Tuesday, June 06, 2006

London: 10 Things You Absolutely Must See Or Do In

If you're an infrequent visitor to London and plan to hit the
tourist trail then the last thing you'll want is to be pointed
in the direction of the underwhelming, the uninspiring or the
instantly forgettable. There's enough of that where you live,
which is why you're visiting London!

Our guide features London's best galleries, museums, landmarks,
historical sites, shopping areas and entertainment zones, all
guaranteed to provide the ultimate London tourist experience.
The attractions we've highlighted are unashamedly well known,
but do you really want to be returning home to tell your friends
about the fantastic thimble shop in Pimlico you visited? Or
would you rather rave about the phenomenal view of one of the
world's great cities from the top of The Eye, or that you've
actually seen the beauty of Van Gogh's Sunflowers with your own
London has a multitude of varied and exciting attractions but
these are the ones without which, your trip just wouldn't be the

Oxford Street Britain's busiest high street and London's
best known shopping area is chock-a-block full of the largest
branches of the nation's most popular shops - over 300 in fact.
Many of the biggest high street names have their flagship stores
here and the street also boasts the oldest record shop in the
world (HMV at number 363). It's not all hardcore shopping though
- light entertainment is often provided in the form of chanting
Hari Krishnas skipping along the pavement. If you can't find
what you want to buy in Oxford Street, you haven't got much of a
hope elsewhere. oxfordstreet.co.uk/home.html. Nearest
Tubes: Marble Arch, Bond Street, Oxford Circus, and Tottenham
Court Road

Camden Market If you're after a more bohemian approach to
shopping than the Oxford Street experience, then get yourself up
to Camden. One of London's coolest areas has a seemingly endless
array of shops and stalls selling such items as clothing (new,
second hand and retro), customised Doc Martins and trainers,
jewellery, bootleg CDs and DVDs and craft ware. Open daily; it's
a multi cultural experience with some great little food outlets
dotted all over.

Tower of London Built by Billy The Conqueror nearly a
thousand years ago, this is one of the best preserved and most
famous historic landmarks in the world. Full of the history of
executions and imprisonments and offering the spectacle of the
Beefeaters, the ravens and the crown jewels as well as the
majesty of the building itself, this remains THE essential place
of historic interest to visit when in London.
camelotintl.com/tower_site/index.html. Nearest Tube:
Tower Hill.

St. Paul's Cathedral Britain's best known place of
worship and certainly one of its most recognisable buildings,
having so often been the centrepiece of state occasions. The
cathedral was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and built 300
years ago following the destruction of the previous building by
the Great Fire Of London. An awe inspiring feat of architecture,
steeped in history and featuring works of art, monuments,
mosaics and the Whispering Gallery, the Cathedral is also still
a busy working church. So booking your wedding here during the
summer months might just be a bit tricky.
stpauls.co.uk. Nearest Tube: St Pauls

National Gallery The National Gallery is home to one of
the greatest collections of European art in the world. Featuring
works painted between 1250 and 1900, the collection includes
such well known pieces as Van Gogh's Sunflowers, Botticelli's
Venus And Mars and Constable's Hay Wain. Sadly, the work of the
great Rolf Harris is too recent and too Australian to be
included - see the Tate Modern.
nationalgallery.org.uk/default.htm. Nearest Tube:
Charing Cross. Admission: Free

British Museum Founded over 250 years ago, it could be
said that the British Museum is one of London's oldest and most
prized exhibits - the museum building itself is one of Britain's
greatest architectural landmarks. Housed inside is a collection
of art and antiquities from ancient and living cultures the
world over spanning two million years featuring the Rosetta
Stone, the Easter Island statue and the earliest known image of
Christ. thebritishmuseum.ac.uk. Nearest Tubes:
Tottenham Court Road, Goodge Street, Russell Square & Holborn.
Admission: Free

London Eye Undoubtedly the quickest way to take in all of
London's major attractions is by jumping on the Eye. There's not
much of the city that can't be seen from the top of what has
become one of the London skyline's most dominating features. To
further enhance your flight on this modern day feat of
engineering, you can even order champagne to be served in your
capsule (not recommended for the easily nauseas).
londoneye.com. Nearest Tubes: Waterloo &

Tate Modern If random blobs of paint on canvas and piles
of rusty old engine parts is your idea of art, then get yourself
down to the Tate Modern. Created in a disused power station on
the banks of the Thames, the gallery has become one of London's
most fascinating attractions since opening in 2000. The
collection features works by Picasso, Matisse, Dali, Pollock and
Warhol and represents all the major movements since 1900. Sadly,
the work of the great Rolf Harris is too art like to be included
- see the National Gallery.tate.org.uk/modern/.
Nearest Tubes: Southwark & Blackfriars. Admission: Free (however
donations are gratefully received)

Covent Garden Formerly a fruit and vegetable market, 'The
Garden' is now a constant and varied hive of activity. It has a
hugely diverse selection of shops, eateries, bars, a market
selling art, crafts, antiques and souvenirs, historic buildings,
theatres, the Royal Opera House and fantastic free entertainment
provided by street entertainers and musicians. If you can't find
something to capture your interest at Covent Garden then you
must be harder to please than Simon Cowell on a bad day.
coventgarden.uk.com. Nearest Tube: Covent Garden.

Trafalgar Square Undoubtedly one of the most famous
sights of London without visiting which, a trip to the capital
would be incomplete. Not only are tourists drawn to see Nelsons
Column, the fountains, the lions, the annual gift of a huge
Christmas tree from Norway and the pigeons (dirty little so and
sos), but it is where the masses flock to in times of national
celebration or when there is cause to demonstrate. Trafalgar
Square truly is the meeting place of the nation. Nearest Tube:
Charing Cross.