London is one of the great theatre capitals of the world, the number and variety of productions and the quality of acting, musical theatre and directing is unrivalled. There’s a choice of around 40 different shows every night. See a Shakespeare play at The reconstructed Globe Theatre or a musical in the West End. There’s opera in the original language at Royal Opera House Covent Garden or in English at the Coliseum and the Royal Ballet also performs at the Opera House. There are classical concerts at the Barbican Concert Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, St John’s Smith Square where you can combine dinner and a concert and in some of London’s churches such as St Martin in the Fields.
London has world class museums. The British Museum’s collection covers prehistory to the present day and has objects from every part of the world. I also recommend the Victoria and Albert Museum, one of the best for art and design, 2000 years of human creativity in virtually every medium for all over the world. For art there is the National Gallery, western European art from 1250s to early 1900s and Tate Britain which houses British art from 1500s to present day and the Courtauld Collection with an outstanding collection of Impressionists and Post Impressionists paintings. Don’t overlook the small museums, the Wallace collection is an real gem, an outstanding collection of European works of art, paintings, furniture, porcelain, arms and armour, originally the collection of the Marquesses of Hertford and displayed in their former home. There’s so much to see in these museums they can seem overwhelming, if you book my as your London tour guide I will show you the best on a guided tour.
In no other country do you have the opportunity to attend sung services in the cathedrals every day of the week. After the Reformation Queen Elizabeth I made sure that the tradition of cathedral choirs continued, at least in the chapels royal, whilst in other countries across Europe this tradition faded as the reformers advocated congregational singing instead. You can enter our cathedrals without admission charge for Choral Evensong, usually sung at around 5pm.
Experiencing this very special tradition is a must when in London. Sample it in one of London’s best hotels perhaps the Ritz or the Goring, it’s all about elegance and tradition as well as enjoying the delicious sandwiches, cakes and scones. As your tour guide in London I can always make time in the day for an afternoon tea, it makes a great break in sightseeing.
I might be biased but I don’t think any nationality does pageantry as well as the British! There’s the chance to see it regularly at the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, Horseguards or Windsor Castle. Hire me as your London Tour Guide and I will make sure we are in the best place at the right time so you get the best view point. If you book several months in advance you can also watch the ceremony of the keys at the Tower of London which hasn’t changed for around 700 years. If you are in London at the right time it’s easy to see the royal family along with the pageantry of special occasions, there are processions through London for the opening of Parliament at the start of a new parliamentary session, for the Trooping of the Colour on the Queen’s official birthday on second Saturday in June and this year there is the royal wedding on 19th May in Windsor, Prince Harry and Megan Markle will take a carriage drive through the town after their wedding. You might also be lucky enough to get to watch a royal gun salute performed by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery in one of the Royal Parks on a royal birthday or the anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne. You can visit the Royal Mews to see the Queen’s carriages, limousines and some of her horses. Buckingham Palace summer opening is from 21st July to end of September and you can visit Windsor Castle all year round, the state apartments of both are still used by the Royal family for entertaining, they are not a museum. The unoccupied palaces, the Tower of London, Hampton Court and Kensington Palace, embody some of the great stories of British history and some of its greatest characters, they are fascinating places to visit. Kensington Palace has state rooms to visit and an exhibition of Diana Princess of Wales dresses. She lived at the Palace as do Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge and some of the other members of the Royal family. Book my Royal London walk to discover more about royalty, pageantry and tradition.
London is 2,000 years old, first settled by the Romans, but it is also a throughly modern city as well and often I think it is this combination of the old and the new which makes London so fascinating. An old church next to a modern tall building is not an unusual sight in London. London’s history is so tangible there’s always something with a story to tell right around the corner. As your guide I will help you to explore, on a London walking tour, the special areas of London filled with tradition and character, places you wouldn’t discover on your own.