5 Alternative Things to do in London

Posted by on Oct 19, 2014 in Travel Tips | 0 comments

London has always been a cool place to visit. With such a vast amount of history in action, within the Capital, little wonder people love to visit the coolest place in the UK. But, there is a lot more to London than the Natural History Museum and Buckingham Palace. In fact, there are some perfect places that are slightly off the tourist trail. After all, you don’t want to become yet another tourist, wearing an I Love London t-shirt and a giant comedy hat.

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Simon & His Camera

1.    Head to East London

East London has always had something of a bad rap. But, if you want to spend your time conversing with bohemian, arty types, East London is the place to be. Yes, Hackney is a little rough around the edges. But, it’s a great place to go. Bars, clubs and shops are abundant. Plus, you are more likely to submerge yourself in local life. The East End is an excellent place to visit unusual art galleries and eat some great cuisine. What’s more, it’s one of the cheapest places in London to visit. So, if you are on a limited budget, the East End is perfect for you. Head to Dalton and check out the myriad of street art. It’s nothing short of provocative.

2.    Get on a Party Boat on the Thames

Party boats used to be commonplace in mainland Europe, but now they have come to the Thames. Nightclubs can be dull, heaving places. It’s time to part of the boat. The boat party in London has become something of a revelation. It’s an excellent way to see more of the Thames and the gorgeous London scenery. Plus, you get to relax and unwind with a drink or three. What could be better?

3.    Greenwich Market: Foodie Heaven

Yes, Camden and Portobello markets are heavily featured in the tourist magazines. But, have you considered heading to Greenwich Market? Greenwich is not just famous for its clock. It also has an incredible market that is sure to appeal to the most ardent of foodies among us. The market itself is located in the UNESCO Heritage Site, so it’s not only amazing, but it’s got a little bit of culture thrown in too. You can find every kind of food to suit every kind of palate.

4.    Soak in the Urban Culture in South Bank

South Bank has become increasingly popular in recent times. This is due to the Avant Garde urban culture that exudes from every pore. With street graffiti, installations and stencils in abundance, it’s a brilliant way to get a real sense of London. Wander around the streets and take it all in. While the Tube is a great way to travel, you can see so much more than the usual tourists by going round London on foot.

5.    Ditch Camden and Head to Kentish Town

Yes, Camden is cool. But, with only one tube stop away, Kentish Town is where it’s at. Kentish Town is like how Camden used to be. Cool, bohemian and not filled with tourists. Vintage shops and unusual nightlife is apparent in Kentish Town. It’s a neat alternative. Plus, you’ll beat the crowds too.

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Top 5 Historic London Landmarks You Have to See

Posted by on Oct 6, 2014 in Travel Tips |

London is often described as the most beautiful city in the world, and when you’re viewing its many splenderous sights there are certain locations you cannot afford to miss.

But of all the eye-catching buildings across the city there are some historical landmarks that you simply must see, and in the age of new extravagant London structures such as the Gherkin and Shard buildings, they remain an irreplaceable part of the capital’s wonder.

Tower of London

The Tower of London is a fantastic castle that has had a huge impact on English history, having served multiple uses since its construction in 1066. This includes evolving from a prison into a home for royal residence and then into a Zoo!
The Tower is located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London making it an excellent place to visit on a day out in London.
The Tower has an unpleasant reputation for being a place of torture and death, however there are so many more tales associated with it that you are probably not aware of. A visit to the tower will grant you the chance to hear many of these incredible stories courtesy of a tour guide.

Buckingham Palace

When in London, visiting Buckingham Palace is a must. The palace can be viewed from the comfort of a luxury chauffeured car, which can also be parked nearby to allow you to walk the short distance to the palace and take pictures of one of the most iconic of British life.
Be sure to check whether the Union Flag is flying, because if it’s not the Queen will be actually in the residence somewhere!
When the Queen is on her holidays (from the end of July to the end of September) you can see first-hand what living in the palace is like with a tour of 19 state rooms and its breath-taking gardens.

Big Ben

Big Ben is an iconic landmark recognised the world over and is one of the first things that comes to mind when thinking of the London sights, therefore anybody embarking on a London tour should make it a definite part of their journey.
Big Ben boasts the largest four-faced chiming clock in the world, and is often the focal point of British cinema and other UK art that relies on an expression of quintessentially British iconography.

Houses of Parliament

The Houses of Parliament, also known as the Palace of Westminster, is 900 years old and was originally a church made by the Saxons.
The church was then part of a monastery named West Minster, with St Paul’s, located east of London, known as the East Minster.

However, throughout its history the houses of parliament has changed dramatically and is well worth a tour in order to learn more about its amazing story of the past and present, such as modern day politics, stunning art and architecture.

St Pancras Station and Hotel

St Pancras Station and Hotel is truly breath-taking and it’s easy to see why this grade 1 listed building on Euston Road in the Borough of Camden is considered one of the UK’S most beloved landmarks.

St Pancras was damaged by German bombs during the blitz in 1940 but underwent a £800m restoration in 2007.

This is a perfect place to stay when travelling through London thanks to its close proximity to the Eurostar and high-speed rail among other thriving social events. Needless to say, it is an ideal location for filming and photography.

Finding your way around to London to these amazing sights is easy when you book a luxury chauffeured tour. You won’t have to worry about awkward transport arrangements when you’re in the company of an experienced and reliable chauffeur. Book your dream London tour now with TotalChauffeurs.co.uk.

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What to Look For and Questions to Ask When Viewing A Property

Posted by on Sep 12, 2014 in Tips |

If you are looking at property for sale in London, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the choice available – this is very normal and expected.  At Strutt and Parker, they have many years’ experience within the housing sector and will always be glad to help match you up with the property of your dreams.  To help make the process a little less daunting, we have put together some tips and questions you should ask when you are viewing properties, to help you decide whether you are looking at a good deal or not.

When You Arrive At Property

It’s wise not to view a property alone, as having a second pair of eyes will help you to stay grounded and may spot something you don’t see.  Once you arrive, take some time to look at the building from the outside before going in and look around for any problems there may be with regards to parking or neighbours.

Ask the Basics First

Before you even start walking round the property, ask the estate agent the basics.  Ask about the cost of council tax and other utilities; get as exact numbers if possible.  Also ask if the owner has had any work completed on the property and if they have proof of the appropriate warranties and approvals.  Make sure you ask how secure the property is and if there have been any break-ins and what the neighbours are like.  The answers to these basics may help decide whether you want to buy the property or not, even before you see it.

Taking a Closer Look

When you begin walking round and looking at the property, keep your nose and eyes open for signs of mildew or mould.  Check the property for cracks and any signs of water damage.  Make sure you look at the heating system and boiler and check to see if it is noisy.  Inspect the wiring to see if it is safe and modern or if there any issues.  If any of the curtains are closed, open them to check the views from each room, ensuring that the lights are off so you know what the natural daylight levels are like.

When you walk into each room, and either imagine it empty (if it isn’t already) or full of your own furniture.  Ask what, if any, of the fittings and fixtures are included in the property’s selling price.  Make sure you run all the taps and shower and be aware of any smells that could indicate blocked drains.

Also ask the estate agent if you can see any outbuildings and gardens included in the asking price.  Spend a bit of time checking the outside of the building for any evidence of leaning, damaged or missing bricks, rotting window frames and cracks.

Consider the Location

Make a note of the direction that the property and any connected gardens are facing and if you have the chance, visit the property at different times of the day to have a look at the natural light levels.

It is also sensible to spend time walking round the neighbourhood so you can get a feel for the area and check how far away the local amenities and schools are.  If possible, try and visit the area during rush hour to see how bad the traffic is.

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4 Great London Based Luxury Tour Operators To Book Your Next Trip Abroad

Posted by on Aug 29, 2014 in Travel Tips |

In this day and age, people opt to travel independently without having to go through travel operators. The major reason for this is due to the numerous websites encouraging travelers to choose this mode of travel and the perception that tour operators are pricey. The benefits of travelling with the help of a tour operator far outweigh the cost of the same. When travelling abroad, you might want to consider the excellent services of London-based tour operators such as:

CYPLON HOLIDAYS – http://www.cyplon.co.uk/

The best part of booking holidays with tour operators is the fact that tour operators have firsthand knowledge of the destinations that they offer services to and fro. After 40 years of experience in the holiday business, Cyplon Holidays have come of age and firmly established in this field. You can expect nothing else but impeccable services handled down from generation to generation since it was established in 1972.

From humble beginnings offering services exclusively to the island of Cyprus, this family oriented business succeeded and branched out to other destinations such as Greece, Dubai and Egypt. They also offer fantastic specialist holidays such as group and wedding.

Cyplon Holidays pocketed the Travel Bulletin Star Award for the Best Independent Operator to the Mediterranean 2012 and 2013, proving their reliability and experience in the travel world. With such respectable recognition, the operators seek to expand to even more exciting destinations such as Malta, Sicily, Sardinia and Tunisia.

EXETER INTERNATIONAL – http://exeterinternational.co.uk/

If you want to travel to Russia and Eastern Europe in a completely relaxed state and with total financial protection, look no further than Exeter International.  The operators are well versed with Russia and Eastern Europe destinations and offer great services in their determination to be the leader in this field.

The Exeter International goes into great lengths to match customer preferences with hotels, exclusive experiences and destinations for the ultimate holiday. Due to the expert knowledge of their destinations, they can arrange tailor made holidays to Moscow, St Petersburg, Uzbekistan, Romania, Croatia, Poland, Ukraine, Armenia and Baku.

There are exciting extraordinary experiences such as backstage access to Marrinsky and Borishoi Theaters, exclusive tours of the Hermitage depositary and insider access to the Grand Kremlin Place in Moscow.

GREAVES INDIA – http://greavesindia.co.uk/

India is vast and diverse; travelling to this gigantic sub-continent without enough expert knowledge can be a daunting task. Greaves India has been in the travel world for over 30 years, this has shaped them to perfection offering luxury travelers opportunities to travel explore this huge country completely at ease.

Greaves India offers expert help when traveling to India as well as tailor-made itineraries to the best destinations as and on the ground support. They also support sustainable tourism by working hard to conserve the environment and the treasures of India. The Managing Director of Greaves is a Founder and Member of Jaisalmer in Jeopardy, which is conservation for charity and he is also a committee member of Tour Operators for Tigers.

THE FLASH PACKhttps://www.theflashpack.co.uk

If you like adventure with more style and comfort then The Flash Pack offers you remarkable adventure group trips to destinations across the globe. Globetrotters in their 30′s and 40′s who want to travel in a small group of like minded people can surely depend on their expertise. Couples who want a hand-crafted adventure holiday are covered as well.

The Flash Pack is a new breed of travel company which offers experience led group tours for busy professionals, romantic couples, globetrotter friends and flashpackers. Their most exciting holiday destinations with all inclusive tailor-made itineraries include Vietnam, Iceland, Myanmar, Morocco, Spain,Istanbul, Brazil, Chile, Egypt and Costa Rica.

These Tour Operators not only provide brilliant services but also recognize the need for caring for the environment with all its treasures for the future.

 

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5 Must See Places On A Luxury Tour Of London

Posted by on Aug 29, 2014 in Travel Tips |

BUCKINGHAM PALACE

The Buckingham Palace is one of the most popular royal buildings in the world and tops the list of most travelers to London. It has been the official residence of Britain monarchs since 1837, the beginning of Queen Victoria’s reign. One of its major attractions is the ceremony of Change of Guard, which is a daily occurrence during summer at 11:30 am and on alternate days in winter. The ceremony lasts for 45 minutes. In August and September, the nineteen state rooms and other sections open up to the public. During this time, visitors can see royal collections, which include incredible array of artwork as well as the most exquisite English and French furniture.

Book with Ampersand Travel

ST PAULS CATHEDRAL

St Paul’s Cathedral is among the iconic buildings that curve the London skyline giving it such a sophisticated appeal. An architectural masterpiece that draws tourists from every part of the world making it one of the most visited buildings in London. Among the many aspects that make it so compelling is the famous Whispering Gallery, known for its mysterious acoustics, as well as its burial crypt, which houses famous British luminaries including Nelson, Wellington and Sir Christopher Wren, designer of the Cathedral.

THE TOWER OF LONDON

The Tower of London bleeds history, in fact, it was the venue of many executions over the centuries and a reflection of Britain’s most grisly past events. William the Conqueror commissioned the tower and it has a history of almost a thousand years. It is one of the most popular places to see in London and you can poke around the prisons, explore the cells or simply stare in wonder at the immense value of the crown of jewels.

Book tickets here

WESTMINSTER ABBEY

The Westminster Abbey is a must visit destination in London well known for the plethora of royal events that have been hosted here over the centuries, the most recent being the royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. It boasts of remarkable architecture and famous burials, including Mary Queen of Scots, Elizabeth I and Henry III. It also has the Poets Corner and the Coronation Chair; surely, Westminster Abbey has a lot to offer than just a venue for royal events.

ALL HALLOWS BY THE TOWER

Often overlooked by travelers exploring London, the church of All Hallows By the Tower is overshadowed by the Tower of London, yet it has a history dating back to the Saxon times and is the oldest church in London. The church was originally built in 675 AD on top of earlier Roman buildings with some elements still visible to date.  It shares a great connection with the Tower of London as most inmates executed at the tower were brought here. The crypt below houses historic remains including Saxon coffins, stones from a crusader castle linked to Richard the Lionheart and the mosaic flooring of the 2nd century AD Roman villa. Though it may not be popular, All Hallows by the Tower is a historic treasure well worth a visit.

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Where To Visit In London On A Group Holiday

Posted by on Aug 28, 2014 in Travel Tips |

From the iconic Tower of London to the modern architectural masterpiece of The Gherkin, this leading global city is sprawling with endless string of modern man-made marvels. But for all that is changing, London still has retained the classic elements of its medieval and renaissance history, making a history buff’s utopia. A perfect blend of modernity and old world charm,  the city of London is truly one of the most diverse and psychedelic destinations in the world

From visiting world-class museums to enjoying the beautiful panorama of London though Europe’s tallest Ferris wheel, there are an awful lot of things you can do in this destination, especially when you are traveling with your family or a group of friends. If you haven’t completed your list of places to visit in London, then worry no more, our friends at House Parties have listed five of the most interesting places to visit in London on a group holiday.

The Science Museum

No holiday trip to London is complete, without a tour to the halls of this mind-boggling museum. Deemed as the most visited science and technology museum in Europe, the Science Museum has a fascinating collection of exhibits on display, including the very famous Apollo 10 command capsule. But if you and your friends are not fond of looking at these displays, you certainly don’t want to miss to experience their stunning 3D and 4D Apollo space mission simulators, or watch a science film in their four double-decker IMAX cinema.

The London Eye

With a total height of 135 meters, Europe’s tallest Ferris wheel is truly the best ride you want to take, if you want to take an unrivalled view of London. Each ovoid passenger capsules can take up to 25 passengers that rotate every 30 minutes. By the way, in 2012, the London Eye’s capsules were equipped with cutting-edge Samsung Galaxy Tab devices, as interactive guides made for a more enhanced guest experience of the city panorama.

Royal Museum Greenwich

The Royal Museum Greenwich houses four of the most visited tourist magnets in all of London. Together with a group, you may take the DLR to the Island Gardens, and pace through the iconic 1,217-feet long Greenwich foot tunnel. Once you set foot in the beautiful World Heritage Site of Greenwich, the restored British ship named the Cutty Stark is the thing to see as well as the Greenwich Park and the Royal Observatory. With so many historic treasures on display, there’s always something new to be amazed at the Royal Museum Greenwich.

National Gallery

If your group is up for some grandiose Western European painting displays, then the National Gallery is the perfect avenue for you. There are over 2,000 paintings dating from the middle ages to 20th century displayed, including the inspiring work of art by Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt and Vincent Van Gogh. Since the infatuating halls of the National Gallery are open to the public, anyone can relish the eminence of the displays for free.

Madame Tussauds

Touted as London’s favorite tourist attraction, the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum has lured and thrilled millions of visitors around the world, ever since its advent in 1835. This ingenious exhibit is filled with 14 enthralling interactive zones combined with the iconic and incredible pop history.

At Madame Tussauds, you get a face-to-face encounter with your favorite pop icons like The Beatles, Lady Gaga and Michael Jackson as well as some sports superstars like David Beckham and Lewis Hamilton. Want more? Get ready to meet the fascinating and exclusive Marvel Super Heroes in 4D.

 

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Take An English Class On Your Trip To London

Posted by on Aug 27, 2014 in Tips |

Whether you are a fluent English speaker or someone who rarely speaks the language, taking an English class on your trip to London can be a very blissful and rewarding experience. With an English class in the city of London, not only will get a chance to hone your skills in English, but you also get to meet a lot of new people. Drawing thousands of international students every year, the city is truly one of the best and most popular destinations to perfect or improve your English language skills. After all, the city is home to some of the most notable poets and writers in the history of the English literature, such as William Shakespeare, Robert Graves, Alexander Pope, and Henry James. What’s more, the city is teeming with intriguing museums and spectacular man-made wonders.

Learn the language in a very fast and efficient way

Learning the language in its native country is, without a doubt, the best way to learn or master English. As you learn the language from a certified teacher in London, you get to learn insightful lessons from a native speaker who knows how to improve your communication skills in this language. Furthermore, the courses offered in this city have a very high standard, allowing you to gain mastery of the language in a very efficient manner.

With an English class in the city of London, you will be surrounded by native English speakers, allowing you to practice and sharpen your skills in real life situations. In London, you definitely will get to drastically improve your skills in English in a very short amount of time. Try ABC School if you are looking for good colleges.

Learning is fun in this city

In London, learning English is, by no means, a boring endeavor. As a student in an English learning course in this vibrant metropolis, you won’t have to listen to your instructor talk endlessly about verbs, grammar and diction. Instead, your lessons will involve interactive discussions, problem-solving and games. Additionally, you will be reading magazines, watching television, and listening to songs, to practice and improve your comprehension skills. Honestly, a day in an English learning institution is just like a fun day out with a group of friends.

Culture immersion

Learning this English in the city of London gives you a chance to meet new friends from all corners of the world as well as discover the intriguing history and culture of the United Kingdom. Furthermore, it gives a better grasp of the language, which gives you access to the greatest English cultural experiences, from the most renowned playwrights in the world to blockbuster Hollywood films. As a matter of fact, learning it in this buzzing metropolis may empower you to read old popular English classics like Beowulf, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Hamlet, Sense and Sensibility and the Canterbury Tales.

Increases job opportunities

Last, but not the least, learning this language in its homeland opens a plethora of employment and job opportunities. Since English is the most prevalent language in the world, learning it in the city of London can provide a huge boost your career. Today’s leading companies and businesses just prefer to hire people who have a good and solid background in this language.

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