AAA Essential London (AAA Essential Guides: London)
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Discover the essence of one of the world's truly great cities with AAA Essential London. Enjoy a guided tour of the Tower of London or Wesminster Abbey - the coronation site of British Royalty and the resting place of many legendary figures. When you are ready for a break, stop in at a local pub or check out Harrod's Food Hall, the ultimate shrine for the food enthusiast.
famous family-run hotels, providing a wonderful example of old-fashioned hospitality and service. Beeston Place, Grosvenor Gardens 020 7396 9000; www.thegoring.com Victoria Le Meridien Piccadilly (£££) For many, this well-established luxury hotel lies at the very hub of London life. Bedrooms are finished to a high standard. 21 Piccadilly 020 7734 8000; www.lemeridien.com Piccadilly Circus Sanctuary House Hotel (££) You can expect reasonably priced comfort within walking distance of
Square Map Reference 7C Lunch Pig’s Ear (£–££) 35 Old Church Street 020 7352 2908 Royal Hospital, Chelsea 020 7881 5200 Daily 10–12, 2–4. Closed Sun Oct–Mar Free Chelsea Physic Garden 020 7352 5646 Apr–Oct Wed 12–5, Sun 2–6 Café (£) Moderate HYDE PARK The largest and most famous of central London’s open spaces, Hyde Park covers 142ha (350 acres) and was once the royal hunting ground of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. At its northeast corner, at the very end of Oxford Street, is Marble Arch; it
the Queen arrives at Parliament in the Gold State Coach. London-to-Brighton Veteran Car Run (first Sunday in November): a great spectacle as Hyde Park is crammed with 500 pre-1950s vehicles.The world’s oldest motor event. Lord Mayor’s Show (second Saturday in November): London’s 800-year-old street parade, from Mansion House to the Royal Courts of Justice. Fireworks at 5pm. Christmas Lights (mid-November to early January): Regent Street and Oxford Street glow with the latest festive creations.
stores. Instead, rummage through a street market stall, stroll in the parks and enjoy a pint in a theme-free pub. Features London mixes ancient and modern with ease, warm, red brick with glass and steel. The great London institutions of the British Museum, the Tower of London, the museums of South Kensington and the Royal Opera House have all undergone major improvements. New landmarks such as the London Eye and the Swiss Re Tower – nicknamed The Gherkin – grace the skyline and London’s South
dauntingly huge Babbage’s Difference Engine), the Apollo 10 Command module, the first iron lung and many other famous technological landmarks. The Science Museum is famous for its pioneering interactive hands-on areas and adults with children should start with the most popular hands-on display, Launchpad. Here youngsters can discover how machines and gadgets work. Other family favourites include the Flight Galleries, featuring a whole array of historic aircraft, many of them slung dramatically