Tag: England

10 Best Places to Spend a Day in London

London is wide of greatest cities on Earth. It is home to some of the most iconic buildings, people and events of history. But how do you cram everything in? Well that’s easy I’ve broken everything down into 10 simple day trips to help you enjoy the capital at its best- so no more regrets in the airport lounge on your way home.

 

Warner Bros Harry Potter Studios

The Harry Potter series has enchanted a generation of readers. The popularity of the books was only increased further when they were made into highly successful films by the Warner Bros. Company. In an ingenious move Warner Bros. has now opened the newly renovated Harry Potter studios, where they filmed many parts of the movies, to the public.

Harry Potter Studios
By Rebekah Hughes under CC BY-SA 2.0

 

Now visitors can go strolling down Diagon Alley where they can buy wands, wizard confectionary and all manner of magical items. It really is a special place to spend the day, especially if you’re bringing children with you.

 

The British Museum

The British Museum holds the biggest collection of historical artefacts in the world. The entire idea for a national museum stemmed from a wealthy philanthropists’ bequeathment of his private collection of artefacts to the British nation.

 

The British Museum
Image source: Wikimedia under CC BY-SA 3.0

 

This that time the British museum has become home to around 8million objects ranging from sculptures to ancient domestic items. It is still free to the public although visitors will have to pay for any loan based exhibitions.

 

Hyde Park

Most major cities have a large open green space for its residents to take a break from the fumes and noises of everyday urban life. London is no exception, and although there are numerous parks to choose from I think that Hyde Park is by far the best out of them to spend a day in.

 

Hyde Park
By Metro Centric (Hyde Park, London) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

For starters you can get on a pedalo and enjoy watching life go by from the middle of the Serpentine Lake. Or you just enjoy a gentle stroll with ice creams around London’s green oasis.

 

Wembley Stadium

Generally credited as the home of football (the most popular sport in the world), Wembley is a triumph of modern engineering. The current stadium (a rebuild of the old 1920’s era stadium) is recognisable by its iconic arch which is actually wide enough to enable a London underground train to pass comfortably through it!

 

Wembley Stadium London
By Ian Wilson from London, England (Wembley Stadium, London) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Enjoying a match day at this stadium, along with 90,000 other fans, is not an experience you’ll forget in a hurry. Before the match or just during the day if one isn’t on, then you can have a tour of the stadium and maybe have your photo taken with one or two famous faces.

 

The Tower of London

An ever present in London’s skyline for a thousand years the Tower of London is one of the world’s most iconic buildings, which makes it an amazing place to spend the day. Throughout its lifetime the Tower has served numerous purposes from being a royal residence to the royal mint and from a fortress to a zoo.

The Tower of London
By pikous (flickr.com) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

These days, despite being a major tourist attraction, the Tower is famously home to the priceless crown jewels which are on display to visitors. Tours are conducted by the Tower wardens (or Beefeaters) who possess a huge wealth of knowledge about the Tower and its historical inhabitants.

 

London Zoo

London Zoo is the world’s oldest scientific zoo; it was opened in the first part of the 19th century as a place for zoologists to study newly discovered species. Initially only intended for use by scientists and wealthy donors London Zoo opened to the public twenty years after its unveiling.

 

London Zoo
By Nigel Swales under CC BY-SA 2.0

Nowadays it is home to nearly 17,000 animals and has proved to be a consistent hit with both Londoners and tourists; due in part to its innovative exhibit ideas such as Gorilla Kingdom, Rainforest Life and Into Africa.

 

Houses of Parliament

The current home of the Houses of Parliament is only a few hundred years old because the original structure, which had stood for centuries, was damaged beyond repair in a fire. The architecture, history and sheer decadence of the building, coupled with it being the home of the oldest continuous parliament in the world, makes this a must on anyone’s list.

 

Houses of Parliament
Martin Thirkettle [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Walk the same halls and stand in the same chambers (you’re not allowed to sit in the chambers) as political greats like Disraeli, Gladstone, Thatcher and Churchill. It is an incredible experience and essential if you want to understand why modern Britain is how it is.

 

Westminster Abbey

Just over the road from the Houses of Commons, stands the impressive Westminster Abbey which has been used to crown Kings and Queens of England for a thousand years. The current structure dates back around 700 years and is the resting place of many illustrious figures such as: Queen Elizabeth I, Geoffrey Chaucer, Rudyard Kipling, Sir Charles Dickens, Sir Isaac Newton, Sir Laurence Olivier and William Wilberforce. Not bad company to spend a day in, is it?

 

Westminster Abbey
By Ellocharlie at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

Anyway, if you watched the Royal Wedding (and who didn’t?) then you probably don’t need any further encouragement from me to visit!

 

Tate Modern

The Tate Modern has become an internationally famed gallery of modern art; in fact it is the most popular modern art gallery in the world attracting upwards of 4.5 million visitors a year.

 

Tate Modern
Christine Matthews [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Based in a refurbished power station on the banks of the River Thames the Tate is home to works from artists such as Monet, Matisse, Picasso and Warhol. For art lovers it is incredibly easy to while away the hours gazing at some modern masterpieces but just be conscious that not everyone is an art lover!

 

Bond Street

 

Image source: Wikimedia under CC BY-SA 3.0
Image source: Wikimedia under CC BY-SA 3.0

Now trip to London would be complete without a shopping spree and there are few better places to get your credit card out than Bond Street. Despite being one of the most expensive strips of real estate in the world Bond Street has a huge range of shops on it; ranging from high end fashion like Armani, Dolce & Gabanna, Tiffany & Co to some more of the more common high street brands. Whatever takes your fancy, you can probably find it on Bond Street.