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We’re funny (usually), controversial (sometimes) and insightful (always!). Our travel experts share their experiences below in hopes of hearing back from YOU. So read, comment and enjoy!

Posts in ‘Things to do in London’

Scariest Places in London: Warwick Castle

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As I plan my trip to Warwick Castle I realize I will never get  British pronunciation correct. I’m quickly told that I’m not going to Warwick, I’m going to “Wor’ick”. With only three days of sightseeing left I want to pick a great spot for my last hurrah. Warwick Castle Dungeons will be opening just before I leave for home and I want to try and squeeze it in if I can get my hands on some Warwick Castle Tickets. My friends and I are all able to agree on this trip because there’s just so much to do there!

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London among the winners at Enjoy England awards

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London was among the cities recognised at this year’s Enjoy England Awards for Excellence, which were handed out at a ceremony in York last night (April 23rd).

The biggest success was enjoyed by London Walks for its provision of what the awards judges described as a “fun, green, entertaining and value for money experience all year round”.

Some 400 different walking tours of London are provided by the company, with some led by renowned actors.

Silver awards were given to a number of other institutions based in the capital, including the Science Museum, which was recognised in the section covering attractions with more than 100,000 visitors, and the National Theatre.

Sally Chatterjee, interim chief executive of Visit London, said: “We are delighted that such a diverse range of London attractions were successful in this year’s awards.

“London prides itself on offering a sheer range and depth of attractions, events and history in our city for both business and leisure visitors.”

The awards ceremony recognised a number of other attractions and experiences in southern England that may be of interest to travellers, including Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire and Brighton’s SailnetUK.

London – Ride the London Eye, visit the Tower of London or take a day out of the city to see Stonehenge.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19138896-ADNFCR

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Spinal Tap to turn it up to 11 at Wembley

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Spinal Tap, the spoof glam rock band that featured in the mock documentary This is Spinal Tap, will reunite for a gig in London this year.

Rock and roll fans planning London tours should book tickets for the show at Wembley Arena on June 30th to see Nigel Tufnel, David St Hubbins and Derek Smalls doing what they do best live on stage.

Tufnel, St Hubbins and Smalls – also known as the actors Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer – will perform the “one night only world tour” show with support from the Folksmen.

Commenting ahead of the gig, Tufnel said: “If we’re going to do a world tour on only one night, at least it’s this world.”

St Hubbins added: “This show will be dedicated to all of our drummers who have passed on, either to their reward or to middle management at Sainsbury’s.”

The gig will celebrate the 25th anniversary of This is Spinal Tap, which was directed by Rob Reiner and followed the group as they set off on what would prove to be a fateful world tour.

London – Ride the London Eye, visit the Tower of London or take a day out of the city to see Stonehenge.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19138429-ADNFCR

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Scariest Places in London: Thorpe Park

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tpOk, so Thorpe Park isn’t technically in London but it is worth the schlep to Surrey. After all, it’s the proud home of SAW: The Ride. The first ever roller coaster based on a horror movie. The promise of bearing down at a 100 degree angle from 100 ft above got my adrenaline rushing way before stepping into the park. Friends who have been on it already are keeping hush hush about the rumoured genius scares in store as the ride leads up to the drop. Hopefully the ride won’t make me as nauseous as the movies.

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Scariest Places in London: Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum

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8106_2_madam20tussaudsOne place I never thought I’d want to go is Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. Giant wax figures of celebrities seemed freaky to me instead of fascinating. The statues are amazingly life-like and I couldn’t believe how real they felt. This only added to my panic as I found that one little old lady sculpture was moving.

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Scariest Places in London: London Dungeon

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ld1In London’s long history there have been many gruesome events. Some are real, some are imagined and some are so well-known the line between fiction and reality has disappeared. As a fan of game-induced panic myself, I set out to find the scariest places in London. With only one week left it will be difficult to finish them all, but the London Dungeons makes such a good playground for a fright I can’t miss it.

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Camden Town: Food, Friends, and (Great!) Finds

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Well, I may not have been able to check out all of the cuisines I listed in my last article about food (yet!), but I did make it to the cobblestone streets of Camden Market’s food vendor area yesterday…close enough, right? Davis, California might have the most adorable Saturday morning farmer’s market, but I’m starting to see why shopping in London is so famous, it’s pretty impossible to compete with the size and variety of London’s famous sites.

Food in Camden Market - Yandle

Food in Camden Market - Yandle

The Camden Market’s stalls were tiny, the streets were narrow, and the food was AMAZING! (Suck on that, American food courts). I swear this tiny corner of Camden houses any and everything you could possibly want to eat. Cuban? Check. Spanish? Italian? Thai? Moroccan? Chinese? Indian? Mexican? Check, check, check, check, check, check, check! Everything looked and smelled so delicious that I worked up an appetite just trying to decide which one to choose. And, one of the best things about strolling around Camden is the mix of locals and tourists, sure, there are a ton of souvenirs and knick-knacks lining the streets, but do and a little digging and the market is actually packed with great (and often cheap!) clothing, crafts, and music as well. From CDs to corsets, there’s something for everyone in Camden, just make sure you’ve got plenty of time to spend exploring!

I can’t wait to check out some of the city’s other famous markets and foods soon…Maybe all of this exploring will help burn off the huge helping of paella I wolfed down last night! continue reading

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The King and I to be staged at Royal Albert Hall

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Musical fans will be booking their London tours to coincide with a new staging of a classic show later this year.

The Royal Albert Hall will host a production of The King and I from June 12th to 28th.

Originally staged on Broadway in 1951 and turned into a popular film starring Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner five years later, The King and I is a tale of two people from different worlds learning about each other’s cultures.

Anna, a British governess, is brought into the court of Siam to tutor the king’s many children and slowly begins to develop a relationship with the monarch that introduces her to a world very different from her own.

The tale is told by musical pieces including Getting to Know You, Shall We Dance and I Whistle a Happy Tune, which will be performed by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra in the show.

After the run of The King and I has come to an end, the Royal Albert Hall will host a gig by rock and roll star Neil Sedaka on June 30th.

London – Ride the London Eye, visit the Tower of London or take a day out of the city to see Stonehenge.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19131848-ADNFCR

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Slow Down London!

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This month, the city of London will host the ten-day Slow Down London a “Living Life in Real Time” festival for busy city dwellers. Running April 24th through May 4th, the festival focuses on taking a break from the pressures of city living (something we college students already excel at) and relaxing. The program encourages Londoners to “explore slow music and arts, to try meditation and yoga, to sample slow food and crafts, to discover ‘slow travel’ in our own city, to debate ideas about time and pace, and to find our own ways to challenge the cult of speed and to appreciate the world around us.” And with ranging from “Wine and Words,” a poetry and vino session at Foyles to free guided tours at the National Portrait Gallery, or discounted yoga and meditation sessions, just about everyone can find a reason to relax next week.

Richard Whitaker

Richard Whitaker

Even if you’re not into the events, there is no better way to tour the city then to walk around by foot, get inspired by Slow Down London and take some time out of your busy day and EXPLORE! Take your sandwich to the park, or find a new restaurant in your neighbourhood. Now that the weather outside is no longer frightful, no more excuses! continue reading

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A Walk on the “Wilde” Side Indeed: Hotspots of Literary History

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Oscar Wilde - janetmck and mukund76

Oscar Wilde - janetmck and mukund76

All of this travelling has given us all a little wanderlust (aka the desire to travel our already small savings away). Europe is packed with history than we’ll ever be able to see in just three short months, but with some great tour guides and a little organization, we’re hoping to cram as much of it in as possible! Since we’re here to study literature and culture, and Dublin was just the first stop on the journey, I can’t wait to check out these other top writing-geek destinations soon:

London: Well, this one’s a bit obvious I suppose, I am living in Kensington and heading to the theatre every week to see a play for class, but for those of you not already enrolled in a literary adventure, London’s blue circle plaques make it easy. Placed outside the doors of London sites, the plaques serve as a guide to the more famous happenings within many an ordinary-looking building). London has been home to many of the most famous authors of all time: Charles Dickens, H.G. Wells, Virginia Woolf, Geoffrey Chaucer, John Keats, J.M. Barrie, and of course Shakespeare are just a few of the city’s most recognizable names. I can’t wait to search out the Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens, check out Oscar Wilde’s house in Chelsea, and see Romeo and Juliet at the Globe Theatre…luckily the blue-badge guided Literary London Tour will make it even easier! continue reading

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