopher Wren.
Marylebone Stroll – Even Wooded Notting Hill would come second to the enchanting ambience of Marylebone with its magnificent white terraced Edwardian and Georgian town houses. Here you would get to see Wallace Collection that includes Jean Honroe Fragonard’s ‘The Swing’. Marylebone High Street gives you an opportunity for some unique shopping of organic meat products and rich cakes.
London Eye – Take a ride in one of the glass covered capsules to have an unobtrusive view of London from the highest point of this giant Ferris wheel which stands 135m high. Opt for a ‘champagne flight’ in the evening where you would be treated to the best beverages. Move on to a restaurant on the banks of the Thames for a memorable dinner.
Inns of Court – Created in Gothic architecture, the Inns of Court date back to 14th century. Britain’s barristers are trained here. They even work and stay here together with judges. As you step out of the Middle Temple o the southern side you enter a banquet hall done up in Elizabethan extravagance. It is perhaps more magical than Hogwarts.
Kensington Gardens – In 1728, Caroline the Germany born queen of King George II redesigned the southern section of Hyde Park by creating an artificial lake, Serpentine. This lake allows swimming between May and September, and boating. The precinct of the lake is landscaped with walkways and lawns. Kensington Palace on the western side has been the off and on home of the royal family. Princess Diana Memorial and Fountain was dedicated in the memory of the deceased princess in 2004 by the Queen.
The Royal Court Theatre – Stalwarts like David Hare, John Osborne, Sam Shepherd, Caryl Churchill, and Joe Orton have been associated with this London theatre company. This dual theatre hall property in Sloane Square was made more famous in 1973 for the premier of Rocky Horror Show. More recently in 1995 playwright Sarah Kane’s ‘Blasted’ was debuted from here. Though it raised a hue and cry initially, it was hailed at a later showing in 2001.