Big Ben and House of Parliament
Big Ben and The Houses of Parliament
London

A city of 8 million people, London is one of the most visited cities in the world and it’s not hard to see why. Cobbled stone streets, world-class restaurants, medieval cathedrals and pastel gardens, London city truly has it all. Read our travel guide to discover some of the city's best spots.

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Places to stay

London has accommodation to suit every kind of traveller. Save your money for beer by bunking down in one of the city's budget-friendly pubs, like The White Ferry in Pimlico. If you’re looking for a luxury escape, Chiltern Firehouse has some serious A-List appeal. With over 150 years of history housed in Claridge's, the Art Deco icon is an indulgent stay.

History buffs will enjoy St. Ermin's. Once the headquarters for Winston Churchill’s Special Operations Executive and the British intelligence agency M16, St. Ermin’s is not only a historic building but it’s also rumoured to have secret tunnels running from its Lobby to Westminster Palace.

For rooms with a view, the Shangri-La Hotel occupies floors 34-52 of The Shard, Western Europe's tallest building. If you want to live like a Londoner, bed down in an Airbnb in one of the city's many boroughs. Stay in the swish Notting Hill and explore the pastel-hued houses that line the neighbourhood. Hackney is a hot spot for foodies, vintage lovers and coffee snobs alike. Embrace South London's creative scene by basing yourself in Peckham, where you'll find galleries, fantastic eateries and rooftop bars.     

Things to do

Days out in London are a balancing act. Get a good mix of gallery hopping, light shopping, reservation wrangling and pub crawling and you’ll feel like a local in no time. Setting off for one of the many morning markets will give you a taste of London life. While Borough Market is a foodie favourite, the Columbia Road Flower Market is insanely Instagrammable. Brixton Village Market is a vibrant mix of shops and restaurants that's open every day.

No matter the weather, schedule in some time to explore London's staggering array of museums, theatres and galleries. Visit the world's oldest public museum, The British Museum, to see some of the world’s best preserved mummies or get a taste of the modern masters at the Tate. If you want to see a show, take a morning stroll around the West End, where some performances release cheap seats daily.

As one of the most fashionable cities in the world, London takes shopping to another level. While it's home to many famed high-street labels, real treasures can be found in independent boutiques and vintage stores. Filled with well-crafted clothing, homewares and art, the carefully curated Alex Eagle Studios is a favourite amongst London's fashion set. For high-end pieces at a steal, rummage through the vintage stores along Notting Hill's Golborne Road.

Pints, ponds and posh shops are always high on the list of must-dos in London. You'll find all three in Hampstead Heath. A Sunday roast with all the trimmings is another tradition you can't pass up. End your night 007 style with a tipple from The Connaught Bar's martini trolley.

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Day trips

Jump on a train and set off through the countryside to escape the hustle and bustle of London. For those interested in Roman history, catch the train to beautiful Bath. Soak up the scenery of one of the world's oldest universities in Oxford or relax by the seaside in the bohemian town of Brighton. For a royal outing, explore the majesty of Windsor Castle.

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Parks

Take advantage of the London’s big green parks by packing a picnic. Head to the atmospheric London Fields with some treats from the nearby Broadway Market. The famed Hampstead Heath has plenty of walks, ponds and picnic spots. Primrose Hill is a posh park with stunning views. Drive out to Richmond Park to spot some deer or to sample the seasonal dishes at the charming Petersham Nurseries Café.

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Getting around

From the airport: London Heathrow the fastest way to Paddington Station in central London is via the Heathrow Express. You can also take a taxi, Uber, private transfer or a shuttle bus direct to Oxford and Cambridge.

In and around the city: there are plenty of options to get around in London – buses, rail, bike and of course the Tube, a highly effective underground train network. Or the Hop-on Hop-off bus armed with a handy London Pass.

Hire a car, use the overland train or join a tour to explore some of England’s wonderful towns like Stonehenge, Windsor Castle and Bath, Leeds Castle, Oxford, Cotswolds and Stratford-on-Avon.

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