BBC Television Centre
Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the world famous BBC Television Centre.
Experience the excitement and thrill of a working TV centre where you
could see the News Centre, production galleries, studios or even the odd
star! Every tour is different, depending on filming that day, so you never
know where it could take you! Visitors must be 14 years or over.
BFI London Imax Cinema
At the new BFI London IMAX Cinema you can be transported from the depths
of the ocean to the far reaches of outer space, via 3D and 2D films.
British Airways London Eye
The British Airways London Eye is the world's highest observation wheel
and its 30-minute slow-moving flight gives unrivalled views over London.
From its steel and glass capsules, you can peek into the back garden of
Buckingham Palace and, on a clear day, see across seven counties.
Buckingham Palace is open to the public from 30 July until 27
September 2005. This is the official London residence of the Queen and
you can visit the magnificent State Rooms, where over the centuries, the
wealthy and the powerful have walked. Open daily in summer.
Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace is the oldest Tudor palace in England and
was where King Henry VIII courted his queens. Visitors can see the State
Apartments, Tudor kitchens and the famous maze. The sumptuous interiors
are brought alive by costumed guides. Outside there's over 60 acres of
riverside gardens and surrounding parkland.
The London Aquarium features hundreds of varieties of fish and sea life
from all over the world, displayed around two huge tanks representing
the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Come face-to-face with sharks, and watch
divers feeding gigantic conger eels. Seahorses, rays, starfish and piranhas
are on show, too.
The London Dungeon is setting the streets on fire with a brand new 'hot'
attraction - The Great Fire of London. You can also take a barge trip
down the River Thames on the Judgement Day ride to face a firing squad,
after being sentenced to death by a sombre 18th century judge! There's
also a torture chamber and the chance to unmask Jack the Ripper - the
infamous serial killer. It's not suitable for very young children or those
of a nervous disposition!
London Zoo is one of the world's most famous zoos and is home to over
12,000 animals. Meet the Animals shows are held daily, giving visitors
the opportunity to learn more about the animals from their keepers. Rare
and beautiful animals can be seen in the Aquarium, Elephant House, Penguin
Pool, Snowdon Aviary and the new Web of Life exhibition. Highlights include
glimpses of the Gaint Anteater, Sloth Bears and cub on Bear Mountain.
The Lord's Tour
This is the home of cricket and on the Lord's Tour visitors can see behind-the-scenes
at Lord's Cricket Ground. Highlights include the Long Room, The Ashes
fought over by England and Australia and the MCC museum.
Madame Tussaud's Waxwork Museum is the world famous collection
of wax figures of the notable and notorious, everyone from Sigmund Freud
to Madonna. Recent additions include their new interactive experiences
section where you can try out as a Pop Idol, be snapped by the paparazzi,
get up close and personal to serial killers and explore the galaxy. Relive
David Beckham’s moment of glory as he scores against Greece to qualify
in dramatic fashion for the World Cup and squeeze Brad Pitt’s beguiling
This is the UK's primary venue for contemporary photography. There's a
year-round programme of exhibitions and educational events and a broad
range of photographic work is on show, with the emphasis on developments
in the art. There is also a bookshop and print sales area.
Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew Gardens)
At Kew Gardens, there are 300 acres containing living collections of over
40,000 varieties of plants. The Palm House is world-famous and there are
other magnificent tropical, alpine and temperate houses. The Princess
of Wales Conservatory recreates ten different kinds of environments, with
appropriate plants in natural settings.
Royal Opera House
The Royal Opera House re-opened in December 1999 as a theatre at the heart
of the nation's artistic and cultural life. It is open to the public Monday
to Saturday from 1000 (10am), allowing visitors to take advantage of a
wide range of daily free events, while in the evenings, there is a programme
of world class opera and ballet. During the day, a programme of backstage
tours and open ballet classes offers visitors the opportunity to experience
the behind-the-scenes life of the theatre.
St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral is one of the world's most famous cathedrals,
designed by Sir Christopher Wren. This classical cathedral represents
inspiration and craftsmanship on a grand scale. The Light of the World
by Holman Hunt is its most famous work of art, but it also contains fabulous
carvings, statues and mosaics.
Shakespeare's Globe Exhibition
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre and Exhibition is the fascinating
story of the re-creation of Shakespeare's beloved playhouse. Visitors
can see the reconstructed Elizabethan theatre, built with materials, techniques
and craftsmanship of 400 years ago. The world's largest Shakesperian exhibition
explores the playwright's London, Elizabethan theatre and the Shakespeare's
influence around the world. The summer season of plays sees Shakespeare
performed in an authentic setting.
Within the elegant 18th century walls of this former tax office, there
are three attractions, the Courtauld Gallery of Impressionist Art, the
Gilbert Collection and Hermitage Rooms. There's also a the exclusive Admiralty
restaurant, riverside café and the ever popular winter ice rink.
This impressive gallery shows international modern art from 1900
to present day including Dali, Picasso, Matisse and Warhol, plus contemporary
works by Gilbert and George. The breathtaking Turbine Hall runs the length
of building, creating a massive exhibition space, designed by Swiss architects
Hertzog and de Meuron. There are special exhibitions and a cafe with outstanding
views over the river.
Tower Bridge Experience
At the Tower Bridge Experience visitors can see one of the most famous
bridges in the world and spectacular views from the high level walkways
140ft above the Thames. In the two towers, there's an exhibition which
explains the history of Tower Bridge.
Tower of London
At The Tower of London, guarded by the celebrated Beefeaters, visitors
can see Traitors' Gate, the priceless Crown Jewels and the famous ravens.
Over the centuries, this amazing building has been a fortress, prison,
palace and even a zoo. The carefully restored medieval part of the Tower
is brought alive by costumed guides. There is also exhibitions of armour
and swords and you can see the spot where the notorious second wife of
Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, was beheaded.
Vinopolis, City of Wine
Vinopolis, City of Wine is dedicated to the entire world of wine and related
pleasures - including demonstrations and tasting sessions. Lately it has
been the scene for the dating sensation, Chemistry and is a popular and
Westminster Abbey is one of Europe's finest Gothic buildings and the scene
of coronations, marriages and burials of British monarchs. It dates back
to the 11th century, and highlights include the Coronation Chair made
in 1300, Poets' Corner and the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior.
The UK's largest museum is the most visited tourist attraction in London,
with over 6 million annual visitors. Millennium renovations led to the
inner courtyard - hidden from public view for 150 years - being transformed
into a spectacular, light-filled Great Court. It is the oldest, most august
museum in the world.
Highlights include the weird Assyrian treasures and Egyptian mummies;
the exquisite pre-Christian Portland Vase and the 2000-year-old corpse
found in a Cheshire bog. With the removal of the British Library to St
Pancras, the Reading Room is now open to the public, sadly making Reader's
Tickets a thing of the past.
The huge Camden Markets could be the closest England gets to free-form
chaos outside the terraces of a football stadium. They stretch between
Camden and Chalk Farm tube stations, incorporating Camden Lock on the
Grand Union Canal, and get so crowded on weekends that you'll feel like
a sardine in a straitjacket.
The markets include the Camden Canal Market (bric-a-brac, furniture and
designer clothes), Camden Market (leather goods and army surplus gear)
and the Electric Market (records and 60s clothing).
Once a vegetable field attached to Westminster Abbey, Covent Garden became
the low-life haunt of Pepys, Fielding and Boswell, then a major fruit
and veg market, and is now a triumph of conservation and commerce. The
piazza is surrounded by designer gift and clothes shops, hip bars and
restaurants. Stalls sell overpriced antiques and bric-a-brac.
Houses of Parliament
The neo-Gothic brilliance of the Houses of Parliament was restored by
a recent spring clean of the facade. The building includes the House of
Commons and the House of Lords, and the grandeur of the incredible exterior
is let down only by the level of debate in the interior ('hear, hear').
Humongous Hyde Park used to be a royal hunting ground, was once a venue
for duels, executions and horse racing, and even became a giant potato
field during WWII. It is now a place of fresh air, spring colour, lazy
sunbathers and boaters on the Serpentine. The park has sculptures by Jacob
Epstein and Henry Moore.
Natural History Museum
On Cromwell Rd near the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Natural History
Museum is one of London's finest Gothic-revival buildings, but even its
grand cathedral-like main entrance can seem squashed when you're confronted
with hordes of screaming schoolkids. Despite this, it's a gem of a place,
a dizzying combination of august artefact and amusement arcade.
St Paul's Cathedral
Half the world saw the inside of St Paul's Cathedral when Charles and
Di tied the knot here in 1981. The venerable building, complete with famous
dome, was constructed by Christopher Wren between 1675 and 1710, but it
stands on the site of two previous cathedrals dating back to 604.
Its famous dome, the biggest in the world after St Peter's in Rome, no
longer dominates London as it did for centuries, but it's still quite
a sight when viewed from the river. Visitors should talk low and sweetly
near the whispering gallery, which reputedly carries words spoken close
to its walls to the other side of the dome.
The Tate Britain is the keeper of an impressive historical archive of
British art. Built in 1897, the Tate underwent an ambitious program of
expansion, the Centenary Development, completed in November 2001.