London Blog

Bicester Village Shopping Trip from London: Gift Card, Lunch and VIP Discounts

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Bicester Village Shopping Trip from London: Gift Card, Lunch and VIP Discounts

Enjoy a day of shopping at Bicester Village with a 50-GBP gift card, 2-course lunch, VIP discount card and round-trip transport from London! The luxury shopping outlet is home to more than 130 shops spread around a large outdoor mall, and many big-name brands such as Burberry and Ted Baker offer discounts of up to 60 percent. Use the gift card to maximize your spending power, and enjoy an additional 10 percent off in select boutiques with the VIP discount card.

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Highlights
Excellent value for money
Lunch included
Receive discounts at selected restaurants, shops and attractions
Meet your host in central London, and then hop aboard your luxury coach for your journey to Bicester Village, the luxury shopping outlet roughly 1 hour away. On arrival, leave your coach and head inside to enjoy 6 hours of shopping at leisure.

Explore the spacious outdoor mall independently and browse the wares at more than 130 luxury shops, discovering mens’ and womens’ clothing, sportswear, accessories, cosmetics and more. The village boasts a range of international brands including Matthew Williamson, Ted Baker and Yves St Laurent, and many shops offer savings of up to 60 percent. Use your 50-GBP gift card to shop ‘til you drop!

As an additional bonus, your shopping experience includes a VIP discount card, which entitles you to a further 10 percent off in select boutiques.

Take a break from shopping by paying a visit to one of the outlet’s eight cafes, each offering a range of food and drink to suit your appetite and budget. A delicious 2-course lunch with water at Villandry Grand Café is included.

At the prearranged time, meet your host back on board the coach and then travel back to London where your day trip finishes.

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23/06/2017 |

Half-Day Private London Walking Tour: see the all of London’s famous sights including Trafalgar Square

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Half-Day Private London Walking Tour: see the all of London’s famous sights including Trafalgar Square

Hear the history, and see the all of London’s famous sights from Westminster Abbey to London Bridge with a private, local guide. A flexible start time is available, along with a hotel pick up. If there are specific places of interest you would like to see, such as a location from a favourite London set movie, this can be incorporated into your walk (let us know in advance to be extra sure your request can be accommodated).

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Along the tour you will see: The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Downing Street, Churchill’s War Rooms, Parliament Square and Trafalgar Square. You will see the National Gallery, the Sherlock Holmes pub and more.

Your tour guide will provide a pithy history of London and walk you through The Mall, St James’s Park, and Admiralty Arch, to see Buckingham Palace, the official residence of the royal family, and other aristocratic addresses including St James’s Palace, Lancaster House and Clarence House. The walk crosses the Golden Jubilee Bridge, with a panoramic view of London, with views of the National Theatre, the 3500 year old Cleopatra’s Needle, and the quirky new skyscrapers such as the ‘Shard’ and ‘Gherkin’ that have quickly become a symbols of the city.

The walk continues along the South Bank, passing St Paul’s Cathedral, the Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe theatre and Southwark Cathedral, to Borough Market and London Bridge. From here there are views of the Tower of London, City Hall and Tower Bridge. London in half a day!

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23/06/2017 |

Your weekend transport news for London !!

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Here is our weekly travel update to help you get around London this weekend, 24-25 June, and also the following week. There are no closures affecting Tube lines. Most of the network will be open with services running as normal, but please check if any of the following affect you.

London Overground
Tonight, Thursday, there will be no service between Hackney Downs and Enfield Town/Cheshunt (via Seven Sisters) after 22:45, due to Network Rail track work.

On Sunday:
• Trains will not run between Gospel Oak and Barking. This is while Network Rail carry out major works to enable new, longer trains to run from 2018
• Until 09:30 there will be no service between New Cross Gate and Crystal Palace/West Croydon for Network Rail track work
• Trains to/from Chingford will not stop at Bethnal Green due to Network Rail track work

TfL Rail
On Sunday, trains will not run between Liverpool Street and Stratford. This is while Network Rail carry out track and station improvements as part of their Railway Upgrade Plan, as well as Crossrail construction work.

Buses
Bus users may be affected by the following this weekend. While we will try to maintain a good service, buses may be delayed or stop short of their normal destination:

City of London – From 08:00 until 20:00 on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 June, there will be lane restrictions on Bishopsgate at the junction of Threadneedle Street. This is due to utility works.

Highbury – Until Monday 3 July, there will be lane restrictions on Highbury Corner gyratory. Also Highbury Place will be closed until late February 2018.

Westminster – From today, Thursday, until Wednesday 28 June, Bridge Street will be fully closed with traffic diverted via Lambeth Bridge. From Thursday 29 June until Wednesday 12 July, St. Margaret Street/Abingdon Street will be closed southbound, from Parliament Square. From Thursday 13 July until Saturday 29 July, St. Margaret Street/Abingdon Street will be closed northbound, up to Parliament Square. This is for resurfacing works.

Wembley – On Saturday 24 June, roads around the stadium will be busier than usual, including A406, Harrow Road and Wembley High Road. This is due to an event.

Roads
Road users may be affected by the following this weekend:

City of London – From 08:00 until 20:00 on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 June, there will be lane restrictions on Bishopsgate at the junction of Threadneedle Street. This is due to utility works.

Highbury – Until Monday 3 July, there will be lane restrictions on Highbury Corner gyratory. Also Highbury Place will be closed until late February 2018.

Westminster – From today, Thursday, until Wednesday 28 June, Bridge Street will be fully closed with traffic diverted via Lambeth Bridge. From Thursday 29 June until Wednesday 12 July, St. Margaret Street/Abingdon Street will be closed southbound, from Parliament Square. From Thursday 13 July until Saturday 29 July, St. Margaret Street/Abingdon Street will be closed northbound, up to Parliament Square. This is for resurfacing works.
Wembley – On Saturday 24 June, roads around the stadium will be busier than usual, including A406, Harrow Road and Wembley High Road. This is due to an event.

Santander Cycles
The following docking stations will be out of service this weekend:
South Quay West, Foley Street, Bourne Street, Sun Street and Cardinal Place, due to building works
Clerkenwell Green, for gas works
Westfield Eastern Access Road, for site redevelopment
Rodney Street, for works
Clifford Street, for footway works
Hyde Park Corner, Triangle Car Park and London Aquatic Centre due to an event


23/06/2017 |

Cambridge Mostyn Restaurant – Llandudno, Wales

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Traditional Welsh and South African Cuisine

The Welsh and South African links date back to the 1700’s and earlier. The Welsh were part of the original colonisation of South Africa and our shared passion and cultural values extend way beyond just good food, good beer and world class rugby !

Did you know there is another Llandudno located in Cape Town, South Africa?! Click here for more info!

Established on the site of one of the town’s oldest restaurants, Cambridge Mostyn is a breath of fresh air in Llandudno thanks to its innovative fusion of Welsh and South African cuisine. Awarded a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for two years running, it might be the only restaurant where you can follow up Welsh pâté with a crocodile steak.

The revamped Cambridge Mostyn evening menu has proven a hit with visitors to the region, and is a treasure trove of unexpected specialities (monkey gland sauce anyone?!). Diners can enjoy classic Welsh staples like St David’s chicken (wrapped in bacon with a cream leek and mustard sauce), or embark on one of the ‘great meal adventures’ and sample exotic meats and game in dishes like the juicy ostrich fillet steak, tender kangaroo rogan josh, or succulent llama chipotle chilli burgers.

An extensive wine list is also available at Cambridge Mostyn restaurant in Llandudno, to go along with its delectable range of ice creams and liqueurs. The eclectic selection of food and drink is matched only by the diverse décor, which features influences from the savannah to the valleys.

Offering cuisines both local and exotic on the Welsh coast, Cambridge Mostyn is just an 8-minute walk from Llandudno Rail Station.


21/06/2017 |

Small Group: London Historic Pub and Wine Cave Tour: Including a visit to the Victorian Gin Palace in London

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Small Group: London Historic Pub and Wine Cave Tour: Including a visit to the Victorian Gin Palace in London

You can’t get any more of an English experience than supping a pint of ale in a centuries-old public house or having a Gin in a Gin Palace. London is awash with such places, remarkably so in some respects, given the destruction wreaked by the Great Fire of London, Second World War bombs and post-war planners.

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Small Group: London Historic Pub and Wine Cave Tour: Including a visit to the Victorian Gin Palace in London

Highlights
– Explore the local streets on a walking tour of the city
– Led by a local guide
– Informative, friendly and professional guide
– We start at 15:00 making sure we get to the these fascinating places before they get to busy.

First stop is the oldest Victorian Gin Palace in London have you ever heard the phrase ‘One for the road or on the Wagon?”

We now try to find our way to what’s said to be the most difficult pub to find (according to one story, one man worked just around the corner for six years without finding it), but it is well worth the effort.

From there we wonder the narrow passages and century old alley ways to the next pub a favourite among literary greats such as Charles Dickens and Dr Samuel Johnson a real labyrinth of a place but don’t worry we shall help you escape this maze of a place.

The adventure continues with a short bus ride to London”s oldest wine cave set in cellars that are all candlelit and have an amazing cheese, bread and pickle selection. This place only serves wine and port.

The last stop is a pub that was voted as the greatest pub in the United Kingdom with great beer and real cider selection. The atmosphere in this pub is always electric being in the middle of theatre district there is always a chance of bumping in to someone famous.

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19/06/2017 |

LEGOLAND® Windsor Admission with Transport from London: over 55 attractions and live shows to entertain the whole family

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LEGOLAND® Windsor Admission with Transport from London: over 55 attractions and live shows to entertain the whole family

Get ready for this extraordinary adventure in the magic world of LEGOLAND®, a place where imagination knows no boundaries! With over 55 interactive rides, live shows, building workshops, driving schools and attractions all set in 150 acres of beautiful land, LEGOLAND Windsor is a unique family theme park.

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Meet Star Wars™ characters, including Stormtroopers, and climb aboard the life-sized Landspeeder replica at the LEGO® Star Wars™ Miniland Experience.  LEGOLAND Windsor is an inspirational land where the fun never stops.

Suitable for children of all ages, this theme park features incredible LEGO® models and over 55 attractions and live shows to entertain the whole family. With this 1-day admission to LEGOLAND Windsor your round-trip transportation from London is also included, leaving you the flexibility to choose your preferred return time with regular services running all day! Prepare for a soaking on some wet ‘n’ wild water rides: follow a pirate trail, fly through the treetops to escape fearsome dragons, or join a Viking fleet and battle sea monsters and rough waters.

Have fun on LEGOLAND’s many interactive rides, including the Kingdom of the Pharaohs, where you’ll fight your way through the ancient land in search of hidden treasure. Or, take a trip to a galaxy far, far away at the UK’s only indoor LEGO Star Wars Miniland Experience. Here, witness seven of the most famous scenes from the six live-action Star Wars movies made out of 1.5 million LEGO bricks! Then, visit LEGO City by the harbor; but watch where you go, as the pirates have invaded!

Stroll around Miniland, which contains the highest number of LEGO bricks in the park. Nearly 40 million pieces have been used to recreate scenes from daily life in the USA and Europe, all bustling with sounds, traffic, trains and boats. Join the crew at Pirates Landing, explore the Knights Kingdom, or enjoy 4D entertainment at the Imagination Centre.

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19/06/2017 |

Travel update to help you get around London this weekend.

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Here is our weekly travel update to help you get around London this weekend, 17-18 June, and also the following week. Most of the network will be open with services running as normal, but please check if any of the following affect you.

Special note
Following the major fire in North Kensington yesterday, 14 June, certain roads in the immediate area remain closed and some bus services in the area will be affected until further notice. You are advised to avoid the immediate area and check before you travel.

London Underground
Circle line
Trains will not run between Edgware Road and Aldgate via Victoria. This is to allow for track and drainage replacement in the Earl’s Court area.

District line
All weekend there will be no service between the following stations, while we carry out track and drainage replacement work in the Earl’s Court area:
• South Kensington/Edgware Road and Ealing Broadway/Richmond/Wimbledon
• Earl’s Court and Kensington (Olympia)

Some Piccadilly line trains will call additionally at Ravenscourt Park, Stamford Brook, Turnham Green and Chiswick Park, approximately every 10 minutes.

London Overground
All weekend there will be no service between New Cross Gate and Crystal Palace/West Croydon, for Network Rail track work.

On Sunday, there will be no service between the following stations:
• Gospel Oak and Barking, due to Network Rail major works to enable new, longer trains to run from 2018
• Willesden Junction and Richmond, due to Network Rail track work
• Wandsworth Road and Clapham Junction, due to Network Rail track work

From Monday to Thursday next week, there will be no service between Hackney Downs and Enfield Town/Cheshunt (via Seven Sisters) after 22:45, due to Network Rail track work.

DLR
All weekend, there will be no service between Poplar and Beckton, due to track work

TfL Rail
On Sunday, trains will not run between Gidea Park and Shenfield until 08:00. This is while Network Rail carry out track and station improvements as part of their Railway Upgrade Plan, as well as Crossrail construction work.

Buses
Bus users may be affected by the following this weekend. While we will try to maintain a good service, buses may be delayed or stop short of their normal destination:

Tulse Hill – Until 3 July, Norwood Road is closed southbound between Christchurch Road and Leigham Vale. This is for utility works.

Westminster – From 12:00 until 14:00 tomorrow, Friday, there will be delays to traffic on Whitehall southbound between Whitehall Place and Richmond Terrace. This is for a march.

Westminster – From 06:00 until 15:00 on Saturday, there will be various road closures in the area, including Horse Guards Road from 06:00, all roads within St James’s Park from 08:00, Whitehall (northbound) from 09:00 and in both directions from 10:20. There will also be short traffic holds on Buckingham Gate. This is for a ceremonial event.

Southwest London, Sutton and Surrey – From 05:00 until midday on Sunday, Nightingale Walk, Nightingale Lane, and Burntwood Lane will be closed. There will also be road closures in the Carshalton and Banstead areas. This is for a sporting event.

Chelsea – From 08:00 until 17:00 on Sunday, Chelsea Bridge Road will be closed northbound at the junction of Ebury Bridge Road. This is for resurfacing works.

Westminster – From 08:00 until 12:30 on Sunday, Whitehall will be closed. This is for a ceremonial event.

Central London – From 11:00 until 17:30 on Sunday, there will be delays to traffic on Park Lane, Hyde Park Corner, Piccadilly, Haymarket and Pall Mall East. Park Lane southbound, Shaftesbury Avenue westbound from Cambridge Circus, and Piccadilly Underpass eastbound will be closed. This is for a procession.

Central London – From 15:00 until 19:00 on Sunday, there will be delays to traffic on roads including Portland Place, Regent Street, Oxford Street, New Bond Street, and Grosvenor Street and Square. This is for a march.

Central London – From 17:30 until 18:45 on Sunday, there will be delays to traffic on roads including Beak Street, Great Marlborough Street, Regent Street, Hanover Street and Square, Holles Street, Henrietta Place, Wimpole Street, New Cavendish Street, and Thayer Street. This is for a procession.

Roads
Road users may be affected by the following this weekend:

Tulse Hill – Until 3 July, Norwood Road is closed southbound between Christchurch Road and Leigham Vale. This is for utility works.

Westminster – From 12:00 until 14:00 tomorrow, Friday, there will be delays to traffic on Whitehall southbound between Whitehall Place and Richmond Terrace. This is for a march.

Westminster – From 06:00 until 15:00 on Saturday, there will be various road closures in the area, including Horse Guards Road from 06:00, all roads within St James’s Park from 08:00, Whitehall (northbound) from 09:00 and in both directions from 10:20. There will also be short traffic holds on Buckingham Gate. This is for a ceremonial event.

Southwest London, Sutton and Surrey – From 05:00 until midday on Sunday, Nightingale Walk, Nightingale Lane, and Burntwood Lane will be closed. There will also be road closures in the Carshalton and Banstead areas. This is for a sporting event.

Chelsea – From 08:00 until 17:00 on Sunday, Chelsea Bridge Road will be closed northbound at the junction of Ebury Bridge Road. This is for resurfacing works.

Westminster – From 08:00 until 12:30 on Sunday, Whitehall will be closed. This is for a ceremonial event.

Central London – From 11:00 until 17:30 on Sunday, there will be delays to traffic on Park Lane, Hyde Park Corner, Piccadilly, Haymarket and Pall Mall East. Park Lane southbound, Shaftesbury Avenue westbound from Cambridge Circus, and Piccadilly Underpass eastbound will be closed. This is for a procession.

Central London – From 15:00 until 19:00 on Sunday, there will be delays to traffic on roads including Portland Place, Regent Street, Oxford Street, New Bond Street, and Grosvenor Street and Square. This is for a march.

Central London – From 17:30 until 18:45 on Sunday, there will be delays to traffic on roads including Beak Street, Great Marlborough Street, Regent Street, Hanover Street and Square, Holles Street, Henrietta Place, Wimpole Street, New Cavendish Street, and Thayer Street. This is for a procession.

Santander Cycles
The following docking stations will be out of service this weekend:
• South Quay West, Foley Street, Bourne Street, Sun Street and Cardinal Place, due to building works
• Clerkenwell Green, for gas works
• Westfield Eastern Access Road, for site redevelopment
• Rodney Street, for works
• Clifford Street, for footway works


16/06/2017 |

Beatles Fab 4 London Taxi Tour: Take in top sites of interest such as Abbey Road Studios

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Beatles Fab 4 London Taxi Tour: Take in top sites of interest such as Abbey Road Studios

Take a trip back to the swinging sixties — when the Fab Four ruled the radio waves — on this 3-hour Beatles taxi tour in London. Travel through London by taxi as a guide plays hit records from the 1960s. Take in top sites of interest such as Abbey Road Studios, the Apple headquarters, and the place where John and Yoko met. Along the way, see where ‘Hey Jude’ and ‘I Wanna Hold your Hand’ were recorded. This 3-hour driving tour includes pickup and drop-off at your London hotel.

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Highlights
Family friendly
Tour is wheelchair accessible
Hotel pickup included
Private tour is operated with just your party and a guide/driver
Hop into your taxi at 9am at your centrally located London hotel, then spin through the city streets as your guide brings 1960s London to life.

During your 3-hour driving tour, visit key sites of interest including Abbey Road Studios and its famous pedestrian crossing, the Apple headquarters, and the house where Paul wrote ‘I Wanna Hold your Hand’.

View properties that the Beatles owned and worked in, see where John and Yoko met, and where ‘Hey Jude’ and part of the White Album were recorded. Along the way, listen to music of the era and perhaps sing along to your favourite Beatles records.

Flick through photographs of the Fab Four from their London heyday, then finish your tour in Covent Garden or back at your London hotel.

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15/06/2017 |

The Caffeine Drip – Edinburgh

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Look no further if you’re looking for a place to hang out and talk light hearted conversations over seriously good food. There is nothing typical about this café; it’s a rustic downstairs hideaway that’s as individual as its owners – so expect some extraordinary menu choices. The Caffeine Drip is the brainchild of the previous owner of the Zulu Lounge on Morningside Road, Chris and his partner, Dariusz. Following a leisurely trip to Chris’s native South Africa, they decided to bring something authentic, bold and daring back to Edinburgh’s West End.

Discerning locals quickly discovered this was no ordinary coffee house, but an eatery, deli and bakery all rolled into one and offering an unusual menu with a South African twist. Don’t let the plain outside above deceive you – as you will find there is a treasure trove of delights below. If this shop was a dessert, it’d be a tipsy tart because of its assortment of ingredients and flavours on offer that keeps customers coming back for more. The Caffeine Drip sets the standard for cafes in Edinburgh with its home-made cakes, rustic sandwiches, flavoursome soups and consistently sublime, rich and full-bodied coffee.

This atmospheric café offers an atypical experience with each visit ensuring a laid back ambience and unpretentious quality. This café is very much a personal project of the owners with its original décor including scaffolding wood, recycled furniture and the many photos on the walls taken by Chris and Dariusz during their visit to Cape Town. Locals have remarked that this shop is a breath of fresh air for Edinburgh’s coffee, cake, soup & sandwich lovers. Having cornered a niche in the market doing what they do best, the owners take great pride in delivering top quality produce with consistently professional service. This is a place where the coffee is strong and so is its fan base. It’s rated as one of Edinburgh’s top cafes which is no easy feat as the competition is as stiff as their lemon meringue topping!

The menu contains an impressive assortment that caters to every palate from the adventurous to traditional to meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans. The secret to the success of this café lies in the fact that the owners have managed to capture that elusive balance of offering healthy delicacies while simultaneously appealing to the indulgent pleasure seeker.

A visit to this venue can be an innovative experience and as inventive as you like with a ‘create your own’ option. The menu has depth, appeals to every palate and immediately grabs your attention with quirky and curious dishes which will be sure to pique your interest and taste buds. Some may gravitate straight to the decadent cake stand or to the variety of toasted sandwiches, while the more daring will head straight for the boerewors (South African rustic sausage) rolls with sumptuous toppings.

This hidden gem has quickly become known as a ‘fortuitous find’ for those in the know and it sees coffee pilgrims trekking in from all over to tryout the diverse and delicious menu. A visit to this laidback café is worthwhile for those culinary adventurers seeking a taste of “the rainbow nation” in the heart of Edinburgh.


14/06/2017 |

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! in London: admire its collection of some 700 artifacts from around the world

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Ripley’s Believe It or Not! in London: admire its collection of some 700 artifacts from around the world

Step into the weird and wonderful world of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! in London’s West End, and discover a unique collection of bizarre and unusual artifacts from around the world. Designed to challenge the mind and produce gasps of astonishment at every twist and turn, the attraction appeals to young and old alike, making a trip here a perfect family day out! Explore at leisure and discover interactive zones like the Mirror Maze, mind-boggling models like the matchstick replica of Tower Bridge, and much more!

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Highlights
All entrance fees included
Family friendly
Popular choice with kids
Head inside Ripley’s Believe It or Not! with your entrance ticket and explore this fascinating attraction independently, admiring its collection of some 700 artifacts from around the world. Audio guides and maps are available for you to purchase at your own expense, or alternatively, just amble around the six-floor exhibition at your own pace.

The man who coined the expression ‘believe it or not’ was the exhibition’s founder – Robert Ripley. An eccentric cartoon artist and intrepid explorer, he created the attraction with the aim of satisfying people’s basic curiosities through challenging and unusual exhibits – the types of things that people had to see to believe. Do just that and discover crazy artifacts like the 13-foot (4-meter) model of Tower Bridge made from matchsticks, and the Tsantsa collection – a baffling assortment of shrunken heads from the Amazon jungle!

See a life-sized knitted Ferrari car, and wander through interactive discovery zones like the Mirror Maze. Jump, crawl and twist your way through beams of light in the Laser Race and prepare to feel dizzy as you walk through the attraction’s legendary Vortex Tunnel. The largest collection of Olympic torches can be found in the Legend’s Gallery, and this includes the London torch signed by the British gold medalist cycler Laura Trot.

Take a break from the weird and wonderful by relaxing in the center’s coffee bar, or perhaps browse for intriguing souvenirs in the gift shop. If you visit during peak times (April to October) then you can also expect to see additional live performances in the foyer.

Most visitors find that two hours is sufficient to see everything in Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, but if you want to stay longer, then no problem! Your ticket allows you to spend as much time as you want inside.

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12/06/2017 |
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