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Morning to night London vibrates with energy. It’s a city of breathtaking contrasts and everywhere you look there’s something new to explore. Historical monuments flow into innovative architecture, Designer boutiques nestle up to the guilded department stores, and traditional pubs sit alongside Michelin-starred restaurants.
You can shop in the splendid luxury of Harrods, then jostle among crowds at the market stalls in Portobello. You can stop for a spot of indulgence at Simpson’s-in-the-Strand and delight in the finest British ingredients. Or sit a while at one of Covent Garden’s pavement cafes, where street performers vie for your attention. Before absorbing the buzz of London’s nightlife at Leicester Square.
A pint in an ancient ale house is an absolute must on any trip to London. There are hundreds, all with amazing stories to tell. Try the Olde Cheshire Cheese, a favourite of Dr Johnson and Arthur Conan Doyle. Its winding staircases and cosy interior are straight out of a Charles Dickens story. To explore more London pubs check out the Good Pub Guide website.
Best known as Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Palace is the home of the British government. The building was rebuilt on the site of important medieval remains and is a stunning example of neo-Gothic architecture. In fact, you can only appreciate the scale and design if you see it in real life. Don’t miss a tour inside the building if you visit during the summer opening period.
Portobello Road buzzes with boutique shops, art galleries and quirky arcades six days a week, and on Saturday's opens to the world’s largest antiques market. Portobello Road is also home to the Grade II listed Electric Cinema – one of Britain's oldest movie theatres. It has been a popular movie backdrop, featuring in films such as Notting Hill and Bedknobs and Broomsticks.
London’s famous museum of human history and culture has an astonishing seven million objects in its collections making it one of the largest in the world. This wonderful museum is free to visit and its mind-boggling exhibits come from every continent in the world, showing us the story of human culture from its beginnings right up to today.
London’s iconic cathedral designed by Christopher Wren has witnessed many historic events, including the funeral of Winston Churchill and the marriage of Charles and Diana. A visit to St Paul’s Cathedral offers spectacular views over London from the top of the Dome. Don’t miss the famous Whispering Gallery where a tiny whisper against the wall can be heard loud and clear on the opposite side of the dome.
Banksy isn’t the only street artist to have made his mark in London. Here are five of the capital’s finest examples.