London

If you are out to visit the most popular cities in the world London is definitely on your list. Rich in culture, history, entertainment and shopping, London is one of the cities that travelers should visit at least once in a lifetime. The capital city of England and the United 

Kingdom, London’s history dates back nearly 2 millenniums. The city is located on the famous River Thames; London is a city of the world as a global Hub for fashion, trade, politics, shopping, finance, and culture.

London is a city that still has a sense of feel for its dark history under Roman occupancy but has been enlightened by the development sparked by hosting the 2012 Olympic Games, to its 30,000 shops and over 6,000 restaurants. Fine dining, kid’s attractions, culture, museums, history, entertainment and shopping can all be found along with so much more in one of the world’s greatest cities.

The Climate in London

London is home to a temperate climate and experiences all four seasons. Winters rarely experience below freezing temperatures and seldom see snow accumulations. Aside from an occasional heat wave, summers are made up of modest daily high temperatures. Rainfall is common year round but more in the form of drizzle than heavy rains. 

Activities in London

The London Marathon is a 26.2 mile (42Km) race that traverses from Greenwich Park to Buckingham Palace and Big Bend. Over 30,000 runners participate annually. Some dress in costume and fancy dress for charities. The Marathon is attended by many spectators and is a very festive event that usually occurs in April. 

The Wimbledon Tennis Championships highlight the tennis calendar every year and bring together the worlds best at the All England Tennis and Croquet Club. The event began in 1877 with the Woman’s Championship added in 1884. The traditional strawberries and crème is enjoyed on centre court by thousands of fans each year.

The Chelsea Flower Show has been held annually since 1913 and is recognized as the foremost of its type in the world. The Event takes place in May and draws thousands of visitors each year. Tickets can be purchase via website and it encouraged to plan early to avoid being disappointed. Gardening advice is offered to visitors by the Royal Horticultural Society which created the show one hundred years ago this year. 

Sightseeing in London

The Houses of Parliament are more than 1,000 years old and along with the world’s most famous clock tower Big Bend it remains one of London’s most visited attractions. 'Big Ben' has many distinctions: it is the largest four-faced clock, and third-largest freestanding clock in the world. Built in 1859, each minute hand is 14 feet (4.3m) long, and the largest bell inside weighs more than 13 tons. The Palace of Westminster became the home for British monarchs for over 400 years. Parliament was rebuilt in 1840 after the Great Fire of 1834 ravaged the city. It is now the administrative center of the country.

Buckingham Palace is the place to check out the tremendous ceremony and top tourist attraction that is the Changing of the Guard ceremony. It became the home for Britain’s monarchs in 1837 after serving as a town house for the Dukes of Buckingham. Each year over 50,000 guests are entertained at the Palace in a variety of parties, receptions and banquets. 

A must see and a good way to spend a good half day while taking in all the history and culture is the famous British Museum. Known as the world’s greatest human history and culture museum the British Museum is full of artifacts and antiques that range from the Rosetta Stone to the Roman Portland Vase. The Great court was reopened in 2000 and it covers 2 acres with a glass roof. It leads visitors to the Reading Room which has been completely restored. 

The Millennium Wheel or London Eye is the Europe’s largest Ferris wheel. It stands 135 meters high and its location on the south end of the River Thames lends the wheel to magnificent views of the city. It has become most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom and is visited by over three million people annually.

London Cuisine

London is truly a place for international fair but Indian food is prominent. Hundreds of Indian restaurants can be found from Mayfair to the trendy Brick Lane. Fish and Chips are the local favorite. Served in paper with French fries the greasy fish makes a perfect snack on the go. Some of the world’s top chefs call London home such as Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay. Sampling some of the best cuisine London has to offer can be pricey so it is smart to plan ahead. 

Traveling to London/Passports

Direct inexpensive flights from the USA can be found to London City Airport, Heathrow and Gatwick airports located across the city. The Tube is the best way to travel around the city. Travel cards can be purchased in one three and seven day increments and are a great way to utilize the underground network and the city busses. To enter the United Kingdom, all U.S. citizens, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, and South Africans must have a passport valid through their length of stay. No visa is required. A passport will allow you to stay in the country for up to 6 months. If you're planning to fly from the United States or Canada to the United Kingdom and then on to a country that requires a visa (India, for example), you should secure that visa before you arrive in Britain.

 

 

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