London is one of the greatest cities in the world and there are many reasons why. With recent events including the Royal Wedding, the London Olympics and the Golden Jubilee, it’s no wonder visitors to London have increased by 14% since 2008. Rich in history and diverse in culture, London is a truly global city, welcoming visitors from all corners of the globe; there is something for everyone in London.
For art lovers, the city is full of galleries, museums and street art. The better-known ones on Exhibition Road include the V&A, the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum – perfect for inquisitive children and parents seeking an interactive way for youngsters to learn.
Hundreds of galleries are dotted throughout the city too and located in the heart of Trafalgar Square, you’ll find the National Gallery – home to one of the greatest collections of art in the world, from artists such as Van Gough and Monet. But if urban art is more your scene, head to Shoreditch to see some of the best.
It’s not just art though. London is a very historical city, dating back over 2,000 years with 40 different monarchs since the dynasty began. Home to the most famous royal family in the world, London is full of beautiful royal landmarks. The most recognisable of course has to be Buckingham Palace, where the Queen officially resides. Each summer, the grand doors are open to visitors who wish to tour the State Rooms and lavish gardens.
Another palace worth visiting is Kensington Palace, where many members of the Royal family, including Queen Victoria, and Diana, Princess of Wales, have previously lived. With regular exhibits on former Kings and Queens you’ll get a real glimpse of royal life.However, if touring grand palaces is not your cup of tea, you can’t miss out on visiting Westminster Abbey. Having been the setting for every Coronation of the English monarchs since 1066 and 16 royal weddings, including the most recent marriage between the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, this Gothic church is steeped in over 1,000 years of history.
Despite the wealth of tradition and history, London is known to be innovative, forward thinking and with this comes modern sights and developments. Often dubbed the ‘financial capital of the world’ the City of London is lined with skyscrapers -some with names including The Gherkin and The Walkie-Talkie. Just south of the river you’ll find the newest skyscraper, The Shard, which took ten years to construct. We can’t wait to join this list of distinctive high-rises. Located in Shoreditch, our 23-storey building features iconic architecture, bound to captivate the imagination of visitors.
If you think London is just a concrete jungle, lined with skyscrapers,you may want to think again. Some of the most beautiful nature-filled parks and green spaces mark the capital. Right in the heart of the city, there’s Hyde Park, one of London’s best-loved parks. This central space is home to many key events throughout the year including festivals and charity runs. Since 2007, it has hosted ‘Winter Wonderland’ featuring fair rides and stalls from across Europe, providing a charmingly festive experience. If you’re less of a fan of the winter though and are holding out to visit Hyde Park during the summer, there’s plenty of space for a picnic, as the park covers 350 acres.
For visitors looking to venture further, just on the outskirts of the city is the Isabella Plantation at Richmond Park. This 40-acre woodland garden set is best known for its evergreen azaleas, which line the park’s ponds and are best seen at their peak in spring. Open all year round, the Isabella Plantation also provides free guided walks each month where you can join the gardeners and learn more about the upkeep and history of the park.
Despite all of these reasons why London could be the greatest city to take a vacation, we can still think of many more. Proving to be the ultimate home of culture, history, innovation and relaxation, there really is something for every vacationer in our mesmerising city.