Take a sightseeing tour of London and learn from experts as they show you the city's best attractions and famous landmarks. Learn interesting historical and cultural facts about London on a walking tour, a double decker bus tour, a river Thames tour, or a even a helicopter tour.
>Big Ben is actually the nickname of the Great Bell inside Westminster’s iconic clock tower, but even locals think ‘Big Ben’ when they see the Elizabeth Tower. No matter, it looks great whatever you call it. You can’t get inside for a tour until 2020 due to maintenance work, but you’re a minute away from the river, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey here, so it’s an easy visit.
Where better to put a massive observation gallery than at the top of Western Europe’s tallest tower? Set across three floors, with floor-to-ceiling windows and an open-air terrace for the bravest among you, the View from the Shard has ‘tell-scopes’ so you can find out more about the landscape you’re looking at. Regular events include silent discos and yoga mornings.
One of the city’s newest but most-loved icons, the slowly revolving wheel that stands by the Thames continues to be a tourist favourite. Each glass-walled pod is designed to allow everyone (who dares) views to the north, south, east and west, making this a brilliant way to get the measure of London. And each visit now starts with a fun, 4D short film before you board.
Tower Bridge is a must-do that you can enjoy from a distance and right up close. Check the website in advance and visit when there’s a planned ‘bridge lift’ (that’s when the two halves of the road lift up so that bigger boats can pass below). There are lots of tours so you can see the engine rooms, hear about its history or join a Tots at Tower Bridge family storytelling session.
Don’t pass up the chance to see theatre like Londoners in Tudor times did, in what at the time was London’s home of dodgy ‘entertainment’, Bankside. The Globe has been carefully recreated to show the kind of setting Shakespeare would have written all his plays for. If you’ve never been, book groundling tickets and stand in the open-air pit like you’re at a rock festival.
Much more than a day out for keen gardeners, Kew’s meadows, treetop walkway and hothouses offer colourful wonder for anyone interested in the natural world. The landscape is dotted with sculptures, too, and there’s a play area designed with oversized, plant-shaped, wooden climbing-frames so kids can wriggle around like bugs inside them.
You don’t have to be a local to know that Londoners are obsessed with travel. At the LTM happily, there’s always a bus or a train to hop on, in a vast museum full of real relics of the bygone ages of London transport. Find out why tube stations were used as wartime shelters, see decades of beautiful poster artwork and find out how the latest technology will run our services in the future.
When it comes to parks, Londoners really are spoilt for choice. Whatever bit of the capital you’re in, you won’t be too far from one of the city’s amazing major green spaces. Best of all, exploring them won’t cost you a penny, meaning that London’s parks are one of the highlights of the city’s many cheap and free options.
Forget the river buses. If you want some excitement on the Thames – the kind that 007 himself would encourage – step aboard the RIB. This ‘rigid inflatable boat’ will have you hurtling up and down the river in no time with 740 horse power behind you and ‘V8’ twin turbo thrust. It’s a pure adrenaline experience and the most thrilling way to take in the sights.
It’s free, it’s right on Trafalgar Square and you’re welcome to simply swing by and stand before artistic greatness whenever you like. Perfect, whether you’ve got ten minutes in your lunchbreak to check out Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ or time to wander the entire, glorious collection of Western European paintings from the thirteenth to the nineteenth centuries.
Londoners should feel proud that, since it opened in 2000, this converted power station has become one of the world’s most esteemed art galleries. It’s a cathedral to international modern and contemporary art, now with the added Switch House tower for rooftop views and extra gallery space and it’s still free to explore!
It may look different to how it was when England won the World Cup (most of London does, given that was 50 years ago), but Wembley still has a magic about it, even when you don’t have a ticket for a match or a rock concert. Take the tour and you’ll get to walk down the players’ tunnel and climb the 107 Trophy Winner’s steps, plus, with the use of 360-degree video, experience the electric atmosphere at some of the stadium’s biggest events.