Get set for a taste of both the historic and the modern with flights and vacations in London. Take a history lesson while you tour the Tower of London, or get the lay of the land with a ride on the London Eye. With so much to see and do, there’s plenty for everyone in London.
Home to well known landmarks, designer shopping, and a vibrant arts and theatre community, it’s no wonder so many choose to spend their vacations in London. And with flights from British Airways, you’ll arrive in England in style. With daily flights to London from 20 US cities, it is never out of reach.
If you thought February would be a quiet month in London then think again. The capital offers abundant ways to celebrate for loved-up couples on Valentine’s Day. Chinese New Year is welcomed in vibrant style, then its pancake-flipping-time on Shrove Tuesday.
January may be over, but you can still enjoy ice skating in the capital. Head to the Canary Wharf Ice Rinkthroughout February to show off your best skating moves, in a whimsical wintery setting. A pop-up bar, restaurant and heated outdoor viewing terrace provide the ideal hideaway for non-skaters – or those looking for a warm retreat.
Book tickets to see R&B favourite Jason Derulo at The O2 on 5 February. Groove to his smooth chart-topping hits, which include ‘Wiggle’, ‘Trumpets’ and ‘Want to Want Me’, at his biggest London show yet.
Soak up the lively atmosphere and enjoy a feast of entertainment as the Chinese New Year is celebrated in London on 8 February. Make your way to Chinatown, Trafalgar Square or Shaftesbury Avenue for vibrant parades, performance artists and traditional food and craft stalls.
Head to Koko in Camden Town for a night with Kitty, Daisy and Lewis on 11 February. Bop along to the catchy, eclectic sounds of this sibling trio as they dazzle you with their fantastic musical ability and unique compositions.
Celebrate tennis culture, fashion and traditions throughout history at Powerful Posters: Tennis and Advertising, 1893-2015 until 21 February at Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum. Exhibiting posters which date from 1893 to present day, this collection explores how the glamour of tennis has been used to advertise fashion, film and everything in-between. Highlights include the white dress from the 1970s Athena 'Tennis Girl' poster, which was first featured on the 1977 calendar before making its way onto the iconic poster - which sold more than two million copies worldwide.
From 18 to 21 February the London Classic Car Show takes place at Excel London. This impressive showcase of classic cars is bigger than ever for 2016. Spend your day admiring this impressive automobile collection, in a retro environment with music and talks.
Don’t miss the opportunity to see Liberty in Fashion at Fashion and Textile Museum, which ends on 28 February. Celebrating the company's 140th anniversary, this exhibition of more than 150 garments, textiles and objects demonstrates Liberty's impact on British fashion.
Or if you’re more into nature than fashion, head to the ZSL Animal Photography Exhibition at London Zoo, which is also showing until 28 February. This charming exhibition includes entries from photographers of all entry levels, who compete for the huge £10,000 prize fund. Not to be missed, this impressive display embraces creatures big and small.
Find out what's on in London this March
London's winter chill begins to thaw out in March as the city welcomes the spring, making it a good time to stroll London's parks and gardens – perhaps with your mum on Mother's Day. St Patrick's Day brings emerald-hued celebrations to central London, with the larger than life parade and a host of celebrations marking the occasion.
Spend an unforgettable Mother's Day in London on 6 March. See the biggest spring flowering display at Kew Gardens. Put your shopping bags down for lunch at Harvey Nic’s Fifth Floor Dining room or take a leisurely afternoon tea at Fortnum and Mason’s.
Book tickets to see iconic British band Wet Wet Wet... They bring their ‘Big Picture Tour’ to The O2 on 6 March – in time for Mother’s Day. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of their No.1 album ‘Picture This’, the legendary group will be performing some of their biggest hits - joined by Westlife’s Markus Feehily.
MOTOWN THE MUSICAL will be gracing the stage of the Shaftesbury Theatre from 8 March. Based on the book 'To Be Loved: The Music, The Magic, The Memories of Motown' by Berry Gordy, the show features music from Motown Records.
Don’t miss the opportunity to see the outstanding collection of Bond cars and 007 inventions at Bond in Motion at the London Film Museum, which concludes at the end March. Get an up close glimpse of vehicles from films old and new. The exhibition includes models, production art, props and iconic vehicles including ‘Little Nellie’ from You Only Live Twice, Goldfinger’s Rolls-Royce Phantom III, the 1964 Aston Martin DB5 from GoldenEye and the cars of Spectre.
See multi-award-winning artist Adele perform live at The O2 on 15, 16, 18 or 19 March. Following the recent release of her album, 25, the London-born singer-songwriter will once again bring her powerful ballads to the big stage – in her first tour in four years.
Or visit the Ideal Home Show from 18 March to 3 April. As the UK’s biggest home event, this is perfect place to find some much needed inspiration. You’ll also pick up some fantastic tips and tricks to transform your home and garden.
Book tickets to see chart-topping, four-piece Little Mix perform their pop, R&B and hip hop hits at The O2 on 27 March. Performing two shows to mark the last day in their major UK arena tour - the girls are sure to put on a great show.
You won’t be short of things to do over the bank holiday weekend, as the capital bursts with Easter-themed events - which range from egg hunts to Easter Sunday hymns. Work up an appetite at the London Easter 10k, which will be taking place on 28 March in Regents Park. Pick up Easter goodies with your medal at the finish line to celebrate your efforts.
Find out what's on in London this April
Spring has finally sprung in April, with fair weather replacing the cold snaps of winter. A perfect time to visit the superb parks in the city, and get into the season’s new exhibitions and shows. Plus, with the St George’s Day Feast and the London Marathon, the outdoor festivals are starting early.
Don’t miss your last chance to see the mesmerising Wildlife Photographer of the Year which ends its run on 10 April. Now in its 51st year, head down to The Natural History Museum to see 2015’s best photography featuring nature and our animal brethren.
Exhibitionism: The Rolling Stones at the Saatchi Gallery starts this week, running from 5 April until September. This exciting and immersive exhibition takes visitors through 50 years of brilliant music, unseen artefacts and the Stones’ impressive impact on Rock ‘n Roll culture.
One of the biggest names in stadium rock return for a week-long run in the capital. Muse at the O2 Arena takes place 11 to 15 April and promises to be one of their best shows to date. ‘The Drones World Tour’ sees them playing a 360-degree extravaganza – all from the middle of the arena.
Funny Girl – showing at the Savoy Theatre throughout April – has everlasting appeal, and this version starring Sheridan Smith is no exception. Based on the story of Fanny Brice, a legendary Broadway star and comedian, Smith received critical acclaim for her portrayal – a must-see.
Another beautiful exhibition finishes at the British Library this month. The many re-imaginings of Alice in Wonderland have made Lewis Carrol’s classic a favourite for 150 years. Follow the white rabbit on a journey through the various interpretations of Alice, the Red Queen and the Mad Hatter until 17 April.
Glenn Close stars in Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s version of Hollywood black tragi-comedy Sunset Boulevard at the London Coliseum throughout April. A disastrous tale of romance and stardom gone sour, this is a superb show with an unforgettable cast and brilliant score.
St George’s Day Feast at Trafalgar Square is a feast of both food and fun. St George’s Day is 23 April but the date of the feast is yet to be confirmed. Head down to London’s most famous square to sample delicious food stalls and children’s games – a fun day for the family.
The Virgin Money London Marathon takes place 24 April and travels through many different areas of London. Head there early to get a good spot – like the finishing line along The Mall opposite Buckingham Palace. Or head to Greenwich or the Isle of Dogs for a quieter view of the runners.
London neighbourhood guide
If you’re planning a trip to London, one of the most important considerations you’ll make is where to stay. London is like a city of villages, each providing a different city break experience. Our hotels in London are spread across many of London's neighbourhoods. For entertainment there’s no better place than the West End. Westminster is at the heart of politics and royalty. Or stay around Tower Bridge and soak up quintessential London and the ‘city life’.
Bloomsbury has attracted writers and liberal thinkers for centuries. Streets lined with Victorian architecture and beautiful garden squares contribute to its distinctive village feel. Our bestselling hotel in this area is 3* Royal National – it’s basic but, as a comfortable base in a great location, it is ideal. King's Cross St Pancras is one of London’s most newly regenerated areas and it’s now an exciting place to be. Here you’ll find The British Museum, The British Library and the much underrated Charles Dickens’ Museum. Fantastic transport links provide easy access around London and across the UK, with Eurostar serving London's high-speed rail link with Paris, Brussels and continental Europe too.
This central London neighbourhood is a magnet for shopping enthusiasts. Department stores, including Selfridges and Liberty, nestle alongside fantastic high street shops on Oxford Street and Regent Street. While premium designer brands surround Old and New Bond Street. We recommend staying at 4* Cumberland, offering a perfect base for the avid shopper – the reception boasts one of London’s most exciting art galleries too.
At the heart of London’s monarchy and politics, and a favourite for locals and visitors alike, this area is brimming with culture and enviable views of iconic landmarks. Big Ben, The Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace are to name but a few. Enjoy the best of London from the 4* The Grosvenor, which is perfectly located next to London Victoria Station.
Known as the leafy neighbourhoods of London, Paddington is bordered by Hyde Park and fashionable Notting Hill is characterised by its distinctive green squares. A haven for antiques, second hand books and the weekly Portobello Road Market. 4* Hilton London Paddington is a popular choice, adjacent to Paddington train station – providing easy access to Heathrow Airport, and only three blocks from the shopping district along Oxford Street.
One of the most beautiful areas of London and great for history and the arts. Kensington is surrounded by stunning Georgian and Edwardian architecture. Visit the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum while you’re here. Earl’s Court is a lively area offering a true taste of London lifestyle, with plenty of pubs to frequent. 4* K+K Hotel George provides a quiet retreat, where you can experience great service and an excellent buffet breakfast.
Our finest luxury hotels luxury hotels and London’s Michelin starred restaurants gravitate towards the most exclusive addresses in London. Enjoy award-winning afternoon tea, browse the designer shops on Bond Street and admire the affluent houses in Berkley Square. 5* Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel is an iconic resident on Park Lane, providing the biggest of all hotel rooms in London.
This exclusive royal neighbourhood is a great place to shop for designer or vintage pieces. Knightsbridge is the home of Harrods, the world famous department store. And Chelsea is famous for the Kings Road, with its fashionable roots from the 60s. 4* Rembrandt is a firm favourite in this area – perfectly located adjacent to the V&A and Natural History Museum.
From musicals to dramas, comedies to tragedies, London’s Theatreland provides the best in entertainment. The lively areas of Covent Garden and Leicester Square are bursting with bars, restaurants and talented street performers who vie for your attention. 5* Waldorf Hilton enjoys an enviable location at the top of the Strand, perfect if you want to be right in the heart of the action.
The year-round festival atmosphere on the Southbank makes this one of the most vibrant areas in London. Browse galleries in the South Bank Arts Centre and play your part in the outdoor art installations. Spectate at the skateboard-friendly underpass and enjoy the views from the EDF London Eye – this pedestrian-friendly area along the River Thames is a cultural delight. We recommend 5* Hilton London Bankside for its fantastic location on the ‘design trail’.
London's Financial District beautifully showcases this city’s historical past. Iconic landmarks, like the Tower of London, the magnificent Tower Bridge and St Paul’s Cathedral dominate London’s skyline. Cross the Millennium Bridge and visit the Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe, or stroll over to sample the gourmet food stalls at Borough Market. 5* Grange Hotel St Paul’s offers incredible views and designer shopping at One New Change offers a nice distraction too.
Conveniently located within 20 minutes’ from London City Airport – East London offers a great alternative to central London, especially if you’re looking for a cheap hotel. Stratford is home to the Olympic Park, at the centre of the London 2012 Olympic Games, and Westfield – the largest urban shopping centre in Europe. Canary Wharf and the London Docklands can also rival the West End, with glam bars, restaurants and the O2 Arena putting on the world’s most popular live events. The 4* DoubleTree by Hilton London Docklands Riverside enjoys a unique location, with fabulous views over the Thames and Canary Wharf and excellent facilities including an indoor swimming pool and health club.
London: An insiders guide
London: An insiders guide
Author and resident Saska Graville unearths off-the-radar places to eat, sleep and shop.