The location of modern day London along the banks of the River Thames has been inhabited since early Bronze Age times and has been a major settlement for over two thousand years. The Romans founded a settlement and named it Londinium the forerunner for its modern day name. From these early times London quickly grew in importance and size and today it is an enormous city divided into 32 boroughs retaining many of its historical sites within its ancient city centre and its mediaeval boundaries.
There are no less than four World Heritage Sites contained within, “The Tower of London”, ” Westminster Abbey & The Palace of Westminster”, ”The Royal Botanic Gardens” at Kew and the historically important settlement of “Maritime Greenwich” with the Royal Observatory marking GMT and the Prime Meridian 0° Longitude. London is one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities with over 300 languages spoken within its boundaries with a diverse range of cultures and peoples it is truly one of the world’s global cities and leading financial centres. It is one of the most densely populated cities in the European community with an official population of 8 million inhabitants; the London metropolitan area numbers over 14 million. It is an internationally renowned capital of trade, finance, music, politics, fashion, education, history and culture with numerous museums and theatres which attracts many millions of visitors each year wishing to experience the incredible mix this outstanding city has to offer.
So is there a better time of year to Visit London? London is open to tourists year round so it depends on what you want to do, see and experience on your visit and what budget you have to spend on accommodation and flights.
Springtime is a great time to visit, the weather is improving with plenty of warm dry days ideal for touring the capitals many attractions and wonderful Parks and gardens in their full spring blooms. At the end of March British Summertime begins giving you an extra hour of daylight to enjoy the attractions and outdoor activities including the annual Spring Festival at Kew Gardens, the Chelsea Flower Show and the London Marathon and the historic Boat Race along the River Thames.
Summer temperatures are often warm or even on occasions hot during June, July and August interspersed with heavy downpours so be prepared. It is the busiest time of year to visit and this is reflected in accommodation and flight rates being expensive although rates start to fall towards the end of August. There are many popular music and dance festivals taking part in various locations across the city during the summer as well as the ever popular and traditional Proms at the Royal Albert Hall and the pomp and ceremony associated with Trooping the Colour in June to celebrate the Queen’s Birthday.
Autumn is a cost effective time to visit if on a tight budget with many cheaper flights and lower accommodation rates as offers become available to attract the dwindling number of tourists after the summer peak. The weather can remain quite summery well into September and like spring is a comfortable time to spend hours visiting the many attractions. The many parks and gardens in their full autumn colour during October to early November is a special time of the year to walk around and enjoy the spectacular display. If you plan your visit during early November you are treated to a non-stop firework displays to commemorate Diwali and Bonfire Night as well as the Lord Mayor of London Parades in a stunning golden coach.
Wintertime is the least popular time to visit with reduced daylight hours cool temperatures and often wet making touring of the outdoor attractions miserable and unpleasant at times. There are still many indoor attractions opened during the winter months so you will always find plenty to do no matter what the weather is doing. If you visit during the Christmas festivities there are many shopping bargains to be had with many sales starting prior to Christmas and running through into the New Year with its fantastic Firework display which can be enjoyed from the banks of the River Thames.
Whatever the season you will find plenty to see and enjoy and with a little careful planning you will be able to fit in a tremendous amount of attractions into your visit with a superb infrastructure including the underground tube system worth a visit in its own right and the over ground bus service allowing you maximum amount of sightseeing in-between travelling to the different attractions. If you intend to travel extensively it’s worth purchasing the “London Pass” permit which cuts the costs of travel by more than half and reduces waiting time in queues. Another great way to see the city and travel between venues is along the River Thames with many cruises and river buses available. Here's 5 cool things to do in London or you might like this luxurious London hotel?
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The Tower of London
Located in central London near the River Thames is one of the city’s most visited attractions the wonderfully preserved Tower of London. Constructed during the reign of William the Conqueror as a simple timber and earth compound and later added to in stone the Tower of London has stood firm for nearly one thousand years serving as royal palace, place of execution, prison and a symbol of the monarchy in England for centuries. This historical complex is a series of many towers and structures added too over the centuries giving many opportunities to tour different parts and see some of the fabulous displays within its walls and towers. The tower contains the remains of some of the most well-known characters in English history entombed in the Chapel Royal, Anne Boleyn, Katherine Parr, Sir Thomas More of Henry VIII fame and Lady Jane Grey, queen for only 9 days executed by Henry’s daughter Mary Tudor. The highlight of any visit is a viewing of the Crown Jewels, this priceless collection of gold, diamonds, emeralds, platinum, rubies, sapphires, pearls and ancient artefacts worn and used by the Kings and queens of England contained within impenetrable vaults deep within the Tower.
The British Museum
The British Museum is one of the finest attractions in London and its vast collection of artefacts numbering over 8 million is totally free to view and is a great way to spend a day in London observing this unique collection gathered together since its founding in 1753. It is one of the largest and finest collections documenting the story of mankind’s various cultures from around all the continents from its early beginnings to the present time. Approaching six million visitors a year pass through its doors into the magnificent Great Court with its awesome glass and steel roof and reading room with its beautiful blue and gold domed ceiling. From this central focus point visitors disperse in all directions to view the wonders contained within. The various departments cover some of the largest collections of Egyptian, Roman, Greek, Middle Eastern, Etruscan and European to name but a few with some of world’s most famous objects on display such as the Parthenon sculptures and the Rosetta Stone. The permanent collection is enhanced with a number of additional paid exhibitions of specialist items which are obtained from other leading museums from around the world. The museum is committed to improving and enlarging its fast collection for the benefit of future generations and to this end the next phase of its development costing £135million will make it the largest museum in the world.
The London Eye
Located on the South Bank between Westminster Bridge and Waterloo Bridge it is easily found directly opposite the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben and offers incredible views of central London and Canary Wharf, the Thames and Windsor Castle with breath taking panoramic vistas for 25 miles in all directions. Since its opening in 2000 this award winning attraction has been the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe weighing in at 330 tonnes, 135 metres tall with a diameter of 120 metres. The glass capsules weighing 10 tonnes each represents one of each of the London Boroughs and is capable of holding 25 people in comfort, equipped with the latest Samsung Tablets technology which enhances the guest experience featuring touch screen guides and 3D views of each sight. The wheel rotates at a rate slow enough to allow visitors to embark and disembark without the need for the wheel to stop; one full rotation takes 30 minutes. It is the UK’s most popular paid attraction with over 3. 5 million visitors a year and is forever evolving to improve the visitor experience with popular night- time viewing, combination ticket purchases with other London attractions and the latest 4D experience in the purpose built cinema with a unique and outstanding 3D film and impressive in-cinema effects including mist, bubbles and wind adding the fourth dimension to your experience.
Situated in Kensington Gardens to the west of Hyde Park and tucked away from the busy high street is the beautiful Kensington Palace, home to the British Monarchy since the 17th century. Parts of the palace still remain a private residence for today’s members of the Royal household including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. It was also the official residence and home for the late Princess Diana 1981 to 1997 and contains a number of her spectacular evening gowns, part of the fabulous “Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection” on permanent display in the palace since 1982.
The Palace was the birthplace and childhood residence of Queen Victoria and after the recent £12 million renovation a permanent exhibition “Victoria Revealed” can be viewed on tour which explores the long reign of one of England’s best known monarchs with extracts from her journals, personal objects, furnishings and works of art in the Queens Apartments where she once resided. Other important parts of the palace include the magnificent State Apartments full of works of art and paintings from the Royal Collection and the 18th century “Orangery and Sunken Garden” superbly designed to enable Queen Anne to host extravagant court entertainments during her reign.
This 95 storey high skyscraper was the vision of the brilliant Italian architect Renzo Piano who designed a unique building with an irregular pyramidal shape clad entirely in glass. The Shard at London Bridge Quarter has redefined London’s skyline more so than any other recent construction, it is a symbol that is recognisable around the world. The Shard is the tallest completed building in Western Europe at 310 metres with its unmistakable crystalline façade changing the Capitals skyline forever. For the visitor to London it is easily accessible on the superb transport infrastructure with a plethora of amenities and facilities.
Located on the South bank of the Thames this area has always played an important role in the rise of London as a true global city drawing people from around the world to work and live in this vibrant area. London Bridge Quarter and The Shard stand at the very heart of this community. The shard with its World-renowned restaurants and spectacular panoramic vistas over the London skyline combine to create one of the most enjoyable dining experiences anywhere in the world. The masterpiece of the three floors dedicated to the restaurants is a breath taking glass atrium. High speed lifts will whisk visitors up to the 68-72 floors to the viewing areas of the shard. The views are truly amazing on a clear day you can see uninterrupted views across the city for 40 miles in all directions.
Take a look at our London overview and also you will love this luxury hotel in London.
Located in Westminster at the heart of the West End is the 5 star Langham London Hotel, this prestigious accommodation steeped in history and opened in 1865 is one of London’s finest attracting royalty, celebrities, VIPs, and selective guests for over a century and a half! It’s ideal location only a short walk from Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Circus Tube Station and many of the West Ends famous theatres make it an ideal base to use to explore the city. The hotel offers luxury throughout with 380 air conditioned rooms, in-house spa, fitness centre, afternoon tea at the Palm Court, award winning chic cocktail bar and stylish gourmet dining with the Roux at the Landau restaurant.
The 380 elegantly well-appointed rooms offer a combination of modern amenities including complimentary in-room Wi-Fi, digital LCD TVs, mp3 players connectivity, media hub, refrigerated private bar, tea and coffee making facilities all stylishly combined with Victorian elegance to leave guests wanting for nothing during their stay. Rooms on offer include Superior Rooms, Deluxe Rooms, Executive Rooms, Family Rooms, Junior Suites, One bedroom Suites and Residences. Top of the range offers include the Wedgewood Suite, Infinity Suite, Regent Apartment and for absolute luxury check out the Sterling Suite a residential penthouse of 450 square metres with 6 bedrooms a private butler and media lounge all with the finest bespoke furnishings and fittings. Many of the rooms offer access to the Health Club and Wellness Centre and the more exclusive rooms also give guests the added privilege of access to the esteemed Langham Club.
Spread over two floors The Langham Club offers a unique Club concept with Continental and hot breakfast service, the finest Champagne, cocktails, afternoon tea, evening canapes, specialist concierge and exclusive butler services, 2 hours free use of the Club boardroom and media room with access to the Langham Club Lounge and The Butler’s Pantry.
Dining is a memorable occasion at the Langham with world renowned chef’s father and son Albert Roux OBE and Michel Roux Jr combining together for the first time in twenty years to provide guests with selections highlighting their culinary experience at the Roux at the Landau restaurant. The finest of menus deserves the finest of wines to complement each course and once again the Roux at the Landau does not disappoint with its much coveted vaulted wine corridor containing some of the most unusual and rare wines from all over the world.
After one of the finest dining experiences in London indulge yourselves in the one of the finest bars in London the “Artesian” voted by Drinks international as the “The World’s Best Bar” for a number of consecutive years. Named after the artesian well which is located deep under the hotel it is famous for its exclusive selection of fine rums and innovative cocktail menu combined with all day dining and gourmet bar snacks.
The hotel also offers guests the opportunity to indulge themselves in the fantastic Wellness facilities including Europe’s first Chaun Spa and Health Club, steeped in Traditional Chinese remedies and treatments the Spa offers individually planned treatments and therapies to revitalize both mind and body. With six individual treatment rooms and a delightful Couples Spa Suite, beautiful changing facilities, saunas, steam room, 16 metre vitality pool, free weights, resistance equipment and the latest Technogym cardio equipment guests really are spoilt for choice.
Business facilities are world class covering all modern business requirements with a skilled and experienced business team ensuring the smooth running of your event. The Langham London is one of the most prestigious historic venues in the city and is the ideal choice for that very special celebration and business event with the recently restored Grand Ballroom, Courtyard Garden and Private Carriage Rooms being excellent choices with classic French cuisine for banquets or private dining. You might want to check out the top 5 things to do in London or our London overview.
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