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Things to Do in London

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Cenotaph
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8 Tours and Activities

The Cenotaph is a war memorial that stands on Whitehall Street in central London. It began as a temporary structure built for a peace parade at the end of World War I and in 1920 was replaced by a permanent structure made of Portland stone. It is now considered the United Kingdom’s primary war memorial, also commemorating those killed in World War II and other wars in which Britons fought and died. King George VI unveiled the memorial for the second time in November 1946 following the end of World War II. The design of the Cenotaph has been replicated elsewhere in the U.K., as well as in Australia, Canada, Bermuda, Hong Kong and New Zealand.

Standing 35 feet high and weighing 120 tons, the memorial has the words “The Glorious Dead” inscribed on it twice. It is the site of the annual National Service of Remembrance, held on Remembrance Sunday, the Sunday closest to November 11.

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Fortnum & Mason
18 Tours and Activities
Standing proud on Piccadilly since 1707, Fortnum & Mason, along with the equally famous Harrods, takes the prize for London’s best-known and most iconic department store. Named after its principal proprietors William Fortnum and Hugh Mason, the central London store is now owned by Wittington Investments Ltd, but its namesakes still grace the iconic rooftop clock – with four-foot high mechanical statues of the men themselves whirring into action as the clock chimes each hour. Belying its early incarnation as a simple grocery store, Fortnum’s soon earned a reputation for selling the highest quality foods and imported delicacies to London’s high society, even supplying food for a number of Victorian era Royal functions. Today, the variety has expanded but the quality remains top notch, with their luxury Christmas and picnic hampers - a renowned tradition dating back to Victorian times – ranging in price from a very reasonable £35 to a mind-blowing £25,000.
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Brixton
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Casting off its reputation as one of London’s most notorious neighborhoods, Brixton has grabbed the spotlight in recent years, transforming itself into one of South London’s coolest postcodes. Brixton’s youthful vibe and multi-cultural mix of residents are its strongest assets and its high population of African and Caribbean residents has given rise to an excellent selection of African, Indian and Asian restaurants.

Stroll down Electric Avenue, Brixton’s main shopping street (and famously immortalized in Eddy Grant’s 1980’s hit single of the same name) and you’ll find an eclectic mix of independent boutiques, hip bars, contemporary art galleries and pop-up restaurants. Alternatively, Brixton Village arcade is crammed with ethnic restaurants; the lively Brixton Market is held daily; and a number of farmer’s markets, flea markets and handicrafts markets are held throughout the year.

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London Chinatown
36 Tours and Activities

With its abundance of oriental restaurants, striking Paifangs (monumental archways) and colorful lanterns swaying in the wind, it’s easy to know when you’ve stumbled into London’s Chinatown. Located at the heart of Soho and a short stroll from Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus, it serves as a popular route for walking tours, as well as being one of the top destinations for eating out in the city. London’s Chinatown dates back from the 20th century, but was originally based in Limehouse in the East End, only moving to its current location in the 1970s. Today, the main thoroughfare is Gerrard Street, on and around which dozens of Asian restaurants can be found, including Japanese sushi bars, Korean eateries and traditional teahouses, as well as a number of Chinese supermarkets, reflexology and massage parlors, and Chinese medicine practitioners. The lively district is most atmospheric after dark, but the best time to visit is during the annual Chinese New Year celebrations.

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Lord's Cricket Ground
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Lord’s Cricket Ground is often described as the sport’s spiritual headquarters, hosting national competitions and international test matches. Although legendary, the stadium doesn’t have any royal relations as its name may suggest — it’s named after Thomas Lord, a professional cricketer and the venue’s founder.

Of course the best way to experience this site is by attending on of the regular matches as one of the 28,000 spectators the stadium can hold. But even without a live game underway, the Lord’s Cricket Ground is worth a visit. The eight stands and media center circling the pitch all have distinctive features, the most notable being the Victorian Pavilion with its famous Long Room. It’s so long, in fact, that cricket player David Steele supposedly once got lost on his walk from the dressing room to the cricket field and ended up in the basement toilets.

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Brick Lane
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So infamous is the East London Street of Brick Lane that there was even an award winning novel and movie penned with the same name. The street, running from Bethnal Green to Whitechapel via the equally famous Spitalfields, has a rich multicultural history, first as home to a sizable Jewish population and more recently, as a settlement for many of London’s Bangladeshi immigrants. These days, Brick Lane and its surroundings are renowned for showcasing the eclectic and retro arts and fashions of the East End, as well as the being the destination of choice for curry lovers.

Brick Lane has earned itself a reputation as the go-to destination for sourcing vintage threads, with its annual Alternative Fashion Week cementing its status as an innovative and fashion-forward region of up and coming designers. Vintage stores and retro boutiques are dotted along the street, alongside a growing population of young, local designers, but the real draw cards are the weekly markets.

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Blackfriars Bridge
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10 Tours and Activities

Blackfriars Bridge is the busiest of the four bridges located in central London. It crosses the River Thames bringing both road and foot traffic from one side to the other. The bridge has been updated several times, but the current bridge is 923 feet long, 105 feet wide, and has five wrought iron arches. Stone carvings decorate the piers of the bridge. On the east side the carvings show marine life and seabirds, and on the west side the carvings depict freshwater birds. This reflects the tidal turning point in the river. Most river boat tours along the River Thames will sail underneath the Blackfriars Bridge along with Millennium Bridge, Southwark Bridge, and London Bridge.

In 1982 the bridge gained international notoriety when the body of Roberto Calvi, a former chairman of Italy's largest private bank, was found hanging from one of the arches of the bridge. Five bricks were attached to his body, and around $14,000 in three different currencies was found in his pockets.

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More Things to Do in London

Savoy Theatre

Savoy Theatre

7 Tours and Activities
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Lyceum Theatre

Lyceum Theatre

5 Tours and Activities
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Shaftesbury Theatre

Shaftesbury Theatre

3 Tours and Activities
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Prince of Wales Theatre

Prince of Wales Theatre

3 Tours and Activities
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Aldwych Theatre

Aldwych Theatre

2 Tours and Activities
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Duchess Theatre

Duchess Theatre

2 Tours and Activities
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Novello Theatre

Novello Theatre

1 Tour and Activity
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London Transport Museum

London Transport Museum

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4 Tours and Activities
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Emirates Stadium

Emirates Stadium

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As England’s third-largest football stadium after Wembley and Old Trafford, and home to Arsenal Football Club, one of the capital’s most renowned football teams, Emirates Stadium is a top choice for those looking to soak up the atmosphere of a British football match. Opening its doors in 2006, the state-of-the-art stadium was designed by HOK Sport and cost an impressive £390 million to build, with seats for up to 60,365 fans.

Touring the landmark stadium is also a popular choice for fans, offering the chance to explore the changing rooms, complete with luxury hydrotherapy spas, walk through the players’ tunnel onto the pitch and stand in Arsenal Manager Arsène Wenger's spot in the dug-out. The on-site Arsenal Museum is another must-see, crammed with iconic photos and memorabilia from Arsenal’s long history, and fans can also shop for sports gear or print a bespoke Arsenal shirt at The Armoury, the official Arsenal shop.

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Museum of Brands

Museum of Brands

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Stamford Bridge

Stamford Bridge

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The official home of Chelsea Football Club since 1905, Stamford Bridge Stadium has a long legacy and watching a match at the iconic stadium is a popular choice for football fans. The 42,000-capacity stadium is even more impressive since undergoing £100 million worth of renovations back in 2001 and the complex now includes 2 hotels, a number of restaurants and the Chelsea FC museum, where interactive displays and exhibitions chronicle the rise of West London’s top football club.

Chelsea home matches are held biweekly at Stamford Bridge Stadium during the annual football season, but fans can also peek behind-the-scenes on a stadium tour, allowing access to the changing rooms, the players’ tunnel, the dugouts and the press room.

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Guards Museum

Guards Museum

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4 Tours and Activities
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