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London is United Kingdom’s capital and a major destination in Europe. This frenetic capital fascinates visitors with its majestic palaces, famous museums, larger than life monuments and that distinct genteel aura that pervades among locals. London offers a mixed bag of attractions and activities reflecting the diverse range of ethnicities living in the city. Home to one of the most powerful monarchies in the world, London has enough castles and stately homes to fill anyone’s royal fancies, and yet more are found further afield. Apart from sightseeing, entertainment is another class act. Find a plethora of plays, musicals and other bedazzling theatrical highlights or drop in on any of the swinging pubs and fine restaurants to help you unwind and further enjoy your holiday.

It may be daunting to an avid explorer as he maps out his course of action. Thames River separates London into north and south making your navigation as easy as possible. On the north bank, the key attractions can be found along with theatres and restaurants that can be reached by Underground’s Circle Line. On the western portion of the loop lies trendy haunts. Soho offers all sorts of watering holes and shops! Piccadilly Circus, standing at the junction of five busy streets emulates the atmosphere of New York’s Times Square; its famous statue of Eros in the middle is one of London’s top landmarks. Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square and Regent Street can also be seen within this area.

Kensington and Chelsea is an affluent borough in which you can have a taste of hip dining and fancy boutiques. History provides these neighborhoods their funky appeal as King’s Road area was where London swung to the beat of the 60s and rocked in the 70s. Notting Hill on the other hand, lay its mark on pop culture as Hollywood saw Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts walking past street markets, little art galleries and Victorian townhouses which were on full display. Another nifty enclave is Camden Town, popular for its bustling street markets.

What should one not miss while in London? Choose between a black taxicab or the red double-decker bus to take on this must-see list. Most of these sights stand testament to England’s proud history. Watch the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace; Westminster Abbey, where royals are entombed; stare in awe at Big Ben or the St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London. Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre is imperative for fans of the poet and for further art appreciation, visit the Natural History and British museums.

But if you want to see over 55 attractions of the city in one quick swoop, hop on the London Eye, the world’s tallest observation wheel, and enjoy the breathtaking views!

Watch the changing of the guard everyday and see the Queen’s troops march in their full regalia. If you find yourself in London in summer, all of the city comes to a full stop for the Trooping the Colour ceremonies during the Queen’s Birthday Parade. Another time-honored tradition is the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race along the banks of the Thames River. Popular events in the British calendar also include Notting Hill Carnival, bringing out the biggest street parties in August. The Lord Mayor’s Show is also a much-awaited event as locals and tourists are treated to an extravagant parade when the Lord Mayor rides in his gilded coach. Musical extravaganzas are in store for everyone at the Royal Albert Hall and Hyde Park for the Last Night of the Proms around mid-September. Then if you want to feast your eyes on some of the best flowers in the land, head for the Chelsea Flower Show in May.

In the world of sports, tennis fans witness champions battle it out in the grass courts of Wimbledon, one of the four major grand slam tournaments. Endless revelry in the streets ensue as the London Gay and Lesbian Pride and Mardi Gras comes around June. Soho’s Chinatown celebrates Chinese New Year at the start of the year with fireworks, food tripping and dragon dances spilling onto Trafalgar Square.

If you fall in love with London like so many others do, then just visiting sometimes isn't enough. Moving to London becomes a viable option when you want to experience something totally new. London offers so much; history, the culture, the excitement as well as the very close proximity to Europe.

If you're contemplating taking your London travels to the next level then visit Moving to London to get all the advice, tips and resources you'll need to make your transition easier.

Climate

  • Winter (December to March) 3-6°C; mild but damp, rarely freezes
  • Spring (March to May) 11-15°C; everything abloom as temperature starts to go up and warm sunshine bathes the metropolis
  • Summer (June to August) 18-30°C; temperatures can shoot up in the city but expect cloudy skies and rain as well
  • Fall (September to November) 5-25°C; best time to visit but be sure to carry an umbrella to protect yourself from rain

Londoners love it. Overseas tourists can’t get enough of it. But a lot of other people in the country shudder at the thought of visiting the capital. ‘It’s too big, too dirty, too noisy, too dangerous, too crowded, too fast-paced, too famous, too expensive.’

Yes, London is all of those things. But that’s actually part of its appeal. The only way to enjoy London is to accept its bad points and revel in its good ones. And once you do, you’re in for the time of your life. So there’s no point resenting the fact that London gets all the attention or puts itself across as the only sporting, artistic and cultural hub in the country. Instead, feel slightly smug that it also gets most of the traffic jams and pollution – and take a short-term visitor’s gain from Londoners long-term stuck-with-it gain.

From the might of Westminster to the seediness of Soho, from the opulence of Mayfair to the overbearing self-confidence of the businesspeople clogging up all the great pubs in the City, there’s so much to see and do. Like taking in a show in the West End or head to Kensington and Knightsbridge for all the museums and galleries – many of which are still, fantastically, free.

While we might scoff at London’s pretentiousness in the privacy of our own towns and villages, there’s an understanding that, like a family member, should anyone from outside the UK join in the mocking, we’ll cut them down quick smart by rattling off a thousand reasons why it’s the cultural centre of the western world.


LONDON’S TOP 10

10. Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre Take a tour or watch a genuine play at this genuine Shakespearean reconstruction.

5. Big Ben Recently polled as London’s most popular film location, you hear its dulcet tones on the news every night, so why not see the big boy in person. (Actually, you can only see the clock tower, but you know what we mean…)

9. Natural History Museum You don’t have to be a natural science nerd to appreciate a towering, open-jawed T-Rex. The Blue Whale hanging from the roof is looking a bit shabby these days, but boy is it big!

4. The London Eye Undeniably touristy, overpriced and with the longest queue in town. But, but, BUT it’s still worth getting up there (if only to remember all the problems they had getting it up – add your own Carry On joke here…)

8. Westminster Abbey Apparently there was some wedding there recently. Did you happen to hear anything about it?

3. The British Museum Brilliant building in Russell Square, wonderful collection from pre-history to Britain’s time as the pre-eminent world power. The Rosetta Stone is here, and so much more. Great interactive activities for the kids, too.

7. Trafalgar Square Nelson on his column casts a one-eyed view over London. It’s big, it’s grand, it’s the finishing point for demonstrations.

2. Buckingham Palace Try as you might to attract the attention of the guards outside Betty Windsor’s home and get them to break character, if the Swedish girl lifting her top next to you didn’t succeed, you’ve got Buckley’s.

6. National Gallery Jaw-dropping artistic treasures lines the walls. One of the world’s great collections and it belongs to everyone in the country, so go see what’s yours!

1. The Tower of London From armoury to treasury to menagerie to public records office to the home of a really shiny hat…

LONDON LOCAL

Soho

While Soho used to have a dangerous edge due to its notoriety as a red-light district, it has become increasingly gentrified over the years. So much so, in fact, that its dangerous edge now comes from the children of said gentry, trying desperately to get back to gangsta roots they never had, standing threateningly on corners and looking for mischief. While it was far safer and more entertaining when the hookers and pimps ran this end of town, there’s still a fair bit to see and do.

Soho’s bars and clubs, like Chinawhite and Café Boheme are magnets for celebrities from lists A-Z. Even during the day, Soho’s Chinatown and its gay village on Old Compton Street are both full of a vibrant buzz.

Piccadilly Circus

Tourists from every corner of the world flock to this London icon, situated in the heart of the West End, with the theatre-packed Shaftesbury Avenue running off it. Scoff as you may at the gaudy signage and dazed-looking backpackers, there is something about its buzz and vibrancy that sweeps you up in its charm.

Central to everything, including Covent Garden and the high-end shops on Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus is a good meeting spot… except that thousands of others think so, too.

Camden

There aren’t many other areas in London – or in the whole country, for that matter – that have a style so closely associated with its location. From music to fashion to culture, there’s a distinct Camden ‘flavour’ to everything within the village limits, usually marked by pink or blue hair.

Camden is a thriving, buzzing hub of alternative culture, and the perfect place to peruse markets and music venues, including The Roundhouse Theatre and an indoor market inside the Electric Ballroom. The Devonshire Arms (known locally as The Hobgoblin) is the perfect liquid antidote to London’s many touristy pubs.


Chelsea

Remember Cool Britannia in the 1990s? Chelsea does. More than just a New Labour marketing slogan, it was also when King’s Road climbed to the heights of elegance it hadn’t hit since the Swinging Sixties. The district has moved on since then, but the boutiques and designer stores (not to mention the antique shops) remain. So, too, do an irritating number of ‘Sloane Rangers’ who still give Londoners a bad name, but you can’t have everything.

Actually, in Chelsea, you pretty much can have everything – assuming you’re prepared to pay for it…

Notting Hill

Celebs love Notting Hill and can often be seen ‘casually’ browsing Portobello Road Market. If fighting Gwen, Chris and Apple for stall wares isn’t your thing, Notting Hill provides other retail-tastic options. Westbourne Grove is where established fashion designers share real estate with up-and-coming creative types.

LONDON EAT & DRINK

Club Gascon We have a love-hate relationship with the French, but they can certainly cook. Clerkenwell

The Gordon Ramsay OK, he comes across as a tosser on telly, but the food here is remarkably refined. Holloway

Archipelago Ever tried chocolate-coated scorpion? This is your chance… West End

The Dorchester Afternoon tea as it was meant to be served – in large amounts and in opulent surroundings. Mayfair

Hakkasan Athentic Chinese food, done really, really well. How else could they be able to afford premises on the most-expensive Monopoly property? Mayfair

Fifteen Jamie Oliver may have failed to revolutionise school dinners, but this place is a real winner. Best thing is the size of the portions – big! Islington

7. Sketch Gallery Seriously stylish décor goes with seriously delicious food and some seriously famous clientele to create a seriously memorable (and rather expensive) dining experience. Mayfair

J Sheekey Superior seafood, fine art, and sometimes Angelina Jolie. What more could you ask for? Covent Garden

St John An culinary icon in the heart of London. Stockbrokers and the like love it. Which, on reflection, may actually be a reason for avoiding it. City

The Wolseley The opulent Wolseley is a mix of celebrities getting their 10am champagne fix and food critics desperately seeking something to criticise. Piccadilly

LONDON EVENTS

With more than half a million spectators, London’s New Year’s Day Parade is the biggest event of its kind in the world. Now if that doesn’t make your heart swell with national pride, nothing will!

The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race in late March attracts a massive crowd to the River Thames. Hugh Laurie rowed it in it once, before he abandoned us and went to America.

Contrary to popular opinion, May’s Chelsea Flower Show not just for octogenarians. It’s actually very pretty and… well, it is really an oldie sort of thing to do.

If you like a bit of pomp and circumstance, Trooping the Colour in June takes some beating. Unless you’re an intrusive paparazzo, it’s probably your best chance of catching Will and Kate (and hopefully Pippa!) in the flesh.

Whether or not you’re a fan of Tom Jones, the English Heritage Picnic Concerts are a good way to make the most of the summer months.

August’s Notting Hill Carnival is the second largest street festival in the world – one of the many boons of London’s diverse culture. It’s crowded but fun and as everyone is determined to have a good time, remarkably trouble-free.

Arguably the most popular classical music concert in the world, the Last Night of the Proms in September was so popular in 2010 they did it twice!

Unlike other European film festivals, October’s London Film Festival is not just for celebrities and film industry insiders.

The second Saturday in November is when the Lord Mayor swears his allegiance to the Crown at the Lord Mayor’s Show. The BBC used to televise this, before they realised there was actually more to the country than London – no matter how fabulous it is.

WHEN TO GO

Like the rest of the country, London can shut down if it even looks like snowing. Apart from that, any time is a good time to visit, providing you dress appropriately.

WHAT TO MISS

· The London Trocadero is the epitome of gaudy and crowded Piccadilly Circus – and not in a good way.

· Public phones. Iconic, yes, but your mobile is sure to have less bacteria on the mouthpiece…

· While Oxford Street is a must-see, save your shopping for less touristy areas to get better prices and more original pieces.

GETTING THERE AND AROUND

Stop press: You don’t HAVE to drive to London. In fact, it’s probably best if you don’t. The stats tell us that the Congestion Charge has reduced some of the traffic, but you probably wouldn’t notice it.

You could fly to London, but as both Heathrow and Gatwick are a bit out of it (in distance rather than anything else) and no-one knows anyone who has actually used London City Airport, rail is probably your best bet. Apart from anything else, London’s train stations (particularly like Waterloo and St Pancras) are architectural works of art.

· Once there, the Tube is generally the quickest and most reliable way to get around. But it can get stifling to the point of thinking you’re going to faint in summer, and avoid it at peak commuting times (8am to 9.30am, 4.30pm to 6pm) – unless you want to discover why Londoners moan about it.

· If you have some time to spare, the top level of a double-decker bus is more exciting way to get where you’re going. Get an Oyster Card (available from tube stations and newsagents) for travel across all London’s public networks.

· The distance between tube stations can be misleading. In the thick of it, walking is the best way to get around. Or hail a black cab, give them the obscurest street you can think of in the whole damn town and sit back in amazement as they take you there without once having to consult the A-Z.

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· The London Underground (called the Tube) is generally the quickest and most reliable way to get around. But it can get stifling to the point of thinking you’re going to faint in summer, and avoid it at peak commuting times (8am to 9.30am, 4.30pm to 6pm) – unless you want to discover why Londoners moan about it.

· If you have some time to spare, the top level of a double-decker bus is more exciting way to get where you’re going. Get an Oyster Card (available from tube stations and newsagents) for travel across all London’s public networks.

· The distance between tube stations can be misleading – London is rather small and your feet are often a very convenient method of transportation.

While many hipster aortas claim to own the resurgence of fedoras, skinny jeans and puddle jumpers worn with sockless brogues, it’s really London’s East End that can take the bow. The confines of Hackney, Shoreditch and Hoxton seem to breed food, art and fashion revolutions by the minute – while the rest of the world just follows suit.

From the requisite White Chapel and White Cube galleries to the edgier Hackney Wick and art spaces of Vyner Street, the East End art crowd is at the forefront of the global avant-garde. On the food and booze front, things aren’t any less punch and diverse. Old faithful Brick Lane still does a supreme curry house, while Les Trois Garcons holds the stalwart title firm, serving modern French fare in a vintage curio den . Throw in a smattering of nose-to-tail joints and a cheap Vietnamese contingent and you’re spoilt for choice.

Feel free to sample the achingly hip sartorial choices the East End has to offer, but many decide to linger on the sidelines here. Simply too much pressure!

London Hotels

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London Hotels


You don’t just go to London, you live it. It’s fast, it’s furious, it’s expensive, and it’ll give you the best time of your life if you let it. From the might of Westminster to the seediness of Soho, from the opulence of Mayfair to the overbearing self-confidence of the businesspeople clogging up all the great pubs in the City, there’s always something to see, something to do, someone to be thankful you’re not like. ... Read more »

Take in a show or some shopping in the West End, or realise there’s more to London than the postcard scenes and explore further afield. Head north to Wembley and its famous, redeveloped stadium, the home of football, or south to Brixtonand take in a gig at the famous Brixton Academy, where some of the biggest names in music still perform.

And everywhere you go you’ll hear a different, sometimes incomprehensible accent that is tribute to London’s historical development and multiculturalism. London’s ethnic diversity and wacky blend of tradition and trendsetting are putting it back at the cutting edge of music, food and fashion – and making living in the now pretty damn brilliant.

United Kingdom: Explore Multicultural London

How apropos that the first set of data from the United Kingdom’s most recent national census will be made available by July 2012 on the eve of the London Summer Games. After all, as the statistics will undoubtedly disclose, the only city to host the modern Olympics three times is also (with the possible exception of New York) the most multicultural on the planet. To wit, a full 204 National Olympic Committees will participate in the Games of the XXX Olympiad this summer and, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, all have a respective resident community in London keen to wave two flags throughout the 17-day quadrennial event. How many Olympic hosts of the past can strut with the same demographic swagger?

But while the average visitor can pore over stats from the 2001 census that declare that over 25% of Londoners were not born in the United Kingdom and that the top 20 nations of birth (from India and Ireland to Uganda and New Zealand) account for 17% of residents, which boroughs embrace the most diversity? Read on as we chronicle some notable ethnic pockets in the mosaic that is multicultural London.

London embraces its colourful and sometimes bloody history, encourages innovation and heartily complains about the tube system. Like any Brit worth their salt, London knows how to take the piss out of itself, which is a refreshing quality in such a global city.

London's Top 10

10. Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre Theatre junkies gawk over this modern reconstruction of the open-air playhouse erected in 1599.

5. Big Ben If you’re going to take a chunk out of your day to visit a really big clock, make it the one polled as London’s most iconic film location.

9. Natural History Museum You don’t have to be a natural science nerd to appreciate a towering, open-jawed T-Rex

4. The London Eye And you thought the double-decker bus was scenic – London’s Eye is 135m high and allows 40km views in each direction. Go early to avoid the queues. It’s pricey at any time of day, but the views are unforgettable.

8. Westminster Abbey 1000 years old, yet only a cathedral for 10 of them. Recently graced by Pippa Middleton’s bottom (but you have to pay to put yours where hers was).

3. The British Museum One of London’s top museums, it’s also the cheapest. Free, actually, and with over seven million objects it’s worth every penny you didn’t spend.

7. Trafalgar Square One of the red properties on the Monopoly board, it’s a tribute to Britain’s former colonial might. Nelson’s Column is guarded by lions and pooped on by pigeons in what is perhaps a political statement on the dangers of colonialism.

2. Buckingham Palace Don’t make a fool out of yourself trying to rouse the guards into motion – just check the schedule to find out what time the Changing of the Guard takes place.

6. National Gallery Houses over 2300 paintings from da Vinci to Vermeer and van Gogh. Entry is free, so don’t neglect the gift shop.

1. The Tower of London From armory to treasury to menagerie to public records office to the home of a really shiny hat.

London History

  • Buckingham Palace – Built in 1702, Buckingham Palace is the home to Queen Elizabeth II.
  • Tower Bridge – Featuring a drawbridge, the Tower Bridge is 900 years old.
  • St Paul’s Cathedral – St Paul’s Cathedral was built by Sir Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of London.
  • Westminster Abbey – Westminster Abbey is a large Gothic church where 16 royal weddings were performed.
  • Windsor Castle – Spanning 480,000 square feet, Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world.

London Art & Culture

  • National Gallery – Houses works from Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Van Gogh, Renoir, El Greco and Rembrandt, to name a few.
  • Tate Modern – Tate Modern is a famous contemporary art gallery.
  • Natural History Museum – The Natural History Museum is home to a towering diplodocus dinosaur skeleton.
  • British Museum – Learn about many different cultures through a number of galleries inside the British Museum.
  • Barbican Arts Centre – The Barbican Arts Centre is the largest performing arts center in Europe.

London Shopping

  • Camden Markets – Stalls selling crafts, clothing and food line the streets to make one big shopping mecca called Camden Markets.
  • Topshop & Topman – Fits all budgets with high fashion, hairstyling session and tips from a shopping expert.
  • Primark – High-fashion looks for a tight budget keeps Primark crowded elbow to elbow with shoppers.
  • Absolute Vintage – Absolute Vintage is a huge barn catering to the vintage shopper.
  • Coco Ribbon – Coco Ribbon is an award-winning boutique.

London Gay & Lesbian

  • Churchill Arms – Churchill Arms is a pub known for its excellent Thai food.
  • Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s – A popular choice to dine in London is Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s.
  • G-A-Y Bar – You will find three floors of music videos on plasma screens inside G-A-Y Bar.
  • Candy Bar – Candy Bar is considered one of London’s best lesbian bars.
  • Ronnie Scott’s – Known as Britain’s best jazz club in the late ’50s, Ronnie Scott’s still boasts a great reputation.

London Outdoor

  • Richmond Park – Walk amongst the 650 free-roaming deer in the lovely Richmond Park.
  • Hyde Park – Enjoy the beauty of 4,000 trees, a lake, meadow and rose gardens covering the grounds at London’s beautiful Hyde Park.
  • St Jame’s Park – Situated in the heart of London covering 58 acres, St Jame’s Park is a safe haven for water birds, owls, woodpeckers and bats.
  • Victoria Park – Go for a long peaceful walk through London’s Victoria Park.
  • Greenwich Park – Home to a small herd of deer, Greenwich Park boasts breathtaking views.

London Sports

  • The Summer Olympics will be held in London for the third time in 2012.
  • Football dominates as London’s most popular sport.
  • Rugby holds a big fan base in London.
  • London hosts Wimbledon, the oldest tennis tournament in the world.
  • Rowing competition between Oxford and Cambridge universities takes place annually on the Thames River.

London, England

London, the capital city of England, is the largest metro area in the United Kingdom. Situated on the Thames River, this city is a spectacular holiday destination. History, attractions, food, shopping and so much more can be found here; when visiting the UK, visitors should not miss exploring and discovering all that this city has to offer.

London Attractions

  • London Eye
  • London Aquarium
  • Big Ben

London Activities

  • Enjoy recreation at Regent's Park
  • Photograph the Houses of Parliament
  • Walk on the London Bridge

London Climate

London has a temperate climate in which winters are tolerable, summers fluctuate and spring and fall tend to be rainy. Although summer is one of the busiest times in the city, winters can be quite enchanting and a less expensive time to visit. Known to be a rainy locale, this area of England actually gets less rain than Rome.

Getting There & Around

London’s Heathrow Airport is the best airport to fly into to visit London. Located in the western part of the city, this airport is a major hub that has excellent ground transportation and many flights.

Getting around the city can be done by an extensive bus network, trams or rail. The London Underground, also known as the Tube, is the second oldest and longest metro system in the world. This is a unique way to see the city, as well as experience history.

London Local

Soho

If you stumble upon Soho looking for a cool spot for a cocktail, you’re in luck – though if you search it out expecting a Moulin Rouge-esque red light district you’ll be sorely disappointed. Soho is a multicultural amalgamation of nightclubs, bars, upscale restaurants, and just enough sex shops, peep shows and massage parlours to hint at the neighbourhood’s not-so-upscale history. The former Chinawhite nightclub is your best bet to see one tabloid-frequenting socialite throw a drink in the face of another, while late-night spots like Café Boheme have a more relaxed atmosphere. During the day, Soho’s Chinatown and its gay village on Old Compton Street are both animated.

Piccadilly Circus

The gaudy neon advertising and stifling streets of Piccadilly Circus are postcard London and, though easy to scoff at, they’re also what give this inner-city hub its endearing vibrancy. At the centre of this circus is the Angel of Christian Charity dedication to child-labour abolitionist Lord Shaftesbury (who gives the theatre-packed Shaftesbury Avenue its name), which is now a meeting place for tourist and rent boys alike (try not to get the two confused). Central to everything, including the high-end shops on Regent Street.

Camden

This formerly industrial inner-city district is strongly associated with alternative culture. So, naturally, it has more than its fair share of markets and music venues, including The Roundhouse Theatre – which, as the name suggests, is a locomotive engine roundhouse, and an indoor market inside the Electric Ballroom. The Devonshire Arms (or The Hobgoblin in hipster-speak) provides a welcome liquid relief from London’s many touristy pubs.

Chelsea

With London designers taking the reins at some of the world’s most esteemed fashion houses, the city is a shopaholic’s paradise. King’s Road was the height of chic in the 90s (and the epicentre of the Swinging Sixties) and still has its finger on the pulse in a more relaxed way with antiques, boutiques and designer stores. But unless your pockets are as vast as the minds of London’s top creatives who work, hang out and say ‘yah’ a lot here, it’s best to restrict yourself to window-shopping. Up Anderson Street is Sloane Avenue with the Conran Shop, which boasts a tempting range of eclectic home décor.

Notting Hill

Hugh Grant might have become a little less trendy since the release of the 1999 film Notting Hill, but Notting Hill itself is still known as one of London’s most fashionable areas. Portobello Road runs almost the entire length of Notting Hill and is known for its Portobello Road Market, one of London’s best, while Westbourne Grove is where established fashion designers share real estate with up-and-coming creative types. Just don’t bug the locals by asking for directions to the film’s iconic blue door – it does exist, but by now they probably wish it didn’t.

London Eat & Drink

Club Gascon A Gallic gem of gastric delight, this is the best place to go for fois-gratification. Clerkenwell

The Gordon Ramsay Exquisite food in a setting far warmer than you might expect after watching the owner’s television show.

Archipelago Not exactly a crowd pleaser, but you’ll never know whether you like chocolate-coated scorpion until you try it.

The Dorchester Afternoon tea is so much more than a snack falling between lunch and dinner. You’ll have trouble nibbling daintily with cakes this good.

Hakkasan Chinese food to most Londoners is a greasy takeaway commonly associated with a hangover, but these people obviously haven’t dined at Hakkasan

Fifteen A pinch of class, smidgen of cool and a big dollop of taste – Jamie Oliver’s recipe to success is simple. Best thing is the size of the portions – big! Islington

Sketch Gallery With décor this mind-blowing it should be hard to focus on the food – but it didn’t win all those awards for decoration alone.

J Sheekey Superior seafood, fine art, and sometimes Angelina Jolie.

St John Real British food done real well. If you do find something not to like here, keep it to yourself – they’re rather fond of St John Smithfield.

The Wolseley The opulent Wolseley is a mix of celebrities getting their 10am champagne fix and food critics desperately seeking something to criticise.

London Events

With more than half a million spectators, London’s New Year’s Day Parade is the biggest event of this kind in the world.

The most quintessentially English sporting event on the calendar, the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race in late March attracts a massive crowd to the River Thames.

May’s Chelsea Flower Show is an English garden tour for lovers of English gardens – and not just octogenarians.

On the second Saturday in June military troops mark the official birthday of Queen Elizabeth II by Trooping the Colour (carrying the flag) through London.

Whether or not you’re a fan of Tom Jones, the English Heritage Picnic Concerts are a good way to make the most of London’s brief summer months.

More than half a million Londoners can’t be wrong – the food and music of August’s African Caribbean Street Fair make for a pretty dynamic atmosphere.

August’s Notting Hill Carnival is the second largest street festival in the world – one of the many boons of London’s diverse culture.

Arguably the most popular classical music concert in the world, the Last Night of the Proms in September was so popular in 2010 they did it twice!

Unlike other European film festivals, October’s London Film Festival is not just for celebrities and film industry insiders.

The second Saturday in November is a light-hearted combination of British pageantry and carnival elements, when the Lord Mayor swears his allegiance to the Crown at the Lord Mayor’s Show.

When To Go

If you’re seeking to avoid getting wet, avoid visiting in November – although London rarely sees big downpours

It may be coldest January through March, but the city doesn’t shut down. The winter season is cheaper and includes some of London’s best events.

Many people are surprised to find how wet August can be. The most enjoyable time, weather-wise, is probably the end of September.

What To Miss

The London Trocadero is the epitome of gaudy and crowded Piccadilly Circus – and not in a good way.

Public phones. The red boxes are iconic, but once inside you’ll find them covered with some pretty graphic calling cards from prostitutes and suspicious toilet-like smells.

While Oxford St is a must-see, save your shopping for less touristy areas to get better prices and more original pieces.

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The Landmark Hotel London
Reviewer score
4.8
out of 53 Reviews
222 Marylebone Road London NW1 6JQ

Boasting a location next to Regent's Park, The Landmark Hotel London is an ideal place to stay when enjoying London tr... More hotel details

Award Winner 2011 : Outstanding Afternoon Tea
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The Cumberland A Guoman Hotel London
Reviewer score
4.4
out of 524 Reviews
Great Cumberland Place Marble Arch London W1C 1LZ

The Cumberland A Guoman Hotel London offers quality accommodation and a fine location close to London's popular attrac... More hotel details

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Four Stars Hotel London
Reviewer score
2.8
out of 512 Reviews
26-28 Sussex Gardens Hyde Park London W2 1UL

Four Stars Hotel London welcomes travellers to plan their vacation stay at this hotel and enjoy the modern lodging off... More hotel details

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Corus Hotel Hyde Park London
Reviewer score
4.4
out of 53 Reviews
Lancaster Gate London W2 3LG

Corus Hotel Hyde Park London offers quality accommodation as well as friendly atmosphere being close to the famous Ken... More hotel details

Award Finalist 2011 : Top Views over London
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Copthorne Tara Hotel London Kensington
Reviewer score
3.8
out of 518 Reviews
Scarsdale Place Kensington, London W8 5SR

Copthorne Tara Hotel London Kensington offers quality accommodation and services for a relaxing stay in Kensington. Gu... More hotel details

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Studios 2 Let London Apartment
Reviewer score
4.0
out of 513 Reviews
36-37 Cartwright Gardens London WC1H 9EH

Business and leisure travellers looking for chic comfortable accommodations set in a central location find an ideal ba... More hotel details

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Shaftesbury Premier Hotel Paddington London
Reviewer score
4.0
out of 52 Reviews
55 Westbourne Terrace Paddington London W2 3UY

Shaftesbury Premier Hotel Paddington London provides comfortable accommodation and quality services for its guests. Gu... More hotel details

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Strand Palace Hotel London
Reviewer score
4.4
out of 510 Reviews
372 Strand Covent Garden London WC2R 0JJ

Surrounded by London's well known places such as Courtauld Gallery, Covent Garden and National Portrait Gallery, Stran... More hotel details

Award Finalist 2011 : Best in Theatreland
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Grand Plaza Serviced Apartments London
Reviewer score
1.7
out of 52 Reviews
42 Princes Square Bayswater London W24 AD

Being identified as one of the largest apartment complex in Bayswater, Grand Plaza Serviced Apartments London is an id... More hotel details

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Hilton Tower Bridge Hotel London
Reviewer score
4.6
out of 52 Reviews
5 More London Place Tooley Street London SE1 2BY

Hilton Tower Bridge Hotel London offers a central location that is suitable for visitors on a leisurely vacation or a ... More hotel details

Award Winner 2010 : Outstanding Service | Outstanding Value
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