London’s open

Escape to the city and enjoy a weekend in the capital

London

by Zoe Bishop |

See the sights

See the sights

Iconic landmarks are always top of the list, from The Shard and Big Ben to The Tower of London and London Bridge. A day exploring doesn’t need to cost the earth, as many of the museums and galleries are free to enter, including the V&A, Tate Modern, Science Museum and the Natural History Museum – where you can see the iconic dinosaurs. However, it’s not all history and architecture – for something more fun, hit the Thames on a river boat cruise (Thamesriversightseeing.com) from just £8.75 per person, or take an 80-minute high-powered speed boat adventure along the water from £54.95 for an adult with Thamesrockets.com. Alternatively, you can glide high on an Emirates Air Line cable car (£8 per person; Emiratesairline.gttix.com), which offers stunning views of the city and departs every 30 seconds from the Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks. For something a little different, why not enjoy a game of crazy golf at Swingers, from just £11 a game (Swingers.club) Meanwhile, a hop-on-and-off bus tour is a great way to not only see the sights, but get around the city. London Hop-On Hop-Off tour costs from £30 per person (for 24 hrs) with City-sightseeing.com.

Family time

If you head down to London’s South Bank you’ll find an array of family friendly attractions. There’s the hilarious Shrek Adventure (adult tickets from £24 each, book at Shreksadventure.com/London) an entertaining interactive walk-through experience. You can explore the land of Far Far Away with live shows, a visit to Shrek’s swamp, a stop at the Poison Apple Pub and a flying 4D bus tour, before finishing with a character meet and greet– including Shrek himself. Tie in a ride on the iconic London Eye and see the capital city from above, (adult tickets from £27 each, book at Londoneye.com) or explore Sea Life London Aquarium (adult tickets from £27 each, book at Visitsealife.com). For those that love a fright, the London Dungeon (adult tickets from £27 each, book at Thedungeons.com/London) is one of the best. Once inside, you will journey through London’s scary past with a Tyrant Boat Ride, The Torture Chamber, Jack the Ripper’s local pub and more!

Take in a show

Take in a show

With the West End back up and running and many of its iconic shows returning to the stages and theatres, you can pick from musicals, plays, opera and ballet. Some of the newest shows include Moulin Rouge, Cinderella, Jersey Boys and Frozen. Harry Potter And The Cursed Child is one for Potterheads, while Magic Goes Wrong is a hilarious comedy that’s sure to be a hit. If you’re after a party atmosphere, then head to the O2 for Mamma Mia! The Party. You’ll be transported to a Greek taverna to enjoy an amazing feast of speciality food, all while playing your own part in this interactive, immersive theatre experience. The cast sing, dance, and entertain the room with ABBA’s smash hits. Tickets cost from £99 per person for a four-hour experience, including a four-course meal and welcome drinks. Book online at Mammamiatheparty.co.uk.

Dining out

Sabine

If you enjoy cocktails with a side of drama, then the Alchemist on St Martin’s Lane, Covent Garden (Thealchemist.uk.com) offers a tasty menu and drinks with a difference. Enjoy mixing your own cocktails with fun, explosive results. Venture up above the skyline to bar Sabine (Sabinelondon.co.uk) and enjoy a year-round garden oasis with views over St Paul’s Cathedral. Why not lunch in luxurious surroundings at the Ivy Market Grill on Henrietta Street in Covent Garden? Or, the buzz place for 2022 is the Brasserie of Light at Oxford Street’s Selfridges (Brasserie-of-light.co.uk). It has beautiful décor and a delicious menu for breakfast, lunch or dinner – the Miso Black Cod is delish! The Swan restaurant (SwanLondon.co.uk) situated next to Shakespeare’s Globe serves up delicious food and views of the river. Order the Romeo & Juliet Afternoon Tea (from £42) to enjoy finger sandwiches, scones, and elegant pastries presented on beautiful themed crockery.

Shopping

Shopping

Whether you’re looking for vintage buys, designer style, or just browsing, London has it all. Oxford Street is famous for Selfridges and high-street stores, while on Regent Street you’ll find Hamley’s toy store and the world’s coolest department store Liberty is also nearby. Bond Street and Mayfair are the places to go for some extravagant retail therapy and celeb spotting, while Carnaby Street is home to independent boutiques and heritage brands like Dr Martens. Pretty Covent Garden is central for hip fashion shops, handmade jewellery, arts and crafts, and great street entertainment.

Where to stay

Based in the heart of east London, the beautiful and contemporary Canopy by Hilton hotel is close to Tower Bridge, St Paul’s Cathedral and Borough Market, and is within walking distance of the Tube. The hotel features a stunning restaurant, fitness studio, private dining, and open-plan café, as well as complementary bikes to explore the city. Prices start from £224 per night, for two, including breakfast. Visit Hilton.com/en/canopy to book.

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