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All of London is within reach from The Arch
London offers an incredible mix of culture, education and entertainment, all tied up within its rich and intriguing history.
Some of the world’s finest attractions are literally on your doorstep, especially with a stay at the Arch Hotel London. You only have to step outside to discover the dramatic Marble Arch and the beauty of Hyde Park. A short taxi journey, bus ride or underground trip can deliver you to many of the capital’s other must-see locations.
Here is a brief guide to just some of London’s highlights.
Shopping in London
With so many areas of London offering excellent retail therapy locations, you’ll certainly be spoilt for choice. From high end boutiques and brands in Bond Street and Kensington to the giant flagship stores offered on Oxford Street, there’s something for everyone.
Portobello Road is the world’s largest antiques market and attracts visitors from all over the world. A must for collectors or those in search of whimsy, you can spend hours browsing the hundreds of stalls selling all manner of extraordinary antiques and collectibles.
For those seeking a more bohemian experience, Camden Lock with its unique market and quirky shops offers a glimpse into the alternative London culture.
Covent Garden area
The central Covent Garden area is notable for being home to the Royal Opera House with its distinctive arches, as well as to the colourful flower market. A popular place for eating out and a key part of Theatreland, the bustling square at Covent Garden is popular with street performers.
Watch out for celebrities around the many almost hidden stage doors, or outside a film premier at the large Leicester Square cinemas. China Town is a must for authentic Chinese and Asian cuisine; with the atmosphere truly fizzing during Chinese New Year, when the place comes alive with vibrant celebrations.
The West End theatres
Covering much of Covent Garden and the surrounding areas, London’s West End offers some of the best productions in the UK, and even the world. With theatres of all sizes, here you can watch large musical extravaganzas, popular plays and smaller scale independent productions.
Whatever you fancy, Theatreland has something for you. For guaranteed seats, book through the theatre of your choice, or if you can be more flexible visit one of the approved discount ticket booths for a great deal.
Tower Bridge, Tower of London and the Shard
The Thames offers a host of attractions, including three of London’s top places of interest, which are all within a few minutes’ walk of each other.
Scale the heights of the Shard; a breath-taking experience, offering the highest view of London. On a clear day you can see all the way to the sea! Don’t fear the stairs though, as the top floors are reached by a super- fast lift, taking you to the top in mere seconds. While you’re enjoying the view why not stop for a bite to eat at one of the upper floors’ exquisite restaurants.
The iconic Tower Bridge is to the east of the Shard, while London Bridge is very close by. Just across the river you’ll discover the macabre history of the infamous Tower of London; a hugely popular tourist attraction where you can learn all about Henry VIII and explore his vast fortress.
Offering high quality shopping and dining, the areas of Kensington and nearby Chelsea are renowned for their upmarket appeal. Kensington High Street provides boutique shopping, alongside larger brand stores.
For a quiet stroll, the picturesque Kensington Gardens offer beautiful green space. Originally the private gardens of Kensington Palace; visitors today can view the state rooms of this official Royal residence.
The nearby Royal Albert Hall is famous for putting on outstanding concerts from esteemed performers. In addition there are several contemporary galleries in the area for more cultural visits.
One could not mention Chelsea without suggesting the inimitable RHS Chelsea Flower Show which takes place annually in May. The place to be seen for horticulture lovers, the show brings together the best in cutting-edge garden design and is the largest and most prestigious of its kind.
Family friendly activities
As such a large city, London has plenty to offer families. Plus, excellent transport links make travelling around the capital a breeze.
When the sun is shining, London Zoo offers animal-themed fun for all the family. For sightseeing with a difference why not take a river cruise – the speed boat river tours come highly recommended for thrill seekers and those looking for the James Bond experience. To view London at a slower pace, the London Eye provides great views across the city.
Museums and indoor attractions are not hard to find in London either; Madame Tusseuds, London Aquarium, the Natural History Museum and the British Museum can all provide a day of entertainment – and perhaps some education too!
Saturated in history – you won’t need to go far if you want to discover more about London’s past.
With so many ancient building surrounding you, one need only look up to view some of London’s history. There are myriad cathedrals, historic churches and notable buildings that can be explored. Popular attractions include St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace.
There are many street booths offering guided history walks – and for those seeking the spooky – ghost tours. The London Dungeon is a creepy experience illustrating the capital’s darker past – great fun but not for the faint hearted.
Getting around London
Travelling around London couldn’t be simpler. The London Underground provides a reliable transport system and there are several stops within a few minutes’ walk of The Arch Hotel; Marble Arch on the Central line being the closest.
With several ticket options; visitors spending more than a few days in the capital should consider purchasing an Oyster card. This will also give you freedom of the bus network and can easily be topped up at ticket machines. More information can be found on the Transport for London website.
Over ground, London has an excellent bus network, so look out for the traditional red buses and licenced black cabs. For those confident on two wheels, the Santander Cycles – London’s cycle hire scheme nicknamed ‘Boris Bikes’ – means that bicycles can be hired easily for a minimal cost, from docking stations across the city.