The sheer expanse and splendor of London can seem a little overwhelming to a first time visitor. First comes the daunting task of narrowing down a shortlist of the top attractions that absolutely must be experienced, from the numerous cultural,historic as well as contemporary experiences that this city is bursting at the seams with. Then comes the question of planning the most efficient way of seeing the landmarks as well as the most economical mode of public transport in getting to them (that taxis are not cheap is an open secret afterall!). This travel guide provides information on the tube stations that provide access to the top attractions in London. Ofcourse once there, get the most out of your visit with the guidance of a top rated London tour guide !
A good place to start is Westminster. As soon as you arrive from the underground, the sheer magnificence of the Houses of Parliament stands before you. With Big Ben looming over the River Thames and Parliament Square, you will be under no doubt you’ve arrived in the most historic part of London! You are also a short walk away from 10 Downing Street and Horse Guards Parade to see British politics in action.
2) Charing Cross
It’s easy to walk over to Charing Cross from Westminster, but if you arrive on the train you’ll find yourself right in the midst of it at Trafalgar Square. Overlooked by the National Gallery, which backs on to the National Portrait Gallery, take in some culture among one of London’s most historical landmarks. From Trafalgar Square you can also take a walk up the Pall Mall, the impressive driveway leading up to Buckingham Palace. Along here you could also stop off at The Royal Academy of the Arts and have a wander around the beautiful St James’ Park.
3) Oxford Circus
If a bit of retail therapy is in order Oxford Circus is the place to head to. The station is not far from the famously stylish Carnaby Street where one can find high street names along with independent boutiques. Along Oxford Street you will also reach the famous Selfridges to peruse some of the more high-end goods on offer. This is also the stop for the ever-fashionable Soho, where you will find a plethora of traditional English pubs, trendy bars and deliciously diverse restaurants.
4) London Bridge
The perfect way to see the River Thames in all its glory is on foot and the best place to start is London Bridge. Before getting to the water’s edge, head over to the incredible Borough Market, a paradise of quality food and drink from all over the UK bordered by lovely pubs and coffee shops. Once you reach the Southbank it’s a fairly long but incredibly picturesque journey up the river towards Waterloo. It really is the perfect way to spend an ambulatory day. Reaching the Millennium Bridge will take you to the magnificent St Paul’s Cathedral while staying on the south side will take you to the impressive Tate Modern art gallery. All along the Southbank you will also find restaurants and bars for refreshments. Further up nearer to Waterloo you will reach the National Theatre, the BFI cinema and Hayward Gallery displaying some of the most impressive modern architecture in Europe.
5) Hampstead Heath
If you happen to be lucky enough to visit London on a sunny day (they do have them occasionally!) then the best thing to do is head to a park. You will be spoilt for choice of where to go with around 400 green spaces in the City of London alone and over 1,000 in Greater London. The 5 royal parks provide pleasant and historical surroundings but perhaps the best park in terms of expanse and views is Hampstead Heath. Situated on the Overground line in North West London, this gorgeous park covers 790 acres. Perhaps its crowning glory is the stunning view of the London landscape from Parliament Hill. It’s the perfect location for a picnic, but if you fancy something a little more substantial there are plenty of pubs in the area providing great food and relaxing beer gardens; showing you exactly what Londoners love to do when the sun comes out!