Walthamstow Wetlands is London’s newest and largest park.
It is the largest urban wetlands in the world. Covering 211 hectares (twice the size of Hyde Park) it has 10 lakes and features over 13 miles of paths along which you can explore British nature. Walthamstow Wetlands has a diverse range of wildlife and is an important London home for birds ranging from waders to herons and kingfishers.
Walthamstow Wetlands has recently undergone a £10 million make over and now has a visits centre and cafe. It is a great place to get back to nature when the buzz of the city is getting too much. And whats more its totally free to visit.
Location: 2 Forest Rd, London N17 9NH
Nearest Underground Station:
Tottenham Hale is a seven-minute walk away, Blackhorse Road around about ten minutes walk.
Petticoat Lane Market is one of London’s oldest markets. It operates in the East End of London, a few hundred metres south of Old Spitalfields Market and just to the west of Brick Lane.
The market has been operating since the 1750s, when the area became a centre for manufacturing clothes. Bizarrely the street Petticoat Lane does not exist – its name was considered too rude by the Victorian’s and was changed to Middlesex Street.
Local Londoner’s Tip: Petticoat Lane is not as stylish as Portobello Market but if you are after cheap clothes it can’t be beaten. Leather goods are particularly good value and can be found at the Aldgate East end.
Leicester Square is one of London’s most famous squares. It is a pedestrianised square in the West End of London and is a great place to hang out and watch some street entertainment.
In the centre of the Square is a small park, with a water feature and a statue of William Shakespeare surrounded by dolphins. The most recent statue to be located at the park in Leicester Square is of film star and director Charlie Chaplin. Similar to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Square is surrounded by floor mounted plaques with film stars names and cast handprints on display.
Leicester Square is the centre of London’s cinema land, where four of Britain’s leading cinemas are located.
UK film premieres attended by A list celebrities such as George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, are regularly hosted at one of the Leicester Square’s four cinemas.
Also in Leicester Square is the Hippodrome Casino, which as well as providing 24 hour gambling also in an exclusive setting in one of London’s iconic buildings, it also has regular live music performances.
Nearest Tube: Leicester Square (Piccadilly and Northern Lines)
NB: Leicester Square is sometimes wrongly written as Lester Square or Leister Square
Kensington Palace, is a magnificent Royal Palace in Central London that was the official home of Princess Diana before her tragic death, and has been a residence of the British Royal Family since the 17th century.
Located on the Western edge of Hyde Park, Kensington Palace is now the official London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Prince William and Kate Middleton), despite this a large portion of the house is open to the public and is well worth a visit if you wish to see how the British monarchy lived.
You can visit: The King’s State Apartments and The Queen’s State Apartments, and walk round the palace’s pretty gardens.
There is also a fascinating exhibition on Queen Victoria. Victoria Revealed uses the Queen’s own journals and displays her personal objects in the rooms where she once lived, to give an intimate account of Queen Victoria\’s incredible life.
And don’t forget to check out Luminous Lace a magnificent lighting display at the centre of the palace which is made from almost 4 km of glowing cables and contains nearly 12,000 Swarovski crystals.
Top Tip: Finish your tour of Kensington Palace by taking tea or lunch in The Orangery. Queen Anne’s 18th-century Orangery, was once the setting for the most lavish of court entertainments,in London. It now serves elegant lunches and afteronoon teas. If the weather is good, sit outside on the terrace and enjoy the spectacular views of the palace and gardens.
Broadway Market is one of London’s most vibrant street markets. Broadway Market is located in the heart of the East End of London, not far from trendy Shoreditch, in a small street between the Regent’s Canal and London Fields.
Every Saturday this street comes alive with over 100 market stalls, boutiques , shops and restaurants to welcome you. Here can be found some of the best food and most original clothing in London. Have a pint of beer in a traditional East End pub or try pie and mash at the historical F Cooke’s. Come for organic meat, fruit and vegetables; fresh fish and smoked salmon and oysters; delicious bread, cakes and cheese. Or scour the clothes racks for vintage bargains – then head to the lingerie stall for something small and expensive to wear beneath.
Camden Passage in Islington is London’s most thriving antiques village.
Camden Passage is a pedestrianised alley running from Islington High Street to Islington Green Camden Passage is a vibrant collection of antique shops, vintage shops and antique stalls and funky restaurants.
Top Tip: Even though it is called Camden Passage, this market is not in Camden – it is in Islington and should not be confused with the more famous Camden Market.
Camden Passage Antique Market Opening Times:
Antique Market days are Wednesday and Saturday and are the busiest days to visit with over 200 antique dealers but many of the vintage and antique shops open every day.
Trooping of the Colour is a spectacular annual event that showcases Britain’s pomp and majesty. Trooping the Colour is a military ceremony held outside Buckingham Palace that features over a thousand British soldiers and 200 horses. It is held to mark the
Queen’s Official Birthday.
After the parade, the Royal Family gather on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to greet the crowds and watch a fly-past of airplanes belonging to the Royal Air Force.
When: Every year in June exact date changes each year
Where: Horse Guards Parade by Buckingham Palace
Tickets: It is not necessary to have tickets as you can stand and watch for free but if you wish to have a seat in the stands you need to apply by post in January by sending a stamped addressed envelope to:
The Brigade Major
Headquarters Household Division
London SW1A 2AX
The event is always oversubscribed so tickets are allotted by a ballot system.
If you want to know more about the history of London than we strongly recommend you visit The Museum of London on a sightseeing trip.
The Museum of London is situated in The City (the financial district of London) and is a beautiful designed museum that tells the history of London from prehistoric times to modern day. Highlights include fascinating permanent exhibitions on Roman London, The London Plague and the Great Fire of London. You can also walk through a Victorian London arcade and see the Mayor of London’s golden coach.
Museum of London Opening Times Mon-Sun: 10am – 6pm
Closed 24-26 Dec
Location: Museum of London 150 London Wall, London EC2Y 5HN
The Museum of London is located at the South-West corner of the Barbican complex.
Nearest Underground Tube Stations: Barbican or St Paul’s
Rail: Liverpool Street, City Thameslink, Farringdon Bus: 4, 8, 25, 56, 100, 25, 172, 242, 521
Covent Garden is one of London’s favourite tourist destinations, with the market and street entertainers attracting tourists from across the world
Covent Garden has some of the best street entertainment in the whole of Britain. The cobbled courtyard at Covent Garden is the only part of London licensed for street entertainers. Performers – jugglers, gymnasts, musicians – have to undertake auditions and sign up to timetabled slots. As a consequence the standards are very high.
From the 17th century Covent Garden was London’s premier fruit and veg market and continued to be so right up to 1974 when traffic congestion forced the market to move 3 miles away to Nine Elms in South London.
Now Covent Garden is dedicated to boutiques shops and cafes and restaurants and is a lovely place to spend an afternoon.
Location: Covent Garden, London WC2E 8BE
Nearest Underground Tube Stations:
Covent Garden station, but at peak times the station can become very busy so it may be easier to go to Leicester Square station which is just a ten minute walk away.