While it might seem like we have covered every attraction in London there are a few more worth noting. They are not attractions per se, but parts of the art and culture scene in London that I really enjoyed seeing. You won’t need to schedule a tour or a lengthy period of time if you are curious and also want to sneak a peek.
I assume libraries aren’t on most people’s top ten list of things to do in a new city but this particular library had one piece of history I had to get my eyes on, the Magna Carta, which dates back to the year 1215. This piece of legislation was the predecessor of our constitution and to see it up close was a thrill for the history lover in me.
This library has many other original works such as the Canterbury Tales, a notebook that once belonged to DaVinci, handwritten copies of Beethoven’s music, lyrics from The Beatles, and works by Jane Austen; just to name a few. You can spend anywhere from a half hour to an entire afternoon here depending on what you want to see.
The library itself is exquisite even when compared to N.Y.C.’s main hub which I recently visited (http://bit.ly/2Eq6sMW).
If you are so inclined you can take one of the many tours offered which also include a stop at one of the reading rooms.
Leicester Square / West End Play / Piccadilly Circus
Leicester Square is a huge complex of entertainment, restaurants, and nightlife, all in close proximity to Piccadilly Circus.
Here you will find a TKTS booth selling theatre tickets at a discount which can be up to fifty percent off. However you can only purchase tickets for that evening’s show. From here it is a short walk to Shaftesbury Avenue where all theaters are.
Since London is a city well known for its theater I had decided I was definitely going to see a show. I decided on Les Miserables because I had never seen it and at the time was not on Broadway. I purchased my tickets in advance and they were waiting for me when I arrived the night of. Tickets purchased in advance can also be delivered to your hotel.
While I was not a fan of this story (I know I am in the minority on this), especially since its over three hours long, I was happy I could say I have seen a West End production. I would like to add that they do not give out playbills in London theaters, there are only souvenir programs available for purchase. This did not please me at all.
Piccadilly Circus is Times Square of London and also only a short walk from the West End and Leicester Square. Here you will find a crazy crowd of congestion, many double decker tour buses, and numerous billboards. There is a famous statute of Eros, the Greed God of sexual attraction, which you will no doubt want to take a photo with.
B.B.C. Television Centre
I booked this tour because my brother was and still is very interested in a career in television. While we didn’t know many of the shows that were featured on this tour it was still interesting. Our guide had a lot of funny stories to share about the celebrities who have graced those studios and as a fan of B.B.C. America and their news programs, I was happy to see where all the action takes place.
Please note tours should be booked two or three days ahead of time. Naturally being the planner I am, I booked everything from home.
The Original Walking Towers of London / Jack the Ripper Walking Tour
Ah, Jack the Ripper.
As a true crime fan (http://bit.ly/2BIUSLR) I suppose it all begins with him. I wrote a paper on him in college and continue to read many of the books that are published about him.
While I was very excited about everything I did in London, this tour was at the very top of my list before, even before there was a list. This tour was right up there with the London Eye and Buckingham Palace (http://bit.ly/2E2yoY1) in terms of importance to me.
Though many of the buildings and locations where the murders took place are gone, I still wanted to trace the progress of the case.
This tour takes place rain or shine and books up incredibly fast. It is the only one recommended by top travel guides and is given by published and renowned
Ripperologists (Jack the Ripper experts).
It meets up near the East End, not far from the Tower of London (http://bit.ly/2GUzXF1). A seemingly appropriate, haunted location.
The tour ends at The Ten Bells bar, so named for the church nearby. It has an association with two of Jack’s victims. While a drink there isn’t an official stop on the tour, it is where it ends. So if you need to drown your sorrows afterward you are at the right place. Just be extra cautious when you leave.
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