London - The Greatest City on Earth!
When you embark on a holiday to our magnificent capital you’ll be taking in one of the most visited and international cities on earth. With its 2000 years of historical influence, cultural diversity, fine food establishments and wonderful vibrant atmosphere, London has something for everyone.
Throughout the centuries London has been city of ideas. The city’s ability to evolve and move with the times has enabled it to embrace and develop into the innovative landscape of original thinking and creativity that it is today. This is essentially one of the many reasons why London has always been such a special place to visit, and indeed live in, and plays an enormous part in why London stands out as being one of the greatest cities in the world.
These innovators, with ‘larger than life’ imaginations, are responsible not only for a wealth of state of the art, architecturally designed buildings such as The Shard and The Gherkin, but also independent contemporary art, (London is the performing arts capital of the world), literature, (authors like Dickens, Orwell and Oscar Wilde make London the world’s greatest literary centre), pioneering music, (London has a marvellous musical heritage – with greats like Bowie, Adele, Queen and George Michael originating here. Added to this the spectacular amount of theatrical masterpieces on offer within London’s theatre land, and you have it all.
So what else attracts visitors to the best city in the world? Aside from our world class theatre, amazing art galleries and cosmopolitan multi- cultural society, 80% of visitors say their main reason for coming to London is ‘culture and heritage’. Incredibly, cultural tourism generates almost £3½ billion a year for London’s economy and visitor numbers continue to grow. Yet the city still has to endeavour to maintain its position internationally, as many other destinations around the globe are promoting cultural strategies to attract the discerning traveller.
This said, London has something that many other countries don’t possess. The pomp, circumstance and pageantry that only Britain can pull off! Take for example the Royal Wedding in May of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, at Windsor Castle. This iconic event attracted millions to London to celebrate the romantic coupling of an adored British Prince and his glamorous bride. The historical significance of such venues, along with the popularity of our Royal Family, provide a significant benefit to our tourist industry and economy. It’s a known fact that 9 out of 10 trips to London incorporate visits to the city’s top 20 cultural attractions.
So here are several more reasons why London can assuredly call itself ‘the greatest city on Earth.’
Centuries of History
London can boast more than 2,000 years of history, and the London landscape bears testament to more iconic and historically important buildings and landmarks than pretty much anywhere in the world. With Buckingham Palace, The Tower of London and Westminster Abbey, to name just three of these marvels, it’s no surprise that travellers journey from across the world to experience the wonder and majesty of these venues.
Free Cultural Experiences
Though some London attractions have a reputation for being expensive, especially if you have a large family, visitors are regularly extremely surprised that many of the city’s cultural venues are actually free. Unlike the national museums in Paris, New York and Rome where tourists pay an entrance fee, London’s museums, like the Natural History, Science, Victoria and Albert, Tate Modern, National Gallery and the Imperial War Museum are all absolutely free! We are one of the few cities in the world where you’ll be able to witness grand masterpieces and prehistoric historic exhibitions without opening your wallet! What’s more, London’s 2012 Olympic Games saw the city’s popularity skyrocket as a result of visitors being impressed by the value for money they received in the capital. This has been endorsed by producer and artist Will.i.am, (William Adams), who says…. “London is my favourite city on the planet — it’s the cosmopolitan and ‘melting pot’ feel of it all, the open-mindedness to difference and culture. And the whole city is a world-class museum, outdoors and indoors.” A fine endorsement!
London’s Green Spaces
Even though London is a bustling ‘working city’ which attracts large conglomerations of financial and other industries, there are over 5000 acres of amazing green spaces across eight London parks. Hyde Park, for instance, set deep in the heart of London, offers both world-class concerts and events together with plenty of quiet places to unwind and relax. Alternatively, Richmond Park is the largest the eight Royal Parks and the biggest enclosed space in London. Here you’ll find the lovely Isabella Plantation and Pembroke Lodge, along with wonderful herds of Red and Fallow deer. All London parks are free and open daily.
London as a whole has over 8½ million trees, 300,000 gardens and acres upon acres of green space, not only making it one of the prettiest cities in the world, but also enabling it to boast more green spaces than any other European city. Whatever the weather or season, London is always enchantingly beautiful.
Reflection and Respect
London’s recent, and not so recent history, has given Londoners a long held reputation for perseverance, courage and grit in the face of adversity and sorrow. Acclaimed pioneering cultural projects, attracting both intense media coverage, along with over 5 million tourists, have helped us to reflect on such historical events, whilst raising many millions for charity. In 2014 an installation at the Tower of London of 888,246 ceramic hand-made poppies, provided the perfect setting to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. The creative project demonstrated a poignant perspective on a world event and provided a place to reflect and respect those who fell in one of the most beautiful, historic London landmarks. Something for which, we are justly proud.
Continuing on this theme, another sad, yet positive aspect that makes London such a fabulous place is its incredible resilience. Although it has always been, and still remains, one of the safest destinations in the world to visit, recent tragedies such as the London Bridge Bombing at Borough Market will remain etched on our hearts forever. However, Londoners are a particularly defiant crowd and whatever life throws at us, business will continue as normal. A major benefit of visiting London is still the safety aspect however, as many other capital cities are far more dangerous.
British tradition, values and democracy.
Representing over 1000 years of this is our dear Queen Elizabeth. She not only provides Britain with incredible stability and important British values, but is also a testament to our wonderful democratic nation. The Royals, and especially Her Majesty, are undoubtedly important assets to our country and the reason why so many oversees visitors wish to come to experience these traditions for themselves.
Our glorious capital is home to a wealth of shopping delights, whatever your budget. For high end stores you have the wonderful Selfridges, Harrods and Fortnum and Mason, to name just a few, whilst many more fine retailers are just a stone’s throw away in the famous Oxford and Regent Streets. Alternatively for the quirkier gift you could head off to the historic Covent Garden or one of London’s finest markets. Here you’ll not only find some of the best retail therapy around, but also something else London is renowned for, its multi- cultural cuisine. From the traditional English fish and chips, to pasta, curries and a wealth of other delicious delicacies from all over the world, all available at a very reasonable cost. For something fancier, there are a multitude of fine dining establishments throughout the capital, many boasting ‘celebrity chefs’ and Michelin Stars. All are well worth a visit, showing the capital can provide something to suit everyone’s budget.
The Great British Pub
Were you aware that you’re apparently never more than 7 metres from a pub in London? This fact isn’t one that I’ve tested, although it’s a fact that there are well over 7,000 pubs to choose from in the capital. From themed bars to roof top terraces offering anything from craft beers to exotic cocktails, a visit to London isn’t complete without a great British pint! As an alternative to a traditional pub, you could sample the delights of ‘Attendant’, a quirky Victorian toilet which was given a makeover in 2013 and is now perfect for a daytime drink! No one but the British could think up something so novel and extreme, making it another reason why London is so uniquely great.
A Great Multi- Cultural Society
Another thing that makesLondon so special, and indeed puts the ‘Great’ into Great Britain, is that it’s one of the most multicultural cities/countries in the world. Our capital is now home to over 270 nationalities and 300 languages. For many hundreds of years London has researched, studied and collected items from all over the world, making these and the research about them available to everyone. Our great museum displays perfectly express how London has always retained a healthy openness to every society’s ideas, doctrines and discoveries. Similarly, the UK has also welcomed many different cultures and peoples of the world into our cities, making them truly multicultural. Visitors to London will evidence this in many ways, from the comprehensive, worldwide cuisine which is available, to the vibrant communities like China Town within the heart of the capital, making London such a great place to be. In visiting London, whatever your nationality, every tourist will find something familiar, as well as be able to explore the whole world in just one city. Of course there are other global cities, although it’s only in London that you’ll experience and meet people from all over the globe and with them enjoy their theatre, food and music and witness the incredible range of wonderful things that they’ve produced.
A trip to London is actually a walkers paradise, even though for those less energetic there is an excellent public transport network including the famous London bus and underground system. On foot though, you’ll be able to experience all the vibrancy, nostalgia and heritage that London can offer. There’s certainly nothing better than a stroll along the River Thames, which has been meandering through the city since Roman times. Its historic significance won’t be lost on you, and can be enhanced by taking a river boat along this iconic, ancient waterway, to find out more about London’s glorious past.
So why visit London?
Let’s face it tourists don’t generally visit for the weather! However what does attract them is our glorious culture. All the above things and more should tempt you to pay this special, deeply cosmopolitan capital city a visit. From free national museums, historic royal residences and vibrant markets, to the abundance of green spaces across the city, here you’ll be able to enjoy the fantastic range of cultural activities on offer and tailor your visit to your own personal inspiration and connection, desires and interests. You’ll be able to appreciate the ancient alongside the modern and witness London as the world’s number one city for its enormous variety of authentic historical sites and museums- far more than our rivals, as well as its culture and leisure activities and indeed its numerous hidden gems.
You certainly won’t cover all London has to offer in one hit, although once you’ve been hooked on your first visit by our capital’s cultural icons, which are a major part of London’s appeal, and discovered about the past and its legacy, you’ll definitely have a thirst for more and will want to return.
When you do, you can further explore why London’s art fairs, world famous carnivals like Notting Hill, Frieze London and Frieze Masters have attracted so much attention and attendance over the years. The influence of heritage and culture on how ‘attractive’ a city is certainly a key feature which accentuates why people regard London as a city of eclecticism and international appeal. From the old masters and antiquities to modern design and the art of today, there is always a plethora of new and exciting things to see and do in the city, and more importantly something for every pocket, which encourages visitors to revisit again and again. Return visitors to London are willing to go further to experience unique and unusual new attractions. London can offer these in abundance. Take, for example, the city’s range of ‘Late’ events, occurring many of London’s museums and galleries. Here you can immerse yourself in a shared, one-off, cultural experience with a difference.
So why not visit London for the best experience in the world? With 40 million visits to cultural institutions, 14.6 million theatre attendances, 4 world heritage sites, 857 art galleries and 349 live music venues last year alone, it’s definitely THE PLACE TO BE! 16.8 million overseas visitors, nearly 60% of which have made repeat visits, can’t be wrong! So go on….give London a try!
If you intend to extend your stay in London to take in more of our beautiful capital, then Euracom can offer amazing deals on serviced apartments. Not only do these compare more than favourably with a similar standard hotel stay, they also offer more luxury and security to make your stay more enjoyable. Here are just three examples of the many we offer.
Corporate serviced apartments South Kensington High Street W8
These serviced apartments offer luxury in the heart of London. Located off Kensington High Street and with easy access to the Science/Natural History Museums and Olympia, these apartments provide the perfect base for both holidaying families and business travellers alike.
Nightly fees start from just £229p/n, making these spacious, well-proportioned apartments exceptional value. With fully equipped kitchens and a private courtyard garden, the apartments are available with 1-4 bedrooms.
- Concierge / security / reception/ Lifts/Telephone/TV / Freeview/ Wi-fi
- Daily or weekly linen change/Daily cleaning service
- Desk / workspace/ Dining table & chairs
- Kitchen / kitchenette/Laundry / dry cleaning facilities available
- If you are looking for looking for a spacious central London apartment, close to some of London’s finest stores, galleries and museums then these are for you.
More about our Corporate serviced apartments South Kensington High Street W8 ›
Central London serviced apartments St. Pauls Queen Street, London EC4
Our St Pauls Queen St serviced apartments are ideal for both business trips and sightseeing trips to London. Situated in London’s financial district, they’re within walking distance of the iconic St Paul's Cathedral, Millennium Bridge, Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. With prices starting from £145p/n, these newly refurbished, stylish flats are set in a beautifully designed building, finished to a high specification. Premium quality fittings and soft furnishings come as standard, whilst each apartment is equipped with broadband, wide-screen TV and a luxurious kitchen and bathroom.
- Air conditioning/ Concierge / security / reception/ Lifts/ Lobby / waiting area/ Wheelchair accessible
- Bathroom/ Hairdryer available/ Toiletries provided
- Daily or weekly linen change/ Daily cleaning service
- Dining table & chairs/ Balcony / Terrace (upon request)
- DVD player/ Satellite TV/ Freeview/ Wifi
- Kitchen / Iron / Ironing board/ Laundry / dry cleaning available/ Tea / coffee making facilities
More about our Central London serviced apartments St. Pauls Queen Street, London EC4 ›
Corporate serviced apartment rentals London, Stratford E15
These spectacular serviced apartments in Stratford provide easy access to Central London and Canary Wharf. With the O2 arena, the Olympic Park and Excel nearby, this accommodation offers exceptional value from only £93p/n. This splendid development consists of 111 apartments, providing top quality accommodation at an affordable price. The apartments give space and comfort and offer premium quality fittings, soft furnishings and high-spec kitchens and bathrooms throughout. Equipped with modern technology including broadband, wide-screen TV and DVD, the apartments provide a comfortable environment in which to enjoy your stay.
- Balcony / Terrace (upon request)/ Welcome pack available
- Bathroom/ Toiletries provided
- Concierge / security / reception/ Lifts/ Lobby / waiting area/ Wheelchair accessible
- Desk / workspace/ Dining table & chairs/ Baby cot / high chair (upon request)
- DVD player/ TV / Freeview/ Wifi
- Fully equipped kitchen/ Iron / Ironing board/ Tea / coffee making facilities
- Daily cleaning service/ Laundry / dry cleaning facilities available
More about our Corporate serviced apartment rentals London, Stratford E15 ›
By © User:Colin / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0
at 26 Jun 2018
It seems that Spring is finally creeping up on us after the eternally long winter, bringing (hopefully), warmer weather, allowing us to enjoy the wealth of seasonal activities on offer in our glorious capital.
With the forthcoming Spring Bank Holiday, (26th to 28th May) on the horizon, London venues are gearing up for the forthcoming season. Here are our top ten picks for you to get out and about. Activities cater for both young and old, ensuring something for everyone. So why not shed that winter wardrobe, don those shorts and get out and about without delay?
Aside from the usual famous attractions, like The Tower of London and Buckingham Palace, there are loads of other superb things to see and do during the extended Spring Bank Holiday weekend.
The City Visitor Trail (www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/visit-the-city/walks)
This is a must for those on a sightseeing mission! The 90 minute, self-guided tour enables you to find many of London’s hidden gems, feast on its world famous attractions and experience the great culture, history and heritage of the capital’s famous Square Mile. Combine this with taking a well-deserved rest in one of the great eateries on route and you have the makings of a very memorable outing. Free City Visitor Trail maps are available from the City Information Centre, located opposite St Paul's Cathedral, or you can download the app for your mobile.
All Points Equal, Victoria Park 28th May (allpointseastfestival.com)
This is a day of free activities celebrating the 100th anniversary of votes for women. The venue, Victoria Park, is significant, as this was the end destination of Sylvia Pankhurst’s 1913/1914 processions. There are a variety of workshops on offer such as banner-making, children’s theatre and aerial circus performances. Outdoor screenings, along with a participatory performance of a Suffragette rally and live music featuring various brass bands, add to the atmosphere. A street food Market and pop-up bars will also be available.
Early Man Family Fun Day, Museum of London, 28th May (museumoflondon.org.uk)
For a range of drop-in, family-friendly activities, visit The Museum of London this Bank Holiday Monday, for a foray back into the Stone Age. Free screenings of ‘Early Man’ a recent Aardman film, will take you back to the time when prehistoric creatures roamed the earth. The caveman hero, Dug and his tribe, take on Lord Nooth, voiced by Tom Hiddleston, to save their home. Other child friendly activities include handling real prehistoric artefacts and learning the art of flint-making using soap, along with other drop in activities.
Spot Angry Birds at Madame Tussauds 7th May – July (madametussauds.co.uk)
Since first opening over 200 years ago, millions have visited this iconic establishment to see its famous wax figures, past and present. It remains just as popular today as it ever was. Much of its success is how the venue has moved with the times, and people are still just as curious as they have ever been. One of its most recent attractions features the characters Red, Chuck and Bomb, who make their debut this May, ahead of the release of the Angry Birds Movie.
Visit the Natural History Museum
This year’s summer season sees the beginning of this fine museum’s transformation into a museum fit for the future. Within the glorious Hintze Hall, a huge blue whale skeleton has now joined the plethora of other natural marvels, helping to tell the story of evolution and the part we play in our planet’s future. The 83 foot long whale skeleton forms an important part of the hundreds of new specimens across several floors, which includes ten other star specimens within the museum’s ‘wonder bays’. Further highlights include the dinosaur section, where you can meet a roaring T-Rex whilst the ground shakes beneath you on the earthquake simulator. A venue not to be missed!
Feria De Londres, South Bank 25th-27th May (feriadelondres.com)
Why not join this vibrant celebration of Spanish cuisine and culture? It’s inspired by the annual spring fairs that take place in Andalucia, Spain and takes place in Bernie Spain Gardens on the South Bank of the Thames. The festival includes interactive workshops, live Spanish music and Flamenco dancing shows, as well as a range of activities suitable for all ages, including arts and crafts, face painting and hair styling. The glorious setting of the South Bank be buzzing with a colourful display of ‘casetas’ (booths) all serving delicious Spanish delicacies, like tapas, Iberico ham, tortillas, pimientos de padron and churros, and you’ll also be able to experience many of the region’s wines and cocktails. Tio Pepe, one of Spain’s favourite fino producers, will be there, hosting a series of sherry masterclasses.
Picnic at Hampton Court Palace 26th May- 2ndJun (www.hrp.org.uk)
For a super family day out why how about head off to Hampton Court Palace to see a resurgence of some of Britain’s most gruesome characters being brought back to life in an open-air performance of Horrible Histories? Prepare yourselves for a unique production of Horrible Histories live on stage, where you’ll not only learn about Britain’s past but also experience some of the nasty bits too! Whilst you’re there you could also confront mysterious mythical beasts, storm the battlements and besiege the towers whilst exploring the Magic Garden’s secret grotto. Each area represents some of the legends and stories relating to the palaces’ fabulous history. After this innovative way of exploring the past with your family, you could then go on to discover real objects and hidden stories of Britain’s history, in and around the palace. Well worth a visit.
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 22nd-26th May (www.rhs.org.uk)
This superb flower extravaganza returns again this year with even bigger, better and more thrilling floral displays. The 12,000 sq ft Great Pavilion marquee will feature the finest displays from the world’s best growers and nurseries. This year’s ‘health and wellbeing’ gardens will help to demonstrate how plants and green spaces improve lives, whilst other features include the ‘Space to Grow’ Gardens, which will provide suggestions for those with smaller, urban gardens. On Friday 25th May, the Chelsea Late Event also enables visitors to combine seeing the show with bands, wandering artists and an artisan food market.
Festival of Science (Space) -Albert Hall - 5thMay-10thJuly(www.royalalberthall.com)
Supported by the UK Space Agency, and as part of their inaugural Festival of Science, the Royal Albert Hall celebrates and explores space through a range of concerts, talks, screenings and comedy events, for space and sci-fi fans whatever their age. This unmissable intergalactic experience, spectacularly celebrates the wonder of space in the iconic setting of one of the world’s most beautiful venues. Culture at its best!
Visit London Zoo 26th May-3rd June (campaign.zsl.org/londonheroesandvillains/)
The kids will love donning their capes this bank holiday in a novel way for them to learn about the threats facing wildlife. London Zoo’s ‘Superheroes and Villains’ excellent celebration of the world’s most incredible wildlife and their amazing super powers, enables them to meet the zoo’s own ‘superheroes’, tirelessly striving to protect vulnerable animals from many of the planet’s greatest villains. You’ll encounter some of the world’s environmental super-villains and discover just what we can do to help the animals fight back. So dust off that Batman outfit and join in the fun!
If you intend to extend your visit to make the most of all these bank holiday events, we at Euracom can help you to find the perfect serviced apartment at a most economical rate. Take a look at these 3 examples of the amazing London Serviced Apartments we offer.
Luxury serviced apartments London, Great Portland Street, Marylebone W1W
Located near the tranquil Regent’s Park, yet close to the bustling West End, these luxury serviced apartments provide an excellent base for exploring London’s famous landmarks, theatres and restaurants. From just £700 for a 1 bedroom apartment sleeping 2, these fully equipped, stylish apartments offer a balcony or terrace, gym, spa, health club & private jacuzzi & sauna. They are perfect for holidaying, with easy access to all the entertainment London has to offer, including Madame Tussauds and London Zoo.
- Balcony / Terrace
- Central heating
- Concierge / security / reception/ conference / meeting room available/ Door entry phone/ Lifts
- Daily or weekly linen change/ Daily cleaning service
- DVD player/ Radio / Alarm clock/ Satellite TV/ Wi-fi
- Fully equipped kitchen
- Gym in building or nearby/ Private jacuzzi & sauna/Spa
More about our Luxury serviced apartments London, Great Portland Street ›
Luxury serviced apartments in London, Sloane Gardens SW1
These splendid Victorian, luxury short stay apartments are set within London's exclusive Sloane Square. Close to the exclusive Knightsbridge’s famous shops, they provide the perfect base within central London for a family stay. From £2184 p/w, these elegant serviced apartments are located within a mansion block dating back to the 19thC and boast Queen Anne high windows along with other grand features. They are finished to the highest standard with a unique character, making them the ideal, high-quality London accommodation. If you are seeking individual design, reflecting the very best of traditional English decoration, then these apartments are for you. Close to many local cafes and restaurants, they are also convenient for visits to many museums within the locality, such as The Natural History Museum.
- Air conditioning/ Central heating
- Balcony / Terrace
- Concierge / security / reception/ Lifts/ Room service available/ Welcome pack available
- Daily or weekly linen change/ Daily cleaning service/ Laundry / dry cleaning facilities available
- Desk / workspace/Dining table & chairs
- Fully equipped kitchen/ Dishwasher in some/ Tea / coffee making facilities
- Telephone/TV / Freeview/ Wi-fi
More about our Luxury serviced apartments in London, Sloane Gardens SW1 ›
Southbank serviced apartments Waterloo, central London SE1
These spectacular, high quality Southbank serviced apartments are perfect for corporate guests and holiday makers alike. They offer views over many major attractions like Big Ben and the London Eye, which are just a stone’s throw away. They provide a superb place to relax after a hard day sightseeing, whilst being close enough to Southbank and its huge variety of restaurants, bars and attractions, giving you the best of both worlds. Ranging from £171p/n for a 1 bedroom apartment, sleeping 2, these contemporary apartments feature floor to ceiling windows, allowing spectacular panoramic views over London. Each high quality apartment offers spacious city living, with fully equipped kitchens and luxurious bathrooms. If you want to explore many of London's cultural and historic sites, then these superb apartments are ideal.
- Bathroom/ Hairdryer available
- Fully equipped kitchen/ Iron / Ironing board/Breakfast available/ Tea / coffee making facilities
- Central heating/ Concierge / security / reception/ Safe/dry cleaning facilities available/ Self check-in
- Daily cleaning service/ Laundry/ Welcome pack available
- Dining table & chairs
- Door entry phone/ Lifts/ Meet & greet arrival service
- DVD player/ Radio / Alarm clock/Telephone/TV/Freeview/Wi-fi
More about our Southbank serviced apartments Waterloo, central London SE1 ›
at 12 May 2018
Amongst the growing trend of latest technologies and ideas, there is certainly one that has escaped my attention, (and possibly yours)… that of the appropriately named, ‘listicle!’ ‘What on earth’, I hear you ask, ‘is that?’ Well, for the uninitiated, and those who haven't been on the internet for some time, ‘listicles’ have recently become popular with people who enjoy reading lists instead of a good novel! A "listicle," is generally defined as a phrase for any article which is presented in the form of a list. So this month we present the top ten things to do in London as a listicle…
Let’s look at what many people would consider to be the top 10 things to do in London our wonderful capital city, also discovering a few which are free.
Unusual facts that may surprise you about the top ten things to do in London as featured in this article!
- The London Eye
- The Tower of London
- The Shard
- Buckingham Palace
- The London Dungeon
- Madam Tussauds
- Take a walk
- Science or Natural History Museums
- Explore the Parks
- Stroll the Markets
1. The London Eye
This iconic, giant Ferris wheel is a masterpiece of engineering, located along the Thames. Officially known as the Coca-Cola London Eye, it is over 200 times larger than the average cycle wheel and is Europe’s tallest Ferris wheel, rising to 135 meters tall. There are 32 capsules, one for each of the London boroughs, each weighing 10 tonnes. Capsules are numbered 1 to 33, with interestingly no capsule 13, for superstitious reasons! The Eye can carry 800 passengers, (equivalent to 11 London double-decker buses), and welcomes over 3 ¾ million visitors annually.
Did you know?
It was once turned into a rotating nightclub, along with becoming a ‘pop up’ restaurant during the London Restaurant Festival! An unmissable venue!
2. The Tower of London
Despite once renowned as a place of torture and death, this 1000 year old, working monument has been a royal palace, jewel house, royal mint, fortress and armoury. Legend says that the ghost of Anne Boleyn walks the Tower accompanied by her head, placed, appropriately, under her arm. With over 2½ million visitors each year, this is an attraction not to be overlooked.
Did you know?
For 600 years it accommodated a range of wild creatures, making it the first London Zoo. Exotic animals, ranging from kangaroos to a polar bear, hunting for fish in the River Thames on a lead! All long gone now, although legend has it that if the Tower’s ravens leave, then this spells doom for Great Britain. So let’s hope they stay!
3. The Shard
This superb vantage point is twice as high as any other in the city. As Western Europe's tallest building, (309m), The Shard allows visitors to see up to 40 miles away. The impressive 95 storey
structure was designed as a vertical city, enabling people to work, relax and live. Its ‘Neo-futuristic’ design was based on the shape of a shard of glass, derived from the architect’s description during planning. Incredibly, 95% of the construction materials are recycled, and the 11,000 glass panels have a total area of 8 football pitches, around 56,000m2. It’s wiring amounts to 320km and would stretch from London to Paris, whilst the swimming pool on the 52nd floor is Europe’s highest swimming pool. An apartment in this fabulous space would set you back around £40 million, so best just to visit!
Did you know?
Near the end of construction, a fox, nicknamed Romeo, was found on the 72nd floor. Later released into the wild, it is thought it survived on food left by construction workers.
4. Buckingham Palace
This unmissable, working royal palace, gives you a glimpse into royal life. The superb state rooms boast palace treasures and masterpieces from fine artists like Rembrandt and Rubens. Originally named Buckingham House, and the Queen’s official London residence, the house comprises of 775 rooms, including 19 state rooms, 52 main suites, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices, and 78 bathrooms! There are also 760 windows and 1,514 doors, 350 clocks and watches, along with a post office, police station, doctor’s surgery, ATM, cinema and pool.
Did you know?
There is an exciting set of passageways running beneath the palace, connecting it to the outside world. Many royals, including HM Queen Mother and King George VI, enjoyed exploring these. On one occasion, they encountered ‘a very polite man from Newcastle,’ who was living down there.
5. The London Dungeon
This thrilling attraction transports you back to Britain’s gory past. The macabre setting lets your senses explore all the sights, smells and sounds of London’s horrifying crimes. Not for the faint hearted and with a surprise round every corner, you’ll encounter an array of frightening characters, from torturers, judges and infamous rogues and villains, played by fine actors. So stay alert for the shocks, special effects and rides and become entwined in the world of horror. Embark on this thrill-filled journey at your peril, through 1,000 years of London's dark past.
Did you know?
Figures like Sweeney Todd and his sidekick Mrs Lovett, are only fictional, as no public records exist which substantiate the existence of a barber named Todd. Yet stories of shocking criminal deeds were often embellished as they were told and were therefore asserted to be true.
6. Madam Tussauds
This fine museum, founded in 1835 by wax sculptor Anna Maria Tussaud, has been enthralling visitors for almost 200 years. Typical figures included in today’s displays range from historical to royalty, film stars to sporting legends and famous murderers. Originally holding around 400 exhibits, some of these were damaged irreparably during the war, although many have been remade using the original casts. Each sculpture takes four months to produce, costing £227,000. Accuracy is paramount, so 250 precise measurements, along with 180 photographs are taken to ensure this.
Did you know?
The singer Ozzy Osbourne once posed in the museum as himself and scared unsuspecting visitors. Mother Teresa decreed that her ‘work was more important than her physical being.’ She was therefore one of the only people to refuse to be sculpted.
Free Activities in the Top Ten
7. Take a walk
Head off to admire the lions in Trafalgar Square and take in the famous Nelson’s Column. Cast in bronze, the lions were designed by Edwin Landseer, who worked from real corpses and the cast of a lion statue. After this, head inside the nearby National Portrait Gallery to view some fabulous artwork and drawings from Leonardo to Rembrandt.
Did you know?
Although he strove for great accuracy, Landseer made a big error. In reality, lion’s backs are convex when laying down, not concave as he depicted them. Many thought they looked more like a sphinx!
8. Science or Natural History Museums
The NH museum boasts a huge collection relating to life and earth science specimens. It holds over 80 million items within five main collections, including; botany, entomology, mineralogy, palaeontology and zoology. It has excellent research facilities, specialising in identification, conservation and taxonomy. Many specimens have significant historical value as well as scientific, like those collected by Charles Darwin. The museum is particularly popular amongst younger children for its exhibition of dinosaur skeletons.
Alternatively, the incredible Science Museum is another of the city's major tourist attractions, attracting 3 million visitors annually. Major interactive exhibitions, such as ‘Exploring Space’, are always excitingly displayed and of great interest to young and old alike. The museum now holds a collection of over 300,000 items, including such famous items as Stephenson's Rocket and Puffing Billy (the oldest surviving steam locomotive)
9. Explore the Parks
Hyde Park is just one of eight Royal Parks and is well worth a visit to see such sights as the Serpentine, Speakers Corner and the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain. Start from Marble Arch tube and stroll around.
Did you know?
Each Christmas Day, a few mad bathers dive into the Serpentine, competing for the Peter Pan Cup. It’s aptly named, by the Peter Pan author, JM Barrie, who donated the cup. Worth noting though, that participation is for Serpentine Swimming Club members only, so maybe just focus on cooking the turkey!
10. Stroll the Markets
Why not feast on delicious food at the Borough Market, or watch the street performers whilst dining in Covent Garden? These are some of the oldest and most charming London areas, with superb cheese and bread stalls, along with a memento or two to take home.
Did you know?
The name of ‘Covent Garden’ was a spelling mistake. It was supposed to be CONVENT GARDEN, the market garden of the convent of Westminster Abbey!
So there you have it…a ‘listicle’ showing some strange facts about the top ten attractions in London. Whilst weighing up your choices why not consider staying a while longer to tick some others off your ‘bucket listicle!’ You’ll be glad you did!
Euracom has a range of serviced apartments to suit your every need, from budget studio flats to luxurious sprawling apartment suites.
Take, for example, the Luxury corporate serviced apartments in London E1, Bishopsgate, these stunningly spacious, recently converted, luxury serviced apartments are bright and well furnished. Perfect for business travellers and tourists alike, they give easy access to the City and its main attractions like Covent Garden, Spitalfields Market and the Museum of London. From £1034 pw, these apartments offer a range of luxurious services & facilities that cater for everyone.
Services & facilities include
- Baby cot / high chair (upon request)
- Bathroom/ toiletries provided
- Concierge / security / reception/ door entry phone/ lifts/ telephone/TV / freeview/wi-fi
- Daily or weekly linen change/ daily cleaning service/starter packs of groceries/ toiletries available
- DVD player/ radio / alarm clock
- Fully equipped kitchen/ laundry / dry cleaning facilities available/ tea / coffee making facilities
- Gym in building or nearby
More about our luxury corporate serviced apartments in London E1, Bishopsgate ›
Slightly more expensive, at £1071pw, are the short stay apartments London, Earls Court Road, SW5. These lovely, Edwardian styled apartments, feature high imposing ceilings and comfortable, well- proportioned rooms. Close to Kensington Palace and the Natural History Museum, the four bedroom apartments can sleep up to 8 people, making them the perfect apartments to rent for a short stay in London.
Services & facilities include
- Baby cot / high chair (upon request)/ daily cleaning service
- Breakfast available/ dishwasher in some apartments/ welcome pack available
- Concierge / security / reception/ door entry phone/ Lifts
- En-suite bathroom in some apartments
- Desk / workspace/ dining table & chairs
- Ensuite bathroom in some apartments
- Fully equipped kitchen/ laundry / dry cleaning facilities available/ tea / coffee making facilities
- Telephone/ TV / Freeview/ DVD player/Wifi
More about our short stay apartments London, Earls Court Road, SW5 ›
Alternatively, you could opt for our corporate serviced apartments, Holborn Lambs Conduit Street WC1, which are set in a quiet street in the heart of London's Holborn district. Close to Covent Garden, The British Museum and the City, these apartments make an ideal base for both holidaying and business. Each apartment has been individually designed and furnished to a high standard, featuring Italian furniture, king-sized beds and comfortable living and dining areas.
Services & facilities include;
- Baby cot / high chair (upon request)/ daily cleaning service/ welcome pack available
- Balcony / Terrace (upon request)
- Central heating/concierge / security / reception/ door entry phone/ lifts/ safe
- Dining table & chairs/ fully equipped kitchen/ dishwasher in some apartments
- DVD player/ hairdryer available
- Grocery store onsite / nearby
- Kitchen / kitchenette/ iron / ironing board/ laundry / dry cleaning facilities available
- Radio / Alarm clock/satellite TV/ telephone/TV / Freeview/ Wi-fi
More about our corporate serviced apartments London, Holborn Lambs Conduit Street WC1 ›
By Bob Collowân (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
at 4 Aug 2017
In any 2,000 year-old city, there will always be stories of ghosts, spirits, gruesome murders and a whole host of spooky gongs-on that would give the writers of Scooby-Doo ammunition for years. London is no different. If you’re not wearing socks, go and put a pair on because we’re about to scare them right off. Enter here if you dare….
First off, it’s important to note that at Euracom, we keep an open mind on most things. We live in an inclusive and pluralist society where within reason, people can do and say what they like however where ghosts, ghouls and spirits are concerned it must be noted that there is no scientific evidence whatsoever to prove their existence. The evidence is almost entirely anecdotal so when we talk about London’s most haunted places, we cast no aspersions as to whether there is truth behind the story, we just think they are cracking tales!
So where are London’s most haunted places?
50 Berkeley Square in Mayfair has long been honoured with the title of London’s most haunted house. In 1913, Charles Harper wrote a book uninventively titled ‘Haunted Houses’ and he said ‘The haunted house in Berkeley Square was long, one of those things that no country cousin come up from the provinces to London on sightseeing bent, ever willingly missed.’
50 Berkeley Square
Sadly, original stories get bastardised, twisted and sensationalised but this particular one started with the tenancy of a Mr Myers, a jilted bridegroom, in the 1860s. He moved into a small room at the top of the house and became a recluse. He emerged from his room in the night hours to wander through the rooms and it is said that his ghost haunts the house.
Another tale is that of a man who moved in with his teenage daughters. The fiancé of the elder daughter, a Captain Kentfield, visited his betrothed and when the maid was preparing the room, a series of blood-curdling screams were heard. She was found contorted on the floor muttering ‘don’t let it touch me’. She died the next day.
Unconcerned by the fate of the maid, the Captain decided to spend the night in the room. Thirty minutes after retiring for the night, similar screams were heard, followed by a gunshot. He was found dead on the floor, his face contorted in unimaginable terror.
Just by the way, you can use this list and do your own research to do a tour of your own or you can join a, ahem, ‘frightfully’ good organised tour from London Ghost Walksand Ghost Bus Tours!
Here’s a list of some of London’s most haunted places…
Where: The Queen’s House, Romney Road, Greenwich, London SW10
What: Two ghostly figures were seen ascending the stairs in a photograph taken by a Canadian couple in 1966. The couple confirmed the staircase was empty and despite close scrutiny by photographic experts, no explanation was forthcoming as to the two figures in the picture, other than that they must have been there when the pic was taken…
Scare Factor: 6/10
Where: Sutton House, 2 – 4 Homerton High Street, London E9
What: Dogs can be heard wailing in the middle of the night and when dogs are brought to the house hey often stop rigid at the foot of the painted staircase, their hackles raised, apparently transfixed by something they can see on the stairs but which remains invisible to humans…
Scare Factor: 7/10
Where: The Grenadier Pub, Wilton Row, London SW1
What: A soldier was caught cheating at cards and was punished with such severity by his comrades that he died. A solemn, silent spectre has been seen moving slowly across the low-ceilinged rooms, as well as objects moving or disappearing and an icy chill that lasts for days…
Scare Factor: 7/10
Where: The Viaduct Tavern, Newgate Street, London EC1
What: The City’s last gin palace was undergoing renovations in the 1990s and as workmen took up the floorboards, one felt a tap on his shoulder. His mate was on the other side of the room and minutes later it happened again. As he was about to return to his chores, both men watched as the heavy carpet, that lay rolled up by the window, was lifted into the air and dropped heavily onto the floor…
Scare Factor: 8/10
Where: The Bank of England, Threadneedle Street, London EC4
What: In 1811, a bank employee was found guilty of forgery and hanged. The news was kept from his devoted sister who turned up enquiring on her brother’s whereabouts. A clerk blurted out the grim news by mistake. It freaked her out. Dressed in a long black veil, she became known as the ‘Bank Nun’ and turned up every day asking for her brother. She was treated with respect but in time, she was offered a sum of money to stay away. She did in life, but in death, a different story. Every so often, a weary woman dressed like a nun approaches bankers on their way home on Threadneedle Street and with sad eyes, politely asks ‘have you seen my brother…’
Scare Factor: 8/10
Where: St. Botolph’s Church, Bishopsgate, London EC3
What: In 1982, photographer Chris Brackley was inside St. Boltoph’s with his wife and he took a picture of the altar. When it was developed, he noticed a shrouded figure standing in the top right corner on the balcony. The image was scrutinised by experts who determined there was no double exposure and his kit was fully functional. The only possible explanation was that there was actually someone up there. Some years later, Chris was contacted by a builder who was doing some restoration work and inadvertently disturbed a pile of coffins. One opened to reveal a well-preserved body of a woman who face bears an uncanny resemblance to the ghostly figure in the picture taken years before…
Scare Factor: 9/10
Sleep well tonight…
at 29 Apr 2016
We say the same thing every year around this time – summer time in London is as good, if not better, than anywhere else the world! It’s a time when the city bursts at the seams with activity and it comes alive with people and languages and food and culture from all over the globe. Here’s our guide to what’s happening in London this summer…
OK, so it’s no secret that London (and indeed the rest of our little island) isn’t blessed with perfect or even predictable weather. It’s not like going to Australia or Los Angeles where, barring a disaster, you’re pretty much guaranteed sun. Here? Not so much.
If all you’re after is 30°C (or 85°F if you’re of a certain age), we suggest Googling ‘holidays to Portugal’ but if you want some world-famous events and a city teeming with excitement and happiness, make sure you contact us now to book your London apartment.
The real kick-off to summer in London is Wimbledon. It runs from June 27 – July 10 andtickets for the world-famous Grand Slam event sell out quickly but you’ll always find some on the ticket exchange websites like StubHub or Seatwave. If you do get hold of a ticket, it’s an amazing experience and you may even get to see one of the top stars.
Wimbledon © Pete Edgeler
Who’s going to win though? Are Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams going to hold onto their crowns or maybe, just maybe can our Andy do it again? Whatever happens, you’re assured of an incredible day out and don’t forget the most British of British things to do – have strawberries and cream!
Talking of Britishness, the Chelsea Flower Show is a highlight of our summer cultural calendar. Between the 24th and 28th May, the Royal Horticultural Society hold a world-class array of stunning flowers and plants, innovative, eccentric garden designs from around the world.
Chelsea Flower Show © Herry Lawford
There’s also a host of special events such as twilight jazz concerts, a celebration of HM The Queen’s 90th birthday, interactive exhibits and one of the most talk-about exhibits of recent years – the poppies from the Tower on London. Tickets are available here.
Since we’re on a roll, we may as well cap the British thing off with possibly one of the most uniquely British things there is – Trooping of the Colour. If you didn’t already know, HM The Queen has two birthdays – the day she was actually born (21st April) and her State birthday in June.
Trooping the Colour © Jon’s Pics
To celebrate, more than 1,400 officers and men alongside almost 400 musicians from the massed bands of the Household Division take to Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall in a magnificent display of pageantry, troop movements timed to absolute perfection and the bands play as one. It really is a sight to see and you can apply for tickets here.
As well as the tennis, the flowers and the soliders, London is jam-packed with things to do. Stay outdoors at any one of dozens of rooftop bars, hundreds and hundreds of beer gardens and amazing green spaces all over the city for picnics, kite flying, boating, throwing a Frisbee or kicking a ball around!
Places like the South Bank, Covent Garden and Piccadilly Circus teem with awesome street performers and there are loads and loads of open-air gigs, drive-in cinemas, performances, art exhibitions and one-day music festivals to choose from.
What about the traditional tourist sights? Well the Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Big Ben and London Zoo aren’t going anywhere, nor are the amazingly eclectic choice of restaurants, cafés and bars.
For more information on what to do in London this summer, have a look at Time Out for their list of great events in London this summer as well as lastminute.com’s 50 Brilliant Things To Do In London In Summer and Visit London’s events calendar.
You’re only problem will be deciding what to do first! Either way, whatever you decide to do, make sure you base your stay at a fantastic Euracom apartment. Call us now for some great deals on London vacation apartments.
at 1 Apr 2016