The 5 Best Day Trips From London

 

London is one of the most vibrant cities in the world. It’s so easy to be mesmerised by the magic of its lively centre.

Royal residences and stunning architecture sit happily alongside state of the art attractions and cosmopolitan gastronomy.

After ticking off all the must-do experiences in the centre, you may feel that you’ve really done the region justice…. think again!  

By narrowing your sights, you could miss out on other amazing locations beyond London, where some of the best English heritage is just waiting to be explored.

Whether you’re planning a holiday to the UK, or live in London and want to impress some out of town guests, a well thought out day trip is the perfect excuse to explore the city’s surrounding areas and all they have to offer.

You really don’t have to travel far from the capital to experience some fantastic treasures, both old and new. Here is some insider information on the best things to see and do in a day:

 

1. Uncover the History and Mystery of Stonehenge

Stonehenge by Day

If you visit the UK without experiencing Stonehenge, you’ll be missing out on seeing the most famous prehistoric monument in the world.  

Step back 5,000 years and uncover the secrets of this amazing feat of ancient

design and engineering. The monument’s purpose has been subject of worldwide speculation for centuries and remains unknown.

There are countless theories as to why the enigmatic stones were arranged on Salisbury Plain. Perhaps the stones were a temple to the sun, maybe an observatory for the moon, an ancient calendar, or even an elaborate burial ground? Pay the ancient site a visit and decide for yourself.

You can visit Stonehenge at any time of year, but if you visit the great megaliths during the winter or summer solstice, you can walk in the footsteps of your Neolithic ancestors.

During the astronomical event, where the sun reaches its highest or lowest annual point in the sky above the horizon (otherwise known as solar noon), you will see the sun align perfectly with the Heel Stone at sunrise.

As the huge crowds gather, enjoy the atmosphere! Walk amongst the stones, and observe the various rituals and ceremonies which take place over the course of the evening.

Don’t worry if you can’t visit during the solstice, you can see Stonehenge at sunrise or sunset at any time of the year. Seeing the stones in the morning or evening light will seriously enhance your adventure. If you want to avoid the crowds, then reserve a private tour of the stones for an even more intense experience.

Did you know that Stonehenge is just a short ride from many incredible landmarks, castles, villages and cities? It’s totally possible to see multiple sights in one day trip so you can make sure you get the most out of your time. Make sure you squeeze in a traditional British pub lunch too.

 

2. Head to Windsor Castle and Imagine How the Royals Live

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle is the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world and has been home to the royal family for over 1,000 years. It’s definitely worth adding to your must-visit list.

Do you know how to check if the Queen is in residence? When the Royal Standard flag is flying from the Castle’s Round Tower, then Her Majesty is at home.

From William the Conqueror to our present Queen, many a royal has called this castle home. Windsor castle is said to be the favourite home of the present Queen, as she chooses to spend most of her private weekends there.  

And why wouldn’t you? Imagine relaxing in the lavishly furnished State Apartments, enjoying the historic splendour of St George’s Chapel and planning social engagements in the Semi-State Rooms.

Windsor Castle is a very popular destination, so get there in the morning to beat the crowds. You’ll be some of the first visitors of the day to enter the castle.

Take time out to visit Windsor, a pretty town full of traditional shops and quaint British pubs for a lovely lunch. Why not try to find the pub where Shakespeare was said to have written the Merry Wives of Windsor?

You can easily combine your visit to Windsor with a trip to see Buckingham Palace and witness the changing of the guard, for a complete Royal experience.

Or what about Windsor Castle and the London Eye? Experience British heritage and high flying views of the city from the world’s highest observation wheel— you can do it all in one day!

 

3. Bath is Quintessentially British with Roman Influence

Bath Townhouse

A Unesco World Heritage site, Bath is one of the most beautiful cities in the UK. Bring your camera—the stunning architecture of the Royal Crescent and Pulteney Bridge which overlooks the picturesque river Avon as it cascades over the weir makes for some truly great photo opportunities.

Built on Britain’s only natural hot water spring, lies the magnificent Roman public bath complex and Roman temple. Here you can soak up 2,000 years of history.

Imagine what it was like to bathe in the warm waters, as you wander around the steaming pool on the Roman stone paving, admiring the ancient statues and architecture.

Jane Austen was Bath’s most famous resident. The museum gives insight into life in Bath during Regency times and how that influenced her novels.

You will be surprised how many iconic places there are on the outskirts of London which ooze character and culture. If you just love English literature spend a day visiting the home of Shakespeare, learning about the life of Jane Austen in Bath, and meandering through the leafy lanes of the Cotswolds.

Ever visited a place and wanted to stay for longer? Many visitors want to lengthen their stay in Bath. Spend the whole afternoon in this stylish city, eating in swanky restaurants, shopping ‘til you drop in trendy boutiques and watching the world go by from a street-side cafe.

 

4. Unlock the Magic Behind the Making of Harry Potter

Harry Potter Hogwarts Express Train

A wonderful spell has been cast which has created an amazing opportunity to explore the magic of the Harry Potter™ films. You can see it right here, only 20 miles from London.  

Uncover previously unheard anecdotes, as closely guarded secrets are revealed about the special effects used in the creation of the films.

Walk around the most famous sets such as the Great Hall, Forbidden Forest and Diagon Alley.

View the classic props like the Potions Cabinet and Professor Umbridge’s pink office, complete with a collection of plates with living kittens. Gain insight into how the green screen is used in the flying sequences and imagine what it was like to wear an invisibility cloak.

Of course, while you’re in London you should visit platform 9 ¾ at Kings Cross Station, for some great photo opportunities. So pile your bags on the trolley, and don’t miss the Hogwarts Express!

There are plenty of other locations in the centre London that featured in the Harry Potter films. Why not make your own pilgrimage to the world of wizardry?

 

5. Leeds Castle in the Garden of England

Leeds Castle

Travel through Kent, affectionately known as the garden of England, to visit one of the loveliest castles in the world. Originally a Norman stronghold, it is situated in a very impressive location, with a unique historic tale to tell.

This 900 year old castle was built on a small island and protected by its own moat. It’s  set in 500 acres of parkland and gardens, so there is plenty to see and do.

Explore the chapel, galleries, courtyards and banqueting hall, before taking time to enjoy the setting and wildlife, see if you can spot the wildfowl and black swans.

For the ultimate day trip, combine Kent and the City to visit Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral, Greenwich and finish with a cruise along the Thames.

Learn why Kent is known as the Garden of England by travelling through leafy country lanes and visiting the White Cliffs of Dover and the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust.

 

Ready for Your Perfect Day Trip?

If you are ready to book your day trip, fill in a few brief questions here and we can help you plan your adventure.

If you’re not quite ready to book a day tour, but would like to find out more about how you can go about planning your ultimate trip from London, sign up here to receive our totally free email course.

London

Here Are the 37 Most Beautiful Places in London

London, one of the most famous and iconic cities in the world, is a wonderful blend of historical and modern landmarks. It’s a mixing pot of cultures with a liberal sprinkling of greenery, yet it still retains its quintessential Englishness.

It’s a city like no other: frenetic, buzzing, colourful, and yet serene. The fast-paced lifestyle, crowded streets, noisy traffic and sheer size of this sprawling capital city sometimes make it hard to stop and appreciate its beauty. A tour of London will allow you to stop and appreciate every aspect and every moment.

Here are the 37 most beautiful places in London definitely worth taking time out to see.

1. The View from Waterloo Bridge

Offering one of the most beautiful views of the Southbank, the London Eye, Big Ben, the Palace of Westminster and Canary Wharf, Waterloo Bridge is one of the best places to capture the very essence of London. Even more spectacular at sunset – just ask the Kinks!

2. The Shard

If you want a spectacular view of the entire city, head to the tallest building in Western Europe: the Shard. On a clear day, views from the 310-metre high building stretch as far as Windsor Castle, 40 miles away.
To appreciate the stunning views across the capital, you should visit twice: during the day, then return in the evening to see this magnificent city illuminated at night.

the shard

3. The Sky Garden

Right in the heart of the City, at the top of 20 Fenchurch Street, the Sky Garden is a unique and lovely venue offering 360-degree views across the City over three floors of beautifully landscaped gardens.
Enjoy the views and the lush greenery of London’s highest public garden from the viewing platforms or dine out at one of the exclusive rooftop restaurants, Fenchurch Restaurant or Darwin Brassiere, each with its own beautiful interior and fabulous menu.

4. St Paul’s from the Inside

Although photography inside the cathedral is not permitted, the sight of its overwhelming beauty will stay in your mind forever. Just don’t forget to look up! The byzantine mosaic artwork and the paintings of St Paul by James Thornhill, especially when viewed from the Whispering Gallery, are quite literally breathtaking.

5. St Paul’s from Millennium Bridge

One of the best places to appreciate the beautiful dome of St Paul’s Cathedral, designed by Christopher Wren, is from the Millennium Bridge. The bridge itself is a masterpiece of modern architectural design. With the backdrop of St Paul’s, it’s a beautiful blend of history and modernity.

st pauls

6. The Great Court at the British Museum

Spanning over two million years of human history, the treasures of the British Museum are awe-inspiring in themselves. But the truly breathtaking feature of this incredible museum is the magnificent Great Court with its mystical glass ceiling made from over 3,000 unique panels of glass.

7. Leadenhall Market

Another impressive ceiling can be found at Leadenhall Market. This beautiful indoor market is covered with an ornate Victorian wrought iron and glass roof. That, with the cobbled streets and quaint shop fronts, are why Leadenhall was chosen to feature as Diagon Alley in the first Harry Potter film.

8. Hintze Hall, The Natural History Museum

Speaking of Harry Potter, the magnificent stone staircases in Hintze Hall at the Natural History Museum make you feel like you’ve stepped straight into one of the movies. The central hall is just how you’d imagine Hogwarts to be. You can almost believe the staircases move!

9. The Hogarth Staircase, St Barth’s Hospital Museum

On the subject of staircases, check out the Hogarth staircase located in the Museum at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in Smithfield. The stunning mural leading up the staircase was painted by William Hogarth in the 18th century, free of charge! The paintings depict Christ at the Pool of Bethesda healing those with diverse ailments. Apparently some of the figures in the paintings were based on real patients of the hospital.

10. Shoreditch Street Art

Shoreditch is now one of the trendiest and liveliest areas of London, filled with wonderful markets, eateries and colourful streets. Don’t miss the incredible street art where artists from all over the world have left their mark projecting a magical kaleidoscope of colour and positive energy.

street art

11. Little Venice

This has got to be one of the most picturesque spots in London. The colourful canal boats, waterside pubs, quaint shops and eateries create a wonderful feeling of calm and tranquillity in London’s very own Little Venice.

12. Kynance Mews

London is well known for its fashionable, cute mews. But one of the prettiest has got to be Kynance Mews in South Kensington; a narrow cobbled lane of lovely 19th century wisteria-clad cottages.

13. Belgravia

Belgravia is one of the most expensive neighbourhoods in London, and it’s easy to see why. The impeccable streets lined with magnificent white stucco townhouses simply ooze elegance and luxury.

14. Notting Hill Gate

Some of the prettiest streets in London can be found at Notting Hill Gate. You can’t help but fall in love with the rows of pastel coloured houses along Kensington Park Road, also home to some of the best restaurants in the area.

notting hill

15. The Churchill Arms, Kensington

This has got to be one of the most beautifully decorated pubs in London, both inside and out. During the spring and summer, the pub is adorned with 190 flower baskets and pots, replaced at Christmas with a magical display of twinkling fairy lights.

16. The Oak, Westbourne Park

Talking of restaurants, if you want to enjoy fabulous food in beautiful surroundings, you can’t get more sumptuous than The Oak in Westbourne Park. The dark red curtains, gold-framed mirrors and squashy sofas make you feel like you’re in a fabulous drawing room on a large country estate rather than a gastropub in the West End of London.

17. Clos Maggiore, Covent Garden

Beautifully presented, exquisite dishes served in the lovely candlelit courtyard conservatory which features a magnificent open fire and hanging blossoms, make this idyllic French restaurant in the heart of Covent Garden one of the most beautiful and romantic in London.

18. Queen Mary’s Rose Garden, Regent’s Park

One of the most tranquil and loveliest spots in London can be found in the heart of Regent’s Park. Queen Mary’s Rose Garden is home to over 12,000 roses, Mediterranean flowers, delphiniums and 9,000 begonias. There are benches along the borders so you can sit, relax and literally smell the roses!

19. Kensington Palace Gardens

The beautiful formal gardens of Kensington Palace are a lovely spot to spend an afternoon. Enjoy a traditional afternoon tea or light lunch in the orangery within the grounds. The 18th century orangery with its magnificent floor-to-ceiling windows was built for Queen Anne to entertain guests in elegant surroundings.
kensington gardens

20. Richmond Park

Richmond Park has such an abundance of forests, wilderness and herds of deer; you’d never believe you are still in London. Head up to Henry VII’s mound to take in the breathtaking views of the sprawling capital in all its glory.

21. Orleans House Gallery, Richmond

Not only does Richmond boast a beautiful park, but also a stunning 18th century baroque gallery with breathtaking floor-to-ceiling windows and ornately decorated ceilings.

22. Green Park

With its magnificent tree-lined walkways, memorials and fountains, Green Park situated next to Buckingham Palace is a haven of tranquillity right in the heart of London. In the spring, the park is an explosion of yellow with over one million daffodils in bloom.

23. St James’s Park

The beautiful, tranquil centre lake of this former deer park is a wonderful place to spot water-loving birds, while the little bridge offers lovely views of Buckingham Palace.

st james's park

24. Greenwich Park

Set on a hilltop overlooking the River Thames, Greenwich Park is a vast expanse of green with flower, herb and orchard gardens offering spectacular views over London.

25. Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew

The stunningly beautiful landscape of this UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to the world’s most diverse collection of plants and flowers. Highlights include the lovely Treetop Walkway and the magnificent glasshouses: Palm House, Princess of Wales Conservatory and Waterlily House.

26. Kyoto Garden, Holland Park

Kyoto Garden is a Japanese oasis set in the 55-acre grounds of Holland Park. The garden has a lovely waterfall and a little bridge where you can spot koi carp swimming below.

27. Victoria and Albert Museum

There’s over 5,000 years of artwork to see at the Victoria and Albert Museum, but don’t forget to take a look outside. The stunning exterior features 32 statues of great British artists, architects and craftsmen.

victoria and albert museum

28. Postman’s Park

Tucked away near St Paul’s Cathedral you’ll find the lovely little Postman’s Park. But its real beauty lies in the touching plaques located here that commemorate the selfless acts of everyday people who lost their lives trying to save others. It’s a beautiful place for contemplation.

29. The Old Royal Naval College

While in Greenwich, take time to visit the Old Royal Naval College, an architectural masterpiece designed by Christopher Wren. Considered one of the finest buildings in the world, the college features a magnificent Painted Hall whose beautifully painted ceiling has been dubbed ‘The Sistine Chapel of the UK’.

30. St Pancras Station

Exterior scenes of King’s Cross Station in the film Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets were actually filmed at St Pancras, and it’s easy to see why. The stunning red brick Victorian gothic exterior was considered far more beautiful and in keeping with the film than the drab exterior of King’s Cross.

31. Tate Modern

The Tate Modern Gallery is one of the finest examples of how ugly can be made beautiful. The decommissioned power station was transformed into a beautiful space, which today displays some of the most famous works of modern art in the world.

tate

32. Liberty, Regent Street

This beautiful wooden-panelled department store was built in the 1920s to resemble a Tudor mansion. Wonderfully quirky, the store is filled with fireplaces and creaky floorboards that only add to its charm.

33. Royal Albert Hall

Opened in 1871, this magnificent circular concert hall was built in honour of Prince Albert, a keen supporter of the Arts and Sciences. Queen Victoria laid the first stone in homage to her late husband. The Grade I listed building has a magnificent glass and wrought iron domed roof and a mosaic freeze around the outside walls depicting several subjects honouring the ‘Triumph of Arts and Sciences’.

34. Shri Swaminarayan Mandir

3,000 tonnes of Bulgarian limestone and 1,200 tonnes of Italian Carrara marble were hand-carved in India before being shipped to London to construct this magnificent Hindu temple in Neasden. The temple, inaugurated in 1995, is the biggest Hindu temple outside of India and is a stunning example of intricate Hindu architecture.

35. Southwark Cathedral

Westminster and St Paul’s are impressive, but don’t forget Southwark Cathedral on the South Bank. This beautiful cathedral dates back to the 12th century and was the venue for the royal wedding ceremony of James I in 1423.
The magnificent organ, built in 1897, is a centre point of the cathedral and is still prominent in the music programmes and choir concerts Southwark Cathedral is famous for.
Outside is lovely too. Don’t miss a walk along the Shakespearean Botanical Trails, the ancient churchyard and the sweet-smelling Herb Garden, a wonderful place for calm reflection.

36. Borough Market

Set in the shadows of Southwark Cathedral you’ll find London’s oldest farmers’ market. Borough Market is a food lover’s delight: a riot of colours and aromas where artisan producers sell their wares and beautifully displayed stalls feature traditional British products alongside the best regional specialities from around the world.

borough market

37. Columbia Road Flower Market

London’s oldest flower market, trading every Sunday, is an explosion of colours and aromatic scents where you’ll find the most amazing displays of flowers, plants and craft stalls. Running along a traditional Victorian terraced street, it offers a beautiful, authentic East End experience that you’ll never forget. Just make sure you get there early!

Get in touch with us today to find out more about our London tours.

sherlock

5 Places for Sherlock Holmes Fans to Visit in London

Sherlock Holmes, Britain’s most famous detective, has been portrayed in various films and TV shows, some faithful to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s books, others more contemporary.

The one uniting factor, however, is Sherlock’s connection with London. Whatever version of Holmes and Watson you prefer, London is a mystery just waiting for would-be sleuths to explore.

So, don your deerstalker, grab your magnifying glass and discover these five places in London that every Sherlock Holmes fan should visit.

1. 221b Baker Street

221b Baker Street is the fictitious address of Britain’s best-loved sleuth, where he is lovingly looked after by the long-suffering Mrs Hudson.

In real life, it’s home to the Sherlock Holmes Museum which displays a range of Sherlock Holmes memorabilia and antiques from the Victorian period.

If you’re arriving by tube, don’t miss the Sherlock Holmes statue just outside Baker Street underground station.

sherlock museum

2. New Scotland Yard

In the recent TV series, Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock is often called upon to visit New Scotland Yard on Victoria Embankment. You can’t enter the building, but it’s a great place to grab a selfie in front of the iconic sign.

3. Speedy’s Cafe

Fans of the BBC TV series will instantly recognise one of Holmes and Watson’s most popular haunts: Speedy’s Cafe at North Gower Street in Camden.

The street was actually used as Baker St in the series to avoid all the references to Sherlock on the original street. The black door next to the familiar red awning of the cafe was used for exterior shots of 221b.

The cafe itself is adorned with production photos and serves delicious food and fantastic coffee. There are a range of Sherlock specialities and the English breakfast is a real treat!

sherlock statue

4. Bart’s Hospital

St Bartholomew’s Hospital in West Smithfield features in the very first Conan Doyle story, A Study in Scarlet. It’s where Holmes and Watson meet for the first time.

The hospital itself dates back to 1123 and is the oldest functioning hospitals in Britain. The exterior is beautiful, and it’s considered one of the most architecturally important buildings in the country.

Fans of the BBC series will recognise the rooftop from the infamous episode The Reichenbach Fall, where Sherlock was perched before staging his fake death. There are still notes left by fans who believed the famous sleuth had died, stuck to a nearby telephone box.

A tribute plaque to Holmes and Watson can be found in the hospital’s museum, which also displays exhibits that explain the hospital’s fascinating history. It’s well worth a visit.

sherlock holmes

5. The Sherlock Holmes Pub

This delightful Victorian-styled pub on Northumberland Street is a homage to the great detective and features an exact replica of the Baker Street sitting room that houses a permanent exhibition of Sherlock Holmes memorabilia.

The food is delicious and considered some of the best pub food in London. The menu is themed and features classic dishes such as The Hound of the Baskerville Toad in the Hole, as well as a great selection of traditional English ales and ciders.

As London experts, our tour guides know a thing or two about Sherlock Holmes and have many other interesting stories to share with you. For more information about our London tours, get in touch today. 

Houses of Parliament

29 of the Best Photo Spots in London

London is one of the most recognisable cities in the world, thanks in part to its many iconic landmarks that offer some great photo opportunities around this fascinating and remarkable city.

Whether you’re looking for panoramic view shots, atmospheric photos of typical London streets and markets, or you just want a quick selfie with an iconic symbol that best identifies the capital, this guide will show you some of the ideal vantage points and locations to get the best photos during your visit.

Here are 29 of the best photo spots for capturing the essence of London and for taking a few selfies.

1. Tower Bridge

One landmark that best symbolises London is the iconic Tower Bridge. The bridge looks great in photographs, whatever time of day, although the evening lights look especially stunning.

Anywhere on the South Bank is a good vantage point, as is London Bridge further along. Don’t forget to take a photo on Tower Bridge itself. Get some close-ups of the interesting architectural details and stop off at the Tower Bridge exhibition.

Nearest underground station: Tower Hill

2. Tower of London

Built for William the Conqueror in the 11th century, the Tower of London is one of the capital’s most famous and popular landmarks.

Get up early in the morning to take the best shots of the famous Tower of London. There are fewer crowds to fill up the frame. The Beefeaters are very approachable and usually more than happy to pose if you’re quick.

Nearest underground station: Tower Hill

3. Houses of Parliament

Another iconic landmark that symbolises London is the Palace of Westminster, home to the Houses of Parliament. Take a boat trip for a good riverside vantage point, or stand from anywhere along the South Bank between the London Eye and Westminster Bridge.

Nearest underground station: Westminster

westminster

4. Big Ben

One of the best views of Big Ben is directly outside the Westminster tube station, Bridge Street exit. Take a walk along Westminster Bridge, which offers great photo opportunities of the 96-metre high Elizabeth Tower.

Nearest underground station: Westminster

5. The London Eye

The London Eye is a great place for photographs, both the structure itself and from inside one of the capsules. Take a photograph from nearby Westminster Bridge to get the whole wheel and River Thames foreground in the frame. Then take a ride on the Eye for some panoramic shots of the London Skyline.

Nearest underground station: Waterloo

6. Downing Street

10 Downing Street is the most photographed front door in the world, although for security reasons the road is blocked off by armed police guards.

One of the best ways to get a photo of the famous black door is from the top deck of a double-decker bus on route 11. Or, if you just want to photograph the street, you can do it from the black railings that block off the street.

Nearest underground station: Westminster

7. The Shard

The tallest building in London offers spectacular views of the River Thames winding through the London landscape. Climb to the viewing platform and take a photo of the sun setting over the capital.

Nearest underground station: London Bridge

8. The Oxo Tower

Enjoy a cocktail or lunch with views in the top floor restaurant while snapping the fantastic views of the Millennium Bridge and St Paul’s. If you just want to take photographs, the viewing gallery is open to the public.

Nearest underground station: Southwark

9. The Millennium Bridge

Take a photo or selfie on the famous bridge that connects the City with Bankside. The Millennium Bridge is a great vantage point for photos of the Tate and the Globe Theatre in one direction and St Paul’s in the other. Or aim downriver for photos of Tower Bridge, Westminster Palace and the London Eye.

Nearest underground station: Southwark

10. St Paul’s Cathedral

Anyone who loves Mary Poppins should stop and get their photo taken sitting on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral, where the old lady fed the birds. Or pop back to the Millennium Bridge in the evening and take a shot of the iconic dome lit up in the night sky.

You’re not permitted to take photos inside the cathedral, but there are plenty of fantastic panoramic photo opportunities from the Stone Gallery, Golden Gallery and the viewing platform at the top of the cathedral, which offers spectacular views of the Millennium Bridge and the Tate Modern Gallery.

Nearest underground station: St Paul’s

st pauls cathedral

11. Richmond Park

For a truly spectacular photo shot of St Paul’s Cathedral rising above the London landscape, head up to Henry VII’s Mound in Richmond Park. It offers one of the most far-reaching and breathtaking views of the capital.

Nearest underground station: Richmond

12. Buckingham Palace

No visit to London is complete without a photo of Buckingham Palace. The ornate gold and iron gates form a beautiful backdrop or snap a shot of the famous Portland Stone balcony.

Nearest underground station: Green Park, Victoria

13. The Changing of the Guard

The Changing of the Guard takes place most days at 10.45am. The best place for a photo is in front of the railings, but make sure you get there early as it gets crowded. Alternatively follow the route from St James’s Palace to Buckingham Palace, which allows plenty of snapping opportunities.

changing of the guard

14. Kensington Palace

Another royal residence worth photographing is Kensington Palace, former home of Diana, Princess of Wales. Snap a selfie in front of the ornate black and gold gates with the palace in the background. The beautiful flower gardens also offer some fantastic photo opportunities.

Nearest underground station: High Street Kensington

15. Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum is the world’s largest museum of art and design covering 5,000 years of artworks, sculptures, drawings and photographs. Photography is permitted in the galleries, however, the stunning exterior is also worth snapping.

Nearest underground station: South Kensington

16. Harrods

The best place for a wide-angled photo of the iconic London department store is across the road on the intersection. In the evening, the exterior is completely lit up, so be sure to take your camera if visiting after dusk. If you’re discreet, Harrods don’t mind you taking photos inside the building either.

Nearest underground station: Knightsbridge

17. Piccadilly Circus

Another of London’s most photographed locations is Piccadilly Circus. Grab a selfie in front of the dazzling billboards, even more spectacular in the evening when they’re lit up.

Nearest underground station: Piccadilly Circus

18. Regent Street

Situated in the heart of the West End, Regent Street is famous for its many department stores including Hamleys and Liberty.

If you’re shopping in Regent Street don’t forget to take some street view photographs of the impressive sweeping curve of Georgian buildings that line the busy street. Even better if you can get a shot of a traditional London black cab driving past.

If you visit at Christmas time, the lights along Regent Street offer a fantastic photo opportunity, as do the beautifully decorated shop fronts. The Christmas lights are switched on from mid-November to 6 January.

Closest underground stations: Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, and Green Park

regent street

19. Covent Garden

Bustling Covent Garden with its markets, pavement cafes and street entertainers is a fantastic spot to get some great atmospheric shots of the vibrant centre.

Nearest underground station: Covent Garden

20. Columbia Road Flower Market

For colourful photos of vibrant flowers, market stalls and good old East End charm, head to Bethnal Green and take some snaps of Columbia Road Flower Market, one of the most beautiful outdoor markets in London. It’s also a great spot to take some snaps of traditional East End terraced houses, just like the ones in Eastenders.

Nearest underground station: Old Street

21. Leadenhall Market

This indoor market is simply stunning and an ideal location for those who want to photograph some fine Victorian architecture. Don’t forget to get some shots of the spectacular glass and iron roof.

The cobbled streets and quaint shop fronts were used as a location for Diagon Alley in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. If you’re a Harry Potter fan don’t forget to take a selfie in front of the blue optician’s door. It was used as the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Nearest underground station: Monument

22. Platform 9 and ¾

Speaking of which…

If you’re a Harry Potter fan visiting London, make sure you don’t pass up on the chance of a perfect photo opportunity at Platform 9 and ¾, Kings Cross Station.

Head along the West Concourse at Kings Cross Station. There you’ll find a plaque on a brick wall indicating Platform 9 and ¾. Directly under the sign is a baggage trolley part embedded into the wall.

You can get a friend to take a photo of you pretending to run at the wall, or you can pay for a professional photographer from the Platform 9 and ¾ gift shop nearby.

Nearest underground station: Kings Cross

23. Baker Street

On the other hand, if you’re a fan of Sherlock Holmes, head over to Baker Street where you can find lots of photo opportunities of the famous sleuth such as the Sherlock Holmes statue at the entrance to Baker Street underground station and in front of 221b, now home to the Sherlock Holmes Museum.

Nearest underground station: Baker Street

sherlock museum

24. Speedy’s Cafe, North Gower Street

Fans of the BBC Sherlock series will recognise the red awning shop front of Speedy’s Cafe in North Gower Street. It was the famous hangout of Holmes and Watson in the TV series. It also serves pretty good coffee!

Be sure to take a selfie in front of the black door next to the cafe. It was used for the exterior shots of 221b Baker Street in the series.

Nearest underground station: Euston Square

25. London Pubs

Another popular tourist attraction is a traditional London boozer, typically adorned with flower baskets outside and a traditional Victorian-styled bar inside. Two of the best for photographs are, coincidentally, the Sherlock Holmes in Northumberland Street, and The Churchill Arms in Kensington Church Street. They both serve pretty decent pub grub and beer too!

Nearest underground station to Northumberland Street: Charing Cross

Nearest underground station to Kensington Church Street: High Street Kensington

26. Abbey Road

Die-hard Beatles fans won’t be able to resist a photo opportunity at the zebra crossing on Abbey Road, famous for being used on the cover of the band’s album of the same name. Grab three more friends and take the famous walk or just grab a selfie on the crossing, but watch out for traffic!

Nearest underground station: St John’s Wood

27. Madame Tussauds

For the ultimate selfie alongside your favourite celebrity, don’t miss a visit to Madame Tussauds on the Marylebone Road. With 14 interactive areas and over 300 unnervingly true-to-life wax figures, Madame Tussauds provides plenty of photo opportunities where you can get up close and personal with waxwork replicas of stars such as Johnny Depp, Usain Bolt, David Beckham and Her Majesty the Queen.

Nearest underground station: Baker Street

28. Underground Signs

Another iconic symbol of London is the red-circled underground sign. Choose your favourite tube stop and grab a free and simple selfie. One of the most popular signs is the one for Bond Street.

29. Red Phone Booth

One of the most iconic and best-loved symbols that identify London has got to be the red telephone booth. Unfortunately, in the digital age of mobile phones, these London treasures are slowly disappearing. But there are still a few around. Covent Garden and The Strand still have plenty for a fun photo opportunity.

They’ve even become a popular photo location for couples getting married in London.

If you want a photo of an original blue phone box like Dr Who’s Tardis, you’ll find one just outside Earl’s Court tube station.

phone booth

As London experts, our knowledgeable tour guides know all the best photo spots in London. For more ideas, information and booking advice on our range of exclusive London tours, contact Premium Tours today.

7 Great Spots for a Quirky Afternoon Tea in London

Afternoon tea in a posh London hotel is a quintessentially British tradition. But it can be a little stuffy and boring, especially if you want to take the children along.

However, there are a few clever venues that have decided to inject a bit of fun into the traditional afternoon tea ritual.

Here are seven great spots for a quirky afternoon tea in London that all ages will enjoy.

1. Science-Themed Afternoon Tea at the Ampersand Hotel

The Ampersand Hotel in South Kensington is perfectly located within a stone’s throw of the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Here, families can enjoy a delightful, science-themed afternoon tea in the plush Drawing Rooms.

Younger children especially will enjoy searching for mini shortbread dinosaurs under the ‘chocolate soil’. Other delights include cream cheese planet-shaped mousses with spacemen, and test tube toppings that can be sprinkled over scones, while Mum and Dad can sit back and relax with a chilled glass of champagne.

2. Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea at the Sanderson Hotel

Tumble down the rabbit hole and experience an enchanting afternoon tea, inspired by Alice in Wonderland, at the Sanderson Hotel.

Tables are laid with Alice-themed crockery and the menu features exquisite delights such as pocket watch macaroons, chessboard gateau, clock face mini Victoria sponges, and cinnamon, apple and peach potions in miniature glass bottles labelled ‘drink me’.

cake

3. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon Tea at One Aldwych

Roald Dahl fans of all ages will love this afternoon tea at One Aldwych. The indulgent menu features golden chocolate eggs, colourful candyfloss and chocolate caramel milkshakes, while adults can indulge themselves with a speciality ‘Cocktail Charlie’.

4. Art Tea at the Rosewood London

The delicate pastries and cakes are so beautiful it seems a shame to eat them. Held in the stunning Mirror Room, afternoon tea at the Rosewood London is a dedication to modern artists. The menu includes The Banksy chocolate cube and Damien Hirst jelly, which are artworks in themselves.

5. Sherlock Holmes Afternoon Tea at St James’s Court

The intriguing Sherlock Holmes afternoon tea at St James’s Court, Taj Hotel is definitely an adult only affair. The boozy menu features 221B Scotch-infused macaroons, a stout cupcake topped with Watson’s moustache, and Moriarty’s Bomb coffee and Baileys cheesecake.

strawberry shortcake

6. Prêt-a-Portea at the Berkeley

Fashion lovers are in for a delightful treat at the fashion-inspired afternoon tea at The Berkeley. The savoury dishes are unusual and delicious but the hand-decorated miniature cakes are the stars of the show. The Fashionista’s Tea features Burberry trench coat biscuits, Gucci candy floss and mousse jumpers, Stella McCartney Battenberg cake and Mulberry’s ‘it’ bag cake.

7. 1840 Afternoon Tea at St James’s, Mayfair

Step back in time to 1840 and enjoy a historical-themed afternoon tea just as Queen Victoria herself would have, at St James’s Hotel in Mayfair. The menu is based on authentic recipes of Victoria’s favourites, including Tipsy Cake infused with Sherry, custard tarts and, of course, Victoria sponge.

coffee

As London experts, our tour guides know lots of useful information such as where to find the best afternoon tea in London. For more information on our London tours, please do get in touch.