Most people who think of travelling to the London will be using the London Underground or Tube and also it may be confusing at first once you get the hang of the routes and destinations it is the best way to experience the attractions. To save money when using the Tube the best thing is to get an Oyster Card. The Oyster Card is good for all of the London Transport system and allows you to use the Tube, Buses and some Trains within the London area. The Oyster Card can be purchased in advance for different blocks of advance amounts of money, such as 10.00 Pounds, 20.00 Pounds up to 50.00Pounds. Another alternate pass is the Travelcard, which you can buy for a days travel or weeks travel as required. Please make sure you aware of which Zone you are travelling to as this can increase or decrease the cost of your Travelcard dependant on where you are visiting. The Tube is not a well air conditioned system and I suggest you take a bottle of cold water or fluid to refresh yourself during your journey. The London Transport system is one of the best in the world and is policed regularly but I would advise anyone travelling to use common sense and to be aware of your surroundings and the travellers on the vehicle you are travelling. Please click here to familiar yourself with the London Underground Map. I would also be care not to wear large amounts of jewellery and be mindful of you wallet, purse and luggage. The London Transport system is a great way to get around town but if you wish to travel and want to carry valuable items you may want to take a London Taxi, which unlike most other city Taxi or Cab services, are the best in the world with knowledgeable drivers and you will not find a quicker way from A-Z in the City of London. Talking of A-Z the London A-Z Map book is also a great buy, whether you buy the book, in its many forms, or download the App for your IPhone or ITouch, it is a great way to find your way around London. It lists the landmarks, roads as well as the Tube map on the back page. Of Course you can use the oldest form of transport in the world, your feet, and if you love to walk around from site to site there is a fantastic website call WalkIt.Com which lets you pick the route around town and also gives ideas of things to see along the way.

London's Theatre scene is one of the best in the world and there is no doubting the talent of the English actor or actress but London also has a wealth of world talent treading the boards in the London theatreland district. Whether it is musicals, comedies, drama, classics, varieties or the live music or comedy scene you are looking for London has it all and much more. A good read is Time Out Magazine, a weekly magazine of the happenings within London. It has great spot-on reviews, as well as ideas of events that you will love to capture during you London visit. The theatres in London are worth viewing in themselves as London is the original home of theatre and I usually get to the venue early to capture the vibe of the building and its history. My two choices of a great exciting musicals is either Les Miserable or Oliver. Les Mis in 2015 is marked its 30th anniversary and there are going to be live as well as the normal musical versions performed this year.


Most of London theatre show hits sell out well in advance but you can try going to the box office for day of tickets and some may be available or try the London TKTS booth, located in Leicester square. The TKTS booth also have same day or same week tickets available. Please, please do not buy from any other source. Ticket touts operate around theatres and the theatre area and may sell you forged tickets.
If you love British Television or Radio the BBC has live recordings happening throughout the year and a good idea is to frequent their website for up and coming show recordings. Other Television shows are also recording in and around London and there are Free tickets available for these shows. It is a great way to see some of your favourite artists perform live and all it will cost you is the price of your transport to the event. Some good places to check out on the web are attached Standing Room Only Audiences and BBC Tickets
The parks in and around London are know as the Lungs of London, once the hunting ground of the Kings and Queens are now open to the commoners such as you and I. London parks are fantastic places to chill out in a hectic day. One of the best things to do is to grab a picnic lunch and to relax and enjoy the mixture of people, cultures and the surroundings. I love St James Park, which rest near to Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park Corner, Piccadilly and Mayfair. Around St James Park is some of London's well known sites and so it makes a great resting point. When you are in the parks you often see the local mounted troops, such as the Household Cavalry or the Blues and Royals riding through the parks and it makes for a spectacular site.
The British Museum is a museum of human history and culture situated in London. Its collections, which number more than seven million objects, are amongst the largest and most comprehensive in the world and originate from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its beginning to the present.

The British Museum was established in 1753, largely based on the collections of the physician and scientist Sir Hans Slone. The museum first opened to the public on 15 January 1759 in Montagu House in Bloomsbury, on the site of the current museum building. Its expansion over the following two and a half centuries has resulted in the creation of several branch institutions, the first being the British Museum of South Kensington in 1887. Until 1997, when the current British Library building opened to the public, replacing the old British Museum Reading Room, the British Museum was unique in that it housed both a national museum of antiquities and a national library in the same building.

Admission to the British Museum is Free, but donations are welcomed. It is open daily from 10am to 5.30pm. Located at Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG.

Changing of the Guard
(below are my videos of the guard marching to Buckingham Palace)

The Changing of the Guard takes place in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace at around 11am. The St. James' Palace detachment of the Queen's Guard, led usually by the Corps of Drums, and bearing the Colour (if the Queen is in residence, then this will be the Queen's Colour; if she is not, then it is the Regimental Colour), marches along the Mall to Buckingham Palace, where the Buckingham Palace detachment has formed up to await their arrival. These two detachments are the Old Guard. Meanwhile the New Guard is forming up and are awaiting inspection by the Adjutant on the parade square at Wellington Barracks. The Band, having been inspected by the Adjutant, forms a circle to play music whilst the New Guard is inspected. The Guard provides a full Military Band consisting of no fewer than 35 musicians (usually, though not always, from one of the Guards regiments) accompanied by their Director of Music. When the New Guard is formed up, led by the Band, it marches across into the forecourt of Buckingham Palace. Once there, the New Guard advances towards the Old Guard in slow time and halts. The Old Guard presents arms, followed by the New Guard presenting arms. The Captains of the Guards march towards each other for the handing over of the Palace keys. The new reliefs are marched to the guardrooms of Buckingham Palace and St James' Palace where new sentries are posted.

Churchill War Rooms - Learn more about the man who inspired Britain's finest hour at the highly interactive and innovative Churchill Museum, the world's first major museum dedicated to life of the ‘greatest Briton’. Step back in time and discover the secret underground headquarters that were the nerve centre of Britain’s war effort. Located in the heart of Westminster, visitors can view this complex of historic rooms left as they were in 1945 while at the same time taking in the ground-breaking new Churchill Museum. Visitors receive a free sound guide to both the 30 historic rooms on display and the new museum

Also a interesting site to visit to understand Britains role in various wars through its history is the Imperial War Museum.

Horse Guards Parade is a large parade ground off Whitehall in central London. It was formerly the site of the Palace of Whitehall's tillyard, where tournaments were held in the time of Henry VIII. It was also the scene of the annual celebrations of the birthday of Queen Elizabeth I.

The area has been used for a variety of reviews, parades and other ceremonies since the 17th century. It was once the Headquarters of the British Army. The Duke of Wellington was based in Horseguards when he was Commander in Chief of the British Army. The current General Officer Commanding London District still occupies the same office and uses the same desk. Wellington also had living quarters within the building, which today are used as offices. It is the site of the annual ceremonies of Trooping the Colour, which commemorates the monarch’s official birthday, and Beating Retreat.

The Household Cavalry Museum, Horse Guards, Whitehall, London SW1A 2AX

Open daily (except 24th-26th December), 10am-6pm (March-Sept), 10am-5pm (Oct-Feb)
Adults: £6.00, Children (aged 5-16) , Family ticket (2 adults and 3children):£15.00

At the very heart of London,Covent Garden is an inspiring cultural and retail district which offers visitors a truly unique experience. From the specialty shops, to a huge choice of bars, restaurants and cafes, the Apple craft market and entertainment from street performers, there’s an enormous amount on offer; and with everything housed in and around the iconic Market Building and Piazzas, Covent Garden is an architectural masterpiece which attracts visitors from all over the world. Covent Garden is well sign posted and is on King Street, London, WC2. Times for Shops, Restaurants and Activities may vary

The London Eye is a must do for anyone visiting London for the first time or wanting to see views of the magnificent city from a different angle. Night or day The Merlin Entertainments London Eye offers spectacular views of London from high above the River Thames. Famous landmarks to be seen include Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey.

The London Eye Tickets vary dependant of if you wish to add on other options on to you ticket but start around 17.95GBP per person. The London Eye is located at County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7PB and operates most days from 10am to 9pm.

The London Transport Museum has undergone a £22 million refurbishment project dramatically improving the Museum’s Victorian Grade II listed building. The museum reopened in November 2007. The new galleries show the development of London and its transport systems, along with giving an insight into the lives of past commuters and transport workers over the past 200 years. It also looks at future transport projects and compares London's transport to five other major world cities: Delhi, New York, Paris, Shanghai, and Tokyo. A large area of Artwork used in promoting the London Transport system from the 1930’s to Today.

  Tower of London the original stark square fortress built by William the Conqueror in 1078. However, the tower as a whole is a complex of several buildings set within two concentric rings of defensive walls and moat. The tower's primary function was a fortress, a royal palace, and a prison (particularly for high status and royal prisoners, such as the Princes in the Tower and the future Queen Elizabeth I). This last use has led to the phrase “sent to the Tower" (meaning "imprisoned"). It has also served as a place of execution and torture, an armory, a treasury, a zoo, the Royal Mint, a public records office, and since 1303, the home of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. After the Tower closes its doors there is a special event each night called the Ceremony of the keys. This is free of charge but you must apply in writing using a SAE (with British Stamps or International Reply Coupon) and with at least four to five months notice of you requested date or dates. It is well worth applying to see this unique event and the amount of people is limited and this is why it is best write in advance. The address is: Ceremony of The Keys Office, Tower of London, London, EC3N 4AB, Great Britain. The Tower of London is Open Sunday to Monday from 10am to 5.30pm and Tuesday to Saturday from 9am to 5.30pm. To save money if you are visiting multiple Historic Royal Palaces (this includes Kensington Palace, Tower of London, Hampton Court, Kew Palace and The Banqueting House) I would buy a Membership to HRP which cost just a little less but includes admission, discounts, exclusive viewings and much more.

Afternoon Tea is as traditional as having Fish and Chips for any British person. I love enjoying a good Cream Tea, which is Tea and a Scone with cream, at the Wolseley. The atmosphere in the Wolseley shimmers with glamour and excitement. Iron chandeliers hang from vaulted ceilings like in a central European castle; the gilded chinoiserie of the wall panels and fittings adds fun and lightness; and the dining room is filled with a lively social energy. It’s a sought-after venue at any time of day: breakfast, brunch, lunch, tea or dinner. Waiting staff are warm and professional, and the tables are laid out with good linen and silverware, as you’d expect.
The Wolseley is situated at 160 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9EB

  Somerset House is a large building situated on the south side of the Strand in central London, overlooking the River Thames, just east of Waterloo Bridge. The central block of the Neoclassical building, the outstanding project of the architect Sir William Chambers, dates from 1776–96. It was extended by classical Victorian wings to north and south. A building of the same name was first built on the site more than two centuries earlier. This is a great area just to chill out or to enjoy their galleries of fine art. It is used in many recent movies and now during the summer months holds movie viewing and in the winter months actually has it's courtyard turned into a vast ice skating rink.

Westminster AbbeyThe sight of this years Royal Wedding of HRH Prince William of Wales and Miss Catherine Middleton. The Abbey is a must-see living pageant of British history. Every year Westminster Abbey welcomes over one million visitors who want to explore this wonderful 700-year-old building. Thousands more join the
Entrance to the Abbey is 18.00 GBP per person and Tours are an additional 3.00 GBP and personally are very well worth the extra for insight and also the additional areas not open to normal guests.
Tours are at 10am, 10.30am, 11am, 2pm and 2.30pm. The Abbey is located at Westminster, London, SW1P 3PA. I would allow at least 3 hours to view this magnificent building and historic site and listen out for times for services which if you have time are a wonderful experience.

Big Ben - The Houses of Parliament and the clock tower are among London's most iconic landmarks. The building is known as the Palace of Westminster and the clock tower is sometimes called St Stephen's Tower, although it is commonly referred to as Big Ben. Big Ben is actually the massive bell inside the clock tower, which weighs more than 13 tons (13,760 kg). The clock tower looks spectacular at night when the four clock faces are illuminated. Each dial is 23 feet square (49.15 square metres) Big Ben's minute hands are 14 feet long (4.26 metres) The figures on the face of Big Ben are two feet high (0.6 metres) A special light above the clock faces is also illuminated, letting the public know when parliament is in session. Big Ben's timekeeping is strictly regulated by a stack of coins placed on the huge pendulum. Big Ben has rarely stopped. Even after a bomb destroyed the Commons chamber during the Second World War, the clock tower survived and Big Ben continued to strike the hours. The chimes of Big Ben were first broadcast by the BBC on 31 December 1923, a tradition that continues to this day. Unfortunately Big Ben Tours are only open to UK Residents but you can view it from the outside and get your photos taken by this iconic landmark.

The Houses of Parliament - UK residents and overseas visitors may watch debates for free on current issues or proposed new laws in both Houses by visiting the public galleries. The galleries are open to the public when the Houses are sitting (meeting), which is from Monday to Thursday and on Sitting Fridays, with differing times for each House. The galleries are not open during recess, when neither House is sitting.

The Tate Modern in London is Britain’s national museum of international modern art and is, with Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool, Tate St Ives, and Tate Online, part of the group now known simply as Tate.

When the gallery opened in 2000, the collections were not displayed in chronological order but were rather arranged thematically into four broad groups: 'History/Memory/Society'; 'Nude/Action/Body'; 'Landscape/Matter/Environment'; and 'Still Life/Object/Real Life'. This was ostensibly because a chronological survey of the story of modern art along the lines of the Museum of Modern Art in New York would expose the large gaps in the collections, the result of the Tate's conservative acquisitions policy for the first half of the 20th century. The first rehang at Tate Modern opened in May 2006. It eschewed the thematic groupings in favour of focusing on pivotal moments of twentieth-century art,with further spaces allocated on levels 3 and 5 for shorter exhibitions. Entrance to the Tate Modern is Free with exception to some visiting exhibits. Opening hours are from 10am to 6pm sharp. Make sure if you want something from the gift shop you visit this well before closing. The Tate is located on Bankside, London, SE1 9TG.

The London Film Museum - London's South Bank buzzes with activity and is now home to another fine museum. The London Film Museum, located in the hallowed corridors and offices of London's old County Hall, is one of London's newest and truly fascinating museums. It promotes all aspects of movie making in the UK and is an amazing experience that will appeal to children and adults alike. British films are explored through the various genres of comedy, horror, social realism, period drama, sci-fi and fantasy and, of course, musicals. The exhibition features scripts, sound tracks, photographs, costumes, props and models alongside replica sets from Star Wars and the popular Sherlock Holmes series. Also on display is the Tardis from Dr Who, the motorbike ridden by Judge Dredd, chess pieces from Alice in Wonderland, a king-sized settee from The Borrowers, Superman's costume and the Pillar of Souls from Hellraiser 3.

Above is London's National Gallery which displays Western European painting from about1250-1900. You'll love seeing work by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Gainsborough, Turner, Renoir, Cezanne and Van Gogh. Guided tours are given daily, leaving from the Sainsbury wing information desk, at various times and are free. The Gallery is open daily from 10am to 6pm.

St Paul's Cathedral is the Anglican cathedral on Ludgate Hill, in the City of London, and the seat of the Bishop of London. The present building dates from the 17th century and is generally reckoned to be London's fifth St Paul's Cathedral, not counting every major medieval reconstruction as a new cathedral. The cathedral sits on the highest point of the City of London, which originated as the Roman trading post of Londinium situated on the River Thames. The cathedral is one of London's most visited sights. Entrance to St. Pauls is 16.50GBP per person. Tours are at 10.45am, 11.15am, 1.30pm and 2pm.
St. Pauls is located at London, EC4M 8AD.



Windsor Castle, the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world, is one of the official residences of Her Majesty The Queen. The Castle's dramatic site encapsulates 900 years of British history. It covers an area of 26 acres and contains, as well as a royal palace, a magnificent chapel and the homes and workplaces of a large number of people.

This is where the Royal Family calls home during most weekends and has been the site of Weddings of the Windsor family and other historic ceremonies. It is steeped in history and personally I would travel here than looking around Buckingham Palace as it is my best loved Palace and I lived near by for many years and loved seeing the Royal family in and around Windsor and it's wonderful parks and grounds

Hampton Court Palace is a royal palace in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames in south west London; it has not been lived in by the British royal family since the 18th century. The palace is located 11.7 miles (18.8 km) south west of Charing Cross and upstream of Central London on the River Thames. It was originally built for Cardinal Wolsey, a favorite of King Henry VIII, circa 1514; in 1529, as Wolsey fell from favor, the palace was passed to the King, who enlarged it.

The following century, William III's massive rebuilding and expansion project intended to rival Versailles was begun.[Work halted in 1694, leaving the palace in two distinct contrasting architectural styles, domestic Tudor and Baroque. While the palace's styles are an accident of fate, a unity exists due to the use of pink bricks and an, albeit vague, symmetrical balancing of successive low wings.
Hampton Court is open daily from 10am to 6pm but please check for events at Hampton Court and surrounding areas which may cause early closing. Please see my tip on visiting Historic Royal Palaces at the Tower of London section.

Kew Gardens in London is a world heritage site located in 121 hectares of stunning vistas and 6 magnificent glasshouses set in a beautiful landscape beside the river Thames between Richmond and Kew.

This once royal residence represents nearly 250 years of historical gardens. It is home to a remarkable collection of over 30,000 types of plants from all over the world that range from the beautiful to the peculiar. Kew offers a wonderful day out for all, whether garden, heritage or botanically inclined.
Admission is 14:50 GBP for adults and free for children (Under 16).
Nearest Tube is Kew Gardens