I do not know whether this is due to the fact that London is a point of reference in the history of Europe, from the Middle Ages onwards or because most of the literature that I like is related to this city. I am lucky enough to go there several times.
What to see and do in Wimbledon
If you're in London, you should travel to Wimbledon. In one day you can visit the most important things. But if you want to stay for more days, you can enjoy peaceful walks through the beautiful parks and forests. Famous for its annual tennis tournament, Wimbledon is a huge area in the London district of Merton. It is composed of Wimbledon, Wimbledon Village, South Wimbledon, and Wimbledon Chase. It is not to be missed for lovers of museums, theater, culture, and religion.
Wimbledon Windmill Museum that tells the story of windmills through working models from the factories of the Persians and Greeks to the current models (wind farms). It is known to be very interactive for children and allows the entrance to the tower of the mill.
Wimbledon Society Museum of Local History tells the history and evolution of this part of London. Buddhapadipa Temple is one of the most famous Buddhist temples in the UK. New Wimbledon Theater is home to about 45 productions a year, so I suggest to make a stop. Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum has a collection of the best tennis memories with, trophy room and a 360-degree view of the field from a platform.
Wimbledon Common offers 1,140 hectares of woodland. It also has a very own windmill and a golf club. It is also known for its mushroom pickers. Cannizaro Park is very close to the heart of Wimbledon and is one of the most beautiful parks of Wimbledon Common. The tramway connects Wimbledon and Croydon.
The Wimbledon Championship is the oldest and prestigious competition of the tennis world. It is held every July since 1877 in this area of London. If you want to visit it, you can do it only with a guided tour. You must purchase a ticket for the tour to Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum and will cost £ 22. Of course, during the annual tournament, guided tours are suspended. The tour includes a visit to the press room, changing rooms and various function which can not be accessed during the championship.
Wimbledon is known for offering cuisines from around the world from Lebanese, Turkish to Japanese cuisine. Towards Wimbledon Hill, you can find large Victorian homes and luxury apartments. In this area of London live many families, since there are some of the best schools in London as West Wimbledon, Dundonald, Bishop Gilpin, Singlegate and St Marys.
London Valentine's Day
If you are of the idea that a good beginning is half done, you will agree with me that to start Valentine's Day on the right foot, you have to welcome it in a truly extraordinary dream location.
London New Year
Well, London is the ideal place also for the New Year with the celebrations that are organized each year for the longest night are always over the top and it's really hard not to be more than satisfied for choosing London to await the arrival of the new year.
The New Year in London is one of the most famous in the world, an event that attracts thousands of people in a single day. December 31 is one of the most popular nights in the city and the series of events is endless as the stroke of midnight in the famous Big Ben clock marks the beginning of the fireworks of the largest Ferris wheel, while the side and central banks of the Thames continue to fill up with thousands of people, including residents and tourists from all over the world.
Borough Market is a gourmet market and is a food paradise. The market is held every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday near London Bridge. The Borough Market is more than just a food market. It is a true journey through flavors and its delights throughout Europe. The soul of the street food is mixed with that of boutique gourmet delicatessen. Everything here is a plethora of scents, a manipulation of taste, a taste bud titillation. Served by the way drop by drop.
Do not expect to walk to the Borough Market and come out unscathed. As mentioned, it is not a food market whatsoever. There are abundant samples of Camden Town stalls. Here the food on offer is so 'stylish that can only indulge in the form of crumbs. But these microscopic samples explode in your mouth extolling a consciousness of flavors than you thought to possess, ravenous and yell More!
Where the taste pushes toward the mouth of the stomach, the curiosity invites you to explore even more. Looking through your eyes the vastness of the market instinctively you realize that there is no need to stop at the first stall and move on in search of new emotions. And these come in the form of a Tocchetto, German Salami, a tiny cut of French cheese, a soft bread soaked in Croatian truffle oil.
The first problem is that the mix of sensations that will be created on your plate will keep you from making a rational choice on the food deserves to be engulfed by you. Almost as guilty of wronging someone you tend to get a bit over the world to take home the best of European cuisine and something out of the continent.
The second problem is that here the stuff you mica fare cheap. Do not forget that we are always in London, and higher quality here is seen as a luxury product, so it is a must to spend money. But, take my word for, the insult to your paycheck is really worth for once. I recommend, however, buy wisely. Do not bring home too many short-lived products, but choose something that will remain in your pantry for a while, justifying the abnormal spending.
And if you opt for a more prosaic lunch on the spot, throw yourself head on the stands offering food cooked before your eyes. One of my favorites was the Burger with the German Sausage. Then head to the Southwark Cathedral. In the shadow of this majestic monument, your meal will take on a decidedly mystical flavor.
The Borough Market is open from Wednesday to Friday from 10 to 5 pm, Saturday from 8 to 5 pm. The nearest Metro station is London Bridge, which is served by the Jubilee and Nothern lines and it is just a short walk. My advice is to combine a visit to this fantastic food market in a walk on the Southbank, on a nice sunny day. Starting from Westminster it is a long walk of just under an hour and is ideal to awaken a healthy appetite.
The most famous event of the New Year in London is definitely the fireworks show which takes place on the banks of the Thames. From 2014, the entry has been made for a fee, allowing access to the private area to 100,000 people, so as to ensure a high standard of safety. Watching live fireworks on the Thames, fired from the London Eye costs £ 10.
The event is organized by the Mayor of London in partnership with UNICEF and is held in front of the Houses of Parliament. A countdown is displayed on Shard (the tallest skyscraper in Europe) with 12 strokes on Big Ben to greet the arrival of the new year.
Where to see fireworks in London
It will not be the same thing, but if you do not find a place to see the fireworks, you might try to win a place on Tower Bridge and Vauxhall Bridge. If you are to search for the most eventful night, among a host of clubs and pubs, or an alternative evening with rock concerts and classical music concerts, or even if you are among those who prefer a simple romantic walk along the Tower Bridge or a boat trip along the river, then London becomes your city.
I have often confused the two names and two bridges in the past, even thinking that London Bridge was an alternative name to Tower Bridge and back. Far from it, but you know, when you are rooted in certain misconceptions, it is often difficult to remove entirely from the head. There's only one way to dispel any doubt. It is a bridge to cross to the other, keeping in mind of where you are and what is the relation of the two bridges with one another.
Well, I tell you now. London Bridge is the bridge by which you see the Tower Bridge. From which all protrude to do frontal photos to Tower Bridge, which stands out for its towers so features that make it one of the London silhouette symbols. The London Bridge instead, to behold, a standard bridge over which passes on urban by the City, the financial heart of London, go to Southwark, the neighborhood on the opposite bank of the Thames.
Yes, the London Bridge is a bridge that seems like everyone else. In reality, however, it is the oldest bridge in London. Let me explain. The London Bridge was built, a few meters away, even by the Romans, the founders of the ancient Londinium. Until 1750 it was actually the only place the bridge to cross the Thames! It is since 1830 that the old bridge was replaced by the current bridge: a plaque tells the fate of 2000 years of history in a few simple words.
Those arriving by bus from any part of the city must come down on the bridge. From here you must first of a long series of photos that have for background Tower Bridge. Then, if you are hungry, the solution is to go down in the near Borough Market, which remains under the bridge, near the metro stop.
Refreshed, it is time to march to the Tower Bridge! The walk runs along the right bank of the River Thames and is a succession of wide open spaces overlooking the river, with some viewpoints and large buildings and shopping arcades. From here, on one face and on the river, you can see the most beautiful skyscrapers of the city, featuring in the positive sense a modern urban landscape and the metropolis that is London.
Meanwhile, the Tower Bridge is approaching and every step you do is good for clicking a new selfie, new souvenir photos from a closer distance. In the evening it is even better because you can play with the street lights and see the enlightened bridge, that creates a magical atmosphere.
If you are interested in the war, a warship was parked halfway down the river is a suspended over the museum, visited with a ticket. Stuff to fans. On the other side of London Bridge, on the other hand, back down the river, it is parked a galleon time of the East India Company, the glorious historical chapter of colonialism and the season of the great businesses of the British Navy.
The few pubs that look out on this walk are always packed; but if you want to eat you can try to go over the Tower Bridge, home to the former warehouse, red brick buildings now converted into the neighborhood chock trendy restaurants and also ethnic shops.
The Tower Bridge owes its success to its special architecture. Its two towers make it unique in the world. They look like two towers castle of fairy tales, yet the bridge was built only at the end of 800 and is a movable bridge, designed to rise and fall to allow the passage of ships. The bridge consists therefore of two towers connected at the top by two light footbridges, painted today of a fine blue sky and white.
In fact, the structure may seem a little kitsch as a whole, or pop, especially in the evening and on special occasions, when illuminated theme. The towers, however, are not simply an architect's habit, but they are functional to the structure, which must withstand the weight of the bridge which opens for the passage of ships. So functionality and aesthetics are taken in hand, as it should be.
But the name of the bridge, Tower, does not derive from the two towers, but rather from the nearby Tower of London, a huge medieval fortress used variously throughout history as a royal palace and a prison, and that is the opposite bank of the Thames, right at the entrance of the Tower Bridge. The bridge is open to traffic automotive and public transport, but also pedestrian and cross it allows you to take a panoramic view of the city while walking to the Tower of London.
As a good symbol of London, Tower Bridge was the background of different films. And for the London Olympics 2012, it was decorated with the colors and the Olympic rings.
The square might not be the best solution to await the arrival of the new year, not only if you are sensitive to the cold, or if you have children with you, but for everyone, because the wait takes several hours of standing and difficult for those who have need to use the services.
Therefore, to see the show with more comfort you might consider if there are tables available in the restaurants with the observation position on fireworks. Consider that prices will not be accessible to some, but if you have a good budget to invest for this evening check out the proposals. Another vantage point to watch the fireworks display will be from the Thames, on which there are romantic cruises with the comfort of having a dinner and a toast.
London New Year Cruise
If the idea of a New Year is to have fun and at the same time comfort, then it might be a good idea to attend on a New Year's Cruise. It departs from Tower Pier, in the center of London and lasts 5 hours and includes 4-course dinner, champagne, live entertainment and of course a fantastic night view of London and the fireworks.
New Year in Trafalgar Square
It is not as grand as the fireworks on the Thames, but a solution to be reckoned is spending the New Year in Trafalgar Square in a party with multicultural flavor and a toast to share with people from the 4 corners of the world. Here the crowd gathers at the foot of the high column of Lord Nelson (British Empire's national hero), in fountains and stairs leading to the National Gallery.
The neighboring streets, including all those of The Strand, Charing Cross Road, Whitehall, then allow reaching key areas such as Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square, and Westminster with the Big Ben.
If you are not interested in spending a night to see the fireworks at chilly temperatures, London will not disappoint and you can participate in one of the many festivals that are organized in clubs and less famous nightclubs, London Pubs, bars, restaurants on New Year that stay open all night, but many require the payment of an entrance fee. If you have not booked in advance it becomes difficult to find some free space after witnessing the spectacle of fireworks.
The locals, as you can imagine, are many and the choice is more than diverse. The London nightlife is concentrated in areas such as Soho, Brick Lane, Shoreditch, Brixton, Clapham, Vauxhall, Camden Town, King's Cross. Experience the New Year at Stockwell Road, for those who love trance and progressive music. The clubs of London are always highly appreciated like those in Tinworth Street, Gaunt Street, Kings Cross, Greenwich and Farrington/Holborn.
Many prefer to attend the many themed dances, such as those hosted in the many London hotels with the prices for 2 people on average hover at around £ 200.
What to do on January 1 in London
The celebrations for the new year does not end with the midnight, but also provide a number of initiatives on 1 January. You can visit various ice rinks in London offering moments of fun, Somerset House, located at the corner of Waterloo Bridge and the great highway of the Strand. In this same place, you can also participate in so-called late-night DJ skate session, a disco on ice in London. Among other ice rinks are those on Cromwell Road, Canada Square Park, Liverpool Street, Hyde Park, Serpentine Road, London Eye Ferris Wheel, Jubilee Garden, the Tower of London, Tower Hill, London Ice, Rink Shepherd's Bush and Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey.
The most popular event is the London New Year's Day Parade that on the first day of every year, gives to Londoners and tourists a colorful, musical and very cheerful parade with about 10,000 participants, floats, cheerleaders, clowns and acrobats from around the world, particularly from the United States!
Departure is at approx 12 PM from Parliament Square, and after going through Parliament Street, Cockspur Street, Pall Mall, Piccadilly Circus and comes to 3 PM at Berkeley Street and Piccadilly Lane. The London parade also has a charity aspect. In short, if you do not want to be disappointed, the New Year in London is one of the most beautiful solutions that you can assess for a 31 December over the top.
The New Year's Eve is a new event that people never before in London really experienced in every corner of life. 2012 was a special year for the Londoners, with the great event of the 2012 London Olympic Games, and before that, lest we forget the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, which celebrated 60 years of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. For the London event, it took four days of festivities with the so-called Bank Holiday from June 2 until June 5.
On the eve of the new year the Westminster Bridge, that of Waterloo and the pedestrian area of Embankment officially called the Golden Jubilee Bridge, as well as the entire north bank of the river opposite the Southbank Centre, becomes an ideal place to watch the fireworks as starry eyes look towards the big wheel, the London Eye, which is colored with thousands of lights and colors.
For the first time in 2011 the crowd, seated between the banks of the river and the surrounding streets, could attend a special set of fireworks with music in the background that had the songs of the greatest of English music band like, the Queen with We Will Rock You, the Beatles with Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, the Blur with song 2 and many others.
Ideas for the family for the London Christmas
Enjoy a ride on skates in one of the best ice rinks on the ice in London. Have fun at Winter Wonderland with trips, markets, shows and much more. Participates in a holiday tour in London and marvel together at the lights that illuminate the city with twinkling Christmas lights. Make a visit to some of the major attractions of London, which are open during the New Year's Day.
The famous British Museum exhibits the works of mankind from all over the world, from prehistory to the present day. Among the most famous artifacts, you will find the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon sculptures, and the mummies of Ancient Egypt collection. National Gallery of London is a huge place, full of Western European paintings from the thirteenth to the twenty-first century. This famous art gallery you can find works by masters such as Van Gogh, da Vinci, Botticelli, Constable, Renoir, Titian, and Stubbs.
In addition to the permanent exhibition of dinosaurs, the Natural History Museum boasts a collection of larger animals, tallest and rarest in the world. Come and enjoy a life-size blue whale, a spider than 40 million years and the splendid Central Hall. Southbank Centre is an artistic center of world fame located on the south bank of the Thames, offering a wide range of cultural events, including music, dance, art, performances, and spoken word. It includes the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, and Hayward Gallery.
The Tate Modern, Britain's national museum of modern and contemporary art, stands imposingly on the banks of the Thames. The unique shape of the building is due to its former power plant function. Inside you will find temporary exhibitions of top artists, such as Damien Hirst or Gauguin. The restaurants of the gallery offer fabulous views of the city.
The Coca-Cola London Eye is a distinctive feature of the London skyline. It is the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, with 32 capsules of 10 tons each accommodating up to 25 people. Climb aboard for a breathtaking experience, with unforgettable views of over 50 of the most famous landmarks of London: and all alone in 30 minutes!
The Victoria and Albert Museum celebrates art and design through a heritage of 3000 years of incredible artifacts from around the world. A veritable treasure trove of goodies, you will never know what awaits you: furniture, paintings, sculptures, metal objects, and textiles. Science Museum will exercise your brain with mental gymnastics worthy of the Olympics. You can see, touch and experience the major scientific discoveries of the last 300 years and do not forget the fantastic Imax cinema.
Somerset House is the home of two London galleries. In addition to the famous collection of paintings by great masters, impressionists, and post-impressionists of the Courtauld Gallery, the Embankment Galleries host a cyclic program of exhibitions dedicated to art, design, fashion, and photography. Tower of London is one of the most famous buildings in the world.
Discover its 900-year history as a royal palace, arsenal, prison, place of executions, the home of the Crown Jewels and the zoo! You can admire the White Tower, the Crown Jewels and walk on tiptoe into the bedroom of a medieval king.
On New Year's Eve, the London Underground is open all night and the access is free as well as all other public transportation.
The nuclear bunker in Corsham
Underground military bunkers that can accommodate and protect up to 4,000 personalities of the national government in case of bombing, nuclear or chemical attack is located in England, in Corsham, and was built in the 1950s, during the Cold War. The property, which has thankfully lost its defensive and military significance, is now a tourist attraction, with its long corridors and rooms created by expanding the old tunnels of a mine.
The City of the Cold War, codenamed Burlington, has an interior decorated with various frescoes, that also contains a pub. It had a subterranean lake to ensure the supply of drinking water and it was only made public in 1991.
A touch of magic with Harry Potter in London
It was in 1997 when the most famous boy wizard of all time, created by the brilliant mind of JK Rowling, began his adventure. After twenty years, the myth of Harry Potter has not yet dispelled, indeed. The wizard boy, in fact, has traveled the length and breadth of Britain.
At Lochaber, Scotland is located on Glenfinnan Viaduct, a railway bridge about 30 meters high with twenty-one arches. It lies along the path leading to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You can easily arrive by car or by walking a little more than one kilometer to the east of the station.
If you go to the area you can immerse yourself in this enchanted landscape as did Harry and his friends. Just hop on the steam train called The Jacobite, the Hogwarts Express. You can leave from Fort William on board the Jacobite Steam Train and get to Mallaig through one of the most beautiful railway routes in the world. Or you can admire from the outside, traveling beside the tracks where it runs the steam train. Then stop next to the idyllic stretch where it passes the Hogwarts Express.
Glencoe, Argyll in Scotland, however, was the setting for the first two films. In the valley of Glen Nevis were filmed scenes of Quidditch, the magical sport with balls and flying broomsticks.
Moving to Wales it is possible to admire Freshwater West, a strip of golden sand used as a location for Shell Cottage, the home of Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Who can forget the lessons of Professor Minerva McGonagall during which she taught students how to turn animals into glasses filled with water?
Well, the filming of these scenes were filmed in Durham Cathedral and its beautiful cloisters were used as the snow-covered courtyard where Harry does fly his owl, Hedwig. The magnificent Bodleian Library of the University of Oxford and nearby Divinity School, transformed in the infirmary at Hogwarts, appear in numerous films of the Harry Potter saga.
In a ten-minute walk from the library, on the other hand, there is the Christ Church College. It was used as the set for the filming of the first film of Harry and his wizard friends at Hogwarts. Without a doubt, one of the most popular moments of the books and movies is the flight with the broom.
Then head to Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, to watch performances of the unforgettable magic. Alnwick is a wonderful English town with a maze of streets and alleys to explore. It has a secular market, an extraordinary library in an old Victorian station and a castle that will leave you breathless. Enter through the large threshold door and you will find yourself catapulted into the scenes of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, along with Harry and his friends, or fly on a broom to catch the coveted Golden Snitch.
The Gloucester Cathedral and precisely its dark corridors are the places where Harry went to look for the ghosts of Nick Nearly Headless and Moaning Myrtle. It is recommended to take a guided tour of the building to admire its beauty and discover ingenious solutions devised by directors to camouflage the cathedral during the filming.
And then London. The British capital has an important place in the books and later in the movies. Harry jumps to Leadenhall Market to plunge into the Leaky Cauldron, pubs and meeting place for wizards located in what is now an optical shop. You should move to King's Cross Station to go in search of the famous track 9¾. It is a wall topped by an arch that is located between the Platform 4 and Platform 5.
Between Platform 9 and 10, on the other hand, there is the famous shopping trunk stuck in the wall that divides the magical world of the Muggles. Near the tracks is a shop selling Potterian accessories. It is impossible to resist the temptation to do some shopping. The scene where Daniel Radcliffe in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone converses with a huge python, and so discovers he has the gift to speak Parseltongue was shot in the reptile house in London Zoo, the oldest scientific zoo in the world.
If you go outside you can easily find the neo-Gothic facade as a backdrop to the scene where Harry and Ron leave aboard the fabulous Ford Anglia Weasley!
Do not miss a step in the Warner Bros studios in Leavesden, just outside London, where you can admire a 1:24 scale model of the entire Hogwarts. It was used to film the exterior and make aerial shots of Hogwarts School. At the end of the tour, you will be offered a tankard of butterbeer, the preferred non-alcoholic beverage by magicians. Butterbeer is flavored butter and sugar candy with shortbread.