The Globe theatre is a replica of the theatre that first staged Shakespeare’s plays 400 years ago on Southbank, right next to the Tate Modern and close by Borough Market.
The Globe is more than just a theatre. It is like a working museum to the life and times of Shakespeare. (a replica of the theatre that first staged the writer’s plays 400 years ago) The theatre has been constructed as it was in Shakespeare’s time – without a roof. But is only a functioning theatre during theatre season. (there is the option of affordable standing tickets in the front pit of the theatre – where the ‘unclean’ would have watched the plays during Shakespeare’s time!), there are also tours and a museum at the Globe.
The theatre season dates change each year (they tend to run from around April to October), so it is best to check the Official Shakespeare’s Globe Website to find out whether you will be able to get play tickets during your visit.
Fans of the film ‘Shakespeare in Love’ will recognise the theatre as the central scene for the majority of the film’s action. 😉
Tate Modern is a modern art gallery located in the Bankside, in front of the Millennium Bridge and St Paul . It is Britain’s national gallery of international modern art and forms part of the Tate group (together with Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool, Tate St Ives and Tate Online)
Even if you are not fond of modern art, the Tate Modern is a sight worth the visit, at least for its incredible architecture. (If you don’t think Picasso, Klee, Bacon and all the others don’t deserve your attention) Climbing (or queuing for the elevator) to the top of Blavatnik building, will offer you a striking view of London.
Voted the best department store in the world, Selfridges has all the latest designer collections, must-have toys & gifts for all the family. It comes just after Harrods for the size and I would say that despite their renown it’s a lot less eccentric than Harrods or even Liberty.
But if you are a shoes lover you should be aware that Selfridges is often celebrated for its huge shoes department. Kind of a Carrie Bradshaw’s paradise. And we are talking of both affordable and premium brands. At the end of the sales you can easily find some good bargain. Their sales are sometimes going up to 70% off!
Moreover The Wonder Bar in Selfridges has an Enomatic Wine System that allows customers to sample from 52 different wines before purchasing!
To sum up, if you are on a budget during your London trip but still wanna experience the posh side of London, you then know even fancy department stores can have good deals and that you don’t need to pay the full price to get drunk!
The Tower of London, officially Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London is open to public all week long and all year long! ( • Adult / 16+ years old: £21.5 • Childs / 5-15 years old: £9.70 )
Inside the fortress you can:
•See the world most famous jewels : the Crown Jewels (still used in Royal Ceremonies)
•Walk in the footsteps of those condemned to death by order of the state; in Green Tower.
•Watch the ravens, known as the guardian’s Tower (It is said the kingdom and the Tower will fall if the six resident ravens ever leave the fortress. Today you have 6 ravens + one spare!)
So that’s what you should expect from Tower of London. If you are a family it’s a place to go as you will find entertaining and interesting activities for everyone.
By sunny day it’s the perfection destination and the right place to take a boat till Westminster or Greenwich.
For history with a modern twist, go to ice-skate in winter. Open till the 2 January.
London Zoo is the world’s oldest scientific zoo. It was opened in London on 27 April 1828, and was originally intended to be used as a collection for scientific study. Today it mixes modernity and history but not at the expense of the animals that live there. In the north side of Regent Park, it will keep you busy a whole day and you will really have fun either going with friends or having kids with you. Arrive early to make the most of your day and be sure to take snacks and other sustenance if you want to avoid spending a fortune on the food on sale at the zoo. Don’t miss Penguin Beach were charismatic penguins love to show off.
Somerset House is one of London’s most innovative museums. Find there a formidable art gallery, a beautiful fountain court, a terraced café and a classy restaurant. The new Embankment Galleries explore connections between art, architecture and design with series of temporary exhibitions. Family workshops take place on weekends and holidays. Somerset House is a major sight in London, with its classic architecture (two spectacular five-storey period staircases that you don’t want to miss!) and its quirky exhibitions.
In summer Somerset House hosts an outdoor film screen and a wonderfully atmospheric ice-rink in winter. This winter the ice-rink should appease the most discerning music snobs with all kind of tunes till late in the evening.
Portobello Road Market is probably the world’s best known street market with a history stretching back over 150 years. It goes through the Notting Hill area carrying everything from farm fresh produce to vintage clothing and accessories. Hundreds of traders sell all sorts of everything, old and new, and there’s plenty of delicious street food from all around the world. Be sure to pop into the hidden gems behind the stalls where you will find endless rows of cafés and antique shops. And don’t forget to stop at 142 Portobello Road where William Thacker’s (Hugh Grant’s) in his shop Travel Book Co. met Julia Robert. It has never been a bookshop but it was Nicholls Antique Arcade, then a furniture store called Gong, and now a gift shop.
Note that the market is opened on Good Friday but closes on other bank holidays and for the famous Notting Hill Carnival.
What can we say about Buckingham Palace that you wouldn’t already know?
If you are in the neighbourhood it’s worth the sight, as it’s still a major monument in London, but I won’t bother to stop by for the changing of the guards. Except if you enjoy being packed in a sweaty crowd where half of the people are doing selfies with their selfie-sticks.
But you can buy tickets to visit the inside of the Palace at different times of the year.
Green Park in front, is nice and the flowers are all year long stunning.
Best known for its fabrics, Liberty is the loveliest department store on Regent Street. If you can fight the crowd and reach it you will find a little haven full of precious things. More humble than the shiny Harrods, Liberty is a gem to appreciate for his architecture, inside and outside stunning. Constructed from two ships, Mr Liberty wanted customers to feel as if they were exploring someone’s home, keeping the shopping galleries small, albeit linked to three rather grand atriums.
Unlike Harrods Liberty goes from affordable to eccentric prices. You will walk between young creators and well known brands. Go there for the perfume gallery where you will discover exquisite scents.
Of course the Christmas period is something magical but one more time, you have to keep in mind that central London gets a bit nutty in that time of the year. Despite the craziness, London is still the best place to feel Christmas, so fight the crowd and go for it! You won’t regret it.
Paris has Les Galeries Lafayette, New York has Bloomingdales, but in London we have the shiny and eternal Harrods! Harrods is sparkling from every corner; from high tea to diamonds you will forever be dazzled by that surrealistic department store.
But here’s few fun facts you probably don’t know about Harrods:
• Harrods was first established in London Stepney Green as a tea merchant and grocery store.
• Winnie-the-Pooh was found in Harrods.
• An Egyptian cobra once has been hired to guard a £62,000 pair of of haute couture ruby-sapphire-and diamond-encrusted sandals.
• A silver replica of Harrods is on display on the store’s lower ground floor. This was a gift from Gordon Selfridge when he lost a bet with the Harrods managing director.
• You can buy gold bullion off the shelf.
• Noel Coward, writer and playwright bought an alligator in Harrods Pet Shop one Christmas. A baby elephant was also sold by Harrods as a present to Ronald Reagan.
• Have you heard about the story of Christian the lion? Bought in Harrods in the late sixties and release in Kenya years after? If not, that’s a great story including a happy ending. > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvCjyWp3rEk