City guide: London, United Kingdom | Private jet charter
London needs no introduction: the capital city of the United Kingdom is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. Founded by the Romans and boasting a history of over 2000 years, London is the largest metropolis in Western Europe with a population of 9.3 million. Alongside its unique historical offerings and rich architectural legacy, London’s eclectic cultural life is world-renowned. It attracts international investors who not only make London their home but who are also leading the charge in the city’s fintech, gastronomic, cultural, luxury real estate and hospitality sectors. London is home to the world’s largest financial centre and is well served by an efficient underground and taxi system. Here are 5 top London attractions to visit during your stay in the UK capital.
Coca Cola London Eye
For outstanding views of London – and beyond into neighbouring counties on a clear day – the Coca Cola London Eye (aka the Big White Wheel on the South Bank) is a must-see. This beautiful 135m-high London icon has been in operation for 20 years and has 32 fabulous pods that make one revolution in around 30 minutes. Launched in 2000 as a temporary installation, this award-winning ride has since been enjoyed by millions, and is now a permanent structure – and the focal point for London’s New Year’s Eve Celebrations. We recommend buying tickets in advance online and choose the option of a fast-track ticket – especially good value if you want to avoid the lengthy queues.
Hop On Hop Off London Sightseeing Bus
One of the best and easiest ways to see London’s major tourist sites – especially if you’re only in the capital a few days – is on the top deck of a fabulous hop-on hop-off tourist bus. Buy a 24-hour ticket, and you’ll be taken to over 100 stops near the capital’s major tourist attractions, including Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, the Houses of Parliament, Piccadilly Circus, Hyde Park and many more. Tickets start from £29 per person (as of January 2020). The fare also includes three 90-minute walking tours and a Thames hop-on hop-off cruise, and there is audio commentary in 11 different languages along each route. Explore London stress-free – and at your own pace on the red double-decker.
Warner Bros Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter
Although located just outside of London, the Warner Bros Studio Tour is an essential attraction for any self-respecting Harry Potter fan. Walk in the footsteps of the wand-carrying wizard and discover the Great Hall, Forbidden Forest and Diagon alley sets in all their magical glory. Props and costumes from all the Harry Potter movies are here on display, and currently, the sets are still decorated for Hogwarts in the Snow – replete with ‘snow’, Christmas decorations and more. To get to the Warner Bros Studio take the train from London’s Euston station to Watford Junction where shuttle buses run you to the studios in Leavesden. If you’re driving to the studios, head for the A405 via junctions 5 or 6 on the M1. Or via Junctions 19 and 20 of the M25.
London’s South Bank
The revival of London’s South Bank entertainment district has been astonishing, thanks muchly to the efforts of Jude Kelly – former artistic director of the South Bank Centre –whose visionary leadership helped to create a vibrant cultural quarter on this 17-acre site. Home to the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery, it’s the UK’s largest art centre. The South Bank’s location – literally on the south bank of the River Thames – has beautiful riverside walkways, shops and restaurants to explore. As well as SEA LIFE London, the London Eye, Shrek’s Adventure!, the famous Underbelly Festival, MGNA Thames Clippers and many superb hotels. Both London Marriott County Hall and Sea Containers London offer beautiful views of the Thames and the city.
Westminster Abbey is the coronation church of England and has witnessed the coronation – and the funerals – of the UK’s Monarchs since 1066. Many famous people are buried in the Abbey including Isaac Newton and Charles Dickens. Princess Diana was married here.
An audio guide is included with entry and usually takes about an hour. The guide is available in 11 languages, and noted thespian Jeremy Irons reads the English version. Visit the latest attraction in the Abbey – the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries – located some 52 feet above the Abbey floor. Start at the Weston Tower and enjoy wonderful views of the medieval chapter house and the Palace as you climb. For those with reduced mobility, a lift is available.
Getting Around London
London is served by four main airports: London Gatwick (LGW), London Heathrow (LHR), London Luton (LTN) and London Stansted (LSD). All airports have fast train services directly to the centre of the capital, as well as coach connections. Taxi services are plentiful as well as Uber which still operates throughout London pending its recent appeal. Once in London, taxis are the most comfortable way to travel around the capital. The London Underground, aka the Tube, has a network of 250 miles serving 270 stations across the city. Many of London’s tourists’ hotspots such as Leicester Square, Covent Garden, Camden and the South Bank are best navigated on foot.
Best Time to Visit London
London is an iconic year-round destination whatever the weather and whatever the season. Yes, you’ll need layers, and you’ll most certainly need a raincoat and umbrella – even in summer. But whatever the time of year, London always has an indoor or outdoor attraction and many festivals to enjoy: January is Chinese New Year when Soho gets the dragon treatment as well as New Year’s Day Parade. And winter sees London’s ice rinks emerge, from the South Bank to the Natural History Museum. As winter segues into Spring the cherry blossom in London’s parks is a welcome backdrop to April’s London Marathon, while summer heralds the arrival of music festivals, Pride and this year several UEFA Euro 2000 football matches. Fashionistas head to London for London Fashion Week in September, while celluloid is celebrated in the BFI London Film Festival in October. November and December are the time to get a hot toddy in a traditional London pub before visiting galleries and museums or Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park before the spectacular NYE Fireworks on the South Bank.
Why Visit London
The United Kingdom capital is Europe’s most popular city break destination – with good reason. Enjoy a gastronomic smorgasbord of Michelin-starred restaurants, funky slow food markets, luxury hotels and a nightlife to rival New York. Thanks to its 2,000 years of history, London’s architecture spans Roman remains to the cutting-edge design of the Shard. Transport links are excellent, and London’s black cabs always know where they are going! Expect world-class museums and concert halls, alongside four main airports that serve the metropolis in under an hour. The best capital in Europe awaits!
For all your private jet charter requirements to and from London contact us today.