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Welcome to the new companion to our capital, packed with fascinating features on every aspect of London. From its origins as Roman Londinium to its role at the epicentre of one of the world’s great empires and from its glorious landmarks including Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey to its hub as Europe’s luxury centre, we reveal the city at its best. The guide also functions as a useful resource, providing a directory of popular attractions, tours, museums, hotels, events and excursions. We hope you enjoy this special keepsake for all those who love Britain’s capital – Londoners and visitors alike. Jessica Tooze, Editor



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a Lavish affair BritaiN is the official magazine of VisitBritain, the national tourism agency. BritaiN is published by the chelsea Magazine company Ltd, Jubilee House, 2 Jubilee Place, London sW3 3tQ tel: 020 7349 3700 Fax: 020 7901 3701 email: editor Jessica tooze Acting deputy editor Martha alexander Art editor rhian colley designer alicia Fernandes Publisher simon temlett digital Marketing Manager Helena Martins digital Product Manager oliver Morley-Norris Sales executives Natasha syed, James Darnborough, Jack shannon Managing director Paul Dobson deputy Managing director steve ross Commercial director Vicki Gavin Subscriptions Manager William Delmont Associate Publisher Holly thacker Printed in england by Wyndeham Heron, Maldon, essex Production all Points Media Subscriptions and back issues uK/Rest of World: BritaiN, subscriptions Department, 800 Guillat avenue, Kent science Park, sittingbourne, Kent Me9 8Gu tel: 01795 419839 email: North America: uSA: Britain, Po Box 37518, Boone, ia 50037-0518 tel: 888-321-6378 (toll free) email: Canada: BritaiN, 1415 Janette avenue, Windsor, ontario N8X 1Z1, canada tel: 888-321-6378 (toll free) email: Australia and New Zealand: BritaiN, Locked Bag 1239, North Melbourne, Vic 3051, australia. tel: 02 8877 0373 email: News distribution usa and canada: cMG, LLc/155 Village Blvd/3rd Floor/Princeton, NJ 08540 usa uK and rest of World: seymour international Ltd. 2 east Poultry ave, London ec1a 9Pt tel: 020 7429 4000 Fax: 020 7429 4001 email: BritaiN (issN 0019-3143) (usPs 004-335) is published bi-monthly by the chelsea Magazine company, Jubilee House, 2 Jubilee Place, London sW3 3tQ , uK Distributed in the us by circulation specialists, LLc, 2 corporate Drive, suite 945, shelton, ct 06484 tel: 203 945 2047 Periodical postage paid at shelton, ct and additional mailing offices PostMaster: send address changes to BritaiN, Po Box 37518, Boone, ia 50037-0518 Publications Mail agreement Number 41599077, 1415 Janette ave, Windsor, oN N8X 1Z1. canadian Gst registered Number 834045627 rt0001

Once the epicentre of a great empire, it has been a capital longer, almost, than any other. This is the story of London. When it comes to living the life of a lord, there’s nowhere like London, whether it’s Bond Street luxury or treating yourself to a top hotel.


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Westminster Abbey has witnessed the coronation of kings and queens and is the resting place for some great names. From its origins in the 16th century to today’s bustling hub of creativity, London’s West End is the largest theatre district in the world.

fit fOr a queeN Step inside the official home of HM Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh to discover a host of historic treasures.

britaiN meets... Behind the familiar facades of London's best-known buildings are people who are passionate about the city's history and heritage.

behiND Number 10 The entrance to the prime minister's official London residence has the most famous front door in the world. But what lies behind it?

ghOstLy gOiNgs ON London is known as the most haunted capital in the world and the city’s creepiest corners have fascinating stories to tell.


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© the chelsea Magazine company Ltd 2014. all rights reserved. text and pictures are copyright restricted and must not be reproduced without permission of the publishers the information contained in London the 2014 Guide has been published in good faith and every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy. However, where appropriate, you are strongly advised to check prices, opening times, dates, etc, before making final arrangements. all liability for loss, disappointment, negligence or damage caused by reliance on the information contained within this publication is hereby excluded. the opinions expressed by contributors to the London Guide are not necessarily those of the publisher or VisitBritain.

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Greater London

The sTory of

ondinium This is the tale of a city. Once the epicentre of a great empire, it has been a capital longer, almost, than any other. This is the story of London WORDS Chris Fautley



london | The 2014 Guide

For a key to symbols please see page 3

Greater London


Guildhall Art Gallery was being built. It had long been known that Londinium had such a building, but nobody knew exactly where. Now the mystery has been solved, the discovery being so significant that the gallery was redesigned in order to incorporate the splendid Roman remains that are now proudly displayed there. For the most part, Londinium was built on the north bank of the river, although there was also limited development on the south side. This was demonstrated by the discovery, in September 2011, of a bath house just to the south of Southwark Bridge. London’s Roman story is far from complete, and parts still lie waiting to be found. When the Romans left for good, the city’s growth ground to a halt – one of the few subsequent notable events

Considering 2,000 years of habitation mean Roman London lies 20ft beneath the surface, a surprising number of remains have been found – the most spectacular being an amphitheatre being the building, in AD 604, of the first St Paul’s Cathedral. Indeed, for 400 years or more there was little expansion, London remaining true to its Roman form. The spread of London was restarted by Edward the Confessor, when he chose to forsake his City residence for a new home adjacent to an abbey being built on Thorney Island. Barely three miles away, it was surrounded by marshes to the north, the Thames to the south and the River Tyburn and its tributary to the west and east. It was known as a “terrible, uncultivated” place, taking its name from the scrubby terrain. The abbey became known as

Facing page: The majesty of St Paul's Cathedral. Below, left to right: A Roman map of London; Roman city wall in St Alphage gardens

photos: © alamy/mary evans picture library/psl images/d burke

hen Aulus Plautius invaded Britain in AD 43, his army made rapid progress north to the Thames, although precisely where it was crossed is unknown. The river then was very different. It was wide, shallow, fordable in places, and largely surrounded by marshland – with the exception of two gravel hillocks on its north bank where Cornhill and St Paul’s Cathedral stand today. It was on these hillocks that the Romans chose to build their new city: Londinium. And thereby, so early in this great city’s history, presenting us with its most enduring mystery: why was it named thus? A best guess is that it was a derivation of a Celtic name. Within a few years they had built a bridge across the river, close to the present London Bridge. By AD 100, most of the buildings associated with a modern Roman city had been built; and by AD 200, it had been walled. The city then was remarkably similar in size and shape to the present City of London, or Square Mile. Sections of the wall remain, one of the best stretches (albeit with Tudor additions) close to St Alphage churchyard – near the street that is aptly named London Wall. Another is at Tower Hill, overlooking the Tower of London. Considering almost 2,000 years of continuous habitation mean that Roman London lies 20ft beneath the surface, a surprising number of remains have been found. Of necessity, many that have been excavated have had to be infilled; however, there are notable exceptions. The crypt of St Bride’s church in Fleet Street, for example, contains the remains of a tessellated pavement. Had it not been for the devastation caused by a wartime bomb, it may never have been found. Similarly, the crypt museum of All Hallows-by-the-Tower has a well-preserved section of a Roman domestic building’s tessellated floor. But the most spectacular of all Roman finds is one of the most recent: an amphitheatre discovered in 1988 when the

london | The 2014 Guide


West Minster (St Paul’s being East Minster). Building continued piecemeal for several hundred years, and with it came people. And with people came traders. London’s great march west had begun. Edward died just days after the abbey was consecrated in 1065, meaning that the soon-to-invade William the Conqueror would be crowned there a year later. William wasted little time in stamping his authority on the capital, this time to the east. And so was born what continues to be one of London’s most iconic landmarks, the Tower of London – not so much a defensive structure, but more intended to dominate London’s citizens. The years that followed were a busy period of consolidation for the capital. In 1123, one of the city’s oldest churches – St Bartholomew-the-Great, in West Smithfield, was founded as a priory; in 1176 a new, stone, London Bridge was started; and in 1200, Lambeth Palace was built on the south bank. Proceedings, meanwhile, were jollied along by a large earthquake in 1247. During the late 13th century, the first of several palaces was built away from the centre, south of the river. Eltham is now well-established as part of Greater London; then,

In the 1930s a private residence was built, joining the ruins of Eltham Palace, now in the care of English Heritage and one of London’s best examples of art-deco architecture

photos: © alamy/gl archive/jl images/derek kendall/london hidden interiors/istock

though, it was the height of rurality – its palace being adapted from a manor house that was gifted to Edward, Prince of Wales – later to be King Edward II. Popular with King Henry VIII during the early years of his reign, it fell into a state of ruin as Greenwich Palace became more favoured by monarchs. Although Eltham’s Great Hall served an ignominious time as a barn, it was not yet done for. During the 1930s, a private residence was built, joining the ruins. Now in the care of English Heritage, it’s one of London’s best examples of art-deco architecture. Meanwhile, Westminster’s importance continued to grow. Not only was it the home of parliament, but in 1476 William Caxton set up England’s first printing press there. To the east, the established city was fast becoming a centre of commerce – a development that brought success to a great number of individuals. Among these was a merchant named Richard Whittington – four times Lord Mayor of London (not three, as legend insists). He was one of the city’s greatest benefactors, his legacy surviving in the form of St Michael Paternoster Royal (which he rebuilt), in College Hill. He lived next to it, and is buried there. As Britain became a maritime force with which to be reckoned, development spread downstream. Deptford, a few miles from the centre of London, was still only a fishing village. That, however, was to change when, in 1513, Henry VIII established a naval dockyard there – popularly known as King’s Yard. Here, Francis Drake was knighted in 1581. The dockyard was closed in 1869. At about the same time as Deptford opened, Henry also established a second dockyard, further downstream at


london | The 2014 Guide

Left, top to bottom: eltham Palace; Westminster Bridge and the houses of Parliament, 1909; Lambeth Palace. Facing page: The Tower of London with the Gherkin in the background

Greater London

london | The 2014 Guide


Right: Monument to commemorate the Great Fire of London, 1666. Below: The gardens at hampton Court Palace. Facing page: evening view of the City and the O2


Woolwich. It, too, survived until 1869, but by then it had become famous for military matters of a different kind. The Royal Arsenal had moved to Woolwich in 1717; it was Britain’s principal munitions manufacturing centre and covered over 1,500 acres. The military finally left during the early 1990s, many of the old ordnance buildings now being turned over to fashionable apartments. Firepower! – the museum of the Royal Artillery, is housed in a former factory building. As London developed, royalty felt the need to escape what was, on occasion, becoming a rather unpleasant place. (In 1333, for example, a ban had been imposed prohibiting the slaughter of animals on the city’s streets.) When the monarchy went to the fresh rural outskirts, London effectively followed suit. Greenwich Palace was already well-established when Henry VIII was born there in 1491. As he particularly enjoyed the hunting in Greenwich Park, it rapidly became one of his favourite homes. It was also the main summer home of Queen Elizabeth I (where Raleigh famously covered a puddle with his cloak to prevent her feet getting wet); and was eventually gifted by King James I to his queen, Anne of Denmark. She is best-remembered for

london | The 2014 Guide

having Queen’s House built, although she died before it was finished. It’s a building that is something of a geometric Utopia: the galleried Great Hall is a perfect 40ft cube, and the ceiling is a mirror image of the finely patterned floor. The palace was demolished to make way for the Royal Naval College in 1694. Other monarchs chose different out-of-town residences, King Edward III and King Henry VII preferring Richmond Palace, for example. The gatehouse is all that remains. Richmond Park has fared rather better. Extending to almost 2,500 acres, it was enclosed by King Charles I – his intention being to make it a royal hunting ground. Now a nature reserve, it is London’s largest park. Charles’s plan was that it serve Hampton Court Palace – much loved, later, by William and Mary. London, meanwhile, continued to head south. A notable leap came during the reign of Elizabeth I, when several theatres were built in Southwark. The first, the Rose, appeared on Bankside in 1587, the most famous being the Globe of 1598 – now handsomely rebuilt. The Great Fire in 1666 served only to demonstrate how compact London still was. (Although not so compact as to

photos: © alamy/cephas picture library/jon arnold images ltd/visitbritain/eric nathan

Greater London

prevent Samuel Pepys burying his Parmesan cheese in his garden before fleeing.) The upside, for us at least, is the fine legacy of architecture that the rebuilding produced: not just Wren’s St Paul’s, but also his churches (St Stephen Wallbrook being a dummy run for the cathedral). The Monument famously marks where the fire started. Almost. Layed flat in an easterly direction, its tip would mark the precise point. A second memorial is on a building at the corner of Giltspur Street and Cock Lane. This marks the point where the fire stopped. London continued to expand, a fact reflected by an act of 1711 authorising the building of 50 churches to serve the burgeoning population. But in terms of architecture, one monarch had more influence than any: the Prince Regent, George IV. He was a particular supporter of the architect John Nash, who gave us Regent Street (sadly now in plan only), and the 487-acre Regent’s Park. This spectacular space in the heart of London is still extant, as are the fine terraced villas with which he encircled it. Meanwhile, London had been creeping east – a process accelerated by the passing, in 1799, of the West India Dock Act. Hitherto, London’s docking facilities had been largely inefficient – dependant on the tides, and particularly prone to pilferage. The act allowed West

India Dock Company to build West India Docks, the capital’s first fully enclosed, warehoused docks. The principle caught on and over the next 80 years London’s docks expanded ever further east. This, was the great era of Victorian industrial enterprise – dock building culminating with the construction of the Royal Docks. The Royal Victoria opened in 1855; the Royal Albert in 1880. Combined, they stretched more than two miles – their water area alone covering 175 acres. With the docks came industry. The area rapidly developed – not always with pleasant consequences. Silvertown, an area south of the Royal Docks, gained a reputation for being particularly unpleasant. The Victorians might not especially be remembered for environmental legislation, but they did pass an act during the earlier years of Victoria’s reign that severely restricted industrial development in central London. Silvertown fell just outside the restricted area, its riverside setting attracting an odd combination of chemical industries and food processors (including Abram Lyle of golden syrup fame, and Henry Tate, the sugar refiner). The docks are now silent and much industry is gone; Docklands is greatly changed. It conjures up images of Canary Wharf, but that only occupies two per cent of

King Charles I planned for Richmond Park to serve Hampton Court Palace as a royal hunting ground

london | The 2014 Guide


photos: © alamy/lordprice collection/image pix

Greater London

Clockwise from above left: engraving of Aldgate Metropolitan underground Railway, 1876; detail of mosaics by Sir eduardo Paolozzi at Tottenham Court Road station; Metro-Land London underground poster for the Metropolitan Line railway, 1914


the 8.5 square miles taken over by the (now defunct), London Docklands Development Corporation in 1981. Cleared and landscaped, much of the rest remains a brown field site – paradoxically one of Britain’s greenest. But it was the breaking of another new dawn that had the greatest influence on the capital’s growth. In 1836, London & Greenwich Railway arrived. Initially, it ran from Bermondsey to Deptford, but by 1838 the railway connected London Bridge with Greenwich. Soon, having to work in London did not necessarily mean having to live there. One company stamped its mark on London more than others: the Metropolitan Railway. It started off modestly in 1863, running 3.5 miles from Paddington to Farringdon. By 1868 it had reached Swiss Cottage and by 1880 Harrow-on-the-Hill. The Met, as it became known, was heading northwest arriving at Pinner in 1885, Rickmansworth in 1887 and Chesham in 1889. As was customary in the railway industry, the Met purchased more land than required – in case of unforeseen deviations to the route. It used this surplus to build housing, an ingenious move: those attracted to such developments invariably needed to travel and used the Met. The first estate was built at the end of the 19th century near Willesden Green station, with others following. Building continued for 40 years, the railway even introducing the term Metro-land to describe its developments. Between 1915 and 1932, an annual

london | The 2014 Guide

guidebook was produced extolling Metro-land’s delights: the publicity department even had “Live in Metro-land” engraved on carriage door handles. This was the Metro-land beloved of Sir John Betjeman, a land of “leafy lanes in Pinner,” of “green fields and misty sky”. While the Met’s house building activities were almost unique, the principle of the railway attracting development was anything but. One developer in particular, William Willett, developed large areas in Chislehurst and Petts Wood with his trademark mock-Tudor housing. Nor was it his only contribution to Britain’s social development, for it was Willett who “invented” daylightsaving time. It was a notion that came to him while riding in Chislehurst woods early one morning. A memorial to his achievement stands in the woods today, a green lung in suburbia. Much is now in the care of the National Trust. London’s parks, gardens and greenery are now more treasured than ever. Perhaps the capital will continue to expand, absorbing – but still fiercely preserving – more of them. Yet exactly when it might reach its limits is hard to know. And if that sounds a little nebulous, it is merely because there is a second enduring mystery about London. Quite where does it end now?

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When it comes to living the life of a lord, there’s nowhere like London, whether it’s sampling super-luxury in Bond Street’s boutiques or treating yourself to a top hotel WORDS Graham Parker

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The facade of harrods department store glows with 11,500 lights


For a key london to symbols | The please 2014 Guide see page153

photos: Š

Luxury London


london | The 2014 Guide

Luxury London

You once needed to be introduced by a friend to a tailor on Savile Row, where the word bespoke was coined, as cloth was said to be ‘spoken for’

photos: © Matt CheethaM/Loop IMages/CorbIs/the CapItaL hoteL/vIsItbrItaIn/brItaIn on vIew/juLIet whIte/LIberty/arCo IMages gMbh/aLaMy


t was esteemed dictionary writer Dr Samuel Johnson who noted that London had “all that life can afford”; he might well have been referring to the experience of being measured by an expert tailor on Savile Row or sampling tastebud-awakening gâteaux in a lavish hotel. Because London has always been a magnet for skills and crafts, trading and visiting, meeting and celebrating – it now offers some of the most refined, gracious and hedonistic delights there are to be had in life. London is Europe’s unchallenged retail showpiece, parading the cream of international and British brands in some of the most seductive shopping quarters. It’s not the priciest property on the Monopoly board for nothing; Mayfair has been the capital’s most moneyed address since it was set out in the 1680s, and today boasts some of the highest rents on the planet. Bond Street is its undisputed focus, displaying more Royal Warrants than anywhere else, and with dizzying designer names: Chanel, Ferragamo, Hermès, Asprey… the largest concentration of fine jewellers in the world, esteemed art dealers, and famous Sotheby’s auctioneers. A snapshot of pure Mayfair sophistication is Mount Street, an exclusive coterie of hand-chosen boutiques. You can shop for Roland Mouret, Louboutin and Vivienne Westwood, before taking a well-earned breather at Scott’s restaurant, famous for oysters and its celebrity clientele. You once needed to be introduced by a friend to a tailor on Savile Row, where the word bespoke was coined, as cloth was said to be ‘spoken for’. Its pedigree is undisputed: Gieves & Hawkes measured up Nelson and Wellington, Davies & Son shod Harry S Truman and the original 1830s London police force, and Henry Poole & Co invented the dinner suit. It’s gratifying to see the new boys on the block Ozwald Boateng and Richard James continue the tailoring tradition. A hop away is busy Regent Street, and if you manage to tear yourself from Apple’s 23,500-square feet of technical wizardry, you can take in Burberry, Church’s, Penhaligon’s and Hamleys – still the largest toy store in the world with six floors of childish enchantment. South of Piccadilly, St James’s owes its existence to King Henry VIII’s red-brick palace. Shops catering to courtiers sprang up from the 1690s, and still offer products for the very discerning: fine cigars at J J Fox and Dunhill, rare wines at Berry Bros & Rudd, and specialist antique and art dealers for bagging some old masters. Jermyn Street is the official nerve centre of gentlemen’s shirtmakers for those who know their shank buttons: visit Hilditch & Key, TM Lewin and Eton College shirtmaker New & Lingwood, find shaving requisites at Geo F Trumper and Taylor’s, plus superb shoes from Tricker, John Lobb and bespoke ‘king’ Foster & Son.

From top: Liberty department store; Savile Row is famous for its tailoring. Facing page, clockwise from top: Oxford Street remains one of London's most popular shopping destinations; afternoon tea at The Capital hotel; Bond Street is a haven of luxury labels

london | The 2014 Guide



london | The 2014 Guide

photos: Š visitbritain/ingrid rasmussen/chris lawerence/alamy/juliet white/harrods/alex segre

Luxury London

The Ritz was modelled on a French château, and is arguably the world’s greatest hotel. The cavernous mirror-clad Louis XVI halls are sumptuous, and the restaurant overlooking Green Park is one of the grandest dining rooms in Europe A young upstart in comparison, luxurious yet leisurely Sloane Street isn’t paved with gold: just the season’s most desirable couture. The ‘Sloane Rangers’ of the 1980s have been replaced by chic, inspiration-hunting fashionistas. And a real hidden gem nearby is Belgravia, which has updated the village community into a stylishly intimate shopping experience, with internationally renowned designer to The Queen, Stewart Parvin, and headwear supremo Philip Treacy – as well as one of London’s finest cigar shops at TomTom. If you like everything at your fingertips, London’s department stores offer mammoth selections of international brand names. Top of everyone’s wishlist is Harrods, their 1.2 million square feet devoted to the best of everything; the 1907 Doulton-tiled Food Halls are the closest you get to a religious experience in retail. Book the personal shopping suite that discreetly caters to the whims of royalty and movie stars. Nearby Harvey Nichols is a scaled-down version that’s best known for fashion, and the city’s second biggest store, the more modish Selfridges, is as renowned for its highquality designer brands as it is for ground-breaking

window displays. More intimate still is Liberty, the deliciously rambling mock-Tudor building that features timbers from two 19th-century warships in its interior. It has been selling London’s most adventurous and exotic objets d’art, furniture, fabrics and fashion since the 1870s. If it’s old England you’re looking for, lovely Fortnum & Mason has been politely supplying British royalty with food for 300 years, and is famed for the sturdy hampers it sends to the Ascot races every season. Equally genteel is Burlington Arcade, London’s first shopping centre. Dating back to 1819 and still patrolled by liveried Beadles to ensure shoppers behave themselves it showcases old British brands from the softest cashmere to fragrances, leather and antiques. London’s luxury scene is not all about the shopping experience. The capital’s hotels offer, by any standards, true luxury with the vast monuments to the Victorian and Edwardian periods superbly renovated to offer old-world grandeur, impeccable service and 21st-century convenience – and often outstanding gastronomic experiences. The names of London’s great hotels are spoken with hushed reverence. The Savoy introduced luxury to the

Above: The Ritz hotel. Facing page, clockwise from top left: Flowers on sale at Liberty of London; Fortnum and Mason; Ladurée confectionary and festive packaging inside harrods department store; harrods food hall

london | The 2014 Guide


Above, from left: Apsleys restaurant at the Lanesborough hotel; cocktail making at the Lanesborough


capital in the 1880s, and after a £220 million restoration in 2010, the original interiors gleam again – including the gorgeous lobby where Vivien Leigh fell in love with Laurence Olivier. Its service is impeccable, its location central and its views stunning; Monet painted the Houses of Parliament from one of the windows. Following on its heels in 1906 and impossibly glamorous, The Ritz was modelled on a French château, and is arguably the world’s greatest hotel. The cavernous mirror-clad and gilded Louis XVI halls are sumptuous, and the restaurant overlooking Green Park is one of the grandest dining rooms in Europe, with so many chandeliers that the ceiling had to be specially reinforced to hold them. Built to be super-modern and super-efficient in the Art Deco 1930s, The Dorchester still has a three-to-one ratio of staff to guest bedrooms: book the listed Oliver Messel Suite, created by the renowned theatre designer and a favourite of Marlene Dietrich.

london | The 2014 Guide

Around the corner is the imposing red-brick facade of Claridge’s, known as an ‘extension of Buckingham Palace’ for the frequent royal parties. It’s been in royal favour since Queen Victoria was entertained here by French Empress Eugenie during the 1860s. You couldn’t tell that the stucco-fronted Lanesborough started life as a hospital in 1827, as it is now one of the great hotels of the world. Minutes from Harrods, its antiques and art are underscored by the intimacy of its interiors and service, with a 24-hour personal butler for all rooms. And, finally, the city’s the most exciting new hotel opened in 2011 following 50 years of neglect. The St Pancras Renaissance Hotel is now London’s most romantic building; the riot of neo-Gothic windows, wrought ironwork, hand-stencilled wallpapers and grand staircase are as dazzling as the day the hotel opened in 1873. It has a superb Marcus Wareing restaurant, 38 luxurious suites and is mightily handy for hopping on the Eurostar to Paris or beyond. More discreet options are favourites of shy celebrities and billionaires, so it was no accident that the Middleton family chose the Goring Hotel for the night before the royal wedding: it has the ambiance of an intimate English country house, and the fourth-generation owners offer children the opportunity to decorate cakes in the kitchen. On the subject of food, Michelin-starred chef Marcus Wareing is a good enough reason on its own to visit the chic Berkeley Hotel – he has been here since 2008. A discreet celeb hangout (Madonna left “I adore the Blue

You couldn’t tell that the Lanesborough started life as a hospital in 1827, as it is now one of the great hotels of the world. Minutes from Harrods, its antiques and art are underscored by the intimacy of its interiors

photos: © lanesborough hotel

Luxury London

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Luxury London Bar” as feedback on the hotel website), best sampled in their fashionista afternoon teas, transformed every six months to follow the changing seasons in fashion. Urban chic choices have been springing up in London over the past few years, including Philippe Starck’s sophisticated, low-key St Martins Lane Hotel. There’s no sign outside, just a clutch of designer doormen ushering you into the minimalist lobby; perfect for businesspeople with a secretarial service, plus membership of next-door’s GymBox, with Olympic-sized boxing rings and DJs. One Aldwych is less aggressively hip, but offers contemporary art-laden interiors plus suites with private gyms or terraces – and a private screening room, 8,000 square foot health club and 18m-swimming pool with underwater music. And over in the financial district, the new-concept Andaz Liverpool Street challenges the norm with no reception desk or queuing, just a member of staff tapping on a tablet while you relax. It’s a great business choice, plus close to the Tower of London and St Paul’s Cathedral.

Below: The Burlington Arcade is London’s first shopping centre. Right: The glamorous Royal Opera house in Covent Garden


For more on London's best shopping and staying at the capital's top J The operatic experience: Enjoy the opulent 1850s auditorium

of the Royal Opera House from the private Royal Box, with dinner for ten in the Royal Retiring Room with a personal butler, a pre-performance backstage tour and the opportunity to watch curtain calls from the stage. £5,000 plus tickets and catering. J The most exclusive suite: The Lanesborough Suite is London’s most sumptuous, offering 4,000 square feet with four bedrooms, two drawing rooms, dining room and kitchen. There are panoramas over Hyde Park, a personal butler on hand and a chauffeur-driven Rolls thrown in. £18,000 a night. J The luxury shopping tour: The London Luxury Collection arranges bespoke three-hour tours led by designers and art historians who give expert insight and take you behind the scenes of Britain’s luxury heritage brands, whether fashion, jewellery or fine art and antiques. Extras include a private driver, lunch or afternoon tea at a grand hotel. From £265 per tour. J The private dining room: Anton Mosimann, OBE, is the man who brought nouvelle cuisine to Britain, offers the private Bentley Room in his restaurant in a restored 19th-century Presbyterian Church. It seats up to 14 on classic green leather dining chairs at the burr oak table, hand-crafted according to the original designs of a 1926 Bentley Mulsanne. J The ultimate afternoon tea: The Ritz’s sublime champagne afternoon teas in the Palm Court are symphonies of fizzing bubbles and clinking china, with 17 types of loose leaf tea to wash down freshly cut finger sandwiches, newly baked scones smeared with clotted Devonshire cream, and a sinful stream of cakes and pastries. Gentlemen must wear a jacket and tie, and book three months in advance. £45 per person. J The ultimate spa: The Berkeley Health Club & Spa offers a spoiling escape that includes organic treatments from Bamford Haybarn. The hotel boasts London's only rooftop pool, with glorious panoramic views across Knightsbridge and Hyde Park. There's even a sliding roof to enable relaxation on cold, rainy days. J The connoisseur’s wine tasting: Beneath The Stafford Hotel lie 360-year-old vaulted wine cellars, a unique setting for wine tastings led by Master Sommelier Gino Nardella, who draws on one of the most complete and impressive collections in London – around 20,000 bottles of the world's greatest wines.


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Westminster Abbey


CAPITAL’S Westminster Abbey has witnessed the coronation of kings and queens and is the resting place for statesmen, soldiers, poets and priests WORDS DAVID ADAMS

The two towers at the western end of Westminster Abbey with Big Ben in the distance



Westminster abbey

london | The 2014 Guide


The reason the abbey has come to seem almost hemmed in by the buildings of government is tied into its history. The first religious building known to have occupied the site was a Benedictine monastery, founded in the 10th century


london | The 2014 Guide

Westminster Abbey

photos: © VisitBritain/Britain on View/corBis/epa/Michael nicholson


estminster Abbey is one of the most remarkable of Britain’s ancient monuments – the site where kings and queens of England and Britain have been crowned for more than 900 years and where so many of the country’s most celebrated inhabitants are buried. Most visitors approach it either from Westminster tube station or by walking above the choppy waters of the Thames over Westminster Bridge. Either way, the buildings of the Palace of Westminster – the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben – completely dominate the view. You have to walk to the far corner of Parliament Square, passing the parish church of St Margaret’s (built for the inhabitants of Westminster, so that the abbey church could remain the preserve of its monks and well worth a visit) to reach the abbey itself. It’s a glorious Gothic building; its most distinctive exterior features the two towers at its western end, added to the medieval church by Nicholas Hawksmoor in the mid-18th century. The reason the abbey has come to seem almost hemmed in by the buildings of government is tied into its history. The first religious building known to have occupied the site was a Benedictine monastery, founded in the 10th century by St Dunstan and the Saxon king of England, Edgar. One of Edgar’s more famous successors, Edward the Confessor, then began the building of an abbey church dedicated to St Peter here in 1045, next to a new royal palace. This new, royal West Minster (church) was built on an island, Thorn Ey, or Thorney Island, between the delta streams of the River Tyburn, a tributary of the Thames now buried in culverts deep beneath the city streets. In the eventful centuries that followed, as the marshy land between the abbey and the Thames was occupied by a succession of royal and then parliamentary buildings, Westminster slowly became the permanent seat of government. Although Greater London had spread around it by the end of the 17th century, the City of Westminster remained entirely separate from the mercantile City of London. The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, to give the abbey its formal name, remains a Royal Peculiar, part of the Church of England but governed directly by the monarch rather than the Bishop of London or Archbishop of Canterbury, under the terms of a Royal Charter signed by Queen Elizabeth I in 1560. Edward the Confessor’s abbey was consecrated in December 1065, just a few days before the king’s death. His two immediate successors, Harold and William I (the Conqueror) were each crowned in the abbey in 1066, either side of the Battle of Hastings. The coronations of English monarchs have taken place here ever since. Following the canonisation of Edward the Confessor in 1163, the abbey became an important site for pilgrimage. In the mid 13th century, Henry III decided it should be rebuilt and it is the magnificent Gothic church created during his reign that forms the core of the present building. At the heart of the cathedral is the saint’s chapel and shrine. Although badly damaged during the Reformation, it is still easy to imagine what the battered shrine would have looked like before the 16th century, the object of adoration by generations of pilgrims, decorated with beautiful tiling and laden with precious jewels and offerings left by the wealthiest pilgrims. It is surrounded

by the tombs of five other medieval monarchs and some of their queens. The effigies of the medieval kings lie facing up towards heaven with solemn faces, crowned and bearded, like characters from fairytales. Thirty or so yards to the east of the shrine, King Henry VII (1457-1509) and his queen Elizabeth of York lie in perhaps the most spectacular tomb of all. Their shining bronze effigies look up towards the ornate fan-vaulted ceiling of the Lady Chapel, the architectural highlight of the abbey, added in the 16th century. Its splendour is an apt setting for this most financially astute of kings, founder of the Tudor dynasty. The tombs of Henry’s grandchildren Elizabeth I, her half-sister ‘Bloody’ Mary I and their cousin Mary, Queen of Scots are all close by. But perhaps the most evocative of the abbey’s royal artefacts is the Coronation Chair, carved from oak more than 700 years ago and used at every coronation since that of Edward II in 1308. There is an empty space beneath the chair designed to hold the ancient Stone of Scone, upon which Scottish kings were crowned in antiquity. When Edward I invaded Scotland in the 13th century he seized the Stone and brought it back to Westminster, ordering the construction of the chair to hold it, so that his descendants would be crowned as kings of Scotland as well as of England. There the Stone stayed until Christmas Day 1950, when it was stolen and taken back to Scotland by a group of students. For four months its whereabouts were unknown, until it was recovered from where the conspirators had left it at Arbroath Abbey. In 1996, the then British Prime Minister John Major agreed to demands from the Scots that the Stone be returned to Scotland, where it can now be seen at Edinburgh Castle. It will be returned to the chair only temporarily in future, for coronations. The most moving of the abbey’s many tombs is that of the Grave of the Unknown Warrior, set into the floor of Facing page, clockwise from top: Prince William, duke of Cambridge and his bride Catherine, duchess of Cambridge, followed by best man Prince harry and maid of honour Pippa Middleton, leave Westminster Abbey following their wedding service on 29 April 2011; Queen elizabeth i’s tomb in the abbey; King edward Viii pictured in the coronation chair wearing the crown that he was never to wear in real life – this was painted prior to his cancelled coronation of 1936; The henry Vii chapel at the far eastern end of the abbey. Above: The abbey's North door london | The 2014 Guide


photos: © corbis/visitbritain

Westminster Abbey

the Nave, near the West Door of the abbey and bordered by red poppies: the only grave in the abbey floor over which no-one ever walks. This unknown British soldier was brought back from a war grave in France and reburied here on 11 November 1920, to represent the hundreds of thousands of soldiers who had died in the First World War. The warrior’s body lies inside a coffin of English oak, which rests in French soil under a tombstone of Belgian marble. The brass lettering on the inscription was cast from melted-down ammunition. Nearby are memorials to two great wartime leaders: Winston Churchill and US president Franklin Delano Roosevelt. A famous part of the abbey is Poets’ Corner, in the South Transept, where Geoffrey Chaucer, author of the Canterbury Tales, was buried in 1400 – although he was granted a final resting place simply because he was a tenant of the abbey. The tradition of burying great writers here began in the 16th century, when a larger memorial to Chaucer was constructed and the poet Edmund Spenser, author of The Faerie Queene, was buried nearby. Almost every great British writer of the last 500 years is now immortalised in some kind of sculpture or plaque in Poets’ Corner. Those buried here include Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling, Alfred Lord Tennyson and Thomas Hardy (although his heart is buried in Stinsford in Dorset).

Other notable artistic figures here include playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Dr Samuel Johnson, the composer George Frederick Handel; and the actors David Garrick, Sir Henry Irving and Laurence Baron Olivier. Elsewhere in the abbey, playwright and poet Ben Jonson is buried in the Nave and the graves of Henry Purcell and Ralph Vaughan Williams are in the North Choir Aisle. The Nave also houses the bodies of great scientists: Charles Darwin, Sir Isaac Newton and Ernest Rutherford; and some famous politicians: William Gladstone, William Wilberforce and Neville Chamberlain among others. Being confronted with this extraordinary parade of historical figures is a little overwhelming and the sheer number of tombs and memorials has left some parts of the building feeling a little crowded. There is less space here to stand back and admire the elegant, sweeping Gothic pillars and vaulting than in some of the other great medieval cathedrals. But this great church remains an irresistible place, surviving for so many centuries despite standing next to the centre of power for so much of that time, through civil wars, the Reformation and the Blitz. It has certainly cast its spell on Peter Craggs, a verger at the abbey since 2001, who now leads visitors on guided tours. He loves taking part in the more intimate services held in the smaller chapels around the abbey.

Above, left to right: Coronation of Queen Victoria in Westminster Abbey, 1838; entrance through dean’s Yard to Westminster Abbey Cloisters

The buildings of the Palace of Westminster – the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben – completely dominate the view

london | The 2014 Guide


Westminster Abbey

The houses of Parliament. Box: Queen elizabeth ii on her coronation in 1953

For more on Westminster Abbey and how you can visit go to or see the BRiTAiN website at 30

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J a door in the vestibule beside the

chapter house dates from 1050 – which may make it the oldest door in britain. J two parts of one of the most influential pieces of english literature ever produced, the king james bible (the first third of the old testament and the second half of the new testament), were translated from the Greek by a team of scholars at the abbey between 1604 and 1608. J every king or queen of england to reign since 1066 has been crowned in Westminster abbey, except for edward V (one of the princes in the tower, who met an unknown fate in the tower of london in 1483) and edward Viii (who abdicated in

order to marry Wallis simpson in 1936 before his coronation). J there were more than 8,000 spectators crammed into the abbey for the coronation of the present queen in 1953, accommodated in temporary seating. J in addition to the coronation chair there is a second coronation chair on display in the abbey museum, made for the joint coronation of William iii and mary ii in 1689: husband and wife each had an equal claim to the throne, so they ruled as joint monarchs until mary died in 1694, after which William ruled alone until his death in 1702. J seventeen english kings and queens are buried in the abbey, including edward the confessor, henry V, elizabeth i and ‘bloody’ mary i; along with mary, queen of scots. J When the late queen mother arrived at the abbey for her wedding to the then Duke of york (later king George Vi) in 1923, she laid her bridal bouquet upon the tomb of the unknown Warrior in memory of her brother Fergus, who had been killed in the First World War. since then, every royal bride married in the abbey has laid her bouquet there.

photos: © --istock/royal collection/her majesty queen elizabeth ii

There is much more to see beyond the main church. The Great Cloister, where the monks would have washed, eaten and studied, survived the Reformation, as did the beautiful 13th-century octagonal Chapter House, where you can still see some fine medieval wall paintings. The abbey’s museum is housed in one of the oldest parts of the building, the 11th-century undercroft of St Peter. Its exhibits include an impressive yet bizarre collection of royal funeral effigies: wood or wax models of kings and queens, carried in front of their funeral processions and often based on death masks of the monarchs. You can also see the surviving sections of an extraordinary 13th-century altarpiece, the Westminster Retable, which survived the Reformation only because it was incorporated in pieces of furniture. The colours and intricate details of its illuminated panels still leap out at the viewer, transporting you back to the 13th century. Finally, make time to walk past the Little Cloister, a gorgeous courtyard garden with a fountain at its centre and into the College Garden, one of the oldest gardens in Britain, where the bustle of the abbey and the noise of the city streets somehow disappear. You can take a moment here to think again about some of the events that have taken place in and around the abbey since the days when it stood on a quiet island at the side of the Thames almost a thousand years ago.

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LONDON From its origins in the 16th century to today’s bustling hub of commercialism and creativity, London’s West End is the largest theatre district in the world

The Queens Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue is in the heart of Theatreland



photos: © hulton-Deutsch collection/coRBis/visitBRitain/jonathan MountfoRD


ince London stage boss James Burbage built his laconically named theatre, known simply as ‘The Theatre’, in Shoreditch, way back in 1576, Brits have been fiercely proud of London’s West End. Rebranded as ‘Theatreland’ by Westminster Council a few years ago the area is traditionally defined by The Strand to the south, Oxford Street to the north, Regent Street to the west, and Kingsway to the east. Prominent theatre streets include Drury Lane, Shaftesbury Avenue, and The Strand and it’s here that you will find many of the big musical, comedy performances and star names. Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud, Noel Coward, John Hurt, Helen Mirren, Ian McKellen and Anthony Hopkins are just a few of Britain’s finest to tread the famous stages of the West End. And from the USA: Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Charlton Heston, Judy Garland and Sammy Davis Junior. More recently, major movie stars including Jude Law, James McAvoy, Daniel Radcliffe and Kevin Spacey have been keen to add London credits to their resumes.


london | The 2014 Guide

Throughout history, leading performers have fallen over themselves to make it to the West End. Shakespeare himself is said to have been a part of an acting troupe called the Lord Chamberlain’s Men who played in James Burbage’s original theatre. “It’s every performer’s dream to get to the West End, but not everyone makes it,” says actor and singer Tom Solomon who has performed in Chicago, Les Misérables and many other London shows. “There’s so much talent on show here every

Above: John Gielgud in a 1952 production of Much Ado About Nothing. Facing page, clockwise from top left: The Phantom of the Opera; the West end production of Singing in the Rain; the Phantom and Christine; theatres on Shaftesbury Avenue

famous, too. Phantom of the Opera, The 39 Steps, The Woman in Black, Les Misérables, The Lion King, Billy Elliot and the longest running show of them all – Agatha Christie’s timeless whodunit – The Mousetrap. All the classics are there, not to mention a whole host of relatively new triumphs such as War Horse, Matilda and Once. Whether you like musicals, drama, comedy or opera, there’s something for everyone. And that’s on top of the West End’s array of restaurants, cinemas and shops. “It’s like everyone

London’s Theatreland has always ref lected the British way, that unique and never-ending dialogue between continuity and change that makes us who we are night, and whatever you give on stage you get a hundred times back from the audiences.” Take a walk down Shaftesbury Avenue, across Leicester Square and through Piccadilly. There’s a household name in lights on every street corner. The shows are pretty

is fighting for space here,” says Geoff Marsh, curator of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s theatre collection. Marsh, who organises tours of London’s Theatreland, adds, “We have the largest concentration of theatres in the world, wonderful diversity, an extraordinary


london | The 2014 Guide


look. “Some theatres do still get public subsidies,” he says, “so people can try out some new ideas that might not really be commercially successful, immediately.” London Theatre’s beginnings, on the south bank of the Thames, tell of a country where the ruling elite did not tolerate opposition and wouldn’t risk disaffection. The first Queen Elizabeth was still on the throne and a play could mean 2,000 people in one place. With no censorship laws or police to keep order, it was much easier to just ban plays, as the Mayor and Corporation of London did in 1572. In 1575 the authorities formally ejected all players from the city, too. Burbage set up his theatre in Shoreditch, outside the city authorities’ remit. Newington Butts theatre in Surrey, followed, as did a third, not far from the Clink, a notorious medieval prison in Southwark. Outside London, the authorities didn’t seem as bothered if people got up to no good. Until the 19th century London had only three licensed playhouses. Today there are 42 commercial West End theatres and many more


concentration of talent and so much else to support the entertainment.” London’s Theatreland has always reflected the British way, that unique and never-ending dialogue between continuity and change that makes us who we are. Even the ‘Theatreland’ concept itself was an attempt, common in 21st-century Britain, to repackage and modernise the image of national treasures, without really changing them that much. In the age of Peter Mandelson, New Labour and spin doctoring, specialist colleges and academies replaced state secondary schools and London’s Holborn, St Giles and Bloomsbury districts were turned into something called ‘Midtown’. So too did the West End become Theatreland, in the eyes of marketing departments at least. For theatre lovers though, nothing much changed. “We still have the same mixture of modernity and tradition,” says Paul Ibell from the Society of London Theatre. Geoff Marsh adds that most of the theatres were built before the 1930s, and retain their traditional

london | The 2014 Guide

photos: © VisitBritain/joanna henderson/Gideon Mendel/CorBis/pawel liBera

Above: umbatha, a Zulu version of Shakespeare's Macbeth at the New Globe Theatre, 2003. Right: The Criterion Theatre in Piccadilly was built in 1874

not-for-profit organisations and producing houses. Some of these, such as the Old Vic, Apollo Victoria and the Globe, lie outside the geographical boundaries of Theatreland, but are every bit a part of its tradition. In 1660, King Charles II came to the throne needing to raise money after nine years of exile and Puritanical Parliamentarism. And what better way to make a fast buck than to set up patents. This meant wealthy individuals paid the royal house vast sums of money for the right to stage theatre. “Back then, the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and the Covent Garden, now the Royal Opera House, were the only legal theatres,” says Geoff Marsh. Charles II also overturned a ban preventing women from performing on stage, although it’s more likely he did this to please his mistress, Nell Gwyn, than out of any feminist sympathies. Gwyn was on stage regularly, despite the fact that she couldn’t read or write. Before the king’s intervention, female roles like Juliet and Lady Macbeth were played

by teenage boys. In subsequent years, female talent flourished. Lavinia Fenton, who played at Haymarket in the 1720s, Frances Abington and Anna Maria Crouch, who performed in the West End during the second part of the 19th century, starred in a collection of Britain’s first actresses at the National Portrait Gallery in 2012. So too, did Sarah Siddons.

While in residence at Drury Lane, Garrick turned his hand to realistic acting. “Until then performances tended to be very mannered, more like reciting poetry,” says Paul Ibell whose book, Theatreland, was published in 2009. “Garrick made things more natural.” He also introduced set design, costumes and special effects, and adapted classic plays for more modern audiences.

Above: The Grand Boxes at the Coliseum Theatre

Charles II overturned a ban preventing women from performing on stage, although it’s likely he did this to please his mistress, Nell Gwyn. Gwyn was on stage regularly, despite the fact that she couldn’t read or write That era’s definitive Lady Macbeth, Siddons was so popular that in her farewell performance, the Covent Garden audience refused to allow the play to go on past the famous sleepwalking scene, until their favourite heroine came out to make one final speech. It was around this time that David Garrick revolutionised London theatre.

Smaller music halls sprang up in the early 19th century, but it wasn’t until the 1843 Theatres Act loosened government restrictions that the West End as we know it began to take shape. In 1877 Charing Cross Road and Shaftesbury Avenue were built to open up central London. “Many properties in these areas had been bought by European émigrés, london | The 2014 Guide


fleeing the continent after the failed 1848 revolutions,” says Geoff Marsh. Between 1870 and the beginning of the First World War, theatres also sprang up around Piccadilly Circus, The Strand and Leicester Square. Paul Ibell explains that these theatres reflected Victorian values. “The rich sat in the best seats and used entrances on the main street,” he says, “the poor had to make do with cheap seats and back-alley entrances.” In the 20th century, Britain’s changing political culture continued to influence London’s theatre district. In 1956, John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger showed the world through the eyes of a post-war generation of angry young men who had lived through conflict, austerity and rationing. The play was Osborne’s response to the restrictive formality of British theatre and, in 1968, a new Theatres Act abolished government censorship of the stage. The day after abolition, the musical Hair saw nudity on a West End stage for the first time. A few years later, Andrew Lloyd Webber opened Jesus Christ Superstar, much to the chagrin of the religious diehards who couldn’t get it banned no matter how much they jumped up and down outside the Palace Theatre. The 1980s brought a deluge of big budget musicals to the West End while across the river at the National Theatre reactionary blowhard Mary Whitehouse brought a private prosecution against director Michael Bogdanov, for obscenity. It failed – a sign of the changing times. The late 90s saw plays about serious contemporary issues such as AIDS. More recently, the West End remains as popular as ever. Nearly 14 million people went to theatres here in 2012 and Geoff Marsh estimates that around 50,000 theatre seats are sold every night. Throughout all the changes, one thing has stayed the same: the West End atmosphere. So whether it’s Shakespeare waxing lyrical; inventive updating of the classics; or Nicole Kidman stripping in The Blue Room: one thing is sure. There’s nothing like a night in Theatreland.

For more information, visit the BRiTAiN



BOOk fOR 2014 J Adapted for the stage from the screenplay

J A wonderful version of Harper Lee's To Kill A

Mockingbird returns to the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre (pictured above) from 28 August to 13 September after a sell-out production in 2013. J Matilda The Musical – Roald Dahl’s much-loved tale of an extraordinary child with hideous parents – is booking at the Cambridge Theatre to December 2014. J A new version of Chekov classic The Cherry Orchard runs at the Young Vic Theatre from 10 October to 29 November 2014. J Epstein: The Man Who Made The Beatles at Leicester Square Theatre from 30 July to 6 September 2014 promises a window into the world of the band's manager.

Shakespeare in Love – that imagines the Bard as a promising new playwright – this play runs at the Noel Coward Theatre from 1 July 2014. J Fathers and Sons at the Donmar Warehouse is a tense drama about the pains of family and friendship, running from 5 June to 26 July 2014. J Noel Coward's fantasy-comedy Blithe Spirit at the Gielgud Theatre is booking to 7 June 2014. J Miss Saigon at the Prince Edward Theatre is booking from 3 May 2014 to 25 October 2014 – based on Puccini's opera, Madame Butterfly. J Agatha Christie's classic murder mystery The Mousetrap at St Martin’s Theatre is the longest-running show in London, booking to 3 January 2015. J Based on the chilling film, Fatal Attraction runs at the Haymarket Theatre Royal – booking to 21 June 2014. J Directed by Academy Award winner Sam Mendes, a flamboyant Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at Theatre Royal on Drury Lane runs until 1 November 2014. J I Can’t Sing! The X Factor Musical at the London Palladian Theatre promises to be as big a hit as its television counterpart, boasting 19 new songs with lyrics by comedian Harry Hill. Booking to 25 October.

website at


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london | The 2014 Guide

Fit for a

Buckingham Palace

Step inside the official home of HM Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh to discover a host of historic treasures WORDS SARAH HISCoCK


Buckingham Palace has been the official London residence of the British monarch since 1837 For a key london to symbols | Theplease 2014 Guide see page413

The Grand Staircase with its ornate gilt bronze banisters


london | The 2014 Guide

Buckingham Palace

chimneys smoked so much that the fires had to be allowed to die down causing mass shivering among the court, ventilation was so bad that when a decision was taken to install gas lamps, there was a serious worry about the build-up of gas on the lower floors. In the early 1840s Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, concerned himself with a reorganisation of the household and with the design faults of the palace. However by 1847 the builders were

Above, left to right: The Royal Arms on the gates outside Buckingham Palace; thrones in the Ballroom, 1935; portrait of Queen Victoria. Below: Queen elizabeth ii photos: © Derry moore/anDrew holt/the royal collection/her majesty queen elizabeth ii/pawel libera/visitbritain/ sherab/the print collector/alamy/press association


delight in Buckingham Palace,” Queen Victoria is said to have uttered on moving in after her ascension to the throne in 1837. It’s hardly surprising when you consider the lavish State Rooms which were a riot of gilt and colour. However, the palace that was to become the principle royal residence was considerably altered from what the first Duke of Buckingham commissioned in 1703. The Duke’s new ‘townhouse’, Buckingham House, was a more modest building consisting of a central block with two smaller flanking service wings. In 1761 this house was bought by King George III for £21,000 as a royal retreat – St James’s Palace remained the official royal residence – in particular for his queen, Charlotte. It was known as The Queen’s House and 14 of their 15 children were born there. But perhaps today’s palace owes most to King George IV, who in 1826 abandoned his desire for a small home and created a palace with the help of architect John Nash – this dynamic duo had previously created the fantasy Royal Pavilion at Brighton. A thousand workmen were hired to face the exterior of Buckingham House with Bath stone and add rooms on the western side. Nash demolished the north and south wings, rebuilt them and constructed Marble Arch as an entrance to the enlarged courtyard. Furnishings were transferred from George’s previous residence, Carlton House, along with those bought in France after the French Revolution. Nash never got to complete his masterpiece as escalating costs and the extravagance of his designs resulted in him being removed from the project. However on the death of King George IV in 1830, his younger brother William IV hired Edward Blore to finish the work. Victoria might have been struck with the palace when she first moved in but in reality it was far from ideal. The

how to visit bucKinGham palace

J Summer Opening: while the queen

makes her annual visit to scotland, buckingham palace's 19 state rooms are open to visitors from 2 august to 28 september 2014. the palace opens at 9:30am over the summer. in august the last admission is at 4:45pm with the palace closing at 7pm, while in september the last admission is at 3:45pm with the palace

closing at 6pm. tel: 020 7766 7300; J exhibition: to mark the 300th anniversary of the beginning of the Georgian era, a fascinating new exhibition will be displayed in the queen's Gallery at the palace. The First Georgians: Art and Monarchy 1714-1760 explores royal patronage and taste in the reigns of George i and George ii. boasting over 300 works from the royal collection, the exhibition will run between 11 april and 12 october 2014. J Changing the Guard: watching a new guard exchanging duty with the old outside the palace is a ceremony unique to britain. Guard mounting takes place at 11.30am daily from may to july, and on alternate dates throughout the rest of the year.

london | The 2014 Guide


photos: © John Freeman/the royal collection/her maJesty queen elizabeth ii

Buckingham Palace

Above: The State dining Room. Right: The Gold Stage Coach used for coronations


back as the couple had found the palace too small for court life and their “growing little family” and consequently the new east wing was built enclosing the central quadrangle. It’s the large East Front facing The Mall which is today the public face of Buckingham Palace and contains the balcony from which the Royal Family acknowledge the crowds on momentous occasions. Of the 775 rooms within Buckingham Palace, only 19 can be seen by the public. These are the State Rooms – open annually when The Queen goes away for the summer – forming the nucleus of the working palace and used regularly by Her Majesty for official entertaining. Few could fail to be impressed as they climb the Grand Staircase with its intricate gilt bronze banisters, under the watchful gaze of Queen Victoria’s symbolically-placed family portraits, and into the Green Drawing Room. The green silk was woven especially for this room and candelabras and Sèvres porcelain sit in front of huge mirrors to amplify the light. It was here that Paul McCartney and Elton John would have waited, perhaps seated on the green furniture (claret coloured in Victoria’s time) on the day of their investitures and where Princess Anne had her wedding photographs taken, a white polar bear rug protecting her dress. The Throne Room next door was also the scene of some famous royal photographs, those taken by Lord Lichfield of Prince Charles and Lady Diana and The Queen and Prince Philip. It is also in here that Nash’s

london | The 2014 Guide

influence is immediately apparent. The huge proscenium arch creates a theatrical feel and many of the more elaborate pieces in the room were ‘recycled’ from George VI’s bachelor pad, Carlton House. The Coronation Chairs take centre stage, flanked by the ornate council chairs, and if you look up a white frieze circles the entire room depicting moments from British medieval history. Initially Queen Victoria used this room as a ballroom but after declaring that there was no room for ladies’ skirts, she had one built. At the time of its construction it was the largest room in London and was opened in 1856 with a ball to celebrate the end of the Crimean War. The Ballroom is still the largest room in Buckingham Palace and today is used to host the State Banquet and as the regular venue for Investitures of which there are usually 21 a year. At such events The



london | The 2014 Guide

Above: Aerial view of Buckingham Palace. Right: A Queen's Guard in one of Buckingham Palace's sentry boxes

photos: © DAviD Bleeker-lonDon/AlAmy/CAmeron DAviDson/CorBis

Queen (or her representative The Prince of Wales) will meet recipients of honours and award them, including knighting those who have been awarded knighthoods. The Music Room was originally known as the Bow Drawing Room and is the centre of the suite of rooms on the Garden Front between the Blue and the White Drawing Rooms. Four royal babies – The Prince of Wales, The Princess Royal, The Duke of York and Prince William – were christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Music Room. One of its formal uses is for receptions or during a State Visit when guests are presented to The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh and the visiting Head of State. The last of the suite of rooms overlooking the gardens on the principal floor is the White Drawing Room. Originally called the North Drawing Room, it is perhaps the grandest of all the State Rooms. The room also serves as a royal reception room for The Queen and members of the Royal Family to gather before state and official occasions. The Bow Room is familiar to the many thousands of guests to Royal Garden Parties who pass through it on their way to the garden. It was originally intended as a part of George IV’s private apartments – to be the King’s Library – but it was never fitted up as such. Instead, it has become another room for entertaining and is where The Queen holds the arrival lunch for a visiting Head of State. At the rear of the palace is the park-like garden with its lake, which is the largest private garden in London. Here The Queen hosts her annual Garden Parties. Originally landscaped by Capability Brown, it was redesigned by William Townsend Aiton of Kew Gardens and John Nash.

Adjacent to the palace is the Royal Mews where royal carriages, including the Gold State Coach, are housed. This rococo coach was first used for the State Opening of Parliament by George III in 1762 and is used by the monarch only for coronations or jubilee celebrations. Out on The Mall a memorial statue to Queen Victoria stands surrounded by the figures of Charity, Truth and Justice. It’s apt that the monarch who had such an impact on this palace should forever be gazing at her “delight”.

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Britain Meets Behind the familiar facades of London's best-known buildings are people who are passionate about the city's history and heritage. We meet three of these faces at well-known landmarks

Left: Stephen Twining, Brand Ambassador of Twinings. Below: inside the brand's flagship shop on the Strand, which has been there since 1706

Stephen twining

We’re a nation of tea drinkers – thanks, in part, to Thomas Twining, who helped start the craze in the 18th century. We meet Stephen Twining who continues the tea tradition at the famous family-run London shop There are few things more quintessentially British than a nice cup of tea. Our national love of tea drinking started in London, largely thanks to one man, who began selling this little-known beverage to a city of coffee fanatics over 300 years ago. In 1706, Thomas Twining started an empire that is still family-run today and synonymous with fine quality tea. The official arrival of tea in Britain can be traced to 1662 when Catherine of Braganza brought the beverage to these shores on her marriage to King Charles II. The Portuguese queen made it immediately fashionable. Brewers, however, saw tea as a threat to their businesses (350 years ago London water was not safe to drink so a light wheat beer was drunk by all with breakfast, lunch and dinner) and persuaded the government to attach huge taxes to it. It became quite the status symbol in fact – the wealthy would even have their portraits painted


london | The 2014 Guide

drinking cups of tea. But coffee houses still underpinned life in London. Thomas Twining was a young businessman who had completed an apprenticeship with a tea importer. In 1706, at the age of 31, he bought a coffee house on the Strand in the wealthy Temple area. He had over 2,000 competitors within a mile radius so introduced a point of difference: tea. As it was socially taboo for ladies to be seen in coffee houses, they would order their carriages to the courtyard at the back of Twining’s shop and send a male servant in to pick up the tea. Twining realised that he needed a retail premises for ladies and quickly bought neighbouring properties. By 1717 these had joined

to become the world’s first dry tea and coffee shop. The shop remains Twinings’ flagship store today, the business handed down through generations of the family. “I knew I wanted to be involved from a young age,” says Stephen Twining, Brand Ambassador, who started in the Strand shop 28 years ago. Twinings English Breakfast Tea celebrated its 80th birthday in 2013. “It is a great skill that our blenders have, to make tea taste the same every time,” says Twining. “English Breakfast Tea was the first designer tea, as it was created to go with the ‘full English’ breakfast of the 1930s, which included strong foods such as kedgeree and kippers.”

DiD you know? Back in the coffee house heyday of the 17th century, men in a hurry to get their drink could drop a coin into a box by the door, attracting the proprietor’s attention and ensuring express service. The top of the box was marked ‘T I P’, which stood for To Insure Promptness (although English has changed so that ‘insure’ has become ‘ensure’). That’s how ‘tip’ entered the English language.


Behind the Scenes

Clockwise from left: Sean davoren, head Butler at The Savoy; Savoy Court; Laurence Olivier and Marilyn Monroe at a press conference at The Savoy


As calm as Lord Grantham's Carson and as unflappable as Bruce Wayne's Alfred, Sean Davoren is head butler at the world-famous Savoy hotel What could be more quintessentially British than having a butler to take care of your every need? Whether you require someone to serve tea in pretty bone-china tableware, draw you a

rose-scented bath or dress you in a dinner suit, butler service is all about British quality and tradition. So, it came as no surprise when, as part of a hugely ambitious hotel restoration, another iconic institution – The Savoy hotel in London – reinstated their butler service. More than 120 years after it originally opened its doors, we meet Sean Davoren, Head Butler at The

Savoy, to talk about the role of the modern-day butler. Imagine the dry yet adorable Carson in the hugely successful Downton Abbey, the witty yet chary Jeeves in Jeeves and Wooster, or the humourless but unswervingly loyal Hudson in Upstairs Downstairs. These remarkable characters came to mind, but Sean is quick to dispel these stereotypes. However, before we talk about the life of a modern-day Carson to the world's rich and famous, we just had to ask Sean what he thought about Downton Abbey?” His response was a delightful eruption of affection: “I love it!”. Love it he might, but relate to the lives of the characters he does not. “The role of the butler has not changed per se, the level of service remains the same, but modern attitudes have – of course – changed,” he explains. “A butler in modern-day Britain would not necessarily stay with one family for their entire working life. Today’s families and guests require a level of independence, which we butlers must know how to accommodate. For example, butlers no longer ‘dress’ their employer, but we would lay an outfit on the bed in readiness for an important event.” Another major difference is that the role is now open to and popular with women. As Sean explains the changes, a female member of his 26-strong butlering team – Jocelyn – pours tea

What the butler saW 1901 Monet made several visits to The Savoy, always staying on the fifth or sixth floors, from where he produced around 70 paintings of the Thames. 1940 Winston Churchill was dining at The Savoy when he received a phone call summoning him to form a new government. 1946 Princess Elizabeth was first spotted alongside Prince Philip at a wedding reception in the hotel. 1956 Monroe and Olivier attended a press conference together at The Savoy. The chair she sat on during the evening was auctioned as part of the Savoy's refurbishment sale. london | The 2014 Guide


into a perfectly positioned cup (handle at 45 degrees to the guest), with military precision. “The role used to be entirely male dominated. Now it is fashionable for a lady to have a male butler and a gentleman to have female butler.” More generally, the role of the butler is growing in popularity and the profession is attracting more and more young people from all over the world, although The Savoy’s butlers are, in the main, English. The origins of the role date back to the 16th and 17th centuries (the word ‘butler’ derives from the ancient French and ultimately Latin word ‘bouteleur’ meaning cup bearer). But it was during the Victorian era that the number of domestic servants increased and the role of the butler evolved into a senior member of the household staff. One thing that remains largely unchanged is the uniform. Explains Sean: “I’m wearing a traditional uniform with a modern twist. Generally, a butler would have worn a morning suit – a black coat and grey waistcoat with striped trousers and black shoes. The cut and style of my suit is very similar to that original design. But the traditional butler would change into a dinner suit at 6pm, whereas our specially tailored suits with these gold pin-stripes are worn throughout the day and evening.” It’s clear that the reinstated butler service is a wonderful nostalgic taster of traditional Britain that is a fine balance of British style mixed with today’s desire to be pampered.

Clockwise from left: Richard Fuller, Sales and Personnel director of Fuller, Smith and Turner PLC; the Griffin Brewery in Chiswick, west London; Churchill Arms in Kensington; The Savoy in 1905

RichaRd FulleR

In the heart of Chiswick in west London, on the banks of the Thames, one of the most famous and historic breweries in Britain can be found. Fuller’s has produced iconic beer for 150 years The Griffin Brewery is home to Fuller, Smith and Turner PLC, better known as simply Fuller’s, the makers of a vast range of beers and owners of almost 400 pubs in London and beyond. Ale has been produced at this site since 1640, when it was the brewery for Bedford House in the days when every big residence had its own brewery. Over time, the brewery grew into a commercial organisation. “In 1829 my great great grandfather John Fuller became involved as an investor,” explains Richard Fuller, the company’s Sales and Personnel Director. “He brought Smith and Turner, both with brewing


london | The 2014 Guide

backgrounds, in as partners.” Until recently, all three key positions in the business – President, Chairman and Chief Executive – were still held by people from each family. Fuller has a few special pub recommendations. “The Star Tavern in Belgrave Mews West is not only a classic tavern with great beer but it has an interesting history. The great train robbery was planned there.” Fuller also recommends The Red Lion on Parliament Street, a favourite watering hole for MPs. “We see our pubs as being part of a community,” he says, and wishes more people could see the brewery in Chiswick, where tours are offered to the public. “It is quite hard now for people to access a working brewery with such heritage as this,” he says. “I’d love it if more people would come and see us. There is so much history: even the wisteria growing here is one of the oldest in the country.”

phoTos: © Mary Evans pICTurE LIBrary/aLaMy/ThoMas skovsEndE

Behind the Scenes

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Downing Street

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Behind nUMBeR 10

The entrance to the prime minister's official London residence has the most famous front door in the world. But what lies behind it? WORDS SIAn EllIS

london | The 2014 Guide



umber 10 Downing Street and its glossy black entrance to the prime minister’s official London residence is just a short walk from the Houses of Parliament, and presents a surprisingly modest facade to outside eyes. But appearances are deceptive. Behind the door, the prime minister runs a busy office, holds Cabinet meetings, hosts state and charity receptions – and lives, as quietly as any PM can, with his family. Fifty-two men and one woman have stepped across the threshold as British prime minister. “There is no traditional key for the front door,” a Downing Street spokesperson reveals. “A custodian keeps watch 24 hours a day and can see people arriving on a CCTV screen.” Which explains how the door magically opens as soon as the PM arrives. Another ‘secret’ is that Number 10 is not one but two houses that have been joined together: the unpretentious Downing Street entrance, where the world’s press gathers to capture ministers coming and going, is a 17th-century town house (with later refurbishment). Inside, a broad corridor connects it to a mansion and walled garden behind, looking onto Horse Guards Parade.


london | The 2014 Guide

Sir George Downing built the terraced houses in the cul-de-sac that is Downing Street in the late 17th century. A speculator, spy, traitor and general rogue, he aimed to make a quick buck by developing property close to parliament and court. He certainly upset the neighbours – King Charles II’s daughter, Countess Lichfield, lived in the mansion behind and bitterly complained about the intrusion on her privacy. Not only that, Downing built cheaply, putting down poor foundations in boggy ground that in later years would need to be remedied. The association of Number 10 with Britain’s premiers began in the 1730s. King George II presented it, along with the mansion, to Sir Robert Walpole, to provide him with a fine dwelling to match his status – he was First Lord of the Treasury and is regarded as the country’s first, as well as longest-serving, prime minister (1721-42). Walpole accepted the king’s offer, on condition that future First Lords of the Treasury could also live here – and that is the official role in which all later prime ministers have occupied Number 10. Before he took up residence in 1735, Walpole had the two houses joined together and refurbished in grand style

Clockwise from above left: Margaret Thatcher at 10 downing Street while prime minister; ornate ceiling with daffodil pattern in the White drawing Room; detail of lion-headed candle sconce in the State dining Room

photos: © arcade images/pictoral press/keystone pictures use/alamy/visitbritain/pawel libera

Downing Street

by the Palladian architect William Kent. Now important guests could be entertained in handsome rooms on the first and second floors, while Walpole used the ground floor to conduct business. Over the decades since, there have been many further alterations, notably the building of the State Dining Room and Small Dining Room in the 19th century by the renowned architect Sir John Soane. In the 20th century, with photography and radio on hand to capture the moments for posterity, Downing Street became the focus for significant events in Britain’s history. In January 1908, long before gates were erected at the end of the street to control entry, suffragettes chained themselves to the railings outside Number 10, gaining huge publicity for their campaign for women’s votes. In 1938, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain returned from Germany to flourish the infamous ‘peace for our time’ document in front of Downing Street’s jubilant

gathered crowds. A year later, he broadcast a sombre radio message from Number 10’s Cabinet Room, telling the nation that it was at war. Winston Churchill moved in and brought his own characteristic style of leadership: often sitting in bed smoking cigars while dictating speeches and letters to an unfazed secretary in the morning or late evening. On 8 May 1945 he chose the more formal setting of the Cabinet Room to make his VE Day broadcast announcing Victory in Europe. A notable post-war change at Number 10 has been the 1940s conversion of the attic – formerly servants’ quarters – into a modest flat for the prime minister and his family. It is nowhere near as grand as living on the floors below, but it did relieve prime ministers of having to bring their own furniture for the state rooms! Nowadays, our Downing Street spokesperson explains, “The state rooms are inspected every four years – we

Clockwise from above left: Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill; The Cabinet Room; the downing Street garden backs on to horse Guards Parade

Fifty-two men and one woman have stepped across the threshold of Number 10 Downing Street as British prime minister

london | The 2014 Guide



london | The 2014 Guide

photos: © arcade images/alamy/pa archive/press association images/corbis

Downing Street

Those who step inside are aware of a hubbub of activity spread through the building – civil servants, clerks and others of the 200 staff who work in the PM’s office work with English Heritage to ensure that the rooms are kept to the right standards. Prime ministers are able to influence the decoration, but English Heritage would be involved in any refurbishment.” Indeed, the imprint and fancies of different prime ministers can be found throughout Number 10. When Lord North – known as the man who lost Britain’s American colonies – was prime minister 1770-82, the iconic lion’s head doorknocker and black-and-white chequer board floor in the entrance hall were added. Those who step inside are aware of a hubbub of activity spread through the building – civil servants, clerks and others of the 200 staff who work in the PM’s office. However the Cabinet Room lies behind soundproof doors. The Cabinet – the supreme decision-making committee in government – meets here every Tuesday during parliament to discuss big issues of the moment. Prime Minister Harold Macmillan (1957-63) introduced the curved, boat-shaped table to enable the PM to see everyone. Carry on, up William Kent’s bold three-sided Grand Staircase, and you certainly feel eyes upon you as portraits of every prime minister gaze down from the walls. Margaret, later Baroness Thatcher famously declared, “One of my few hobbies is interior decorating”. And when

she came to power (1979-90) she embarked on major refurbishment of the state rooms, including the White Drawing Room and the Terracotta Room. The Iron Lady’s legacy includes a flash of humour: look amid the ornate plasterwork of the new ceiling in the Terracotta Room for a straw-carrying thatcher. These rooms are resplendent with antiques and Waterford crystal chandeliers. Paintings include loans from the Government Art Collection. “The Prime Minister will select pieces for his own residence and office. There is a committee that decides what pieces appear in the state rooms,” our Downing Street spokesperson says, adding. “The Downing Street cleaners are specially trained in heritage cleaning techniques and there is a heritage restorer if anything needs repairing. The chandeliers are cleaned four times a year.” Television interviews often take place in the White Drawing Room, while the (allegedly haunted) Pillared Room provides a grand stage for state, celebrity and charity receptions. When guests sit down in the State Dining Room, “we always seek to use the best British produce,” Downing Street says. Luckily, since 1908, Government Hospitality takes care of such functions – before that

Facing page, clockwise from top: The main staircase, looking down to Lady Thatcher's globe; Prime Minister david Cameron and his Canadian counterpart Stephen harper in the garden of 10 downing Street; Tony Blair arrives in 1997; Samantha Cameron with uS first lady Michelle Obama during a barbecue in the garden, 2011. Above: uS President Barack Obama with david Cameron, 2011

london | The 2014 Guide


Downing Street

photos: © arcade images/alamy/press association

When grandchildren came to visit Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, his wife Dorothy put up a notice forbidding roller-skating in corridors prime ministers were obliged to employ their own servants! It is not always easy to combine living and working at Number 10. When grandchildren came to visit Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, his wife Dorothy put up a notice forbidding rollerskating in corridors on Cabinet days. One grandson’s hamster escaped through the drains and turned up in the Treasury. Tony and Cherie Blair installed a climbing frame, swing and trampoline in the garden for their four children – and looked out one day to find two visiting politicians showing their sons skateboarding tricks. Baroness Thatcher thrived on ‘living above the shop’ – as a grocer’s daughter, she was perfectly used to it. But more than one PM’s startled spouse has awoken to find a private secretary sitting on the bed in the Number 10 flat, chatting about business to the PM! As regards making the attic flat feel like home, “The furniture is a mix of personal as well as existing


london | The 2014 Guide

furniture,” our spokesperson confides. Margaret Thatcher brightened things up with floral sofas and lamps. Tony Blair moved his family into the more spacious flat above Number 11 Downing Street – since 1828 the official residence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Gordon Brown and David Cameron and their families have maintained this swap. There is always uncertainty, of course, about how long a PM will be in residence. If general election results don’t go your way, you are expected to depart with your belongings immediately. Yet even amid the turmoil, time-honoured courtesies are observed. Departing prime ministers and their families are ‘clapped out’ of Number 10 by staff lining the corridors. Then the big black door closes one final time.

Above: The Green drawing Room. Left: The new British Prime Minister david Cameron with deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg at 10 downing Street in 2010

For more details about London's most historic buildings, and information on visiting the capital, please visit the BRiTAiN website at

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Ghostly goings on…

London is littered with beautiful parks, stunning architecture, superb shopping and wonderful walks. One walk that remains a firm favourite is a jaunt through the capital's most haunted corners



London is known as the most haunted capital city in the world



Haunted London



hen night fell in Whitechapel on Friday 31 August 1888 it must have felt like any other late summer’s evening. The first delicate nip of an early autumn may have been hanging in the air. But by its end, a positive chill had descended when the body of Mary Ann Nicholls was discovered in Buck’s Row. The manner of her demise was meticulous and recognisable – she was an early victim of Jack the Ripper who added, with similar precision, four more women to his tally. (There was possibly a fifth.) At least one of his victims, perhaps others, patronised the Ten Bells in Commercial Street immediately prior to her death. And, just maybe, Jack stalked his victims there. Today, Whitechapel has changed beyond recognition. Yet it is hard to wander its streets without sparing a thought for those who met such a violent end all those years ago. In ghostly terms, Jack’s victims generally keep a low profile – although ‘presences’ have been felt at the Ten Bells. Jack, meanwhile, is said to appear at midnight each 31 December on Westminster Bridge. Tradition says it was from here, on that date in 1888, that he threw himself to his death. Other murder victims, however, have been less shy in manifesting themselves. In St James’ Park, the headless lady of the lake has a history stretching back to the earliest years of the 19th century. She is reputedly the murdered – beheaded – wife of an 18th-century soldier. Clad in red, she is occasionally seen strolling along Birdcage Walk or emerging from the park’s lake. The Tower of London is traditionally England’s most haunted building. Many have ended their days in this forboding fortress. Among them were Princes Richard and Edward, sent there in 1483 by their uncle, soon to become Richard III. It is believed he had them murdered here (hence the ‘Bloody Tower’), although their precise fate is unknown. Their spirits are occasionally seen, drifting aimlessly. Other royalty said to stalk the tower include Lady Jane Grey and Anne Boleyn – both imprisoned here prior to execution. Mayfair’s 50 Berkeley Square once laid claim to being London’s most haunted house. It dates from the 1740s, LONDON | THE 2014 GUIDE


Clockwise from top left: Ravens flying around the Tower of London; The Ten Bells pub is sometimes cited as being notable for its association with two victims of Jack the Ripper; snow in Birdcage Walk


london | The 2014 Guide

Haunted London and was originally a grand home. Ghostly goings on commenced in Victorian times: tales of its haunted top floor bedroom are legion. Some heard mysterious sounds; others saw a kilted girl. A maid servant reputedly went mad, having witnessed… well, nobody knows – she was never able to say. Inevitably, there were sceptics who were happy to use the room – including one who took a hand bell with him that he would ring, he said, in an emergency. He did just that. And was found dead. Two sailors who later broke into the then abandoned house were similarly confronted by something terrible. Variously described as a ghostly presence or an oleaginous shape, one ran screaming to summon help. He returned to find his friend skewered on the railings outside. If all the world’s a stage, then it is hardly surprising that London’s theatres offer a fine variety of spectral spectacles. The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane is home to ‘the man in grey’. He would appear to have good reason to be there: when it was being renovated in 1840, the skeleton of a man with a knife through his ribs was found behind an old wall. The ghost (presumably his ghost), generally appears in the circle – matinees apparently being much-favoured. He then disappears, slipping through aforesaid wall. The Royal Albert Hall, meanwhile, is haunted by the ghost of Henry Willis – builder of its enormous organ. At

Right: The Bank of england is often affectionately named the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street

photos: © Alen MAcWeeney/coRBIs/BlAckout concepts/AlAMy/RogeR cRAcknell 01/clAssIc/AlAMy/Istock

The Tower of London is traditionally England’s most haunted building. M any have ended their days in this forboding fortress 150 tons, with almost 10,000 pipes and requiring a steam engine to operate the bellows, it was the world’s largest. Small wonder that he occasionally feels the need to return and see that all is well. Of slightly more dubious provenance are two ghostly prostitutes who wander the building during November: it was reputedly built on the site of a brothel. Kensington Palace, a tiara’s glint west, also has more than one supernatural resident, most famously the ghost of George II, who spent his final days there forlornly staring at the weather vane. “Why don’t they come?” he intoned,

ten MoRe Most hAunteD J Viaduct tavern, newgate street: noted

for its poltergeist.

J the spaniards Inn, hampstead heath:

Dick turpin.

J london palladium: 18th-century Duke

J ye olde cock tavern, Fleet street:

oliver goldsmith (pictured above).

J st James’ palace: sellis, the valet.

of Argyll’s mistress. J sadler’s Wells theatre: Joseph grimaldi’s disembodied head. J covent garden station: the man in the homburg hat. J somerset house: Admiral lord nelson. J Adelphi theatre: William terriss, actor. J the old Vic: the woman with bloodstained hands.

as he awaited messengers bearing news from Hanover, of which he was elector. His ghostly form is still seen here and there, repeating the same message. Additionally, the ghost of Princess Sophia – one of Queen Victoria’s aunts – is often seen sitting at her spinning wheel, something she regularly did during the many days she spent here. London’s financial centre, the City, has a goodly share of ghosts too – not least at the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street, the Bank of England. It is, nevertheless, another old lady who has returned to haunt it. During the early 19th century, her brother was executed for forgery. Unable to come to terms with both his guilt and his death, she regularly returned to the bank, asking after him. To this day, she is reportedly seen wandering the neighbourhood, still enquiring whether anybody has seen her brother. Unsurprisingly, some ghosts have been pure fiction – the most famous hoax being the Cock Lane ghost in the City. In 1762, a girl living at No. 33 claimed that knocking noises were coming from the premises. According to her father, they were surely from the ghost of his sister-in-law who had fallen victim to smallpox. Reputedly, he could even predict when next the noises might be heard. No. 33 soon became a great crowd-puller, Dr Johnson and the author Horace Walpole being among those drawn there. Curiously, though, the noises ceased whenever the young girl was not on the premises. And thus was exposed one of the greatest hoaxes of the age. For, although the noises were real enough, it was the girl who was making them. london | The 2014 Guide


Haunted London

Two ghostly prostitutes wander The Royal A lbert H all during N ovember: it was reputedly built on the site of a brothel


london | The 2014 Guide

The Royal Albert hall is also said to be haunted by the ghost of henry Willis – builder of its enormous organ

photo: © peter Cook/VIeW/CorbIs

Haunted London

Other places simply have a deathly feel about them. Close to St Paul’s Cathedral, Postman’s Park is particularly noted for the Victorian obsession with death. A memorial, in the form of ceramic tiles mounted in a public shelter, records the untimely, and occasionally grisly, demise of dozens of ordinary citizens who sacrificed their lives to save others. “Walter Peart, driver, Harry Dean, fireman, of the Windsor express 18 July 1898. Whilst being scalded and burnt sacrificed their lives in saving the train.” There are no known ghosts here. But even in the warmth of a summer’s day, as the fountains dance in the sunlight and trees cast their dappled shade across the gardens, there is a marked chill in the air. Dye-in-the-wool sceptics might prefer deathly encounters of a more tangible variety. London happily obliges, not least at the City church of St James Garlickhythe where a mummified body used to be on display. In recent years, however, ‘Jimmy Garlick’ has been kept locked away – although several visitors have reportedly seen him in ghostly form. During the last war, a 500lb bomb fell on the church, but failed to explode; it then had a serious encounter with death-watch beetle. And finally, in 1991, a crane toppled from an adjacent building site. Maybe such good fortune is due to divine intervention. Finally, one of London’s best-loved bodies will be found at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese pub in Fleet Street. For many years, it was the home of Polly the Parrot – a bird of considerable infamy whose talents reputedly included the ability to swear in a myriad of languages. On armistice night 1918, she mimicked the pop of champagne corks so many times that she fainted through exhaustion. None the worse for wear, she died at the grand age of 40, in 1926. Her spirit lives on, courtesy of the taxidermist. She still oversees proceedings in the basement bar, glint in beady eye, watching patrons’ every move. Doubtless thinking unthinkable, and unprintable, thoughts.

 For more information on haunted London, and for guided walks, visit BRiTAiN magazine's website at london | The 2014 Guide


London Bridge Hotel has everything you need in a London hotel, relaxed yet comfortable and contemporary accommodation; a great location and transport links and the buzz of the city just outside the door. Situated in the heart of the historic and thriving Borough of Southwark, London Bridge Hotel provides an excellent base from which to enjoy all the attractions of the capital, The Shard, the newly regenerated London Bridge Quarter, Borough Market and the River Thames. Whilst here you must pay a visit to Quarter Bar & Lounge, the hotel’s bar which offers a chic design with a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. Choose a glamorous cocktail from our vast menu, or if hunger beckons why not try one of our sharing platters and other tasty treats.

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Barry House Hyde Park

CARLTON COURT MAYFAIR 12 SuSSex Place, Hyde Park, london, W2 2TP T: 020 7723 7340 e: 10 Down Street, Mayfair, LonDon, w1J 7aL t: 020 7493 0597 e:


he Barry House Bed & Breakfast is family-friendly and conveniently located in Central London, close to the pretty green expanse of Hyde Park. Barry House offers a warm atmosphere with English breakfast included in all rates. All the rooms feature recently refurbished bathrooms and have flat-screen TVs, hairdryers, tea and coffee making facilities, and free to access WiFi. Transport links are excellent with two underground stations – Paddington and Lancaster Gate – just three minutes’ walk away.

SPecIal oFFer: Quote BrITaIn when you book, for a 10% reduction on your rate.

In the englIsh Manner Central London Apartments Kensington, CheLseA, Knightsbridge, notting hiLL t: 213-629-1811 (UsA); 01559 371600/2 (UK) e: or


ith so much to see and do in London, why not spend a week or more in a comfortable self-catering house or apartment right in the centre of the capital, instead of a hotel? Come and go as you please, when you please, with the flexibility of having the key to your own front door.


arlton Court is a five-star boutique, serviced apartment block in Mayfair. Each apartment is self-contained comprising either one, two or three stunning bedrooms. There is also an ambassadorial five-bedroom town house with parking. All are available to rent from £250 per night (plus VAT). Available at a highly competitive rate for Mayfair, Carlton Court provides personalised service throughout your stay, offering a ‘home away from home’ experience with all the benefits of a five-star hotel but at no extra cost. Our unique worldwide package includes seven-daysa-week room service, housekeeping, Wi-Fi, LCD television with full SKY HD channels, full package of other languages and 24-hour concierge service. Carlton Court is London’s best-kept secret.

Established in 1982, In the English Manner is a leading short-term letting agent in Central London and offers comfortable and luxury apartments for rent in the most exclusive central London locations, including Kensington, Chelsea, Knightsbridge and Notting Hill. Each apartment is personally inspected and carefully chosen based on location and comfort. If your stay in the capital is for less than a week, the company can offer beautiful serviced apartments in Kensington and Mayfair, which can be rented on a daily basis. In the English Manner has been providing apartments for rent in London for more than 30 years, and prides itself on being a serviceorientated business.

london | The 2014 Guide


Accommodation THE CAPITAL HOTEL, LONDON 22-24 Basil st, KnightsBridge, london, sW3 1at t: 020 7589 5171 e:


he world’s closest hotel to Harrods and a refuge of English elegance and comfort, The Capital, Knightsbridge, is one of the last five-star hotels in London that is family owned and run. As such it takes great pride in its high levels of personal service. The interiors are a sumptuous medley of classic English fabrics, antiques and works of art from the owner’s private collection. Michelin-starred Outlaw’s at The Capital has been masterminded by Nathan Outlaw, arguably Britain’s greatest seafood chef.

Albro House Hotel

There is a quiet, sophisticated charm to the bar where Cesar Da Silva, one of England’s youngest masters of whisky, presides. He is happy to offer classes in cheese and whisky pairing or simply on how to make the perfect martini. This excellent location is not only ideal for shopping and the Royal Parks but also for families visiting the famous Natural History Museum. For fashion and style enthusiasts, the Victoria & Albert Museum is an easy walk away. The Capital is a grand hotel in miniature, and with a UK Tea Guild award for its Afternoon Tea, it offers a truly English experience.

Photo: Ron Rutten

155 Sussex Gardens, Hyde Park, London W2 2RY Tel: +44 (0)20 7724 2931/+44 (0)20 7706 8153 Fax: +44 (0)20 7262 2278 Information E-mail: Shop Website: Located near Hyde Park, public transport and convenient for sightseeing and shopping. Comfortable roomsPlant all withSales TV, private facilities, tea / coffee maker, phone, radio and hairdryer. Friendly efficient service. Quiet, relaxed atmosphere. Some parking. Corporate Hospitality/Functions Families and small groups welcome. Tours booked. Luggage storage. Free WiFi

Suitability for the Disabled

Rates per person including cooked Low High Refreshment/Cafe/Tearoom English breakfast & all taxes Season Season Single rooms from £46 to £55 £55 to £75 Restaurant Twin / double rooms from £34 to £41 £50 to £70 Family (3 or 4) per Guided person from Tours £32 to £40 £38 to £48

Audio Tours A GOOD VALUE HOTEL IN CENTRAL LONDON Parking Available Education- School Visits No Dogs


Independent Accommodation Traveller Suitability for Dogs

Civil Wedding License Established 1980 Open All Year


• Central, suburban Accept Euros and commuter areas • Edinburgh and other UK cities also Tel: +44 (0) 1392 860807

Web: 70

london | The 2014 Guide

Faulty towers the Dining experience Charing Cross hotel, the strand, london, WC2n 5hX t: 0845 154 4145 e:


asil, Sybil and Manuel serve a three-course meal with a good dollop of mayhem and all the best gags in a ‘two-hour eat, drink and laugh sensation’ (Daily Telegraph). This is the same five-star, West End show that tours the world, taking in major arts festivals and even Sydney Opera House. Highly improvised and fully immersive, it’s ‘a rip-roaringly hilarious night out’ (This is London). Booking is essential.

information: Faulty Towers The Dining Experience is performed evenings and matinées tuesday to sunday throughout the year. tickets cost between £39 and £54; all tickets include a three-course meal and two-hour interactive show. for £5 discount on all tickets, book online before 6 feb 2014 quoting promotion code Visit Britain.

*Offer is valid on all bookings for stays between 1st of January to 31st December 2014 of 4 nights or more. Must be booked over the phone, using the code VISITLDN. This offer cannot be combined with any other offer. Expires 31st December 2014.

Accommodation THE CAPITAL HOTEL, LONDON 22-24 Basil st, KnightsBridge, london, sW3 1at t: 020 7589 5171 e:


he world’s closest hotel to Harrods and a refuge of English elegance and comfort, The Capital, Knightsbridge, is one of the last five-star hotels in London that is family owned and run. As such it takes great pride in its high levels of personal service. The interiors are a sumptuous medley of classic English fabrics, antiques and works of art from the owner’s private collection. Michelin-starred Outlaw’s at The Capital has been masterminded by Nathan Outlaw, arguably Britain’s greatest seafood chef.

Albro House Hotel

There is a quiet, sophisticated charm to the bar where Cesar Da Silva, one of England’s youngest masters of whisky, presides. He is happy to offer classes in cheese and whisky pairing or simply on how to make the perfect martini. This excellent location is not only ideal for shopping and the Royal Parks but also for families visiting the famous Natural History Museum. For fashion and style enthusiasts, the Victoria & Albert Museum is an easy walk away. The Capital is a grand hotel in miniature, and with a UK Tea Guild award for its Afternoon Tea, it offers a truly English experience.

Photo: Ron Rutten

155 Sussex Gardens, Hyde Park, London W2 2RY Tel: +44 (0)20 7724 2931/+44 (0)20 7706 8153 Fax: +44 (0)20 7262 2278 Information E-mail: Shop Website: Located near Hyde Park, public transport and convenient for sightseeing and shopping. Comfortable roomsPlant all withSales TV, private facilities, tea / coffee maker, phone, radio and hairdryer. Friendly efficient service. Quiet, relaxed atmosphere. Some parking. Corporate Hospitality/Functions Families and small groups welcome. Tours booked. Luggage storage. Free WiFi

Suitability for the Disabled

Rates per person including cooked Low High Refreshment/Cafe/Tearoom English breakfast & all taxes Season Season Single rooms from £46 to £55 £55 to £75 Restaurant Twin / double rooms from £34 to £41 £50 to £70 Family (3 or 4) per Guided person from Tours £32 to £40 £38 to £48

Audio Tours A GOOD VALUE HOTEL IN CENTRAL LONDON Parking Available Education- School Visits No Dogs


Independent Accommodation Traveller Suitability for Dogs

Civil Wedding License Established 1980 Open All Year


• Central, suburban Accept Euros and commuter areas • Edinburgh and other UK cities also Tel: +44 (0) 1392 860807

Web: 72

london | The 2014 Guide

Faulty towers the Dining experience Charing Cross hotel, the strand, london, WC2n 5hX t: 0845 154 4145 e:


asil, Sybil and Manuel serve a three-course meal with a good dollop of mayhem and all the best gags in a ‘two-hour eat, drink and laugh sensation’ (Daily Telegraph). This is the same five-star, West End show that tours the world, taking in major arts festivals and even Sydney Opera House. Highly improvised and fully immersive, it’s ‘a rip-roaringly hilarious night out’ (This is London). Booking is essential.

information: Faulty Towers The Dining Experience is performed evenings and matinées tuesday to sunday throughout the year. tickets cost between £39 and £54; all tickets include a three-course meal and two-hour interactive show. for £5 discount on all tickets, book online before 6 feb 2014 quoting promotion code Visit Britain.

Attractions – Shopping

FLORIS 89 Jermyn Street, London, SW1y 6JH t: 020 7930 2885 e:


stablishing the company in 1730 Juan Floris and his wife Elizabeth began selling luxury perfumes to the gentry in the elegant quarter of London’s St James from their shop and family home at 89 Jermyn Street. Today, after receiving 17 Royal Warrants since their first in 1800, Floris is honoured to be the only Appointed Perfumer to The Queen and holds a Royal Warrant from The Prince of Wales. Still run from the original Jermyn Street shop by the eighth and ninth generation descendants of Juan and Elizabeth Floris, the family proudly continue their work in the art of fragrance. The exquisite perfumes for

gentlemen, ladies and the home are made in Devon and are enduringly popular classics that have stood the test of time.

InformatIon: floris is open from monday to friday, between 9:30am and 6pm and on Saturday between 10am and 6pm.

london | The 2014 Guide



Following in

royal footsteps

Boasting impressive palaces and historic houses, an ancient deer park, beautiful gardens and some of the best boutique shops around, Richmond upon Thames is a gem – just a stone’s throw from central London


ollow in the royal footsteps of England’s kings and queens by choosing Richmond upon Thames, a beautiful, tranquil area steeped in history just a stone’s throw from central London. From the Tudor splendour of Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace to the 300 acres of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, Richmond upon Thames is enriched by historic mansions, royal parks, over 20 miles of superb riverside and a wonderful abundance of greenery and wildlife. From the top of Richmond Hill enjoy the famous view, protected by an Act of Parliament in 1902, of the River Thames as it meanders past palaces and historic houses and attractive parks and gardens, passing Richmond and Twickenham on either side. There are fascinating stories behind each celebrated building and walks led by a variety of organisations that offer insight into the famous people and eventful past that define the area. Museums, galleries and theatres provide vibrant daytime and evening entertainment and Richmond is particularly well suited for visitors interested in sports and leisure pursuits. The towns and villages of this acclaimed London borough, each with it own unique character, play host to intimate restaurants and lively bars and cafés. The area boasts an abundance of antique, designer clothes and specialist shops and boutiques which will appeal to any visitor seeking high quality and individuality. Bus, train (South West trains and London Overground) and London Underground services (District Line) are fast and frequent, linking Richmond with central London in less than 30 minutes, as


london | The 2014 Guide

well as Heathrow airport and other places of interest. Boat trips provide a leisurely alternative for exploring the borough. A full range of accommodation and facilities for conferences, receptions and meeting is available so that whatever your interest of reason for visiting, Richmond upon Thames offers a wide range of options. For more information, go to; see Facebook at Visit Richmond, Surrey; or follow @Visit_Richmond1 on Twitter.


Lee VaLLey White Water Centre Station Road, Waltham CRoSS, heRtfoRdShiRe, en9 1aB t: 08456 770 606 e:


ast and furious fun is guaranteed at Lee Valley White Water Centre. Tackle the same rapids Team GB triumphed on during the London 2012 Olympic Games as you experience the ultimate white water rafting adventure. Alternatively choose one of the other exciting activities on offer to get your adrenalin pumping – hydrospeeding (using a float similar to a bodyboard to carve and surf through the Legacy Loop rapids) or taking on the rapids in a hot dog – an inflatable two-man kayak. The centre also runs a number of activities for paddlers including the Go Canoeing sessions on the lake which are fun for all the family.

All activities are great for both groups and individuals, but if you haven’t got the nerve to let the fun unfurl on the water, you can sit back and relax at one of the centre’s two licensed cafés. Both serve hot and cold food and drink as well as offering stunning views, making them perfect places to soak up the atmosphere and watch the action.

infoRmation: lee Valley White Water Centre is open from march to december.

Somerset House from the Embankment © marco Beck Peccoz

SomerSet HouSe Strand, London, WC2r 1La t: 020 7845 4600 E:


omerset House is a spectacular neoclassical building in the heart of London, sitting between the Strand and the River Thames. Since opening to the public in 2000, Somerset House has produced a distinctive public programme providing a stimulating environment for exploration and relaxation. The varied, year-round programme includes an exciting open-air cinema and concert season and London’s most glamorous ice rink, as well as exhibitions focusing on contemporary fashion, architecture, art and design. Family workshops and free guided tours are also on offer.

the Edmond J. Safra fountain Court © marcus Ginns

Built on the site of a former Tudor palace, Somerset House occupies a unique position on the River Thames offering sweeping views of London, from the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye to St Paul’s Cathedral – a view that was captured in many paintings by popular old master painter, Canaletto.

InformatIon: full details on the opening times and admission prices for Somerset House are available on the website.

london | The 2014 Guide



Information Shop Plant Sales Corporate Hospitality/Functions Suitability for the Disabled Refreshment/Cafe/Tearoom Restaurant Guided Tours

Syon HouSe and GardenS Audio Tours

St Martin-in-the-FieldS Parking Available Syon HouSe, Syon Park, Brentford, Middx. tW8 8Jf School Visits t: 020 8560 0882 Trafalgar Square, london, WC2n 4JJ T: 020 7766 1100 e:

No Dogs he London Suitability home of thefor Duke of Northumberland is built on Dogs the site of a medieval abbey. Syon House was re-modelled by Accommodation Robert Adam, contains some of his finest interiors and is Civil Wedding License surrounded by Capability Brown landscaped gardens and The Open All Year Great Conservatory.


Special Events

adMiSSion/oPening tiMeS Syon House: 19 March 2014 to 2 november 2014. Accept Euros Wednesday, thursday, Sunday and Bank Holidays 11am – 5pm. Last admission 4pm. House and gardens: adults £11.50, concessions £10, children £5, family £26. gardens: open daily 17 March 2014 to 2 november 2014 (10.30am – 5pm, last admission 4pm). adults £6.50, concessions £5, children £3.50, family £14.

Southwark Cathedral London Bridge, London, Se1 9dA T: +44 (0) 20 7367 6700 e:


irst a priory, then a parish church, now a magnificent cathedral, this is London’s oldest Gothic church, dating back to the 13th century, meaning it boasts many interesting memorials and tombs – an archaeological chamber can be seen with part of a Roman road, Anglo-Saxon foundations and Southwark Delft pottery kilns on display. Bishop Lancelot Andrewes, one of the translators of the King James Bible, is buried here. The cathedral is easily accessible, situated to the south of London Bridge and close to City Pier. It has numerous Elizabethan theatrical links, including William Shakespeare who was believed


london | The 2014 Guide


t the beautiful St Martin-in-the-Fields visitors are welcome to soak up the stunning Georgian architecture and attend one of 20 weekly services. Thanks to having a rich musical heritage, the church offers three free lunchtime concerts, and four ticketed evening concerts and jazz nights each week. Downstairs visitors can browse for gifts in the shop, enjoy traditional brass rubbing and savour breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner at the award-winning Café in the Crypt.

InformaTIon: The church is open daily and is free to visit. The Café in the Crypt is open every day except Christmas day. Check website for further details.

to have worshipped in St Saviour’s, the church that is now Southwark Cathedral. There is even a window dedicated to the bard. US university benefactor, John Harvard, was baptized here and there is a chapel commemorating this event. There is a stunning modern stained-glass window commemorating Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012. The cathedral shop sells exclusive souvenirs and gifts, and The Refectory restaurant serves delicious breakfasts, lunches and afternoon teas, as well as freshly-baked cakes and pastries. There are regular Monday lunchtime organ recitals as well as Tuesday afternoon music recitals.

AdmiSSion/opening TimeS: Southwark Cathedral is open daily, except on Christmas day and good Friday (18 April 2014), with the main visiting times between 10am and 5pm. Admission is by voluntary donation – the suggested amount is £4 per person. mandatory charges apply for group admissions.

Stand astride the PRIME MERIDIAN Discover royalty at the OLD ROYAL NAVAL COLLEGE Jump aboard the awesome CUTTY SARK Climb over THE O2 Fly on the EMIRATES AIR LINE Browse the vibrant GREENWICH MARKET Explore the historic ROYAL ARSENAL



8 minutes from London Bridge on Southeastern trains

40 minutes from Embankment by riverboat


0870 608 2000

22 minutes from Bank on the DLR

10 minutes from Royal Docks by Emirates Air Line



visit to Tower Bridge Exhibition is the most exciting way to explore and experience one of the most famous bridges in the world. Within this iconic structure, complete with magnificent Victorian Engine Rooms, there is plenty to see and do. Upon arrival at the bridge, visitors will be taken 42 metres above the River Thames to the high level walkways. This offers visitors the chance to admire stunning panoramic views of London, spying such popular landmarks as St Paul’s Cathedral and the Monument to the Great Fire of London to the west, and Canary Wharf in the east.

The East Walkway houses the exhibition ‘Great Bridges of the World’, a photographic display featuring over 20 bridges, each of which represents a breathtaking feat of engineering. Continue on to the original lifting machinery in the Victorian Engine Rooms, boasting sounds and smells that transport you back in time to the bridge’s origins.

ADMISSION/OPENING TIMES: Open between 1 April to 30 September from 10am to 6pm (last admission 5:30pm). Between 1 October to 31 March the exhibition is open from 9:30am to 5.30pm (last admission 5pm). Entry for adults costs £9; concessions £6.30; children £3.90. Children under five years of age have free entry.


If you enjoy discovering more about our nation’s fascinating history, then you’ll love BRITAIN magazine. Learn about our kings and queens, soldiers and statesmen, castles and cathedrals, gardens and countryside and so much more besides.


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Morden Hall Park Morden Hall Park, Morden Hall road, Morden london, SM4 5Jd T: 0208 545 6850 e:


ith diverse landscapes and habitats from wetlands and meadows to rivers and rose gardens this former deer park is London’s gateway to the countryside. One of the few remaining estates lining the River Wandle the park allows visitors to take tranquil and leisurely strolls following the meandering river through all its glorious settings. Now owned by the National Trust, Morden Hall Park holds many events throughout the year to suit every audience. Events not to be missed during 2014 include Cadbury’s Easter Eggs-travaganza from Friday 18 to Monday 21 April for some Easter fun sponsored by Cadbury’s. You can follow the wildlife themed trail

around the park, participate in fun and games and collect your Easter egg (£4 per trail). The Summer Theatre runs every weekend in August for a summer of fun in the open theatre set amongst the perfumery of the rose garden. From Shakespeare to Alice in Wonderland and the History of Britain, there is something for everyone. Check the website for more details. Christmas Festive Fun throughout December brings festive frolics for all ages from dressing the main Christmas tree and Santa’s grotto to shopping and much more.

oPen: every day except Christmas day and Boxing day, 8am – 6pm (5pm in winter) – free to enter.

london | The 2014 Guide


Attractions Golden Hinde ii

THAMES SAILING BARGE GRETA London Bridge, London, Se1 9dg T: 020 7403 0123 e: WHITSTABLE HARBOUR, WHITSTABLE, KENT T: 07711 657919 E:



informaTion: open seven days a week between 10am and 5:30pm, but closed during private events. Please check the website before travelling.

INFORMATION: Greta sails from March to October. A weekday day sail costs £44 per person or £480 for a private charter (12 passengers). Weekend or bank holiday day sails cost £49 per person or £540 for a private charter.

uilt in 1973 to commemorate the life of Sir Francis Drake and his famous voyage in 1577, Golden Hinde II is a fun way to learn about life at sea for Tudor sailors. Located in historic Bankside, with stunning views of the Thames, you can take an interactive tour of the ship. Hear tales of Drake’s voyage around the world, and learn about weapons and warfare in the 16th century. Let the costumed actors take you around the ship and bring history to life.

reta is a Thames sailing barge and part of the National Historic Fleet. A Dunkirk Little Ship, she was built in 1892. Greta sails from the picturesque Whitstable Harbour throughout the summer months. Trips last around four to six hours and are totally relaxed from the outset, allowing passengers the time to unwind and experience a day at sea with a difference.

Sutton HouSe 2 & 4 Homerton HigH Street, Hackney, London, e9 6JQ t: 020 8986 2264 e:


uilt in 1535 by prominent courtier of King Henry VIII, Sir Ralph Sadleir, Sutton House retains much of the atmosphere of a Tudor home despite some alterations by later occupants, including a succession of merchants, Huguenot silkweavers and squatters. Discover oak-panelled rooms, original carved fireplaces, and Tudor arches hidden behind Georgian panelling and a charming courtyard. Our café, gift shop, tearoom, art gallery and second-hand book shop are all free to visit. A new garden, The Breakers Yard, will be open from August 2014 with a related exhibition throughout the year.


london | The 2014 Guide

Events at this historic house, which is nestled in the heart of a thriving London community, include free family days on the last Sunday of every month, offering children’s crafts and activities. Free guided tours are available on selected weekend afternoons. Group bookings are welcome.

admiSSion/opening timeS: Sutton House is open between 6 February to 21 december, from Wednesday to Friday 10:30am to 5pm and weekends 12pm to 5pm. the last entry is at 4:30pm. adults admission is £3:50; children £1; groups £2.70.



Chelsea PhysiC Garden 31-33 Heddon Street, Mayfair, London, W1B 4Bn t: 0207 478 8910 e: 66 Royal Hospital Road, london sW3 4Hs t: +44 (0) 20 7352 5646 E:



njoy the exhilarating -5°C experience of ICEBAR, the UK’s only permanent bar made of ice, before warming up in the contrasting cosy comfort of the restaurant and lounge. Located on vibrant Heddon Street, a hidden, pedestrian-only haven off London’s famous Regent Street, ICEBAR makes for a truly unforgettable experience, whether visited during the day or at night. Combine the coolness of the world famous ICEBAR and the warmth of the modern European restaurant to bring you the best of both worlds. Choose a two- or three-course ICEBAR and DINE package, and tuck in from £29.50.

HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT Westminster, London sW1A 0AA t: +44 (0) 20 7219 3000 e:


nside one of London’s most iconic buildings, fascinating tours of the Houses of Parliament offer visitors a unique combination of 1,000 years of history, modern day politics, and stunning examples of art and architecture. The tours start by following the route taken by The Queen at the State Opening of Parliament: from The Queen’s Robing Room, through the Royal Gallery and Prince’s Chamber, and into the majestic Lords Chamber. This part of the tour offers an impressive bounty of treasures including elaborate ceilings, many historic paintings and a huge gilded throne canopy.

ucked away beside the Thames, this walled garden celebrates the beauty of plants. Founded in 1673 by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries, it became one of the most important centres of botany in the world. Notable features include Europe’s oldest rockery and Garden of Edible and Useful Plants. New for 2014 is the remodelled Garden of Medicinal Plants.

admission/opEning timEs: the Chelsea physic garden is open between 1 april and 31 october 2014 , tuesday to Friday and sunday/Bank Holidays, from 11am to 6pm. admission for adults costs £9.90 and for students/children, £6.60.

Visitors then move on to Central Lobby, Members’ Lobby and one of the voting lobbies before entering the Commons Chamber, scene of many lively political debates. Passing through St Stephen’s Hall, the tours end in 900-year-old Westminster Hall, where Guy Fawkes and King Charles I were tried and where Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama have addressed Parliament in recent years. Jubilee Café offers a selection of drinks and delicious light meals, while the shop in Westminster Hall sells an exciting range of books, gifts and souvenirs.

Admission/opening times: tours of the Houses of parliament are available most saturdays throughout the year and on selected weekdays during holiday periods such as Christmas, easter and summer, from 9.15am to 4.30pm on a timed ticket basis. Admission for adults costs £16.50, concessions (seniors, students and members of the armed forces) is £14 and one child goes free with each paying adult, otherwise it’s £7 per child.

london | The 2014 Guide


The Crown Jewels

Every stone tells a story

The Sovereign’s Sceptre is set with a stone cut from the largest diamond in the world. Today, you can see it in the Tower of London. search ‘Tower of London’

The Royal Collection © 2013, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

The re-presentation of the Jewel House at HM Tower of London sponsored by


Lee VaLLey VeLoPark Queen elizabeth Olympic park, lOndOn, e20 3el t: 08456 770 603 e:


ee Valley VeloPark at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is home to the Olympic velodrome where Team GB won seven gold medals during the London 2012 Olympic Games. This world-class venue now gives cyclists the opportunity to experience not only the same track as champions but also to race around the floodlit road circuit, tackle five miles of exciting mountain bike trails or experience the thrills of the remodelled Olympic BMX track. Taster sessions are the perfect introduction to any of these exhilarating sports and unforgettable ‘must do’ experiences

St Paul’S Cathedral St Paul’S ChurChyard, london, EC4M 8ad t: 020 7246 8350 E:


t Paul’s is an architectural masterpiece and its dome a landmark of the London skyline. It is a symbol of the hope, strength and resilience of the city and nation it serves. A cathedral has stood here since AD 604 and the present cathedral is now over 300 years old. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful décor of the vast cathedral floor before climbing up to the famous Whispering Gallery with its unique acoustics. Continue to the Golden Gallery on top of the dome for a photo opportunity of the breathtaking panoramic views across the capital.

when visiting the capital. For keen cyclists there are lots of opportunities to improve your existing skills or enjoy more regular training; check the website for full details of available sessions. Lee Valley VeloPark is easily accessible from central London by public transport.

infOrmatiOn: lee Valley Velopark is open all year round from march 2014 . all taster sessions include bike hire and safety equipment. prices start from £15.

The crypt is the resting place for famous Britons such as Lord Admiral Nelson, the Duke of Wellington, and the cathedral’s architect – Sir Christopher Wren. Visitors will also find the award-winning 270° film experience, Oculus: an eye into St Paul’s. You can explore using an included iPod touch multimedia guide or join a guided tour or introductory talk. Videos of the dome galleries and close-ups of breathtaking mosaics and paintings will help you see more of St Paul’s than has ever been possible before.

adMiSSion/oPEning tiMES: St Paul’s Cathedral is open all year round, from Monday to Saturday, between 8:30am and 4:30pm (last admission is 4pm). adults cost £16.50; children (6-17) £7.50; concessions: £14.50; family (two adults and two children) £40. reduced prices are available online in advance of visits. due to special services and events, the sightseeing opening hours are sometimes amended. Please check the website before visiting.

london | The 2014 Guide



Information Shop Plant Sales Corporate Hospitality/Functions Suitability for the Disabled Refreshment/Cafe/Tearoom Restaurant Guided Tours

Camellia’s TeaTours House Audio

D. R. HaRRis Parking Available 2.12 Kingly Court, Carnaby Street, london, W1b 5PW School Visits t: 020 7734 9939 35 Bury Street, London, SW1y 6Ay t: 020 7930 3915 e:

No Dogs amellia’s Tea House has Suitability forbeen Dogsborn out of a love and passion for tea. They design and hand-make most of their Accommodation teas themselves, including novel herbal infusion blends. With an Civil Weddingand License environment that is relaxing enjoyable, Camellia’s Tea Year love the quirky ambience, the House is a placeOpen whereAllpeople original tea varieties, and the wide selection of carefully chosen Special Events tea ware and gifts as well as the delicious cakes. Camellia was Accept Euros also voted in the top 10 places for afternoon tea in London by Homes and Gardens magazine.


oPen: Seven days a week from 12pm till 7pm.


ounded in 1790, D.R. Harris is known as one of the oldest pharmacies in England and recognised around the world for offering a fantastic range of aftershaves, colognes, soaps and traditional shaving supplies. The pharmacy, which holds the Royal Warrants to The Queen and also HRH The Prince of Wales, is located at 29 St James’s Street, but this is closed for refurbishment until summer 2015. In the meantime D. R. Harris is temporarily located at 52 Piccadilly and also at 35 Bury Street.

opening timeS: Bury Street: from 8.30am to 6pm on weekdays and from 9:30am to 5pm on Saturdays. piccadilly: from 10am to 6pm, monday to Saturday.

Information Shop Plant Sales Corporate Hospitality/Functions Suitability for the Disabled Refreshment/Cafe/Tearoom Restaurant Guided Tours

PiccadillyAudio Market Tours at St JaMeS’S church

Tea and TaTTle Tea Rooms Parking Available 197 Piccadilly, london, W1J 9ll School Visits T: 020 7292 4864 41 Great russell street, london, WC1B 3Pe t: 07722 192703 e:



informaTion: The market is open from monday to Saturday between 10am and 6.30pm (monday 3.00pm) throughout the year.

oPeninG times: tea and tattle is open monday to Friday from 9am until 6:30pm. on saturday it is open from 12 noon until 5pm.

No Dogs ince openingSuitability in 1981, Piccadilly for Dogs Market has established a reputation as a great place to shop for perfect gifts and Accommodation unusual souvenirs. Civil to Wedding License From Wednesday Saturday, arts and crafts are sold, while Open All Year antiques and collectables, and Tuesday offers predominantly Monday specialises in good food. The market is located in the Special Events courtyard at St James’s Church in the heart of the West End Accept Euros – just yards from Piccadilly Circus.


london | The 2014 Guide

ea and Tattle is a unique yet traditional tea room that is full of charm. Located opposite the British Museum in Bloomsbury, it is the perfect place to stop off and enjoy a delicious lunch or afternoon tea. You can choose from an exciting assortment of loose leaf teas, fresh coffee, smoothies, sandwiches, pastries, scones, jams and various home-made cakes. The tea room is entered through the family-run book shop and gallery, which was established in 1903.


RiveR & Rowing MuseuM

The household Cavalry MuseuM Henley-on-THames, oxfordsHire, rG9 1Bf T: 01491 415600 e: Horse Guards, WHiteHall, london, sW1a 2aX t: 020 7930 3070 e:


ituated on the banks of the River Thames, in the heart of Henley, the museum has three permanent galleries dedicated to rowing, the river and the history of Henley. It is also home to the Wind in the Willows exhibition where Kenneth Grahame’s classic story is brought to life in 3D for families to enjoy. The museum has a constantly-evolving calendar of art and photography exhibitions as well as nature trails and workshops.

informaTion: The museum is open daily from 10am to 5.30pm in summer and 10am to 5pm in winter. Tickets are valid for 12 months and cost £8.50 for adults, £6.50 for children and concessions .


fascinating celebration of the British Army’s senior regiments The Life Guards and The Blues and Royals, who uniquely provide The Queen’s mounted bodyguard. Beautifully showcased exhibits, working stables views, interactive presentations and superb graphics bring to life the history, ceremonial and combat operations of these elite fighting units. Try on parts of the uniform for a unique photographic souvenir.

information: the museum is open daily (except 24 to 26 december, 13 and 18 april) from 10am until 6pm (november to march it closes at 5pm). last entry is 45 minutes before closing. adult admission costs £7; seniors (60 +), children and students £5; family ticket (two adults and two or three children) £18.

Strawberry Hill HouSe 268 Waldegrave road, TWickenham, TW1 4ST T: 020 8744 1241 e:


ituated just a 40-minute train ride from Waterloo, Strawberry Hill House is Britain’s finest example of Gothic Revival architecture and interior decoration. It began life in 1698 as a modest house and was later transformed by Horace Walpole, the son of England’s first Prime Minister, into a “little gothic castle”. Between 1747 and 1792 Walpole doubled the building’s size, creating extraordinary rooms, towers and battlements in fulfilment of his dream. Following an £8.9 million restoration with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the showrooms on the ground and first

floors have been fully restored to take the house back to the 1790s when Walpole had completed his creation. Strawberry Hill House was a tourist site in its own day and like their 18th-century predecessors, modern visitors can enjoy this Georgian gem’s charm, which remains undiminished.

informaTion: Strawberry hill house is open from 1 march to 9 november. at weekends it is open between 12pm and 5.30pm (4.20pm last entry) while on monday, Tuesday and Wednesday it is open between 2pm and 5.30pm (4.20pm last entry). it is closed on Thursday and friday. admission for adults is £12, under 16s can enter free of charge.

london | The 2014 Guide


Museums 18 Stafford terrace 18 Stafford terrace, KenSington, London, W8 7BH t: Monday to friday: 020 7602 3316 Weekends: 020 7938 1295 e:


ocated in a quiet street in Kensington, this Victorian town house looks no different from its terraced neighbours. But on stepping through the front door of number 18, you are taken back in time and welcomed into the Victorian home of the Sambournes. From 1875, 18 Stafford Terrace was the home of Punch cartoonist Edward Linley Sambourne, his wife Marion, their two children and their live-in servants. Originally decorated by the Sambournes in the Aesthetic style, the interiors evolved into wonderfully eclectic artistic statements, created within the confines of a typical middle class home. Remarkably well-preserved with its original


london | The 2014 Guide

interiors, 18 Stafford Terrace gives a memorable insight into the lives of the Sambournes and the world in which they lived. Experience this unique property through either a conventional tour led by our expert guides who will give an excellent insight into the Sambournes’ lives. Or be a guest of Mrs Sambourne or Mrs Reffell the housekeeper on an actor-led tour that provides a dramatic account of the lives of the inhabitants at 18 Stafford Terrace, based on Marion Sambourne’s diaries.

inforMation: from mid-September to mid-June tours are on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. adult entry costs £8; concessions £6; children £3.


Bank of England MusEuM Bartholomew lane, london, eC2r 8ah t: 020 7601 5545 e:


his fascinating museum tells the story of the Bank of England since its foundation in 1694 to its role in today’s economy. Interactive displays, audio-visuals, games and artefacts help explain its many and varied roles. There’s even a genuine gold bar, which may be handled. Check out the website for special events and exhibitions taking place throughout the year.

admission/opening times: Bank of england museum is open monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm. admission to the museum is free of charge, but group bookings are essential. the museum will be closed for maintenance from 1 January to 28 march 2014.

Handel House MuseuM 25 Brook Street, London, W1k 4HB (entrance at tHe Back in LancaSHire court) t: 020 7495 1685 e:


his modest Georgian terrace house was home to baroque composer George Frideric Handel. He lived here from 1723 until his death in 1759 and composed some of the greatest music in history here, including Messiah, Zadok the Priest and Music for the Royal Fireworks. His life is celebrated with restored interiors, weekly concerts, Saturday talks and exhibitions.

admiSSion/opening timeS: the museum is open tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm (8pm on thursday), and Sunday 12pm to 6pm. it is closed monday. adult admission costs £6.50; concessions £5.50; children £2 (free on weekends).

The Royal aiR FoRce MuseuM london www. Grahame Park Way, Colindale, london, nW9 5ll T: 020 8205 2266 e:


f you’re into flight and technology and love stories about heroes, heroines, explorers and daring deeds then navigate your way to the Royal Air Force Museum London in Colindale where you will find over 105 historic aircraft from the pioneering days of aviation to today’s modern jets and fighters. Opened by The Queen in 1972 and situated on the historic site of Hendon’s London Aerodrome in Colindale, this North London museum is the capital’s only attraction to house over 100 aircraft from around the world including some very early aircraft designs through to the latest modern day jets and military aircraft.

With free interactive activities, including a 3D Cinema, the museum offers a fabulous day out. Throughout 2014 the museum will have a series of events at its London site commemorating the First World War in the Air. For further information about these events please visit the museum’s website from January 2014.

admission/oPeninG Times: The royal air Force museum london is open daily from 10am to 6pm. last admission is at 5:30pm. The museum is closed on Christmas eve, Christmas day, Boxing day, new year’s day and from 5 to 9 January. admission to the museum is free of charge.

london | The 2014 Guide


Museums Photo: National Maritime Museum

Photo: National Maritime Museum

Photo: National Maritime Museum

Photo: National Maritime Museum

Royal MuseuMs GReenwich To find out what’s on this week or to plan your day, visit


oyal Museums Greenwich is a group of world-class museums situated at the heart of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site, with spectacular views over the River Thames.

National Maritime Museum Discover the inspirational stories and breathtaking accounts of exploration and adventure in the National Maritime Museum’s collection. See how it connects Britain’s maritime past with our lives today.


london | The 2014 Guide

The Queen’s House This beautiful royal palace, built for Queen Henrietta Maria in 1616, is England’s first truly classical building. Inigo Jones’s Palladian masterpiece presents the National Maritime Museum’s fine and contemporary art galleries.

Royal Observatory Greenwich Experience the home of Greenwich Mean Time at this internationally-renowned site. Journey through the universe in London’s

only planetarium and stand with a leg on each side of both hemispheres across the Prime Meridian of the world.

Cutty Sark One of the most famous ships in the world, Cutty Sark is the last surviving tea clipper and the fastest and greatest vessel of her time. The ship was reopened to the public by Her Majesty The Queen in 2012 following an extensive conservation project.


The Laughing Cavalier, frans Hals, 1624

The Swing, Jean-Honoré fragonard, 1767

The Wallace collecTion Hertford House, MancHester square, London, W1u 3Bn t: 020 7563 9500 e:


he Wallace Collection is a national museum, like some of London’s grandest institutions, but its particular charm lies in its intimacy. Here the works of art are displayed in a lavish and beautifully restored, yet welcoming, former home and the tastes of one extraordinary family of collectors remain preserved. The 5,470 objects include a world-class array of 18th-century French art, much of it of Royal provenance; masterpieces by some of the greatest names of European art, including Titian, Canaletto, Rembrandt, Hals, Rubens, Velázquez and Gainsborough; the finest collection of princely arms and armour in Britain, and superb Medieval and Renaissance objects. Continuing a sympathetic refurbishment programme, the Great Gallery will reopen on 19 September. With, striking red silk walls, a revised lighting system and

gilding, the display will continue afresh its central idea of grouping paintings from different countries in the same space. Most great Baroque artists respected their contemporaries and knew each other or their work. The room will invite the viewer to explore works by Poussin and Claude, Murillo and Velázquez, Rubens and Van Dyck, and Rembrandt and Ruisdael, and to discover a fascinating network of exchanges across Europe. The Wallace Collection stages free exhibitions, talks and events throughout the year, and houses a beautiful glazed courtyard restaurant. The perfect place to escape the crowds of the West End.

the oval drawing room

InforMatIon: the Wallace collection is open daily (except between 24 and 26 december), from 10am to 5pm. admission is free of charge. Images reproduced by kind permission of the trustees of the Wallace collection.

london | The 2014 Guide


Tours & Excursions Polesden lacey Great Bookham, nr DorkinG, Surrey, rh5 6BD t: 01372 452048 e:


his is a delicious house...’ remarked Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother on her honeymoon at Polesden Lacey. This country retreat, with glorious views across the rolling Surrey Hills and acres of countryside, was home to famous Edwardian hostess Mrs Greville, who entertained royalty and the celebrities of her time. The house has stunning interiors and contains Mrs Greville’s fabulous collection of art and ceramics. The beautiful gardens have something to delight every season, including climbing roses, herbaceous borders and a winter garden. There are four waymarked walks around the estate and a geocache trail – a great way of enjoying the outdoors.


london | The 2014 Guide

The café and coffee shop offer homemade drinks and snacks made using fresh, seasonal and local produce. Gorgeous gifts, souvenirs and plants are available to buy in the shop, while jazz is played every Sunday afternoon from June until August.

information: the gardens are open year round (except 25 february, 24 and 25 December 2014) from 10am and close at 5pm (4pm in January, november and December). the house is open daily from 1 march to 2 november between 11am and 5pm (guided tours only weekdays from 11am to 12.30pm) and for events at winter weekends. house and grounds prices: adult £12.50; child £6.25; family £31.25. Grounds prices: adults £7.75; child £3.90; family £19.40. national trust members have free entry.

Tours & Excursions

FULHAM FOOTBALL CLUB Stevenage Road, London, SW6 6HH t: 0843 208 1234 (option 4) e:


raven Cottage exudes the character, history and heritage befitting London’s oldest professional football club. Step through the listed turnstiles of the 19th-century ground and explore a truly unique Premier League stadium. Tours include taking in locations such as the Johnny Haynes Statue, pitch-side dugouts, the Cottage Balcony, the George Cohen Lounge and the home team changing rooms.

infoRmation: Craven Cottage is open seven days a week. admission for adults costs £12; children £9; junior members and under-fives free; family tickets £32.


S LONDON DETOURS T: 07843 498733 E:


ondon Detours provide walking tours that take you into the heart of the capital, uncovering the special places that can be found between the landmarks of this great city. The tours show you a creative and quirky London by delving into the history of the areas that now showcase street art, hidden gems, local businesses, regeneration and community.

ADMISSIONS/OPENING TIMES : London Detours run all year round and range from 2.5 - 4.5 hours long. Tours are priced between £15 and £25.

tudents of English and school groups of children aged eight-years-old and above will love the chance to play Sherlock with these clue hunts and trails. Maybe they will solve a murder mystery, find missing royal treasure, discover what started the Great Fire of London or perhaps work out a secret spell to help a young wizard with his homework. The self-guided activity packs are designed specially for larger groups wishing to explore, learn and have fun. Set in the unique streets and beautiful parks of London, these brilliant games will open everyone’s eyes to the fabulous sights around them. Packs are available with organiser’s instructions in a choice of English, French, German or Spanish and to suit varying levels of confidence in the English language. Activities are available in London and cities across Britain, including Canterbury, Cambridge, Oxford and Devon.

INFORMATION: Games are available during daylight hours and booking is required. Pack prices from £199 for up to 25 people. london | The 2014 Guide




he original London Horror Tours offer plenty of scary experiences including the famous Jack the Ripper tour and the Kray walks. Along with our Highgate Vampire tour, London Horror Tours offer various Sherlock Holmes explorations at Baker Street. Numerous terrifying ghost walks, a pirate walk, a tour dedicated to Dr Jekel and Mr Hyde, and a fangtastic Dracula tour must be booked in advance.

InfORmATIOn: Jack the Ripper: Wednesday to friday, 2.30pm and 6.30pm; and Sherlock Holmes v Jack the Ripper: Saturday 6.30pm, both at Tower gateway DLR station entrance. Sherlock Holmes: Saturday 2.30pm, at Baker Street Croque monsieur restaurant. Krays: Sundays 2pm, at Blind Beggar pub in Whitechapel.

Lord’s Tours Lord’s CriCket Ground, London, nW8 8Qn t: 020 7616 8595 e:


ome to Lord’s and take a tour behind the scenes at what has long been known as the home of cricket. Lead by an expert guide, the tours take in the Pavilion and the dressing rooms of the world-famous cricket ground. Housing the famous honours boards, Lord’s is steeped in fascinating history. Visitors will have the chance to sit on the seats usually occupied by the England team. In the Marylebone Cricket Club Museum, home to the Ashes Urn and over 400 years of cricket history, the extraordinary treasure house of Lord’s is laid bare. Its collection, which was


london | The 2014 Guide

Chelsea Football Club stadium tours & museum Stamford Bridge, fulham road, london, SW6 1hS t: 0871 984 1955 e:


his unmissable tour of Stamford Bridge, home of the incredible Chelsea Football Club, is a fun, informative and completely unforgettable experience, enjoyed by sports fans of all ages from all over the world. The fully-guided tour will take you behind the scenes of one of the world’s greatest football teams, giving you access to areas normally exclusively reserved for players and officials.

information: the tours take place monday to Sunday between 10am and 3pm. admission for adults costs £20; for children £13; for concessions £14. Children under five have free admission, while a family ticket costs £58.

begun in 1864, spans the full history of cricket from its emergence as a major sport in the early 18th century. The MCC Museum was opened by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh in 1953 and is one of the oldest sporting museums in the world. By walking around the grounds, visitors are invited to take in the magical atmosphere of Lord’s and the award-winning architecture of the JP Morgan Media Centre. Visitors can explore behind the scenes in the exact space where Sky Sports, Test Match Special and the newpaper press report on the games, offering a unique insight into how important pieces of cricket history are relayed to the world.

Admission/openinG times: Lord’s Cricket Ground is open year round except on major match days, the three days before a test match, and both 25 and 26 december. opening times vary; check the website for details. Admission for adults costs £18, concessions are £12 and a family (two adults and two children) admission is £49.

Tours & Excursions

Your guide: Graham Greenglass

Brakeaway Bike Tours

London Cab Tours Tour MeeTing PoinT: inside WaTerloo Train sTaTion T: 07824 353274 e:


rakeAway Bike Tours shows you London like nobody else can. In small-sized groups you’ll discover iconic landmarks, hidden gems, quaint old pubs, quirky history and have amazing photo opportunities. There is simply no more fun, safe or entertaining way to discover the real London. Suitable for all ages and fitness levels, tours include rental of a very comfortable bicycle, a helmet, along with an entertaining tour guide.

inforMaTion: daily departures from 1 february to 30 november. Please contact us to reserve your place, and for details of meeting place. adult places cost £20; child places cost £17. each tour lasts for 3.5 hours (including a break).


ondon Cab Tours are conducted in the ideal vehicle to enjoy London sightseeing – the iconic black cab. Led by driver Graham Greenglass, highlights of Britain’s capital are brought to life on a variety of private themed tours boasting multiple stops and occasional short walks. With a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence 2012 and 2013, London Cab Tours include: London Highlights Tour • London Rock ‘n’ Roll Tour: Beatles & Beyond • London Horror Tour • London of Dickens & Shakespeare • Windsor Castle & London Tour • Hampton Court & London Tour • Heathrow to Hotel & London Tour



Luxury, all-inclusive theme tours and history tours tailored to your interests. With an historian chauffeur as your host, discover in intimate luxury the hidden treasures of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Multi day tours and one day tours available.

Email: Tel: +44 (0)1293 823566 • From USA: 011 44 1293 823566 • Mobile: 0777 1784 303 88 Church Road, Horley, Gatwick, Sussex RH6 8AD

london | The 2014 Guide


Tours & Excursions

The GhosT Bus Tours 8 northumberland ave, london t: 0844 5678 666


Cotswold tours ltd Abbots House, HigH street, WincHcombe, gloucestersHire, gl54 5lJ t: 01242 603846 e:


otswold Tours offer small group private tours of both London and the Cotswolds: excellent ways to experience both town and countryside. Visitors can enjoy the capital with its history and pageantry, but they are also invited to enjoy the picturesque England of the Cotswold countryside. Expert driver guides offer personal service, allowing visitors to travel to nearby Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon and Bath from the Cotswolds. Customise your own private tour and choose from first-class hotels to comfortable B&Bs to suit your budget. Special garden tours of both Chelsea Flower Show and Hampton Court Flower Show are also offered – guests can even stay in Hampton Court Palace.

ightseeing journeys around the darker side of London on a classic 1960s Routemaster bus offer a comedy horror show you’ll never forget. Please quote Chelsea 1 for a free guidebook. information: tours run daily at 7:30pm and 9pm. admission is £20 for adults, £14 for children and £55 for family.

Regent’s Canal WateRbus LittLe Venice W9/camden Lock nW1 t: 020 7482 2660


xplore Regent’s Canal including Little Venice, Camden Lock and London Zoo at a leisurely pace on a historic canal boat. admission/opening times: Waterbus services operate daily between 10am and 6pm, from april to september. a reduced service runs from october to march. Fares from: adults £8.50, children or seniors £7.

Information Shop Plant Sales Corporate Hospitality/Functions Suitability for the Disabled Refreshment/Cafe/Tearoom Restaurant Guided Tours

CarquestAudio rentals Tours

Wembley Stadium tourS Parking Available 34 Aldershot roAd, Guildford, surrey, Gu2 8Af School Visits t: 0 1444 471289 e: Wembley Stadium, Ha9 0WS t: 0844 800 2755 e:

No Dogs arquest Rentals is the for onlyDogs way to hire a car: the service is Suitability bespoke and personal, providing customers with both cars Accommodation and minibuses. Carquest offers a fast, easy and professional License service meaningCivil you Wedding will be driving away in under 15 minutes All Year with no queues,Open no shuttles and no fuss. Operating out of Heathrow, Gatwick andEvents other London airports on request, cars Special are available seven days a week. Choose from small economy Accept Euros cars to prestige Mercedes E-Classes or Toyota Land Cruisers, all at competitive rates.


openinG times: monday to friday 8am to 6pm; saturday 8am to 1pm.


london | The 2014 Guide


rom England’s glorious World Cup victory in 1966, the Live Aid concert in 1985, Barcelona’s UEFA Champion’s League triumph in 2011 to the brilliant tradition of the FA Cup Final, the Wembley Stadium Tour gives you the chance to relive great moments and create some new ones, as you go behind the scenes at the most famous stadium in the world. Your guided tour, which lasts for 75 minutes, will include access to Wembley’s treasures such as the 1966 World Cup crossbar, the Jules Rimet Trophy, the original flag from London’s 1948 Olympic Games and The FA 150 Exhibition, which celebrates 150 years of English football.

Tours & Excursions

Mind The Gap Tours See webSite for central london Start PointS t: 07768 310 005 e:


ind The Gap Tours offer a selection of London’s finest cycling, walking and gourmet experiences. Small really is beautiful: the group size is limited to a maximum of just 12 people, allowing a full exploration of the road less travelled and the ability to squeeze into all sorts of unique places that other tours just can’t reach. Join the gourmet walking tour to sample the edible delights of famous London markets or enjoy a pint of real ale in historic pubs and alehouses once frequented by William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens on the afternoon pub walk. Alternatively if you want to hunt for a real Banksy and explore the fashionable and creative East End of London,

then why not join the Street Art Explorer? Or escape the ‘big smoke’ entirely and enjoy a gentle traffic-free cycle to the iconic attractions of nearby Windsor Castle or Hampton Court Palace, passing picturesque riverside pubs, beautiful gardens and historic haunted houses along the way. Come and see London’s most magnificent and treasured icons and leave with local tips, quirky history, some fabulous photographs and a wealth of insider knowledge that simply cannot be found in any guidebook.

information: mind the Gap tours operate all year round, except for cycle rides which are only available from 1 march to 31 october. advanced reservation is required. Prices from £25.

london | The 2014 Guide


Tours & Excursions KPMG ThaMes CliPPers 61 TriniTy Buoy Wharf, London, E14 0fP T: 020 7001 2200 E:


s London’s leading river bus service on the Thames, Thames Clippers provide commuters and visitors with a unique way to travel around the capital. The fastest and most frequent fleet on the river, Thames Clippers carry more than three million passengers each year past some of the capital’s most famous and extraordinary landmarks. Hop on a boat at one of many key London piers including North Greenwich for The O2, Tower Millenium, London Bridge City, Embankment and London Eye, to explore all that the city has to offer. A River Roamer ticket provides unlimited ‘hop on hop


london | The 2014 Guide

off’ travel throughout the day and unrivalled access to some of the best attractions, restaurants and bars along the Thames, including Tate Modern, the Southbank Centre, St Paul’s Cathedral, the National Maritime Museum, The O2 and plenty more.

informaTion: Thames Clippers operate all year round. adult fares cost £6.50, children cost £3.25, while under-fives go free. Passengers can claim 1/3 off with a valid London underground Travelcard or 10% off by using oyster Card’s pay-as-you-go scheme. The river roamer ticket costs £15 and the family river roamer costs £32.50. follow the @ThamesClippers handle on Twitter.


Central London to Heathrow in 15 minutes, every 15 minutes, has made Heathrow Express the smarter transfer for 15 years. And though we’re non-stop, we’ve been picking up accolades along the way, including Best Holiday Transfer Company at the 2013 British Travel Awards and Best Ground Transportation Europe for Business Destinations Magazine (three years running). We also scored 95% passenger satisfaction in the National Passenger Survey – Spring 2013. So next time choose the smarter way. Facebook “f ” Logo

CMYK / .eps

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CMYK / .eps

the world’s most


events venue Interactive exhibition Award winning waterfront cafĂŠ A great day out for the family


1 Siemens Brothers Way, London, E16 1GB

London Guide 2014  
London Guide 2014