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London destination guide

Discover the mysteries of London

Why visit London?

Fizzing with energy and excitement, London is one of the most dynamic cities on earth. Admire grand landmarks up close, including Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Tower Bridge, the world’s most famous bridge. Be entertained by the theatres and street performers of Covent Garden, or hang out in the trendy bars and restaurants of Shoreditch. With 2,000 years of history to draw from, there’s plenty to discover.

Best things to do in London

  • witness Buckingham Palace’s Changing the Guard ceremony for a taste of patriotic British tradition
  • pose with modern waxwork celebrities at Madame Tussauds for fantastic selfies
  • visit world-class museums for free, including the Tate Modern art gallery, British Museum, and Science Museum
  • learn about the grim legends of 11th century fortress the Tower of London
  • delve into the scary world of Sweeney Todd and Jack the Ripper. 
  • dine at one of 17,000 restaurants
  • see a show at one of 240 theatres. Pick up discount theatre tickets at the TKTS stall in Leicester Square

London walking guide

Discovering Thames-side attractions by foot  - A family-friendly walk along the riverbank

The 1951 festival of Britain breathed new life onto London's South Bank area, as exciting performance venues sprung up. Today, both sides of the river are tree lined and packed with entertainment spaces, suitable for all ages. Several Bridges - some pedestrian only - conveniently link the banks. Allow about an hour and ten minutes to complete this 5.4km walk, or if you plan to visit all the recommended attractions set aside at least half a day.

Download the London walking guide

Link to location walk on Google maps: http://bit.ly/2kHHeir

London hotels guide: top hotel picks

Best for…luxury

The Great Northern Hotel, Pancras Road

Nearest tube: King’s Cross St. Pancras

Victorian train travel was glamorous - and this faithfully restored, 1854 railway hotel celebrates those romantic times.
There are three room grades, ranging from grand suites to the compact Couchette. Each floor has its own pantry stocked with Tunnock’s tea cakes, freshly-baked cake and glass jars of boiled sweets.
At the Plum & Spilt Milk bar, Michelin-star chef Mark Sargeant serves a fine menu of British classics. 

  • Wide corridors were designed to allow Victorian women in bustles to pass “without embarrassment”
  • Bedside tables are inspired by vanity travel cases carried on the Orient Express to Venice
  • There are 150 hand-blown glass lanterns in the bar
  • Doubles from £195 with breakfast

 

ZCity Hotel Fleet Street

Best for…value

Z City Hotel, 24 Fleet Street

Nearest tube: Temple

Branches of this cost-effective hotel are dotted across the capital. Rooms are comfortable and convenient, offering everything you need for a short city stay without any frivolous bill-hiking frills.
Space is limited, but cleverly used: showers are tucked into corners and sliding bathroom doors limit wasted space. Ask for top floor rooms with views of London's rooftops.
The atmosphere is young and buzzy, and from check-in the whole process runs like a dream. 

  • Choose this 109-room hotel to be near the West End and Theatreland, while avoiding the crowds.
  • The Z Café serves breakfast, juices and light meals (at extra cost), and from 5pm-8pm daily, there’s free wine and cheese.
  • Seek out Temple Church, built by the Knights of the Templar and made famous by Dan Brown – you'll find it behind the hotel.
  • Doubles from £50 per night.
Hilton Bankside Distillery bar

Best for…arty types

Hilton Bankside, 2-8 Great Suffolk Street

Nearest tube: Southwark

More boutique bolthole than standard chain hotel, this sleek 292-room option is a five-minute walk from the Tate Modern. 
Tucked into backstreets, it's a safe distance from noisy traffic. Rooftop wildflower meadows are an attempt to breathe green air into the former industrial heartland. 
Rooms are comfortable, convenient and neutral in design. The Distillery Bar presents a menu of cocktails based on aromatics, with tables on the pavement for summer socialising

  • It’s located on the site of a former essence factory
  • Upgraded rooms allow access to a lounge with complimentary all-day refreshments
  • Save space for a meal at the excellent Brit-themed OXB
  • Doubles from £159 with breakfast
     
Nadler lobby

Best for…affordable luxury

The Nadler Victoria, 10 Palace Place

Nearest tube: Victoria

This sophisticated family-owned hotel offers 73 tastefully-designed rooms in various sizes, with colour schemes inspired by the stonework of nearby Buckingham Palace.
Faux fur throws drape pocket-sprung beds and panels of fake leather bookends have been used to create the illusion of space in smaller rooms.
All guests receive a Victoria Privilege Card, giving them discounts in local restaurants and reduced entry to attractions. 

  • Small kitchenettes have complimentary Nespresso machines
  • There’s no hotel restaurant, but staff purchase breakfast items on request – with only £1 added for service
  • Free Wi-Fi and local and national phone calls are also included in the room rate
  • Doubles from £131.25 per night
 

London walking guide

Discovering Thames-side attractions by foot - a family friendly walk along the riverbank

The 1951 Festival of Britain breathes new life into London's South Bank area, as exciting performance venues sprung up. Today, both sides of the river are tree lined and packed with entertainment spaces, suitable for all ages. Several bridges - some pedestrian only conveniently link the banks. Allow about an hour and ten minutes to complete this 5.4km walk or if you plan to visit all the recommended attractions, set aside at least half a day.

Download the London walking guide

Link to location walk on Google maps: http://bit.ly/2kHHeir

London South Bank Walking Map