London Blog

Eltham Palace – The Art Deco Jewel In London’s Crown – private tour

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Join us on a private tour to the beautiful and entirely unique Eltham Palace. For centuries a Royal Palace sat atop of a hill overlook beautiful countryside and more latterly in the leafy London suburbs. There is nowhere else quite like Eltham Palace where the Medieval meets the Art Deco.

Join us on a private tour to the beautiful and entirely unique Eltham Palace. For centuries a Royal Palace sat atop of a hill overlook beautiful countryside and more latterly in the leafy London suburbs.

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There is nowhere else quite like Eltham Palace. Situated in SE London, it is a unique marriage between a medieval and Tudor palace and a 1930s millionaire’s mansion. From the 14th to the 16th century it was an important royal palace, where monarchs often stayed and hunted in the surrounding parks.

Much of Eltham Palace fell into disuse and large sections of it had to be taken down but happily the Great Hall remains and it is one of the finest in the country, up with that at Westminster Palace and Hampton Court Palace.

What really makes Eltham Palace unique however is that after centuries of neglect, Eltham was leased to Stephen and Virginia Courtauld in 1933 and they spent £20 million on building a state of the art home here that incorporated the Great Hall with their magnificent Art-Deco creation. The result was a masterpiece of 20th-century design.

Finally, Eltham surrounded by beautiful gardens, a wonderful moat and ancient brick bridge which anywhere else would be a tourist destination in its own right.

The tour will end with us returning by car back to our starting point.

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13/07/2017 |

Chester Independent Day Trip by Train from London: Located in the North West of England

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Chester Independent Day Trip by Train from London: Located in the North West of England

Enjoy a mix of the classical and the contemporary on this day trip to one of Britain’s great heritage destinations. With 2,000 years of history the beautiful walled city of Chester is brimming with quirky architecture and endless shopping opportunities. Located in the North West of England, in the county of Cheshire, this unescorted train tour offers a fantastic taste of Chester’s unique character and memorable landmarks.

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Highlights
Round-trip train fares
Great overview and orientation of the city
Rail Tour
Don’t miss a fantastic opportunity to visit one of Britain’s great heritage cities.

You will be met at Euston Station and provided with all your travel documents for the day. Check-in is at 07:40 and your train arrives in Chester at 10:15am.

On arrival hop aboard one of the City Sightseeing buses for a one hour circular tour that offers the perfect way to get your bearings. There are 16 stops around the City and frequent departures.

Chester is a city full of historic treasures, including the most complete City Walls in Britain, dating from the Roman occupation 2,000 years ago.

You can walk right around the city along the walls, crossing over ancient gateways and exploring its magnificent towers.

A bustling market town since the Middle Ages, Chester continues to offer the best in shopping opportunities, and the unique Rows galleries offer a literally different level of retail therapy.

As well as stores at street level there’s an upper tier of shops sheltered from the elements, offering a perfect vantage point for people watchers. Check out too the ancient cellars below street level, where bars and restaurants flourish – and look out for the oldest shopping façade in England, on Bridge Street.

There’s time to visit the majestic 1,000 year old Chester Cathedral, with its fine collection of Medieval carvings, enjoy the black and white Victorian architecture of Northgate, and make an obligatory photo stop at the Eastgate Clock, probably the most iconic clock in England after Big Ben, built to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897.

Your train from Chester departs at 17:35 and returns to London at 19:40.

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07/07/2017 |

London Alternative Tour – experience the Real East End

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London Alternative Tour - experience the Real East End

Away from the shiny sites that you find on souvenirs and postcards, join us in the London where street art represents the voice of the people, where gentrification battles the anti-establishment, and where London’s rebellious streak was born and still lives. This is the Real East End.

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While other tours here just scratch the surface by skipping over the street art, we’ll put that street art into context, giving you an insight into what was happening in the world when it was created. Yet while the street art is the most visible aspect of this area, to really understand the East End you have to go further.

This tour starts at Liverpool Street Train Station, take the Bishopgate West exit near platform 14 and meet outside in front of the clock tower. Look out for the red umbrella!

Highlights
Led by a local guide
Informative, friendly and professional guide
Great overview and orientation of the city
Perfect for all ages and skill level
Perfect introduction for first-time visitors
This tour is every Wednesday and Saturday at 3.30pm and is available in English and Spanish.

This tour starts at Liverpool Street Train Station, take the Bishopgate West exit near platform 14 and meet outside in front of the clock tower. Look out for the red umbrella!

Away from the shiny sites that you find on souvenirs and postcards, join us in the London where street art represents the voice of the people, where gentrification battles the anti-establishment, and where London’s rebellious streak was born and still lives. This is the Real East End.

While other tours here just scratch the surface by skipping over the street art, we’ll put that street art into context, giving you an insight into what was happening in the world when it was created. Yet while the street art is the most visible aspect of this area, to really understand the East End you have to go further.

This 2½-hour* walking tour covers:

Old Spitalfields and Petticoat Lane markets
The Shoreditch art scene
Brick Lane
The immigrant generations
Cockney culture
Gangsters and the criminal underworld
Radical thinkers and social reformers
Whitechapel
The foundry that produced Big Ben and the Liberty Bell
The battle of Cable Street
…and much more!

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06/07/2017 |

Guided Paris Day Trip from London: including a visit to Arc de Triomphe

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Guided Paris Day Trip from London: including a visit to Arc de Triomphe

Embark on a 14-hour day trip from London to Paris by high-speed train. Your guide will show you the best sights on a panoramic city tour, including the Arc de Triomphe and Moulin Rouge. Then, take a 1-hour cruise along the Seine River to see the sights from the water. In the afternoon, you will have free time to adventure on your own before returning to London. This is a shared tour with an average of 40 travelers in the group.

Guided Paris Day Trip from London: including a visit to Arc de Triomphe

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Highlights
Explore the local streets on a walking tour of the city
Round-trip train fares
Informative, friendly and professional guide
Meet your guide at 6am in London’s St Pancras Station and hop aboard a high-speed train to Paris. Relax and watch the scenery fly by your window during the approximately 2 hour journey. Once you arrive in Paris, explore on a 1.5-hour panoramic city tour, visiting major sites like the Opera House, Champs-Elysees, Arc de Triomphe, Moulin Rouge, Le Louvre, and more.

Arrive by the pier, next to the Eiffel Tower, for a 1-hour river cruise along the Seine. Enjoy the views of Notre Dame, Musee D’Orsay, Grand Palais, Statue de la Liberté, and the Assemblée Nationale. In the early afternoon, spend some free time visiting sights on your own. Your guide will give tips on what to see and do as you venture out on your own.

You might head to the shopping district or soak up the atmosphere with a lunch (own expense). Later, return to Gare du Nord 45 minutes prior to the train’s scheduled departure time for your return journey to London. Your train departs at around 7pm, and will arrive back in London at about 8:30pm.

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03/07/2017 |

White Cliffs of Dover and Canterbury Cathedral Tour From London: including a visit to the Battle of Britain memorial

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White Cliffs of Dover and Canterbury Cathedral Tour From London: including a visit to the Battle of Britain memorial

Enjoy the world-famous White Cliffs of Dover, and visit Canterbury Cathedral in one great Day Tour from London! We enjoy beautiful countryside and coastal views as we drive through Kent to the Dover coastline! Enjoy spectacular views and an optional coastal walk on the Cliff paths.

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We continue to Canterbury city, one of the most beautiful cities in England. We enjoy a visit to Canterbury Cathedral, as well as a walking tour and free time to explore Canterbury!

We begin at 8am from Gloucester Road tube station, in the convenient Kensington area of Central London! We travel by luxury midi-coach, with a maximum group size of 28 for a more enjoyable tour! We make our way to the Kent coast with our guide entertaining you on the way with stories from the area! We stop at the Battle of Britain memorial on the Kent Coast! From here we enjoy amazing coastal views, and our first views of the Dover Cliffs! We continue to the White Cliffs Visitor Centre on the top of the spectacular chalk cliffs!

Enjoy unrivalled views of the White Cliffs of Dover and the English Channel, and maybe even see France in the distance on a clear day! Take an optional short walk along the cliff-top paths for more spectacular views! Our next stop is Canterbury, a wonderful historic city! Our guide will take you on a walking tour, before allowing time for lunch and exploring the city! Your admission to the breathtaking Canterbury Cathedral is included!! We arrive back to London at 6.30pm approx after a fun-filled day!

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29/06/2017 |

3-Day Edinburgh Weekend Break by Rail from London: includes a visit to Edinburgh Vaults under South Bridge

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3-Day Edinburgh Weekend Break by Rail from London: includes a visit to Edinburgh Vaults under South Bridg

Visit one of Britain’s most beautiful cities and the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh, in this perfect weekend break. This trip includes return train travel, a guided sightseeing tour with a local Scottish guide, two night bed and breakfast with ensuite accommodation, optional extra trips, plenty of free time to explore, and the services of a tour manager.

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Highlights
Comprehensive tour by bus/coach
Get inside tips from a local
Pickup from a centrally located meeting point
Round-trip train fares
Fully narrated tour
Informative, friendly and professional guide
Led by a local guide
Multi-Day Trip
Breakfast included
After meeting your tour manager in Euston Station, you will depart by train at approximately 8am to Edinburgh’s Waverley Station via Virgin Trains. Upon arrival to the city, meet your local guide and begin a sightseeing tour of the capital. They will be able point out all of the popular attractions you can visit during your stay, such as The National Museum of Scotland or The Royal Museum (admission is free).

Once the tour is over, check in at your hotel and enjoy the rest of the evening at your leisure. However, you may enjoy taking our extra excursion and join us for a Ghosts and Ghouls Walking Tour. In this tour you will be taken to the Edinburgh Vaults under South Bridge in the Old Town, which is reported to be one of the most haunted sites in the UK. The tour is available in a number of different languages and is around one hour long (not included).

Begin your second day in Edinburgh roaming the city. Or take part in a day trip to Loch Ness (extra charges apply – please note this is a full-day tour from approximately 8am to 2pm). Start by visiting the town of Stirling, where you will have time to visit the famous Castle and admire the beautiful view from the esplanade. Make your way to Loch Katrine. Here you can take a cruise on the loch, have lunch by the water’s edge, or take a short bike ride to see the beautiful surrounding. Travel through Trossachs, where you will stop for photos before arriving at Linlithgow Palace, birthplace of Mary Queens of Scots. Then return to Edinburgh via the Forth Bridges with photo stops.

On the final day in Edinburgh, you will have a free morning to explore the city one last time. At approximately 11:30am you will meet your tour manager at the hotel for the transfer to the station to catch the 12:51pm train back to London. Arrive back at Euston Station at approx 6:39pm.

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26/06/2017 |

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 |

Three medieval German treasures

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by George de Bruin When one tackles Europe, there are definitely three types of attractions on your list: art museums, cathedrals and maybe a castle or two. Art museums are normally limited to the most well-known, such as the Louvre in Paris or the Rijksmuseum on Amsterdam. Neuschwanstein, Versailles and Chambord are without a doubt […]

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22/06/2017 |
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