Exploring the UK



London, Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, Theatres, the West End and Piccadilly Circus, and all that shopping in those stores with magical names, there is no wonder that the capital is the attractive magnet that it is.

Getting to London has to be just about the easiest place to travel to in the whole of Britain, all rail services lead to London and travel deals by the main line operators are common place, all terminating in central London. Coach travels now is quick and comfortable and most start and finish in Victoria. Air travel is cheap and convenient and a number of operators run services to London City Airport Canary Wharf, Heathrow and Stansted are other options with fast trains to the centre of town.

Having got to London you are completely spoilt in your choice of entertainment and sightseeing. We suggest that it is best not to try to do to much at once, London can be tiring, especially with children and it is worth visiting on several occasions, maybe a couple of times a year for a few years. When you make your planned visits, decide what your weekend is to be about. With children Buckingham Palace is a must and if you can catch the changing of the guard, this is a bonus. It is possible at certain times to go inside the Palace which is by ticket only. The Tower with all its history provides wonderful entertainment and you should take part in one of the conducted tours which are tremendously informative, whilst in the Tower arrange to view the crown jewels, they are truly magnificent. For this part of your visit you should consider a visit to St Paulís Cathedral a masterpiece by Sir Christopher Wren full of history and if the choir is performing or in practice the experience will be with you for a long time.

Art galleries and museums are probably amongst the best in the world and perhaps you would take in some of these attractions on another visit. The science museum is always a hit with children and with big boys in the shape of fathers as well! A more adult pastime would be a visit to the Imperial War Museum which charts the military aspect of our past, featuring wonderful exhibits and brings home to those of us who did not experience it, the sacrifices of civilian and service personnel in the two World Wars. West end theatre is a wonderful experience and some of the best shows play in London, but remember these theatres are usually booked for many months ahead, so if you are planning a theatre trip buy your tickets for your chosen show early.

You will be spoilt for choice when it comes to eating out in London and you will have visited some of the best restaurants in the west end, we all do. However you should try to visit the east end of London where you will find some of the very best food in the world. Lunches in St Catherineís dock are excellent where you can wander amongst the converted trade warehouse and look at the fine yachts moored there; this could be combined with a visit to the Tower. But for a sample of ethnic cuisine take a taxi to Brick Lane and sample the best Asian cooking around; commercial road has many restaurants to sample, with far eastern Thai and Vietnamese cooking a speciality, all at very reasonable prices.

Getting around London during your visit is easy and there are many saver fares to be had on the London underground system, an open topped bus is good cheap and informative. The easiest way of all though is to use the black cabs, these will take you exactly where you want to be and although more expensive than public transport, they are clean and safe. We can only give a brief insight in to what to do in London but we hope that your appetite has been whetted.