“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford,” or so said esteemed writer Samuel Johnson. From 18th century London to now, this mantra still applies.
Vibrant and diverse, bustling London sparkles with its love for life. From the pretty mews houses that line its streets in Notting Hill and Kensington, to the lively hustle and bustle of Oxford Street, it is little surprise London is one of the world’s most visited cities.
However, with so much to do, it can be confusing to decide on what to prioritize. On our British Royale journey, experience the best traditions and treasures of London all in one day:
From the movies to real life, a visit to London would not be complete without seeing all the familiar sites. You’ll begin your day with a Local Expert, who will take you to see Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey, a striking building that has held 17 royal weddings, including Queen Elizabeth II’s marriage to Prince Phillip.
Continue your journey past Downing Street, home to the UK’s Prime Minister, before exploring Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus. Surrounded by museums, historic buildings and galleries, Trafalgar Square is an exciting cultural hub in London’s central zone. Close by, explore Piccadilly Circus’ busy streets. Linking to the theatres on Shaftesbury Avenue and the entertainment areas of the West End, this exciting area is lit up by the video display and neon signs that mount the corner building on its northern side.
Later, visit the Horse Guards Parade and learn about the importance of a cavalryman’s uniform as you wander through the Household Cavalry Museum. Meet a serving cavalryman and uncover the secret messages hidden within their uniform, try on the royal uniform for yourself and learn more about what is required of HM The Queen’s Mounted Bodyguard.
End your morning with a stop at Buckingham Palace, where you’ll witness the colourful Changing of the Guard ceremony (when available).
Whether you enjoy shopping or not, Harrods is a must-see. One of the largest and most famous department stores in the world, it is home to a number of luxurious stores, 23 restaurants and its own art gallery. Its world-famous Christmas displays alone are enough to draw in crowds of visitors every year.
Listen to the soapbox orators of Speaker’s Corner or perhaps enjoy an afternoon of art in The National Gallery. Famous pieces include Jan Van Eyck’s “Arnolfini Portrait,” Leonardo da Vinci’s “Virgin of the Rocks” and Vincent van Gogh’s “Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers.”
In the evening, once the crowds have gone home, you’ll experience an after-hours tour of the Tower of London with a serving Yeoman Warder. Explore the grounds with their guidance, making stops at the chapel, prison towers and place of beheading, where you’ll hear the poignant stories of Anne Boleyn and Lady Jane Grey, who both lost their lives there.
Before your day comes to an end, you will experience the exclusive Ceremony of the Keys. This ancient gate-closing ritual has been carried out every night by the Beefeaters, without fail, for the last 700 years.
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