If you are a fan of Britain’s greatest playwright – William Shakespeare – then visiting the Globe Theatre is a must-do.
The original Globe Theatre on the south bank of the River Thames was where Shakespeare first staged many of his plays. Unfortunately the original theater burned down in the 17th century but almost 400 years later it has been rebuilt.
The new theatre is an almost exact replica of the original Globe Theatre and was lovingly constructed using original construction methods and materials.What’s more from April to October the Globe recreates original performances of Shakespeare’s plays – an absolute must-see for all Shakespeare devotees.
Our Tip: If you want to get the ultimate Shakespeare experience book tickets in the Yard. This is the standing only, open-air part of the theatre and is where London’s peasants would have originally watched the plays being performed.
The theatre also hosts a year long round Shakespeare exhibition
Regents Park is one of London’s most beautiful open spaces. Situated in the north-western part of central London, the 166 hectare (410 acre) park is one of the Royal Parks of London and is a mixture of open parkland, beautifully designed gardens, a lake, a boating area, sports pitches, and children’s playgrounds.
The south, east and most of the west side of the park are lined with elegant white stucco terraces of houses designed by John Nash. Running through the northern end of the park is the Regent’s Canal. And at the north end of the park is London Zoo.
The National Gallery is one of London’s greatest art galleries. It houses a rich collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900. And features key paintings by many of the world’s greatest artists, including: Van Gogh, Raphael, Vermeer and Titian. The National Gallery is located at the north side of Trafalgar Square, and the best thing about it is that it is free to enter!
Location: National Gallery
North side of Trafalgar Square, London W1
Admission: Entry is free except for major exhibitions
Big Ben is probably the world’s most famous clock and one of London’s best-known landmarks, Big Ben is a four faced clock located at the north end of the Palace of Westminster / Houses of Parliament.
Big Ben looks most spectacular at night when the clock faces are illuminated. You even know when parliament is in session, because a light shines above the clock face.
The four dials of the clock are 23 feet square, the minute hand is 14 feet long and the figures are 2 feet high. Minutely regulated with a stack of coins placed on the huge pendulum, Big Ben is an excellent timekeeper, which has rarely stopped.
The name Big Ben actually refers not to the clock-tower itself, but to the thirteen ton bell hung within. The bell was named after the first commissioner of works, Sir Benjamin Hall.
Unfortunately the clock is not open to the public.
The Westfield Shopping Center is London’s largest shopping mall. Located in Shepherds Bush, West London, Westfield is a stunning architectural masterpiece with over 275 shops, from luxury fashion labels to high street favourites. The hopping mall also has over 50 places to eat and drink.
London Zoo is a great place to spend a day in London. Located at the north end of Regents Park, the 35 acre site has over 750 different species of animals.
Founded in 1828, London Zoo is the oldest scientific zoo in the world. One of the most popular attraction is the Monkeys walkthrough. The enclosure houses a breeding group of black-capped squirrel monkeys in a habitat designed to recreate the Bolivian rainforests. Well as close as is possible in the centre of London!
TIP: London Zoo is very popular and its queues can be very long. The fastest way to get into the Zoo is by buying your ticket in advance.
Location: Regents Park (North Side) London NW14RY London Zoo Opening Times: London Zoo is open every day of the year except Christmas Day
From 6th March until 16th July 10.00 – 17.30
From 17th July until 5th Sept 10.00 -18.00
From 6th Sept until 30th Oct 10.00 – 17.30
Madame Tussauds is a waxworks museum that contains wax sculptures of famous celebrities, world leaders.and cultural icons. Set up by wax sculpture Marie Tussaud in the late 19th century, it is over 100 years old and is one of London’s favourite tourist attractions.
The wax sculptures are lifesize and range from Princess Diana to Hollywood A list stars like Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig to David and Vctoria Beckham and Adolf Hitler. One of the most popular sculptures is of High School Musical’s Zac Ephron.
TIP: The queues for entry can get very long, so its best to buy your tickets in advance.
Location: Madame Tussauds is on the Marylebone Road , Central London.
Nearest Underground Tube Station: Baker Street.
Madame Tussauds Opening times: Open every day of the year.
Portobello Market in West London is one of the most famous street markets in the world. It is a popular destination for Londoners and tourists alike.
Portobello Market is situated on Portobello Road. The market stretches for around two miles. On a crowded Saturday afternoon it takes quite a while to walk from end to end!
Portobello Road goes straight through the heart of Notting Hill, a trendy area of London made famous by the film of the same name.
Portobello market has a number of distinct sections:
Antiques – from Chepstow Villas to Elgin Crescent Fruit and Veg – from Elgin Crescent to Talbot Road New Goods – Talbot Road to the Westway Fashion Market – all along the Portobello Road but in particular near the Westway Vintage Clothes – Westway to Goldbourne Road.
Location: Portobello Market, Portobello Rd, London W11
Portobello Market Opening times: General Market: Mon-Wed 9am-6pm, Thur 9am-1pm, Fri & Sat 9am-6pm Antiques Market: Sat 9am-7pm. Clothes & Bric-a-Brac: Fri 9am-4pm, Sat 9am-5pm.
Hyde Park is one of the largest parks in London. It covers an area of 350 acres (4000 hectares) and is popular with Londoners and visitors, especially on a sunny day. With a lake, 4000 trees, a meadow, horse rides and more, its easy to forget you are in the centre of London.
Opening Times of Hyde Park:
The park is open from 5am to midnight every day of the year
Nearest Underground Tube Stations: Hyde Park Corner, Marble Arch, Queensway
Attractions within Hyde Park
The Serpentine. A river and lake where you can go boating and even swimming.
Speakers Corner. Located in the North East corner of Hyde Park this is an area famous for public speakers. Visit on a Sunday morning and you can be sure to see and hear all kinds of speakers.
Diana Fountain. A water memorial to Princess Diana.
Kensington Gardens. This is technically a separate park but it is located right next to Hyde Park.
Piccadilly Circus is one of London’s most famous landmarks and sightseeeing attractions.
Situated at the junction of five busy streets in the centre of London, Piccadilly Circus is dominated by huge neon advertising signs.
At its heart is a bronze fountain topped by a figure of a winged archer. The statue is popularly called Eros, the pagan god of love, but it was in fact designed in the 19th century as a symbol of Christian charity – a monument to Lord Shaftesbury, a philanthropist.
Piccadilly Circus is often wrongly spelt as Picadilly Circus or Picadily Circus