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London – All That Life Has to Offer
London Travel Tips

Text and Photos By Sandra Scott

In the 1700s, Dr. Samuel Johnson said, “… when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life, for there is in London all that life can afford.” Not much has changed. It is impossible to see and do all that is available in London. After all, the city is nearly 2000 years old and offers a plethora of museums, churches, theaters, shops, and sights.

1. Getting an Eyeful! The newest way to see London is from the British Airways London Eye, at 443 feet high it is the world's tallest observation wheel. Located on the bank of the River Thames it offers unrivaled views of some of the city's most famous sights, including St Paul's Cathedral, the Palace of Westminster and Windsor Castle. www.londoneye.com

2. A-muse yourself! Check out the Tate Museum, housed in the former Bankside Power Station with displays of modern art from 1900 to the present day, including major works by Dalí, Picasso, Matisse, Rothko and Warhol. www.tate.org.uk. Also, the British Museum, founded in 1753, claims to be the oldest museum in the world and is home to Egyptian mummies and the Rosetta Stone.

3. Hop to it! Board the Original Bus Tour for an introduction to London. Tickets are good for 24 hours. It provides hop-on and hop-off service with over 90 stops with live guides but first make one complete loop to get an overview. And, it includes a free Thames River Cruise. www.theoriginaltour.com

4. Park it! Wander through St. James's Park with its beautiful landscape surrounded by palaces - including Buckingham Palace. Visit on a Sunday when traffic is stopped from The Mall. Changing of the guard usually takes place on odd-numbered days at 11:30. www.changing-the-guard.com

5. What a gem! The Tower of London has it all: Beefeaters, ravens, stories of beheadings, 1000-year history, and the Crown Jewels. www.hrp.org.uk/TowerOfLondon/


6. Tea time! To visit London and not have a “spot” of tea is to miss an important part of the culture. Spend a relaxing afternoon at The Savoy, lunching on sandwiches, an array of delicate pastries and teacakes, and scones with clotted cream and strawberry preserve while listening to the resident pianist. www.fairmont.com/savoy

7. Shop ‘til you drop! Any day is a good day to shop at Harrods with its amazing extravaganza of extravagant extravagance. And, on Sundays head to Portobello Market, one of the world’s most famous markets. It is touted as the world's largest antiques markets.

8. All the world’s a stage! Nighttime in London is theater time. The modern day reconstruction of the Globe theatre, it is true to the original. www.shakespeares-globe.org, if Shakespeare is not to your liking there are a plethora of shows from drama to musicals at other theaters.

9. What a rip! In the dark of the night walk in the steps of Jack the Ripper. If the tale and trail of the “Ripper” curdles your blood, London Original Walks, offers a variety of walks from pub-crawls to museum explorations to river archeology. www.walks.com

10. Day tripping! Mystery and history. From the mystery of the monoliths of Stonehenge to the historical Roman Baths, get a glimpse of the world outside of London on a day trip with Anderson Tours, www.andersontours.co.uk. They offer a variety of options.

Dr. Samuel Johnson is correct, it is impossible to get tired of London. There is always something to see and do. For more information check the London Tourist Board, www.visitlondon.com,or call Visit Britain, 800-462-2748.

Suggested accommodations:
Travellodge, www.travelodge.co.uk, for budget accommodations
Waldorf Hilton, www.hilton.co.uk/waldorf, for well-located moderate accommodations
The Savoy, www.fairmont.com/savoy, for high-end accommodations

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