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Still the largest shopping district in Western Europe, the West End is also home to approximately 40 theatres and so has come to be known as “Theatreland”. The iconic sights of Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster are nearby. This area dates from the 17th c. when wealthy sophisticates built townhouses to best enjoy the lavish entertainments and fashionable shopping that flourished here. So-named because this part of town grew to the West of City of London, the older part of London. The West End runs north from Charing Cross and the bank of the River Thames, offering the brief visitor a whirlwind tour of many of the best-known sights and sounds in London. View all accommodation in the West End »
This former red light district is one of London’s most colourful neighbourhoods. Soho is one of the hubs of London’s gay scene. Chinatown, Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Carnaby Street, Regent Street, Oxford Street and London’s Theatreland are all a short walk away.
Covent Garden Piazza is alive with street performers and bustling markets. Home to the world-famous Royal Opera House. Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery are all close by.
North of Covent Garden and more sedate than its surrounding areas. Home of the British Museum and the University of London, this corner of literary London also boasts Green squares and the Brunswick Centre with numerous shops cafes and the Arthouse Renoir cinema.
Bayswater borders the north side of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, a great place for kids with its Princess Diana Memorial Playground. Leafy and pleasant with a wide variety of restaurants from around the world.
Home to London’s new wave, the East End is now deeply hip. Late-night clubs, independent art galleries and street markets have added to the cross-cultural mix which has long been a feature of this area. Since French Protestants refugees (Huguenots) settled in Spitalfields in the 17th c., the East End has been a first home in England to successive waves of new arrivals. Now, the strong Bengali –cultural presence has given rise to a proliferation of curry houses for delicious, cheap eats and has lent Brick Lane the nickname “Banglatown”. Shoreditch, Spitalfields and Hoxton are ancient parts of London, which have been brought alive by the creativity of a vibrant and passionate new London movement. If you want to enjoy London’s rich and diverse culture, music, art and fashion, the East End is for you. View all accommodation in the East End »
Notorious East End gangsters, Ronnie & Reggie Kray were born in the area. More recently, Hoxton Square and the surrounding streets have given birth to contemporary art galleries, exclusive boutiques, hip bars and restaurants.
Known as a creative colony of artists’ studios and contemporary galleries. Nightlife changes rapidly but check out 93 Feet East; well-established and still happening.
Spitalfields Traders Market sells contemporary & vintage fashion, jewellery, music and more. Fully wheelchair accessible, the market is under glass, so it’s weatherproof, too.
Kingsland / Dalton
Where fashion’s frontliners head out to party. Vortex Jazz Club opens 7 nights, Dalston Superstore takes pride in being British and the community-spirited, ethical people of Passing Clouds are lovely.
Theatre and performance are a long tradition here. In 1587, The Rose Playhouse opened on Bankside, to rival Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, further along the River Thames to the East. In 1951, The Festival of Britain was centred on the newly-built South Bank Centre. The ‘humanist’ British modernist-style of these buildings was criticised by purists for the frivolity of the architecture. It is a monument to that era when the welfare state, “from the cradle to the grave”, was understood to include an enriching cultural life for all. The South Bank Centre is comprised of The Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room, Haywood Gallery and Saison Poetry Library, each with a wide-ranging programme. The South Bank arts quarter ranges wider still, from The National Theatre and British Film Institute, situated near the London Eye, via Tate Modern, all the way to The Globe Theatre, by Southwark Bridge. Further east, at London Bridge, Borough Market unfolds behind Southwark Cathedral, selling abundant fruit and vegetables, bakery, patisserie and artisanal food. There are many wonderful corners of Old London to be discovered near Borough and Southwark. The riverside walk which takes in spectacular views of St Paul’s and the old City is the BEST way to view the London skyline and River Thames.View all accommodation in the South bank »
Shakespeare’s Globe, on Bankside, is a faithful reproduction of the 16th c. amphitheatre where The Baird’s works were first performed. Now, year-round guided tours of this fascinating building complement the Summer performance programme. Southwark is also home to the Tate Modern Museum and Southwark Cathedral.
Affectionately known as “Voho”, the Vauxhall gay scene has grown up under the arches of the mainline railway. As well as nearly a dozen clubs, the area houses London’s only exclusively gay gym and the Royal Vauxhall Tavern.
Bordering the Thames and the famous London bridge, Borough Market sells delicious, high-quality foods by artisan producers across UK and beyond, alongside abundant fruit and vegetables.
Green and peaceful. Battersea is still famous for its disused power station. Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhists built the Peace Pagoda in Battersea Park and went on to convert a storeroom into a temple there. Located near The Old English Garden, it is now a successful centre.
The Regent’s Canal wanders North and East through Camden and Islington, from Regent’s Park to Angel. Charles Dickens made a home here and it is where he wrote. Oliver Twist first met Fagin on Clerkenwell Green. Today, Dicken’s house is home to the museum in his name. Before Tony Blair became ‘Islington Man ‘and Upper Street became synonymous with fine dining, Islington was long- associated with radicalism. Vladimir Lenin lived here and is said to have met with Josef Stalin in The Crown Tavern on that same Clerkenwell Green, a few doors away from what is now The Marx Memorial Library. Camden Lock is better-known for fun times and the shopping experience. There are four markets within a short walk. Camden Lock, with both outdoor and indoor markets, leads via labyrinthine food stalls to The Stables market. Further South along The High Street, are Camden Market and opposite it, Inverness Street market. Music venues include The Roundhouse, Jazz Café and KOKO. The Black Cap on The High Street has a predominantly gay male clientele and is famed for its drag shows. As well as being home to London Zoo, Regents Park has an Open Air Theatre with performances daily throughout the Summer months. Lastly and confusingly, Camden Passage Antiques Market is located at Angel, Islington and not in Camden.View all accommodation in the Camden and Islington »
With 4 street markets, 10 live music venues and 50 restaurants, Camden Town can entertain you day and night. Take a boat trip on the canal or walk along its tranquil towpath for a completely contrasting experience.
Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist first met Fagin on Clerkenwell Green. Nowadays, the area has a reputation for fine dining and great gastropubs. Sadler’s Wells Theatre, dedicated to dance, is around the corner.
With a clear view of Central London from the grassy knoll, Primrose Hill could be the best place to watch fireworks on Guy Fawkes’ Night (5 November). It’s the perfect urban village, all year round.
The area is rich in restaurants & independent retailers with several renowned fringe theatres. ‘Technology Mile’ created a large-scale Wi-Fi hotspot with routers mounted on lampposts along fashionable Upper Street.
To the west of Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea is home to such diverse communities as Notting Hill, Chelsea and Mayfair. HRH The Prince of Wales lives at Kensington Palace which bestows Royal Borough status on K&C. Holland Park and Kensington Park are both in the borough and the Royal Horticultural Show hold the annual Chelsea Flower Show in the borough. Shopping opportunities range from Portobello Market to Harrods and Harvey Nicholls, with Kensington High Street in between. Kensington & Chelsea is famous for its many antique shops and markets: as well as Portobello Road, there are the Chelsea Auction Rooms and Kensington Church Street. The Museums of South Kensington; the Victoria and Albert, The National History Museum and the Science Museum, all offer FREE ENTRY and hold many national treasures. A traditionally expensive area to visit, Kensington was the centre of the 60’s fashion resurgence on the King’s Road. Vivienne Westwood, Malcolm McClaren and Mary Quant all had shops here. Now Conran shops and fine eateries vie for space. The Royal Court Theatre is tucked away in Sloane Square, The Arts Club at Notting Hill and The Gate Cinema, make this green borough an attractive and relaxing place to visit.View all accommodation in the Kensington and Chelsea »
Visit Portobello Road Market for everything from antiques and vintage clothes to fruit and veg. Every August the streets of Notting Hill come alive as the residents put on the largest street carnival in Europe.
Named after the two week long May Fair which, in 1764 was banned from the area for lowering the tone. Today Bond Street offers high end fashion shopping. With nearby Saville Row famed for bespoke tailoring.
Named after a crossing of the River Westbourne, now an underground river. Habitat of aristocrats, celebrities and oligarchs. The famous department store Harrods is here as well as Harvey Nicholls and countless fashion outlets.
This former stomping ground of London’s gay community has an air of shabby grandeur. The walled cemetery on Old Brompton Road is well worth a look as is the Troubador café and music venue which has played host to Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and countless others.
All London grew up and out from here. Within the square mile which is The City, you can see The Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral and visit Europe’s largest arts venue, The Barbican Arts Centre. The City is a fabulous juxtaposition of ancient, Medieval and the startling new. Over time, the streets of the City have been filled with fire, plague, flood and terror. Now, it is home to the worlds financiers! Many of these narrow streets retain names full of history and reveal much of times past. The scale and quality of the imposing architecture can both thrill and inspire.View all accommodation in the City of London »
The Grade-II listed Barbican Centre is the largest arts venue in Europe. It hosts classical & contemporary music concerts, theatre performances, film screenings and exhibitions; often all on the same day.
Destroyed by the Fire of London in 1666, Sir Christopher Wren was commissioned to rebuild the Cathedral. Since its completion in 1710, the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral (Diocese of London) has been an iconic landmark on the London skyline. All are welcome to pray there and Evensong is usually sung by The Cathedral Choir. In the heart of the City, St Paul’s makes an excellent base to discover the historic City of Cheapside, Poultry, and London Wall.
The impressive, obelisk-spire church which gave this area its name now houses a music centre, operated by the London Symphony Orchestra. St Luke’s is a short walk from Hoxton, close to Shoreditch and Spitalfields, with easy access to the West End.
An iconic symbol of London. This combined bascule and suspension bridge connects The Iron Gate at The Tower of London with Tooley Street in Southwark. The bascules are still raised nearly 1000 times every year. On the North side of the Thames stands the Tower of London and St Katherine’s Dock. On the South side, Shad Thames, home to the Design Museum and some excellent shopping and dining.
London is famous for its green spaces. They range from the ornamental splendour of St James’ Park and Regents Park, to the hilly and wild Hampstead Heath, and Richmond Park, where deer still roam freely. Hyde Park is home to the Serpentine Gallery, a well respected Arts gallery. Kew Gardens is home to the National Botany collection, Holland Park contains the famous Orangery Restaurant, Regents Park is home to the London Business School, the London Mosque and the beautiful Rose Garden and of course the Zoo! View all accommodation near London Parks »
The Princess Diana Memorial is here. From June to September, you can swim in the Serpentine Lido and there’s a supervised paddling pool for children. On Wednesdays, LondonSkate street-skaters meet at Serpentine Road Gate.
In summertime, the rose garden is a sensual treat. At The Open Air Theatre, The NSC’s season of comedy, musicals and Shakespearean drama runs from May to September. Home to London’s famous Zoo.
800 acres of woods, glades, meadows and hedgerows, just 6km from Trafalgar Square. The Kenwood House collection includes masterpieces by Rembrandt, Vermeer and Gainsborough. Men’s, Ladies’ & Mixed Bathing Ponds are popular all Summer.
Holland Park Theatre mounts opera productions under a temporary canopy. One of the best children’s play areas in London and peacocks live here! Nearby popular shopping destinations include High Street Kensington and Portobello Road.
London was built on the Thames and it is known to Londoners as Old Father Thames. A tidal river, at low tide you can see the beaches near the South bank. Many underground rivers flow into the Thames and London has a huge network of canals and docks which are still vibrant and alive today. We endeavour to offer you the unique experience of living on a boat in London or to just stay close to the lovely waterways and Canals. It truly is a special way to experience the City. View all accommodation near London Waterways »
A central part of the London experience. Take a boat ride and see the many sites dotted along its banks including The Houses of Parliament, The Tower of London, the Tate Modern and many lesser-known delights.
Truly picturesque neighbourhood where the Grand Union and Regents Canals meet. Home to waterside pubs and cafes on the canal three barges house a floating café, a floating art gallery and even a floating puppet theatre.
Regents and Grand Union
Regents Canal links the Grand Union Canal to the river Thames. It passes next to Regents Park for London Zoo and on to Camden Lock for the famous markets.
Ultra modern steel and glass towers dominate the skyline here. Canary Wharf combines business with shopping centres and a vast array of restaurants and bars which come alive with people as the working day ends.
The 2012 London Olympics will be mostly centred on the Olympic Arena and Stadium in Greenwich and Stratford. There are 17 Olympic and Paralympics venues, from Horseguards Parade in Mayfair to Olympia and Equestrian events in Greenwich. Follow the links to our special Olympic Blog for full and up to date information and how to register for Olympic tickets. View all accommodation in the London Olympics areas »
There are over 17 Olympic and Paralympics venues in London ranging from Olympia in the West to the Olympic park in the East, Greenwich in the South and Wembley in the North. Click here to see all the venues and events. http://www.london2012.com/games/venues/index.php