London; a city of contrasts, pubs and deadpan humour. A city steeped in history, art and culture!
We suggest hosting a corporate travel incentive or offsite to London anytime between June and September as the temperatures are not harsh and the parks are green and blooming. Here’s a quick weather chart to give you an idea of the climate round the year.
All major Indian cities are connected to London Heathrow by direct flights, mainly by British Airways, Air India and Jet Airways. Flight time is between nine and ten hours and a United Kingdom visa is required to enter London. More information on visas is available here.
One sight that you’ll see right off, as you drive from the airport to your hotel, is the famous London Eye. It’s the world’s tallest observation wheel (you can see up to 40 kilometers in all directions) located on the South Bank of the river Thames in London that carries 32 Capsules. The 32 capsules on the London Eye are representative of the 32 London boroughs. It can carry 800 (25 in a capsule) people in each rotation. It’s imperative to get your tickets in advance from here. Tourists have horrid tales of having spent hours queueing up because they didn’t purchase tickets in advance!
Here’s another building you’ll see quite frequently as you drive around London. The Great Bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster has been given the nickname of “Big Ben”. The Big Ben is amongst London’s most iconic landmarks and a must-see attraction. The massive bell inside the clock tower weighs more than 13 tons. During the night when the four clock faces are illuminated, it just looks spectacular. It takes about 45 minutes – 1 hour to make the climb!
A quick way to acquaint yourself with all the sights in the city is to go for the Thames river cruise.You will cruise by the oldest and most impressive buildings in London such as Big Ben, The Tower of London, The London Eye, Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Shakespeare’s Globe, Millennium Footbridge, Tate Modern, Cutty Sark, Canary Wharf, HMS Belfast battle-cruiser etc. Here’s a full map of the cruise route.
The Tower of London is another very famous tourist attraction and what makes it special is the very famous Indian Diamond the Koh-I-Noor, that is kept on display here. The Crown Jewels are the top things to see at this place. We would advise you to pre-book your visit in order to avoid the queues.
Entrance to The British Museum is free. This museum has collections related to human history, art and culture. This museum also has a section on Ancient India which is all about Buddha, early Hinduism and the Indus Valley.
Next stop, Westminster Abbey! Westminster Abbey is a large, mainly Gothic abbey church in the city of Westminster in London, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster and is formally titled the Collegiate Church of St. Peter. Westminster Abbey has more than a thousand years of history and is also the final resting place of seventeen monarchs. It is one of the most important Gothic buildings in the country, with the medieval shrine of an Anglo- Saxon saint still at its heart. Westminster Abbey is also the place where some of the most significant people in the nation’s history are buried or commemorated. It is a treasure house of stained glass, paintings, and other artefacts.
St. Paul’s Cathedral is an Anglican cathedral, the seat of the Bishop of London and the mother church of the Diocese of London. It sits on Ludgate Hill at the highest point of the city of London and offers some amazing vistas of the city. The church was the site of a number of important historic events such as the funeral of Winston Churchill in 1965 and the funeral of Admiral Nelson in 1806. Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer married here in 1981.
And now, for the one visit that everyone craves on their trip to London, Buckingham Palace! This is the residence and administrative headquarters of the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom, and is often at the centre of state occasions and royal hospitality. The history of the original building dates back to the early 1700’s when it finally became the official residence of the British Monarch in 1837 after Queen Victoria came to the throne. The Royal family regularly use the 19 State Rooms to entertain guests. It is in August and September when the Queen makes her yearly visit to Scotland allowing the palace to open up the lavish rooms to the public.
When you’re there, don’t forget to catch the precision drill ceremony of the ‘Changing of Guards’ accompanied by bands playing stirring music. Immaculately dressed guards turn up and hand over responsibility for protecting Buckingham Palace and St. James Palace to the new guards. This ceremony begins at 11:30 am sharp at the forecourt of the Buckingham Palace.
And lastly, you haven’t done justice to your trip to London if you’ve not taken a selfie with your favourite Bollywood star at Madame Tussaud’s!