¿Cómo llegar a Abbey Road en Londres?

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¿Cómo llegar a Abbey Road en Londres?

Probablemente es el cruce peatonal más famoso del mundo, Abbey Road fue traído a la atención popular cuando se convirtió en la localidad para la sesión fotográfica de la portada del último álbum de Los Beatles: Abbey Road. Para muchos visitantes a Londres, Abbey Road es una visita fundamental y recrear la famosa fotografía de Paul, George, John y Ringo ha sido un ejercicio popular durante décadas.

Originalmente, Abbey Road era simplemente otra vía que atravesaba el noroeste de Londres y era utilizada principalmente por los visitantes que se dirigían hacia Lord Cricket Ground. Pero en 1969, Abbey Road fue cambiada para siempre cuando se utilizó una fotografía de los Beatles cruzando esta calle (que por casualidad se encontraba justamente fuera del estudio donde se grabó el álbum) como la portada de su álbum con el mismo nombre.

 

Guía de donde los Beatles vivieron en Londres - Ver las casa en donde los Beatles vivieron y trabajaron a lo largo de su estancia en Londres.

Vista Auto- guiada del Londres de los Beatles - Una excursión de medio día que te llevará a través de Londres para ver lugares como Apple Record Headquarters, donde los Beatles interpretaron en vivo por última vez, y el Pabellón de Londres, donde 4 de sus 5 películas se estrenaron. Para obtener más consejos sobre cómo ahorrar dinero en su visita a Londres, asegúrate de leer nuestra Guía de Londres con un presupuesto.

 

¿Cómo llegar a Abbey Road en Londres?

La estación de metro más cercana a Abbey Road es St. John’s Wood. De St. John’s Wood diríjete hacia abajo a Grove End Road y luego cruza a la derecha a Abbey Road. Los Estudios – y el cruce peatonal – es una caminata de diez minutos a lo largo de la calle. Utiliza este mapa de Google para obtener las direcciones para llegar al cruce peatonal Abbey Road. También puedes tomar las rutas de autobuses 139 y 189.

How to reach the Abbey Road Crosswalk

Transmisión En Vivo:

El paso peatonal de cebra de Abbey Road es vigilado por cámaras las 24 horas que se transmiten en vivo en este sitio web: http://www.abbeyroad.com/crossing. Google también ha producido un recorrido virtual por el paso de peatones y Apple Studios.

Consejo: Si eres un gran fan de los Beatles, tu puedes estar interesado en the Beatles Walking Tour (excursión a pie). Los Fans de los Beatles que tienen el London Pass pueden obtener una bolsa de golosinas gratis con cualquier compra de £ 5 o más en la tienda de los Beatles.

El cruce presentado en la portada del álbum es lo que se conoce como un cruce de cebra, ósea un tipo de cruce de peatones conocido por su patrón distintivo de rayas oscuras y claras sobre el camino que normalmente da prioridad de paso a los peatones sobre el tráfico (¡haciendo más fácil para aquellos que quieren recrear la fabulosa portada del álbum!). El cruce aquí llegó a ser tan bien conocido, y un punto turístico tan importante que en el 2010 se le dio a este tramo de Abbey Road el estatus de Grado II como edificio protegido por el Patrimonio Inglés. Esto significa que el paso peatonal de cebra aquí, ahora tiene protección legal como un lugar de importancia histórica y no puede ser destruido o modificado. Inusualmente, el paso peatonal de cebra es pintado cada tres meses para mantenerlo en buena forma ¡para las millones de fotografías que se toman aquí cada año!

La señal de tráfico de Abbey Road fue colocada tradicionalmente a la altura y en la ubicación habitual, al alcance del público. Esto significó que el signo fue repetidamente desfigurado y removido a lo largo de décadas. Hoy en día el signo se coloca deliberadamente más alto de lo normal para evitar esto. Sin embargo, la puerta principal que rodea los estudios Abbey Road está todavía cubierta de grafitis dejados por los visitantes de todo el mundo, en busca de dejar una huella de su visita a este lugar de grabación mundialmente conocido.

Hoy en día, el estudio de música en donde los Beatles grabaron este disco, es sinónimo de no sólo los propios Beatles, si no de varias leyendas de la música que han grabado en los estudios Abbey Road, propiedad de EMI y basados en el número 3 de Abbey Road. La lista de los que han grabado allí es bastante amplia, así que aquí hay una pequeña lista de algunos de los nombres más conocidos que han adornado los estudios en los últimos años: Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd, James Blunt, Queen, Lady Gaga, Miley cyrus, U2, Stevie Wonder, Ella Fitzgerald, Mary J. Blidge, Duran Duran, Oasis, Kylie Minogue, y Green Day.

 

Tours de los Beatles en Londres

Hay varias maneras de ver los sitios en Londres asociados a los Beatles. Aquí hay dos maneras:

  • Viator ofrece varias visitas temáticas de los Beatles y el rock n roll.
  • Richard Porter – este chico realmente ama a los Beatles y ofrece varias visitas temáticas diferentes de los Beatles varios días a la semana.

Una Guía a Londres con un presupuesto

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Una Guía a Londres con un presupuesto.

Londres es caro para los residentes y turistas por igual. Pero armados con los conocimientos adecuados, ¡tu viaje a Londres no tiene por qué quebrar el banco! Obviamente, la mejor manera de ver y disfrutar de Londres es venir con nuestro famoso Pay what you like tour (“Tour paga lo que quieras”). Una vez que hayas hecho esto, tenemos algunos consejos y trucos que te ayudarán a sacar el máximo provecho de tu tiempo en la ciudad. Así que sigue leyendo para averiguar cómo obtener el máximo por tu libra con nuestra Guía a Londres con un presupuesto.

Encontrar Descuentos Antes de llegar

Itinerarios con un presupuesto

Ahorre en Viajes a Londres y sus alrededores

Ahorre en excursiones

Ahorre en Hoteles y Alojamiento

Museos gratis y Otras Atracciones

Comer con un presupuesto

Descuento en Compras

Descuento en Entradas para el teatro

Encontrar el mejor tipo de cambio de moneda

Encontrar Descuentos Antes de llegar

El London Pass te puede ahorrar mucho dinero, dependiendo de los lugares que desees visitar. Una vez que tengas una guía aproximada de las atracciones que vas a explorar, echar un vistazo a su página web para verificar si tu entrada podría ser cubierta con una de sus tarjetas. No es para todo el mundo, pero potencialmente podrías ahorrar más de £ 100.00 si tus principales lugares de interés están en su lista! Echa un vistazo a nuestro post sobre el London Pass para más información.

Otros sitios interesantes a considerar son Travelzoo, Groupon, Discount London y Wowcher, los cuales ofrecen ofertas y descuentos similares. Además, algunas de las atracciones más populares de Londres tienen una oferta de 2×1 de la que puedes tomar ventaja fácilmente durante tu visita. Echa un vistazo a nuestro post sobre ofertas 2×1 para obtener el precio más bajo posible!

Ahorre en el Viaje a Londres y sus alrededores

No importa a qué aeropuerto te dirijas, o en donde te hospedes, siempre tendrás opciones cuando se trata de viajar a la ciudad. Echa un vistazo a nuestras guías paso a paso sobre cómo llegar a/desde Heathrow o a/desde Stansted si llegas en avión. La mayoría de los aeropuertos ofrecen boletos para hacer conexiones en tren y National Express por lo general tiene los servicios de autocares que van desde cada aeropuerto. Y, por supuesto, ¡siempre existe la opción de un taxi negro! Si llegas a Londres después de un largo vuelo internacional, aprende como evitar el jet lag con esas sugerencias.

Hay muchas maneras diferentes de explorar los alrededores de la ciudad misma. Londres tiene excelente transporte público. Una red masiva de Metro, servicios de trenes sobre la superficie, los autobuses, así como barcos lo cual significa que ¡todo Londres es accesible para todo el mundo! Aquí están algunos de nuestros artículos:

 

 

 Itinerarios dentro de un presupuesto.

También hemos reunido varios ejemplos de itinerarios que son muy amigables para tu cuenta bancaria. Cada uno da ideas valiosas para varios días. Londres no tiene por qué ser caro.

Cosas a incluir en cualquier itinerario:

 

 

Ahorrar en los tours.

Todos los tours ofrecidos por Free Tours by Foot son pague-lo-que-desee y son una manera extraordinaria de visitar Londres con un presupuesto. También ofrecemos varias excursiones autoguiadas a pie y excursiones autoguiadas en autobús.

 

Ahorra en Alojamiento

Algunos de los hoteles más caros del mundo se encuentran aquí en Londres. Pero eso no significa que no hay ¡lugares más accesibles también! En general, cuanto más cerca esté del centro de la ciudad, más caro es el precio de la habitación. Así que pon mucha atención en el mapa al elegir tu alojamiento. Por supuesto, debes tratar de reservar en sitios como LateRooms.com. Además los hoteles no son la única opción- Londres tiene una amplia variedad de hostales a bajo costo, y con buena ubicación central para elegir, incluyendo St. Christophers, Generator Hostels y YHA.

 

Otras formas de ahorrar en alojamiento incluyen:

  • Usando un cupón – Al igual que lo anterior, manteniendo tu atención en los sitios de cupones puedes a menudo conseguir ¡un gran descuento para tu estancia en un hotel!
  • Llamando directamente al hotel – Si puedes encontrar un buen precio en los sitios web de viajes como Expedia, LastMinute o Priceline, siempre vale la pena llamar al hotel para hacerles saber. La mayoría estará más que dispuesto a igualar la oferta que encontraste en línea… ¡todo lo que tienes que hacer es preguntar!
  • Revisar Roomorama y AirBnB – Habitaciones y pisos ofrecidos por los londinenses mismos, a veces puedes conseguir un lugar en donde alojarte tan barato como £25 la noche!

 

Museos gratis y Otras Atracciones

Londres es conocida por nuestros museos y galerías gratuitos. ¡Es posible obtener una dosis de cultura sin tener que pagar un solo centavo también! No importa cuáles son tus intereses, hay un museo gratuito listo para tu visita. Para guías sobre adónde ir, echa un vistazo a algunas de nuestras recomendaciones:

 

Museos gratuitos en Londres:

 

Atracciones y actividades gratis en Londres:

Atracciones No del todo gratis:

 

Comer dentro de tu presupuesto

Londres tiene muchos buenos restaurantes que son deliciosos y accesibles. Es fácil encontrar cocina de alta calidad de todo el mundo, pero asegurate de probar algunos platos británicos clásicos antes de salir de Londres. Puedes estar interesado en una tarjeta Tastecard de Londres, que ofrece hasta un 50% en cenas y lugares finos.

Éstos son algunos de nuestros restaurantes favoritos, bares y artículos alimenticios:

 

Descuento en Compras

Londres es muy conocida por sus tiendas de moda, pero muchas veces son las marcas más populares y menos amigables para nuestro presupuesto. Para ver una variedad de lo que Londres tiene para ofrecer, echa un vistazo a nuestro post de las mejores tiendas de la ciudad. Aunque no es barato, Harrods, la tienda por departamentos más famosa en el Reino Unido, también merece una visita, aunque sólo para ir a mirar escaparates.

 

Descuentos en entradas para el Teatro

West End de Londres es un destino para los amantes del teatro de todo el mundo. ¡Pero las actuaciones de clase mundial no siempre vienen con precios de clase mundial! Es posible conseguir un buen precio en entradas para el teatro, así que echa un vistazo a nuestro post de los mejores consejos y trucos.

 

Encontrar la mejor tarifa de Cambio de moneda

Aunque el cambio de tu dinero en el aeropuerto puede ser conveniente, tu terminaras pagando más en tasas de conversión allí que en cualquier otro lugar. Los únicos dos lugares en Londres que te conseguirán la mejor tarifa sin cobros de conversión son las Oficinas de Correos del Reino Unido y la Oficina de Cambio de Marks & Spencer, una cadena de tiendas de confianza en el Reino Unido, que cambia tu dinero por la mejor tarifa y sin gastos de conversión. Echa un vistazo a nuestro post en el blog sobre el intercambio de moneda extranjera en el Reino Unido para obtener una guía detallada. En lo que respecta a dinero, por favor recuerde que la propina es bastante estándar ahora en el Reino Unido.

Visita gratuita a la Abadía de Westminster y la Catedral de St. Paul

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Visita gratuita a la Abadía de Westminster y la Catedral de St. Paul

London st. PaulsLas iglesias no son siempre un lugar de descanso, refugio o escape – a veces son una atracción turística y cuesta £ 18 la entrada. Aunque las cuotas de admisión permiten el mantenimiento y que el excelente servicio continúe, no está siempre al alcance del presupuesto de los viajeros. El Modelo de recorrido Paga-lo-que-quieras y el blog de Londres fueron creados para que tu presupuesto no dicte por completo tu experiencia mientras exploras Londres.

Para más consejos para ahorrar dinero, visita nuestra Guía a Londres con un presupuesto.

Puedes experimentar la grandeza y la belleza de estas dos icónicas casas de culto en Londres de forma gratuita si sabes cuándo ir. Los servicios de la tarde en la Abadía de Westminster y la Catedral de St. Paul se llevan a cabo casi todos los días y no requieren ningún derecho de admisión o boleto. Los servicios son por orden de llegada. Ya sea obtengas una visita guiada o solo acceso a algunas de las zonas más remotas del lugar, llegaras a experimentar la Abadía, el camino de los peregrinos, lo que reyes y reinas tuvieron durante siglos con un servicio coral hermosamente cantado.

Hay un poco de tiempo después del servicio de una hora para un paseo rápido por la zona principal, si los docentes lo permiten. Para ambos lugares, ¡depende de quién está trabajando esa noche!

Si no puedes llegar a tiempo para la víspera, la Iglesia de Santa Margarita en la Abadía de Westminster esta siempre disponible para visitas así como el Colegio de jardines y los claustros de forma gratuita, aunque las donaciones son apreciadas para el mantenimiento.

Visita gratuita a la catedral de St. Paul.

Como una casa de culto, la Catedral de St. Paul tiene servicios diarios. Para aquellos que deseen utilizar la iglesia para fines de culto, no hay tarifa para entrar, los invitados llegan a tiempo para el servicio.

Asistir a un servicio en la catedral St. Paul significa que no se te permitirá explorar los edificios, tumbas, monumentos y cúpulas. Estas áreas están bloqueadas durante las horas de culto. Sin embargo, llegaras a sentarte dentro de la iglesia y disfrutar de toda su “majestad”, tamaño y belleza, todo mientras disfruta de los servicios llenos de siglos de tradición histórica.

Asegúrese de leer el post completo en la Catedral de St. Paul.

Horario de apertura para Adoradores

  • Servicios diarios: 07:30, 08:00, 12:30 y 17: 00 *
  • Servicios los Domingos: 08:00, 11:00, 15: 15 *, 16:45, 18:00
[++ Consejo de Margaret ++ – Los servicios de 17:00 entre semana y el servicio Domingo 15:15 contienen El coro de víspera. ¡Estos servicios son cantados por los coros de niños y caballeros que producen algunas de las actuaciones de la iglesia más encantadoras, inquietantes e impresionantes del mundo!]

Transporte Cercano

  • Estación de St. Paul en la línea central
  • Estación de Mansion House en las lineas de District y Circle.
  • Bus Nos. 4, 11, 15, 23, 25, 26, 100, 242

Para obtener más consejos de ahorro de presupuesto, echa un vistazo a nuestro blog de tours en Londres.

Admisión Regular a la Abadía de Westminster y la Catedral de St. Paul está incluida en el London Pass. El London Pass se puede comprar con anticipación en la página web de London Pass.

Guide to the Beatles London

Posted by & filed under London.

One of the most iconic bands to ever exist, The Beatles produced music that is still enjoyed across the world. Though originally from Liverpool, they spent a lot of their time in London. For any visitor who Beatles fan who is hoping to explore London through the eyes of the Fab Four, we’ve created 2 self-guided tours that really bring the Beatles’ London to life.

Where did the Beatles Live in London?

Posted by & filed under London.

Despite the fact they all came from Liverpool, all of the Fab Four have lived in London at one time or another. For die hard Beatles fans who have flown all this way to walk in the footsteps of their favourite foursome, we’ve put together a list that will take you to the houses and homes that the Beatles – and those associated with them – have resided here in London.

The Beatles’ First London Residence

[The President Hotel, 56-60 Guildford Street, London WC1N 1DB]

This relatively unassuming Hotel in Bloomsbury is where the Beatles first lived when they came down from Liverpool to London in 1963.

Brian Epstein’s House

[24 Chapel Street, London SW1X]

In January 1965, Brian Epstein moved into this house in the exclusive London neighbourhood of Belgravia. It was here that the release party for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band took place and, sadly, it was also here that Brian Epstein died of a drug overdose on 27th August 1967.

George, Ringo and Brian Epstein’s Building

[William Mews, London SW1X 9HG]

Here in posh Knightsbridge sits a large block of flats known as Whaddon House. In late 1963, Brian Epstein moved into the top floor apartment here. Not long after, George Harrison and Ringo Starr shared an apartment on the second floor of the very same building and it was here that the Fab Four met before traveling to Buckingham Palace to receive their MBEs. George and Ringo moved out in 1965 but the building remained famous owing to a legendary party hosted by Epstein in 1964. Reportedly in August of that year an event took place that was attended by all four Beatles as well as Judy Garland, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

The Only Home the Fab Four Occupied Together in London

[57 Green Street, London W1K 6RH]

57 Green Street in London’s upscale Mayfair neighbourhood has the distinction of being the only home where all four Beatles lived at the same time – all crammed in together in “Flat L.” The sharing of this flat did not last long as John and Cynthia Lennon and baby Julian moved out as soon as they were able to find their own space.

Where Paul and John composed I Want to Hold Your Hand

[57 Wimpole Street, London W1G 8YW]

Home to Sir Richard Asher, 57 Wimpole Street was also the home of his daughter, Jane. Jane Asher is now better known as Paul McCartney’s girlfriend during the early 1960’s and it was at this house, where Paul lived during his early time in London. It was in this house where Paul lived, that he and John Lennon penned I Want to Hold Your Hand.

Failed Beatle’s Fashion Shop

[94 Baker Street, London W1U 6FZ]

Both John Lennon and George Harrison are commemorated with a London Blue Plaque placed on the outside of this house on Baker Street. It was here that the Beatles Apple Boutique clothing store was opened during the late 1960s. The building was painted in bright eye-watering colours, which led to numerous complaints by the neighbours. They need not have worried through as the shop was a failed venture that lost the band hundreds of thousands of pounds before it was shut down in 1968.

Ringo Starr and John and Yoko’s Flat

[34 Montagu Square, London W1H]

The basement flat in 34 Montagu Square was occupied by Ringo Starr briefly in 1965 before he moved out and leased the flat to his friends – including Jimi Hendrix. But for Fab Four Fans this flat is better known as the home of John Lennon and Yoko who lived here in 1968. It was in October of that year that the police raided the flat and John and Yoko were charged with possession of cannabis. Shortly thereafter, Ringo felt enough pressure to sell the flat.

It’s also of note that Paul McCartney himself said that this flat at Montagu Square was where he wrote Eleanor Rigby.

Paul McCartney’s Current London Home

[7 Cavendish Avenue, London W13 0JG]

Since 1966 this lavish mansion has belonged to Paul McCartney. Owing to the proximity to the Abbey Road studios, the Beatles frequently used this house as a meeting place before and after recording. As he owns many properties over the world he is not here all of the time, but it is not unusual to see him in the shops and pubs on the nearby St. John’s Wood high street. After his divorce from Heather Mills, the paparazzi were camped outside of this house for weeks and occasionally one may find a Beatles fan or two camped outside the imposing brick walls.

It is just around the corner from Abbey Studios for those of you who may wish to visit. Check out our post on ABBEY ROAD or our SELF-GUIDED BEATLES TOUR.

Self-Guided Tour of The Beatles’ London

Posted by & filed under London.

Although the John, Paul, George and Ringo hailed from Liverpool, there are plenty of London landmarks for Beatles-lovers to get their fix. From recording studios to concert venues, shops to roof-top performances, London is filled with hot-spots for fans of the Fab Four. For those who are desperate to walk in the footsteps of their favourite fellows, here’s our self-guided tour to the Beatles’ London.

We recommend doing this tour during daylight hours, although it’s not necessary. Overall, it should take around half a day depending on how much time you’d like to spend and how you wish to travel. There will be at least one trip on the Underground, as well as potential bus journeys if you’d prefer not to walk between some of the locations that are spread out from one another.

START: Kings Cross Station

EXIT King’s Cross Station and follow signs for The British Library.

STOP 1 – The British Library [96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB]

When thinking of the Beatles, the British Library isn’t a naturally linked location! However, the British Library houses some exceptionally rare Beatles artefacts that are on display and that can be viewed. This includes six manuscripts penned by John Lennon including lyric sheets in his own hand for In My Life, Strawberry Fields Forever and She Said She Said. There is also a letter to Lennon’s friend, former Beatle Stuart Sutcliffe, and an original Beatles Fan Club membership card. Best of all, this collection is FREE to enjoy!

Next go BACK to King’s Cross Station and take the VICTORIA LINE going SOUTH. Alight at Victoria Station and follow the directions toward Buckingham Palace.

STOP 2 – Buckingham Palace – [Buckingham Palace, London SW1A 1AA]

An unexpected stop on a Beatles tour of London is Buckingham Palace! It was here in June 1965 that Queen Elizabeth II appointed all four members of the Beatles Members of the Orders of the British Empire (MBEs). The Fab Four had been nominated by Prime Minister Harold Wilson and the ceremony took place inside the Palace, sparking a bit of controversy by those who felt that MBE recipients should be limited to civic leaders and military veterans. Many MBE recipients actually returned their insignia in protest!

Facing Buckingham Palace, take the road to the RIGHT known as Constitution Hill. Walk all the way to the top, which will take you to Hyde Park Corner. Just across the road on your RIGHT is the Hard Rock Café, London.

STOP 3 – Hard Rock Café – [150 Old Park Lane, London W1K 1QZ]

For Beatles fans a visit to the Hard Rock Café doesn’t necessarily need to involve any food or drink! Underneath the shop is a vault which contains musical memorabilia including John Lennon’s original handwritten lyrics for songs like ‘Imagine’ as well as a pair of his glasses. Also of note is the gold record which was gifted to the group when their album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band reached $1million in the United States. Tours of the vault are available.

With your back to the Hard Rock Café, turn RIGHT back toward Hyde Park Corner. Once there, take a RIGHT onto Park Lane and walk up toward The Dorchester.

STOP 4 – The Dorchester – [45 Park Lane, London W1A 2HJ]

A well-known posh hotel on London’s luxury Park Lane, the Dorchester can be visited by members of the public who wish to come in for afternoon tea, or a drink at the bar. As for the Fab Four, it was here at the Dorchester that the Beatles celebrated the premieres of both A Hard Day’s Night and Help!

Facing the Dorchester, follow the road that runs in front of it (Deanery Street) going RIGHT. Follow the road as it curves right, straightens, then curves left and turns into Hill Street. Hill Street dead ends at Berkeley Square Gardens. Go directly through the gardens onto Bruton Street. Continue straight until the street turns into Conduit Street. Here take a RIGHT onto Saville Row.

STOP 5 – Site of the Beatle’s Last Live Performance – [3 Savile Row, London W1S 2ER]

During their career, the Apple Record Headquarters were here and I the basement the second half of Let It Be was filmed.

Perhaps more famously, in January 1969, it was on top of this building where the Beatles gave their last ever live performance. The Fab Four performed their latest recordings from their Let It Be album on the rooftop of the building in until their impromptu concert was stopped by police. Lasting only 45 minutes, the final member of the band to speak before the police cleared them away was John Lennon who said, “I hope we passed the audition.”

Continue DOWN Saville Row until it dead-ends on Vigo Street. Turn LEFT then make a RIGHT onto Sackville Street. When you get to Piccadilly, turn RIGHT and cross the street to Fortnum & Mason. Facing the store, turn RIGHT and take the first LEFT. Mason’s Yard will be down on your LEFT.

STOP 6 – 9 Mason’s Yard, The Art Gallery Where John Lennon met Yoko Ono – [6 Mason’s Yard, London SW1Y 6BU]

Formerly the site of the Indica Gallery, 6 Mason’s Yard was the location of an exhibition that began on the 9th of November in 1966 by Yoko Ono. John Lennon had been told that the exhibition was worth visiting and when he arrived to this location, he met his future wife! John was reportedly, “expecting an orgy, you know…” but arrived instead to find a quiet room where Yoko was drifting around, rearranging objects as part of her art piece. One of the pieces was a wooden board with a hammer and nails nearby – John asked if he could hammer in one of the nails and was told no by Yoko herself. The gallery manager, panicked that Ono may have offended John, convinced her to allow him to do it. According to Lennon himself, Yoko said he could do it if he paid five shillings. His response? “Well, I’ll give you an imaginary five shillings and hammer an imaginary nail in.”

John stated that this was the moment he and Yoko really “met,” changing the course of both their lives’ forever.

From Mason’s Yard, walk BACK up to Piccadilly and turn RIGHT. Walk to Piccadilly Circus and continue going straight onto Coventry Street. Your next stop is on the RIGHT.

STOP 7 – The Prince of Wales Theatre – [Coventry Street, London W1D 6AS]

At the 1963 Royal Variety Show – with both Elizabeth the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret in the audience – the Beatles performed a number of their recent hits. But, more famous than the concert, was the introduction of their final number (Twist and Shout by John Lennon who took to the stage and announced, “For our last number, I’d like to ask your help. For the people in the cheaper seats, clap your hands. And the rest of you, if you’d just rattle your jewellery.” After giving a cheeky grin and a thumbs up sign, cameras swiftly moved to the Queen Mother who, on her feet, was seen laughing and waving – highlighting the Beatle’s ability to transcend politics, finance, and international barriers in their rise to the top of musical history.

With your back to the Theatre, go back on yourself LEFT onto Coventry Street. At Piccadilly Circus, look to the RIGHT for your next destination.

STOP 8 – The London Pavillion – [1 Piccadilly Circus, London W1J 0DA]

Today an entertainment venue, the London Pavilion saw the premieres of four of five Beatles films: A Hard Day’s Night, Help!, Yellow Submarine, and Let it Be.

Behind the Pavillion runs Shaftesbury Avenue. At the junction of Shaftesbury Avenue and Piccadilly Circus, turn RIGHT and head up the Avenue. Walk until you get to Wardour Street then make a LEFT. Then make a RIGHT onto Old Compton Street.

STOP 9 – Dougie Millings & Son – [63 Old Compton Street, London W1D 6HT]

Millings & Son, master tailors, no longer operates but were once know the world over as “The Beatles’ Tailor.” It was at this shop here in Old Compton street that John Lennon asked the tailor for “something different.” This something different turned out to be the distinctive collarless suits the Beatles became known for. The link between the tailor at the Fab Four was so strong that crowds would often gather outside, hoping to a get a glimpse of the Beatles coming in to collect their clothes. It is possible to spot Dougie Millings in A Hard Day’s Night where he has a small part, appropriately, as a frustrated tailor!

Continue walking down Old Compton Street and turn LEFT onto Frith Street.

STOP 10 – Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club

[47 Frith Street, London W1D 4HT]

A legend on the London music scene, Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club sits in the heart of Soho. The Beatles not only performed here but Ronnie Scott himself plays the saxophone on the album version of Lady Madonna.

Continue UP Frith Street until you get to Soho Square. Take the slight turn to the LEFT and continue along, passing Carlisle Street on the LEFT. Number 1 will be on your LEFT shortly after this.

STOP 11 – MPL Communications – [1 Soho Square, London W1D 6BQ]

MPL Communications is the name of Paul McCartney’s music publishing company. Their headquarters are here at Number 1 Soho Square. Founded in 1970 by McCartney himself, MPL Communications not only manages work by Paul but also owns copyrights for dozens of artists, including huge names like Buddy Holly.

Facing the building, go to the LEFT then take the first RIGHT onto Carlisle Street. Turn LEFT onto Dean Street and walk down until you see St. Anne’s Court on your RIGHT. Head down there.

STOP 12 – Former Blue Gardenia Club and Recording Studios

Number 20 – Blue Gardenia

Tucked away in a small Soho alley is the location of the former Blue Gardenia Club. Although no longer standing, this is where the Beatles held their first ever London performance. The concert was impromptu (Their van driver that evening knew the club would still be open late into the night and might have an empty stage that needed filling) and not all four Beatles were present – George Harrison was at home with the flu! Although this performance was the first in London for the Fab Four, they earned absolutely no money that evening since in December of 1961 they were still completely unknown.

Number 17 – Trident Recording Studios

In this unassuming building sits recording studios where numerous hits were officially put onto record. The Beatles recoded various songs here including Hey Jude, Martha My Dear, Dear Prudence, Honey Pie, Savoy Truffle, I Want You (She’s so Heavy). Separately, Ringo Starr, George Harrison and Paul McCartney all recorded music here in their respective solo careers.

Exit St. Anne’s Court onto Wardour Street and turn LEFT. Take your first RIGHT onto Broadwick Street. Take the slight curve left and stay on Broadwick until it dead ends onto Carnaby Street. Ahead of you is a small pathway between shops into Kingley Court. Walk straight ahead through the courtyard and out the next alleyway to your next destination on Kingley Street.

STOP 13 – Bag O’Nails – [9 Kingley Street, London W1B 5PH]

Here at Number 9 Kingly Street is a private member’s club known as The Bag O’Nails. Opened originally in 1965, this was a hot-spot for musicians to meet and play until the club closed it’s doors to the public in 1968. Paul McCartney was a frequent visitor of The Bag O’Nails (he actually had his own private table!) and on the 15th of May in 1967 it was here that he met his future wife, Linda.

Turn LEFT onto Kingley Street until it dead-ends on Great Marlborough Street. Turn RIGHT then make an immediate LEFT onto Argyll Street.

STOP 14 – The London Palladium Theatre and NEMS Offices – [Argyll Street, London W1F 7TF]

Standing for North End Music Stores, the NEMS organisation was run by Brian Epstein – sometimes referred to as the “fifth Beatle.” Epstein was the Beatles’ manager and his headquarters at the building here (Sutherland House) is where all of the behind-the-scenes work going into the success of the Beatles took place. Notably, it was at this location that John Lennon, in an interview with the Evening Standard in 1966, commented that the Beatles were “bigger than Jesus.”

Just a few doors down…

In 1963, the Beatles gave a concert here that coined the term “Beatlemania.” The theatre was swamped by thousands of fans and it’s estimated that 15 million people tuned in to watch the performance, which showcased From Me to You, I’ll Get You, She Loves You, and Twist and Shout. The crowds quickly swarmed to the back stage door of the theatre, hoping to see the group as they left but the Beatles were one step ahead…and left through the front!

Facing the theatre, turn to the LEFT and walk until you reach Oxford Street. Turn LEFT then make the first RIGHT onto Upper Regent Street. Turn LEFT onto Wigmore Street. Walk a ways and then make a RIGHT onto Duke Street which dead ends at Manchester Square. Follow the road around to the LEFT for your next stop.

STOP 15 – Former EMI Headquarters – [20 Manchester Square, London W1U]

From 1960 – 1995 20 Manchester Square was the address of EMI, a multinational music recording and publishing company. This was the company that introduced the Beatles on an international level and also provided promotional materials of the group. The stairwell which is featured on the cover of the Please Please Me album was located inside this building and photographs of the group taken inside the offices here were used in The Red Album and The Blue Album. Inside the building the Beatles received several awards from EMI owing to their record breaking sales which means the doorways here have seen the footsteps of the Beatles dozens of times.

Facing Number 20, turn LEFT and walk up Manchester Street. Continue walking up until the street curves RIGHT and turns into Dorset Street. Continue on until Dorset Street turns into Montagu Place [Small side note here: 34 Montagu Square was owned by Ringo Starr and John and Yoko lived in the basement flat.]. Continue going and make a RIGHT onto Seymour Place. Keep waking up – crossing the huge Marylebone Road – and head straight onto Lisson Grove. Then turn RIGHT onto Harewood Row and walk until you get to the rail station.

STOP 16 – Marylebone Station – Where the Beatles First Arrived in London…A Filming Location for A Hard Day’s Night – [Marylebone Rail Station, Great Central House, Melcombe Place, London NW1 6JJ]

True fans of the Fab Four will recognise Marylebone Train Station as the setting for the opening scenes of A Hard Day’s Night. If you want to truly walk in the footsteps of John, George and Ringo, head to nearby Boston Place (running along the right side of the Station), the road the three are running down at the beginning of the film.

Facing the station, you can go RIGHT which will take you over Gloucester Place and then straight to Baker Street. Turn LEFT for your next stop.

STOP 17 – The Beatles Store – [231 – 233 Baker Street, London NW1 6XE]

The absolute top-notch Beatles memorabilia store in London. From regular trinkets like keychains, shot glasses and clothing to serious collectors items like rare records and out-of-print magazines – this shop has it all!

Next you have a choice… Go back on yourself down to Baker Street Station. Take the Jubilee Line to St. John’s Wood. Or go back on yourself and turn RIGHT onto Melcombe Street back onto Gloucester Place near Dorset Square. From here you can pick up a bus – Either the 13, 82, or 113 to St. John’s Wood.

STOP 18 – Beatles Coffee Shop – [St. John’s Wood Station, Finchley, London NW8 6EB]

Located at St. John’s Wood Underground Station is the Beatles Coffee shop, a great place to grab a drink or a small bite to eat. The shop also boasts a variety of Beatles merchandise to pick up and bring back home for your fab-four-loving-friends.

With your back to the coffee shop, head STRAIGHT, across the main road and onto Grove End Road. Walk down until you get to Abbey Road, then turn RIGHT.

STOP 19 – Abbey Road Studios and Crossing – [3 Abbey Road, London NW8 9AY]

Located at 3 Abbey Road is Abbey Road Studios, a recording venue that has seen some of the biggest names in music come through the doors. Pink Floyd, Cliff Richard, Kylie Minogue and – of course – the Beatles all recorded here. During the time of The Beatles, the Studios here were owned by EMI and is today a property of Universal Music. The Beatles didn’t just record their Abbey Road album here, but nearly all of their albums and singles dating from 1962 to 1970 here.

The building itself is still used for recordings but it is also a protected building, holding English Heritage Grade II Listed status which means the building will now always be preserved from major alterations and changed in recognition of its’ musical historical impact.

FINISH: Abbey Road Crossing

Here your tour comes to an end. You can return to St. John’s Wood Station to take the Underground, or you can pick up the 139 and 189 buses here to take you back to Oxford Street, Aldwych and Waterloo.

 

 

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Is Travel Insurance Worth It?

Posted by & filed under A Blog on Visiting New York City, Berlin, Boston, Charleston, Chicago, London, Miami, New Orleans, Paris, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington DC.

Is Travel insurance worth it?Travel insurance is often the last thing you have on your mind when planning your next trip for just yourself, with your family or with friends. We look forward to a well-earned and long-desired vacation and we know deep down, however, that travelling brings about the unexpected (mostly in good ways). For the hopefully rare bad case scenarios, where you need to cancel a trip due to hazardous weather, sickness, the death of a family member, or any accidents during your trip, stolen or lost luggage/passports/wallets, and even worse injury or death of a travel mate, you want to be covered. Instead of overthinking the many things that might happen, travel insurance can help to put your mind at ease for the many what-ifs, so you can get back to planning and enjoying the fun things about your next trip.  So, is travel insurance worth it?

Be sure to read our post on purchasing a SIM Card for the US.

Travel insurance – what to look for:

Most travel insurance plans cover 2 main things: travel benefits and medical benefits. Those usually entail:

  • a refund when you need to cancel your trip due to emergency
  • covered expenses when a flight is delayed or cancelled or when you miss your flight
  • compensation of expenses if your carrier loses or delays your luggage
  • Coverage of expenses for any medical or dental emergency during your trip
  • Coverage of cost for medical emergency evacuation or accidental death or dismemberment
  • Optional benefits include car rental insurance

Depending on the provider benefits may differ in cost and range, so make sure you read the small print.

Things to know about travel insurance:

  • It only covers the days you paid for – not less, not more

So make sure you get coverage including the days you travel. Purchase your travel insurance well in advance and include the actual days of travel. If you need to change your dates of travel, don’t forget to change your insurance time frame as well. If your return flight is overnight, make sure you include that extra day as well.

  • Be prepared to pay first yourself before you get reimbursed

In most cases, the insurance will cover your expenses, but that still means that you have to pay out of pocket first before you get reimbursed later. You will need to safe all the receipts and papers for proof of payment later.

  • You probably won’t need it, but it’s better to have it

In most cases you’ll pay more than you’ll get out of, because you’ll thankfully won’t need the insurance. But that might be a risk well worth taking.

Things that are not covered by travel insurance:

Make sure you know what’s covered. Among other things, these are usually not insured:

  • High-risk sports or activities, such as scuba diving, bungee jumping etc.
  • Losses due to person being legally drunk
  • Medical expenses due to pre-existing conditions

travel insurance teddyTravel insurance plans

Allianz Global Assistance Travel insurance

From Basic, Classic, and Classic+ plans, travel insurance starts at $20, depending on age of traveler, and length + cost of the trip.

Travelex

Plans are Travel Select, Travel Basic, and Travel Max Insurance. The basic plans start around $34 depending on age of traveler, and length + cost of the trip.

AIG Travel Insurance

Plans are Basic, Travel Guard, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. The basic plan starts around $23 depending on age of traveler, and length + cost of the trip.

What to consider before you buy travel insurance?

Check with your health insurance at home first if you are already covered

This should be your first step. You might be already covered with your health insurance, but you definitely have to check with your provider at home prior to your trip and get something in writing. Trips to the United States are usually not covered, because the health system there is more costly. You might be able to add a short-term coverage from your existing plan for your travels abroad.

Avoid double coverage for auto, homeowners insurance

You might already be insured with your car owner insurance, your homeowner insurance or via your credit card benefits as well. Again, it’s strongly recommended to contact your provider or credit card company before the trip and find out what would really be covered.

Consider term life insurance rather than flight insurance

If you are flying somewhere and renting a car, remember that driving around in a foreign place can be tricky and sometimes dangerous as well. If you are worrying about any worst case scenario, flight insurance won’t cover you in a car accident and you might feel more at ease for your loved ones if you have a term life insurance plan.

+++Free Tours by Foot wishes you safe trip and travels and hopefully we will see you soon on our many walking tours!+++

London Off the Beaten Track Itinerary

Posted by & filed under London.

When it comes to London, everybody knows the main sights: Big Ben, the London Eye, the River Thames, etc. But there is another London that operates right alongside the more commonly known locations. This is London off the beaten track – sites, sights, and locations that will take you away from the crowds and into pockets of town you may not have ever seen before. Perfect for visitors to London who have been here before, or for those who want something a little bit different, this itinerary will guide you through a London trip that will take you well off the beaten track.

[NOTE: Budget-friendly stops will be marked with a **!]

Day 1

10:00 – Canal Museum [12/13 New Wharf Road, N1 – Website]

The London Canal Museum is located inside an old ice-house that was used to store ice imported from Norway in the 19th century. The Museum here tells the history of the London canals and the people and goods that used to travel along these now little-used waterways. The outside terrace of the museum also gives guests a great view of the modern day canal and the old cranes that used to load up boats with shipments of Guinness on this site.

11:00 – Canal Boat Ride

From the Canal Museum, consider taking a canal boat ride! The canals of North London are walked and enjoyed by Londoners as it crosses through areas such as Camden. But the boat tours themselves are a little-known treat to both locals and visitors alike. The boat rides here are part tour, part lazy journey and we recommend a journey through Regent’s Park on the Regent’s Canal toward Paddington.

12:30 – Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising [Colville Mews, W1 – Website]

This is a truly off-beat museum. Tucked down a tiny mews street that you’d never find on your own, this museum is focused on the history of branding, advertising and packaging. From centuries ago to the adverts and posters that surround us today, this is a truly interesting journey through the history of advertising and packaging. Keep an eye out for shockingly offensive early adverts from two hundred years ago and also get a glimpse at the possible future of advertising today.

2:30 – Lunch at the Churchill Arms** [119 Kensington Church Street, W8 – Website]

This is a recommendation we have made on a number of occasions on our website! The Churchill Arms is a true London treasure. The pub itself is a brilliant place to grab a drink, just far enough off the main roads of High Street Kensington and Notting Hill to avoid major crowds. However, locals flock here every day after work so lunch time is a great time to visit. If you’d like more than a drink here, you’re in luck, because one of the best Thai restaurants in London operates in the back of this pub in a hidden secret garden. Cheap, cheerful and authentic, this is a personal favourite of ours at Free Tours By Foot.

5:00 – Kensington Roof Gardens [ 99 Kensington High Street, W8 – Website ]

There’s over 1 ½ acres of garden here, raised up high on the 6th floor of what used to be Barker’s Department Store. Today the gardens are maintained by the Virgin group, but the layout and plants date as far back to the 1930’s. A little oasis high up above the buzz of High Street Kensington, this is a great place to enjoy a relatively-secret garden.

 

Day 2

10:00 – Syon Park [ Park Road, Middlesex, TW8 – Website]

Syon Park dates back to the 16th century, and has seen visits by royalty dating back to the time of King Henry VIII when his 5th wife, Katherine Howard, stayed a night here on the way to her final journey to the Tower of London before her execution. There’s the historic Syon House here – still home to the Dukes of Northumberland – which is a wonderful museum containing a huge collection of art and interior design. There’s also a conservatory and a garden to explore. The entire complex has been used for filming over the past few decades, including the most recent film to be produced here: Belle.

12:00 – Chiswick Park** [ Burlington Lane, Chiswick, W4 – Website]

Chiswick House and Gardens is a wonderfully preserved example of both Georgian architecture and landscape design. The house has played host to Prime Ministers, socialites and gentry, including the Dukes and Duchesses of Devonshire. The house is large enough to be impressive and interesting, but small enough to be comfortable and charming. Far enough outside central London to avoid big queues, exploring the grounds and gardens here can be a wonderful private experience.

2:00 – Richmond Green and Richmond Palace Gatehouse** [ Richmond Green, Portland Terrace]

Richmond Green today is a charming little square surrounded by luxury houses and traditional pubs. However, 500 years ago this green was part of a courtyard to a massive palace that once stood on this site – Richmond Palace. Queen Elizabeth I was a huge fan of Richmond Palace and it was here that she died in 1603. In the hands of the royal family until its’ destruction during the Civil War, today only the old gatehouse of the Palace remains. Fine red Tudor brick that today is an entry way to flats is the only reminder that one of the nations’ greatest Palaces used to stand here.

3:00 – River Thames and Richmond Park**

The Richmond area is a lovely little community that has been sitting on the edge of this beautiful stretch of the River Thames for centuries. The Park here was previously hunting grounds for King Henry VIII and it’s a magnificent place to deer watch! We recommend exploring the park – climbing King Henry VIII’s Mound (a hilltop with a view all the way toward St. Paul’s Cathedral!) and then finishing up on the edge of the Thames where there are a number of pubs and restaurants with outdoor seating to help you enjoy this lovely London suburb.

 

Day 3

10:00 – Eltham Palace [ Court Yard, SE9 – Website]

On the outer fringes of London sits Eltham Palace, gifted originally to King Edward II back in 1305. In the 1930’s, the badly decayed palace fell into the hands of a pair of extravagant socialites who refurbished the entire building into a glittering example of art deco architecture. A fascinating mix of old and modern, Eltham Palace is also surrounded by stunning gardens.

1:00 – Horniman Museum [ 100 London Road, SE23 – Website]

Opened in 1901, the Horniman Museum houses a massive collection of natural history, anthropology and – somewhat curiously – musical instruments. There are wonderfully odd items on exhibition here including a glass-walled beehive, a stuffed mermaid, and an overly-stuffed taxidermy walrus. Charming and interesting, this Museum is just far enough outside the edges of London to ensure smaller crowds.

4:00 – Crystal Palace Dinosaur Park** [Sydenham Hill, SE19 – Website]

This little park is quickly becoming more well known as a destination for parents of younger children and adults who may be children at heart! The park itself here is perfectly lovely but what makes it worth the visit are the gigantic dinosaur statues. Carved in the early 19th century when the existence of dinosaurs was first being discovered, many of these creatures don’t look like the dinosaurs we would recognise today. But their odd looks are surprisingly charming and make for great photographs!

 

Day 4

10:00 – Old Operating Theatre** [ 9a St. Thomas Street, SE1 – Website]

This little museum is a one-of-a-kind here in London: the only surviving Victorian operating theatre. The museum gives guests the chance to explore the theatre, where student surgeons would have learned their craft, and where countless patients would have undergone horrific procedures. The museum also gives a history of the hospital of Guys & St. Thomas, has an exhibition of old surgical instruments, as well as an old apothecary.

11:30 – Crossbones Graveyard** [Redcross Way, SE1 – Website]

Today, this small patch of land is easily overlooked and there is no indication to mark the fact that over 15,000 people are buried here. From 1161 this part of London was home to brothels and prostitutes – known as ‘Winchester Geese’ for the Bishop of Winchester who owned this land – and these women were not allowed burial services in hallowed ground. The land here was therefore set aside for them and became known as a “burial ground for misfits.” Memorial services are still occasionally held here to remember all those who finished their lives at this location.

12:00 – Lunch at the Libertine** [ 125 Great Suffolk Street – Website]

This is another personal recommendation from our London staff! The Libertine is a cozy traditional pub with mismatched chairs, sofas, and board games spread throughout the building. But the food here is anything BUT traditional – fresh hot pizzas with home-made bases are the order of the day here. The pizzas come with a plethora of toppings and are generous in their portion sizes, meaning you can have lunch and a drink for around £10! Off the beaten track, this pub is popular with the locals after work but makes a nice quiet spot for delicious lunch.

2:00 – Cinema Museum [ The Master’s House, 2 Dugard Way, SE11 – Website ]

This museum is well hidden, down a cul-de-sac in Kennington. However, what we have here is the world’s most extensive collection of film-related images and artefacts. As an extra bonus, the building that houses the museum used to be a Victorian workhouse where 9-year-old Charlie Chaplin worked! Artefacts here are extensive and various: a 1917 ticket machine, centuries-old film reels, and old advertising signs. This is a truly hidden gem and, best of all, it’s free!

4:00 – Garden Museum [ Lambeth Palace Road, SE1 – Website]

The Garden Museum is pretty much what you would expect, aside from the location. This Museum is located inside the former church of St. Mary-at-Lambeth, which was built on the site of Lambeth Palace – home to the Archbishop of Canterbury since the 13th century. This is actually the first gardening museum in the world and has gardens worth exploring but also a library and museum highlighting artefacts and archives of the history of gardening – there’s much more here than meets the eye.

5:30 – Morpeth Arms** [ 58 Millbank, SW1P – Website ]

Just opposite the Tate Britain Museum is a metal bollard that houses a small plaque marking the spot where, for centuries, prisoners at Millbank Prison would await to board the boats that would be deporting them to Australia. Previously there were underground tunnels here for shuffling the prisoners from the prison to the river. On top of the tunnels was then built a pub to serve the prison wardens – the Morpeth Arms. Still operating today, it is said that the ghosts of former inmates haunt the pub!

 

Day 5

10:00 – St. Andrew Undershaft** [ St Mary Ace, EC3A ]

This little church is surrounded by the huge structures of London’s financial district. However, once inside, the church really comes to life. One of the few complete medieval churches in London, this building can be traced back to 1147. The church survived the centuries and even the Blitz of WWII and the 16th century interior is original. Keep an eye out for carvings celebrating King Henry VIII and a 17th century organ.

11:30 – Dennis Sever’s House [ 18 Folgate Street, E1 – Website]

Dennis Severs’ House is both a “still-life drama” as well as a historical time capsule. An original Georgian home, preserved by the previous owner, to act as a “historical imagination” to bring the house to life. This means that everything in the building is original, and guests to the House are told that they are exploring the home of a family who is still in residence – however, they have JUST left the room every time a guest walks inside. With sights, sounds, smells and textures, this building brings the 18th century to life.

1:00 – Postman’s Park** [ Saint Martin’s Le-Grand, EC1A – Website]

This, the largest park in the City of London, was constructed on the former churchyard and burial ground of St. Botolph’s Aldersgate church. A lovely place to relax, the most important reason for visiting the Park today is the Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice – a memorial to ordinary people who died while saving the lives of others and who may have otherwise been forgotten as time has gone on. The park was also used for filming in the 2004 film Closer, which gave the area here a resurgence of popularity.

1:30 – Lunch at St. Katharine’s Docks [ 50 Saint Katharine’s Way, E1W – Website]

St. Katharine’s Docks has been a focus of commerce and trade since the 10th century! Previously the docks where shipments of goods to and from Britain would have passed through, the docks were also popular locations for notorious pirates! Today, with commerce taking place primarily via air, the docks have been converted into luxury flats as well as a great place to eat and drink. Hidden away, it’s only locals who populate the Docks these days, taking advantage of it’s hidden location and prime positioning on the water. Take lunch in the traditional Victorian Charles Dickens Inn pub, try tapas, or enjoy some dim sum – there’s something for everybody here.

3:00 – Wilton’s Music Hall [ Graces Alley off Ensign Street, E1 – Website]

Wilton’s is the oldest surviving Music Hall in the world! Guided tours run here to give vistors an insight into the history of the Hall, as well as the history of Music Halls in general as well as the East End of London. First opened in 1859, this venue was constructed to hold at least 300 guests but these days it is just the occasional tourist who comes through, lending it a somewhat surreal – but enchanting – atmosphere.

5:00 – Prospect of Whitby Pub** [ 57 Wapping Wall, E1W – Website]

One of the most delightfully historical pus in London, the Prospect of Whitby was constructed in 1520 and has been serving drinks here ever since. It is the oldest riverside Tavern in London and was traditionally associated with smugglers, pirates, cut-throats, and sailors. There’s a hang mans’ noose dangling over the river as a reminder of the fate of smugglers who were caught in the area in centuries gone by. Charles Dickens and Samuel Pepys are known to have drank here – so add your name to the list!

Free Things to Do in London at Night

Posted by & filed under London.

Free Things to Do at Night in London

London is a non-stop city and there are still ways to enjoy and explore the capital, even once the sun has gone down. In the winter months, the night falls early in London, but the fun never stops. Here’s our list of the best free and pay what you wish things to do in town after sunset!

Be sure to also read our Guide to London on a Budget, where you can find other budget itineraries.

Thames Night

 1. Take a Tour – Free Tours By Foot runs tours throughout the day…and then into the night! During the summer months, you can join our NIGHT TOUR – taking guests along the Southbank of the River Thames to enjoy London all lit up. Also think about jumping on our classic JACK THE RIPPER TOUR, exploring the streets and history of London’s East End, or the DARK SIDE OF LONDON GHOST TOUR which highlights the grim realities of life in London over the last few centuries. And just like all of our tours, these run on a pay-what-you-like basis which makes it budget friendly for everybody!

Ceremony of the Keys London Night2. Watch the Ceremony of the Keys – Every night at the Tower of London, the fortress is locked in a historical ceremony that has been unchanged for nearly 500 years. The world-famous “Beefeaters” work together with Queens Guard soldiers to lock the Tower, securing all the valuables (like the crown jewels) inside in a ceremony that includes military marches, musical support and secret passwords! Visitors must have a ticket to watch the Ceremony but the good news is that the tickets are free! Book your ticket at the Historic Royal Palaces website.

3. Watch a Political Debate and Visit a Royal Palace – The Palace of Westminster is better known to most people as the Houses of Parliament and this historical building is open to guests all year ‘round. On the weekends and during holidays, visitors can pay to take a tour of the building BUT the real treat is that whenever the House of Commons or House of Lords are working at Parliament, it is free for the public to go inside the building! Sit in the public galleries for as long as you like, walk through one of the oldest rooms in the country, and pick up all kinds of free leaflets and information about the history of one of London’s most famous buildings. Check out the schedule on their website before you go.

4. Enjoy the Lights at Piccadilly Circus – Famous the world over, Piccadilly Circus is a large traffic junction in the middle of London, linking Haymarket, Shaftesbury Avenue, Piccadilly and Regent’s Street. And it was here just over 100 years ago that the first electric lights in the capital were put on display. The bright lights here still draw visitors from all over the world who have come to enjoy some of the most famous lights on earth.

5. Stargaze in Hampstead – The Hampstead Scientific Society opens their observatory to the public from September to April each year. Guests are given information on the various telescopes here, the vast range of celestial objects they will get to view, and also special events that coincide with eclipses and meteor showers, etc. And best of all – it’s all for FREE! See when their next star-gazing event is on their website.

6. Go on a Bat Walk – London Zoo isn’t the only place in London where you can see animals! The London Bat Group is a charity that works toward the well-being and preservation of bat species living in London. As part of their work, they organise free ‘Bat Walks’ at random days throughout the years where guests are taken to various different locations, taught about bats and their place in London, as well as a great chance to see these fascinating little creatures! Find out when the next walk is on their website.

7. Visit a Museum – London’s museums are always worth visiting and the majority of them are free (read our guide to free London Museums). However, what is not as well-known is the fact that some museums operate late nights, where doors are opened to the public long after the sun has set! Think if places like the National Gallery or the Tate Modern (open until 10pm!) for a chance to explore the museums for free, once the larger crowds of day time guests have departed.

8. Head to the Southbank Centre – All throughout the year, the Southbank Centre showcases exhibitions, art installations, film and events. They are almost always all free and they stay open well into the evening hours. Check Night Bridgeout interesting instillations like an interactive LED light room, or watch films detailing life on the front lines of conflict throughout the world – the exhibitions are ever changing and always engaging. Find out what’s coming up on their website.

9. Take in a Talk – Birkbeck University in London’s Bloomsbury area operates a constantly changing calendar of interesting lectures and talks. The events normally take place in the evening, making this a great way to spend your time after many of the bigger tourist attractions have closed. Talks here take in a wide variety of subjects and topics, usually based around science, history and current events. See what talks are on during your London visit on their website.

10. Get a Good View – At the top of London’s new “Walkie Talkie” building sits a restaurant, bistro, bar…and free public garden! The views from this building are almost unrivalled in London and even though the outdoor viewing balcony closes around 5, the atrium stays open until the late hours of the night. Watch the sunset from the garden and enjoy the sights of London as it lights up the night. Guests MUST pre-book but there is no cost to do so. Book your tickets on their website.

Best Free Views of London

Posted by & filed under London.

Best Views of London…For Free!

You may have already seen our guide to fabulous bars and restaurants in London that come with amazing views of the City.  But if you’re looking to take in one of the best free views of London…well, we’ve got a list for you, too! Here is our handy guide on how to get some spectacular views of our gorgeous city without spending a single cent.

Be sure to check out our Guide to London on a Budget for more money saving ideas for your time in London.

  • Sky Garden

One of the newest skyscrapers to appear on London’s skyline is 20 Fenchurch Street (read our full post) – otherwise known to locals and tourists as the “Walkie-Talkie.” This is a glass building with a unique shape, spreading out the further up the building stretches, whose curved glass led to a reflection so strong…it melted a car!

At the top of this new London landmark is an enlarged glass dome that houses three floors of landscaped gardens including observation decks and an open air terrace. This is the highest public garden in London and best of all…it’s FREE!

NOTE: Although free, tickets must be booked in advance through their website: SkyGarden

Nearest Underground Station: Monument

  • New Change Building View of St. Paul'sNew Change

A modern glass and steel construction sitting next door to St. Paul’s Cathedral, the New Change building holds offices, shops and restaurants. But the best part of the New Change building is the public roof garden on top! The word “garden” here could be a bit misleading as there is no greenery, but there ARE amazing views throughout London – spanning east to west – as well as a face-to-face meeting with St. Paul’s Cathedral. This is an incredible place for photographs and during the summer months, keep an eye out for screens on display here showing international sporting events. (See image to right)

Nearest Underground Station: St. Paul’s

  • Tate Modern

Another good way to get an excellent view of St. Paul’s Cathedral is the visit the Tate Modern Museum. You’ll also have an incredible view of the Millennium Bridge (aka the “wobbly bridge” aka the “Harry Potter bridge”) spanning the river from the Tate to the Cathedral. All of London is stretched out in front of you, as the Tate is right in the middle of town. The view here is worth the effort even for those who may not be interested in visiting the museum itself.

Nearest Underground Station: Blackfriars

  • Parliament Hill, Hampstead Heath

Hampstead Heath is a 791-acre parkland sitting in the hills of North London. It was thought that during the Civil War there was military activity here – giving the hill its’ name. Parliament Hill is one of the best-known locations by locals to get excellent views over London. The vista from here is sweeping over the entirety of London and the park land that surrounds it is a great place for pic-nics, for children to play, for walking dogs…or just going for a wander! You’ll be surprised how high up you are when you look down over all the city has to offer.

Nearest Underground Station: Hampstead

Nearest Overground Station (Closer): Hampstead Heath

  • 7 PRIMROSE HILLPrimrose Hill

Primrose Hill sits on the edge of Camden, in the luxurious Primrose Hill district which is home to the famous and wealthy. Just across from Regent’s Park and London Zoo, Primrose Hill does take a fair amount of energy to climb! The paths are paved and the incline is gradual, but get ready to work for your view. Atop the hill is one of the truly quiet places in London and the views are stunning…over the rolling hills and tree-lined lanes of Regent’s Park into the West End with the towering BT Tower near the right then the Shard and the Walkie-Talkie in the distance to the left. There’s a few benches at the top to sit and admire one of the finest views in town.

Nearest Underground Station: Camden Town or St. John’s Wood

 

Greenwich Park, Royal Observatory

The view of London from Greenwich Park is legally protected by statutes that state no buildings can be constructed that would obstruct the view of the City of London from this point. The Royal Observatory at Greenwich Park can be visited by the public – for a fee – but the park is free to explore. Once you’ve climbed to the highest most point of the park you’ll be rewarded with perfect views of east London – think the O2 dome, Canary Wharf, the Gherkin and the Shard. You’ll also get a perfect view of Christopher Wren’s Greenwich Naval College and the 17th century Queen’s House. On sunny days, the sparkling waters of the Thames are visible and this park can actually be accessed by taking a boat through town – a suggestion we’d personally make.

 

King Henry’s Mound, Richmond

Richmond is a wealthy leafy suburb on the South-western fringes of London. Sprawling Richmond Park used to be a hunting ground for King Henry VIII in the 16th century and today is a popular place for pic-nics and deer watching. The highest point in the park is known as King Henry’s Mound and there is an impressive unobstructed view 10 miles into the distance. It’s to be seen to be believed as guests can actually spot St. Paul’s Cathedral, in the heart of the city, all the way from this far flung point of forest. The view here is so impressive that a law was passed in 1710 stating that NOTHING can be constructed to obscure it!

Nearest Underground Station: Richmond

Monument to the Great Fire of London

We wanted to add this one, even though it isn’t free.  At £4, it’s almost free.  You will need to climb 311 stairs to reach the top of the column, but the 360 degree view is worth the climb (and the £4).