London Things to Do Tips by Britannia2
London Things to Do: 8,852 reviews and 14,857 photos
Dulwich Picture Gallery
This is Englands oldest purpose built art gallery and it was designed by Sir John Soane in 1811.
There is a permamant collection but also visiting collections.
The cafe is good but expensive.
Of note is the fact Sir Gilbert Scott based the design of the classic phonebox on the mausoleum that stands behind the gallery - there is a typical phonebox in the grounds to illustrate this.
Address: Gallery Road, London, SE21 7AD
Directions: Train from Victoria and to West Dulwich and then a short walk.
Phone: 020 8693 5254
The iconic London bridge over the Thames that is known across the world.
More to follow......
Address: Tower Bridge Road, EC3/SE1
Directions: Tower Hill or London Bridge tubes. Tower Gateway on the DLR and Fenchurch Street main line station.
Phone: 020 7626 3065
This iconic building on the South Bank is City Hall - this is where the Mayor of London works out of and decisions on transport, planning and so on are made.
You can visit parts of City Hall, Mondays to Thursdays from 8.30am to 6pm and Fridays from 8.30am to 5.30pm.
They host regular exhibitions at City Hall, usually on topics relating to London or that have been created by Londoners. All exhibitions are free and open to everyone to see.
Address: The Queen's Walk London SE1 2AA
Directions: London Bridge tube and then a 10 minute walk east along the river bank.
Phone: 020 7983 4000
This is my favourite London market - it really bustles on a Saturday as hundreds of people walk along the Portobello Road - it starts off at its Notting Hill end as a normal street where buses carefully move past through the crowds and there are just shops at the start but as it moves up through colourful residential houses the road is eventually closed to traffic and the market becomes a mix of shops and stalls. There is also some street entertainment and certainly a lot to see and do.
Portobello claims to be the worlds largest antiques market and it certainly has any antique stalls and shops - some looks rather dubious but there are some beautiful clocks for example and a good variety of jewellery.
I think most people come to look and enjoy the atmosphere and many different sorts of eatery.
Address: Portobello Road, W10/W11
Directions: Notting Hill Gate and Ladbroke Grove tubes or buses 7,12, 23, 27, 28, 31, 52, 70, 94, 328 & 452.
Phone: 20 7229 8354 (ANTIQUES ENQUIRIES
Not to be confused with Little Venice (which is a few minutes walk away and the juction of the Grand Union and Regents Canal) but the basin itself is the is the terminus of the Paddington arm of the Grand Junction Canal.
It was opened in 1801 and in the great days of canals was a hive of activity. Today it forms part of a massive regeneration of the area and there are expensive new flats here and several cafes - national chains - where you can watch life in the basin. The other high rise buildings are office blocks one of which is the new Marks and Spencers HQ.
September 2004 saw Paddington Basin gain a further notch of urbane style with the opening of three pioneering bridges. The Helix bridge, designed by Marcus Taylor and located near West End Quay, is a giant metal-and-glass corkscrew which retracts to allow watercraft to pass through. The Station bridge, designed by Langlands and Bell, provides a space-age getaway to Paddington Station with a semi-transparent screen across the canal. Last, but by no means least, the Rolling bridge is a unique design by Thomas Heatherwick. When activated, this simple footbridge transforms itself, snake like, into a perfect octagon - rather resembling a hamster wheel.
Slightly let down by some scruffy looking canal boats that are moored here.
Directions: 205 bus or tube to Paddington and then walk along platform 8 and over the bridge to the basin.
Little Venice is a good place to sit and watch canal traffic in London - situated in Maida Vale this is an area comprised of about ten tree-lined streets with beautiful 17th century white stucco homes plus shops on Formosa Street and Clifton Gardens. Well at least on the southern side whereas the northern side must have situated there Londons most sought after council estate! There appears to be some good restaurants in the area including two actually on the canal which we will explore on future visits.
You can take a water bus to Camden Lock or Regents Park Zoo from here with an inclusive admission charge.
Little Venice does not however have the appeal of say the Gas Street Basin in Birmingham or a typical Cheshire canal basin - many of the craft moored I thought looked a little decrepit. Most of the craft moving down the canal were luxury cruisers.
However a good area to visit and you can take a canal tour from here to Regents Park along the canal. Further on is the Paddington Basin which has some nice coffee shops and restaurants (see seperate tip).
Directions: 46 bus to Warwick Avenue or tube to Warwick Avenue. Turn left outside the tube station and then first right and the canal is behind the wall on the left.
Or walk along platform 8 at Paddington station and then over the foot bridge to gain access.
The Imperial War Museum
This museum does not glorify war in any way but is purely the history of war. Formerly a lunatic asylum it now houses many exhibits from Britain's involvement in conflicts across the globe over many years.
There are always changing exhibits - we saw an excellent Children at War exhibition when we were there in late 2008 and there was also a James Bond exhibition ( at a cost of £8 for Bond exhibition).
Mainly static displays but there is a very good recreation of a World War One trench complete with smells and a Blitz exhibition where you see and feel the effects of London in a 1940 bombing raid. The 1940s house is also a very good exhibit.
Of special note is the cafe - expensive as all museum cafes are in London but a good choice of some well made dishes and cakes.
Revisited 2012 - still as interesting and now has a larger cafe area.
Address: Lambeth Road SE1 6HZ
Directions: Buses 1, 3, 12, 45, 53, 59, 63, 68, 100, 159, 168, 171, 172, 176,188, 344, C10
Tube - Lambeth North and then a 5 minute walk
Limited parking and within the congestion charge.
Phone: 020 7416 5000
Horses in Hyde Park
This is a large park close by to the shops at the Marble Arch end of Oxford Street - seperated by Park Lane from the West End.
There are boats for hire on the Serpentine , bikes for hire, formal gardens , lots of open grass spaces for picnics and games, a number of places to eat and also a long sand track for horses to follow through the park. It is amazing that such a large park can be found in one of the worlds largest cities.
Address: Park Lane, Bayswater Road, Knightsbridge
Directions: Marble Arch, Hyde Park Corner, Lancaster Gate tubes. Many buses .
The Golden Hinde
This must be a great attraction in London to take children to. The Golden Hinde is a replica of Sir Frances Drakes warship in which he travelled across the world between 1577 and 1580.
You can do self guided tours and see what life must have been like on a Tudor warship or guided tours where a costumed guide tells of life at sea, hear of old weapons and this brings history to life.
Address: Pickfords Wharf , Clink Street, SE1 9DG
Directions: London Bridge mainline and tube.
Phone: 020 7403 0123
Royal Courts of Justice
In the Strad is the Royal Courts of Justice - Englands and Wales supreme court. The tip is here as many tourists and locals will pass this building due to its central London location.
A beautiful classical building built in Victorian times and opened by Queen Victoria in 1882.
The excellent website has more details of the building and courts system.
Address: Strand, WC2A 2LL
Directions: Chancery Lane tube.
Phone: 0207 947 6000
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