Month: September 2015
by Gill Chris
The Millennium Bridge is a pedestrian suspension bridge linking the City of London at St. Paul’s Cathedral with the Tate Modern Gallery at Bankside.
Nicknamed the ‘Wobbly Bridge’ due to the swaying motion, the bridge was opened in June 2002 and then closed shortly after to reduce the motion felt by pedestrians. It was finally reopened in 2002.
It forms a stunning architectural feature providing a route across the Thames to link up many of London’s riverside attractions. The bridge alignment is such that a clear view of St. Paul’s south facade is presented from across the river, framed by the bridge supports. It’s a great place to take photos of the river, Tate Modern and St Paul’s.
Guests at any of our London vacation rentals can reach the north side of the bridge at St. Pauls tube station on the Central line.
by Gill Chris
The largest of London’s Royal parks, Richmond Park in south-west London covers 2500 acres and is the largest urban walled park in Europe. Created by Charles I in the 17th century as a deer park, it is home to the stunning Isabella Plantation – a woodland garden full of exotic plants which is designed to be interesting all year round, and King Henry VIII’s Mound from where you can see St. Paul’s cathedral, 12 miles away.
There are over 600 deer which have roamed freely within the park since 1529 and have shaped the landscape of the park: eating all the leaves and twigs growing below 1.5 metres and preventing tree seedlings from growing, thus keeping the grassland open.
Visitors to the park can hire bikes and enjoy a variety of trails, pathways and roads providing challenging and interesting cycling.
For guests at any of our London vacation rentals, the park can be reached by tube from central London by taking the District Line to Richmond Station.
You can find out more here.
by Gill Chris
If you’re planning a visit to London with children, you would do well to include a trip to Chessington World of Adventures during your stay.
With ten themed ‘lands’ and over 40 rides and attractions, this is a theme park with something for everyone.
Alongside the theme park is a zoo which brings you face-to-face with over 1000 exotic animals including lions, tigers, gorillas, iguanas, snakes and dragons, and a Sea-Life Centre which features fun exhibitions, daily feeding sessions and a remarkable walk-through ocean tunnel.
Chessington lies 12 miles southwest of London in the borough of Kingston-upon-Thames and can be reached from any of our London vacation rentals by trains which run from Waterloo, Clapham Junction and Wimbledon.
Tickets can be purchased on arrival, although you will save money by booking in advance. You can do so, and find out more, here.
by Gill Chris
This 700 year old ceremony takes place every single night, without fail, at the Tower of London. Essentially it is the locking of all the doors to the Tower, which is home to the Crown Jewels and many other valuable, historic items.
The Ceremony involves the Chief Yeoman Warder being escorted around the Tower by four members of the duty regiment Foot Guards and formally locking all of the doors. This piece of living history offers a very unique and fascinating experience and allows visitors the opportunity to enjoy the special atmosphere of being in the grounds of the Tower at night.
Visitors to the Ceremony are admitted to the Tower at 9:30pm precisely and the Ceremony begins at 9:52pm with the Chief Yeoman Warder coming out of the Byward Tower carrying a lantern in one hand and the Queens Keys in the other. The Ceremony is short, lasting less than fifteen minutes, but is very atmospheric and colourful set amidst the mighty battlements of this ancient historic fortress.
Tickets are free (albeit with a £1 admin fee) and get booked up many months in advance so it is essential to plan ahead if you want to be part of this unique experience.
You can find out more and book your tickets (up to 12 months in advance) here.
The Tower of London can be reached from any of our London vacation rentals by tube; the nearest tube station is Tower Hill on the District and Circle lines.