Whether you’re staying at the Park Grand London Kensington or elsewhere it makes sense to do and see as much as possible while you’re in London. If you have brought children with you they too will want to experience the history of London and enjoy some of the adventurous attractions and events on offer throughout the city.
See the Lions at London zoo and watch the changing of the guard; take in one of the many West End shows or even take a trip to the top of The Shard. There are things to do in London down almost every street and we’ve selected just five of the very best for you to consider.
Don’t forget too to check out some of the best travel deals for you and your family. Getting around London is easy but it can be expensive. Find the best deals among the details of your London hotels special offers and get started. And don’t forget to grab a copy of Visit London in order to find the best parks, eateries and green spaces for the much-needed respite from a busy day of sightseeing.
1. The Tower of London
One of the most iconic of the historic royal palaces awaits the intrepid visitor. Beneath the ramparts of the chapel of St Peter ad Vincula within the palace grounds are the bodies of some of those who were executed at Tower Hill, including Henry VIII’s second wife Anne Boleyn. Visit the Traitor’s Gate: the infamous entrance to the Tower for those who had fallen out of favour with the ruling monarch and who reached the steps of the Tower to face their fate.
Visit the old dungeons and learn how prisoners of the State were imprisoned and treated. Many of the Tower of London’s cells include the marks of various prisoners (some famous) who were imprisoned there for crimes against the State; the etchings and carvings of the condemned date from between the 1530 and 1670.
2. Bus tours
If you find yourself with itchy feet why not take a bus around London’s city and environs? Take a ride on an actual London bus and rest your feet. If you get an Oyster card you can hop on and off the bus at various locations including the Park Grand London Kensington.
Public transport in London is the best in the country so you will never find yourself struggling for a return journey. The No.11 is a worthwhile route to take. It travels through the city of London and takes in Trafalgar Square, Whitehall, St Pauls and the Palace of Westminster.
A ride on a London bus is cheaper than a tour bus but if you fancy listening to a commentary of where you are then head for a tour operator like Big Bus Tours. The operators sightseeing tours are exceptionally popular. Here you can get on and off the bus as you please, explore the area, sample an Indian afternoon tea and then wait at the Big Bus Tour bus stop for another one to come along and take you to your next destination.
3 River cruise
Tired of dry land? Cruise along the river Thames with one of the many tour operators located on Victoria Embankment. You may want to try a City Cruises boat, which is one of the favourites listed in London hotels special offers.
This type of cruise takes you along the Thames to various stops where you can alight and explore. It stops at piers at Westminster, London Eye, Tower of London and Greenwich. In between the stops you can listen to a guided explanation of the places you pass. Take in the old OXO building, Shakespeare’s Globe theatre and even the old execution dock at Wapping where pirates were brought to be hanged in front of crowds of onlookers.
Once at Greenwich you are free to walk around the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College, once a favourite place of Admiral Nelson and home to the Painted Hall: the largest painted interior in Europe. If you want to travel a little further away from the river you will find the Royal Observatory, from where navigation and astronomy were born and where the Greenwich Meriden is found.
4 Mail train
How about a trip underground? London is built on clay which means that building beneath the city was relatively easy to do. Put together, all of London’s tube network would measure almost 250 miles. But that isn’t even including the Royal Family’s secret Tube line to Downing Street or Crossrail or even the tunnels still used by the Royal Mail postal service.
Take a trip down into the Mail Rail network with a 15-minute journey beneath London’s streets. Ride a short distance of track in a special narrow gauge railway train just as the postmen of yesteryear used to do. Nowadays the service is automated but the Postal Museum has preserved part of the 100-year-old post room in order to display how things would have been done back then.
5 HMS Belfast
Let your imagination run away with you as you step on board the HMS Belfast. The best surviving example of a war ship from the Second World War, Belfast will take you back in time to the frozen seas of the Arctic circle and tempestuous North Sea engagements with Nazi’s Germany’s northern fleet. Discover all of her nine decks full of memorabilia from her time during the war and imagine what it must have felt like to have been below decks during the first moments of the bombardment of the Normandy beaches.
Belfast was of its time the most advanced warship ever built. It was split apart by enemy action during the War but was rebuilt and drafted into service just in time for D-Day. Following her heroic efforts she was later moored in London prior to being scrapped but, on the orders of Winston Churchill, was preserved for ever more.