Are you planning on visiting England this summer? If so, you are in luck, there are so many things to see and do in this magnificent country of mine and I am here to let you know about some of them. If you are flying into England, especially if it is your first visit, you are more than likely planning to explore London and surrounding area, maybe you would like to visit and explore further afield? But where to start? Here are a few suggestions on how to make the most of your first visit to London.
Airport to Hotel Transfers
If you are flying into a London airport and your hotel is located in the city, you can get there a number of ways. One of the most popular choices is taking the tube, however, if you have never used it before it can be quite tricky to navigate, especially if you are lugging a backpack or suitcase with you. Also, you’d then have to find your own way from the tube station to your hotel.
A great option is to book an airport chauffeur service that will monitor your incoming flight, wait for you and drop you right off at the door of your hotel. Belgravia Chauffeurs offer this service and prices start from £50 for pick up and customers who book both pick up and drop off are currently being offered 50% off the drop off service price.
If shopping is your thing then London is the place to be, there are so many shops to choose from and somewhere for every budget. From Oxford Street which is jam-packed with high street shops and department stores to Knightsbridge with its numerous high-end boutiques which is the ONLY place to head if you have a bit more cash to splash. Maybe you want to visit them all and do it in style? A great option is a personalised shopping tour, which will ensure that you get to see the best shops London has to offer, just don’t forget your credit card.
Dinner & Show Package
One of our favourite things to do when in London is to take in a show on the West End and combine it will a pre or post show dinner which really makes the experience feel extra special. A number of companies offer package deals which include your chosen show ticket and usually a 2-course meal at a range of different restaurants across the city which cater to different budgets, we more often than not use Love Theatre who always have great offers available. Booking a package deal normally saves you a few pounds, which is always welcome when exploring London.
City Sightseeing Tour
Ditching the map and wandering a city is all good and well if you have a lot of time or you’re not bothered about seeing all the major attractions but if you are like me, you’ll want to squeeze as much in as possible and what better way than taking a city sightseeing tour? There are a number of companies that run open top tour buses through London, however, they are extremely popular and seats, especially on the upper deck, can be hard to come by particularly during the summer months. Therefore, why not opt fora personalised city sightseeing tour, where your driver will take you to the places you want to see in the luxury of your own private car?
Take a river cruise
Summer in London can be stifling, the same way it can be in any major city. Therefore, a great option is to take a river cruise along the Thames. A cruise is a great way of seeing the city, especially the major attractions including Big Ben, London Eye andTower Bridge from a different viewpoint. Citycruises offer a range of different cruises from a basic sightseeing cruise, tickets can be bought for single journeys or you can pick up a hop-on, hop-off 24-hour river pass to dining cruises including lunch, afternoon tea and dinner options and not forgetting private cruises.
Explore the history
There are a lot of big shiny new attractions in London, which are of course worth a visit, The Shard and The London Eye being just two of them. However, London is also steeped in history and delving into it is certainly worthwhile. There are a couple of ways you could do this, you could do it yourself, simply do a bit of internet research, pick up a map and hit the streets or why not book on to a walking tour? The main benefit of a walking tour is you have a guide who will lead you and be on hand to answer any questions that you may have about what you are seeing.
Enjoy the food
London has every type of food that you can imagine why not head to China Town where you will find authentic restaurants, fun activities, shops and more. If curry is more your thing then Brick Lane is where you need to be. However, if you really want to eat British food then its got to be fish and chips or afternoon tea but if you are looking for London specific cuisine then check out an eel, pie and mash shop, once as popular as burger restaurants are today, this dish is as traditional and authentic as it gets. Needless to say whatever you fancy eating, you will not go hungry
London is great and there is enough to keep you entertained an occupied for a VERY long time. However, on your visit, you may want to experience more than just the capital. City hopping is very easy from London as there are many amazing cities all within a short and easily accessible distance by bus, car or train. Bath, Cambridge and Oxford are just a few all of which are beautiful cities which are great places to visit if you fancy a day trip from London. Each has something different to offer, the hardest decision you will have to make is which one to visit first.
Hit the beach
Again, getting out of London may be the best thing to do if the temperatures are high. With a number of beaches close by in East Sussex and Kent, taking a day out and heading to the seaside is again very easy. It will give you the opportunity to see traditional English seaside towns and experience everything that they have to offer including deck chairs on the beach, building a sandcastle, checking out the pier, if it has one, of course, head to the amusement arcades and don’t forget, seaside towns are the best place to indulge in fish and chips, like we mentioned earlier.
Head up North
Being Northern, this is something I highly recommend. Many people when visiting England, never head north of London which is a real shame as there is so much to see and do. The Lake District, the Peak District and of course our home county Yorkshire are all worth visiting. With so much natural beauty we advise at least spending a couple of days in one of them if time permits, you will not be disappointed. If hiring a car is not an option or navigating the English public transport system doesn’t sound like your cup of tea then why not consider an organised tour?
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