London is a city that every traveler needs to visit at least once. The capital city of England is more than just Big Ben and Buckingham Palace. It’s a cosmopolitan, diverse city full of amazing food, museums, history and culture. It’s also one of the destinations we can help you discover.
As many of our clients already know, Bella Vita Travels has expanded beyond the Mediterranean for years now. We’ve been helping clients plan tailor made dream vacations to different destinations around the world. The United Kingdom is a country that is very close to our hearts. London, above all, is a city that we personally love and visit frequently throughout the year.
This means that we have access to new perks and new opportunities in some of the countries that we visit.
This month, we would like to introduce you to the United Kingdom. We will be sharing tips, advice and recommendations about the beautiful city of London this week. As always, all of our trips are completely tailor made. We believe no two getaways should be the same and a busy life deserves the very best. We take the time to get to know you so we can help you find your perfect escape.
London: what to see
What to see and explore in London?
Where do we start?
This city is packed with hundreds of amazing things to see and do. Museums, gorgeous parks, historical sites and so much more. London can be explored with our local, expert guides in tailor made tours. However, here are some ideas for your free time in this bustling, sophisticated city.
Regent’s Park is one of London’s most popular open spaces, covering 410 acres in north-west London. Originally a hunting ground for Henry VIII, it remained a royals-only retreat long after it was formally designed by John Nash in 1811; only in 1845 did it open to the public as a spectacular shared space.
Once the hunting ground for Henry VIII, this large royal park is a green haven in the city and one of eight royal parks. A terrific asset for the city providing a huge swathe of relief from the concrete jungle, easily accessible from the central shopping and tourism areas. Cafe, toilets and the Serpentine gallery plus the adjoining Kensington gardens are also reasons to visit.
A visit outside here and seeing the changing of the guard is iconically London. It’s a great on your own activity and one that kids and adults love.
National Gallery and Trafalgar Square
Nelson’s Column, majestic lions and fountains, Trafalgar Square is often considered the heart of London itself. There are so many iconic London sites here, like the National Gallery and many West End theaters. Along the way to these major sites you can discover quiet lanes and corners of the city, as well as hidden pubs and angles.
From St. Edward, thought the tombs of Edward I, Henry VII & Elizabeth to the poets, engineers & scientists who made the modern world; this is truly a ride that carries the visitor through the history of Britain. It’s also a superb building, the main cruciform of the church being of grand scale & the lady chapel quite beautiful.
Southwark neighborhood of London
Recently famous for the iconic Shard skyscraper, the Southwark neighborhood has been one of our favorites to explore in London for some time now. Locals and tourists love browsing the boutiques of Bermondsey High Street. Or, another great experience is exploring the stalls at centuries old foodie haven Borough Market. Perhaps after, a walk on the banks of the Thames to enjoy some of Britain’s biggest attractions such as Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe. To see the city from another perspective, a quick stroll across famed bridges like the pedestrianized Millennium Bridge or the ever photogenic Tower Bridge is a great idea. It’s also easily accessible to the very core of Central London.
An incredible array of shops, theaters, cafes, pubs, and restaurants brings many here. The festive and historic atmosphere in and around Covent Garden is truly unique! Many come with tickets for a show or theater in the area. However, if you are just passing through you’ll more than likely see a show anyway. The area is full of talented street performers throughout the day. Stopping through for a walk or shopping in this picturesque area is a London must.
London: Our top hotels
NoMad London takes residence inside the historic, grade II-listed building famously known as The Bow Street Magistrates’ Court and Police Station. The transformation of the storied 19th century building draws inspiration from its history and location in Covent Garden, as well as exploring the artistic and cultural connection between London and New York.
Located in the midst of the theatre district with hip shopping/restaurants and a vibrant scene rather than the staid and now seedy “ posh” addresses this hotel really hits the spot. Stunning interior decoration, super comfortable rooms and impeccable makes this establishment the shining light of the “ new London’.
Impeccably English and perfectly individual, The Goring features 69 sumptuous rooms and suites, each uniquely decorated with the ﬁnest furnishings. As the last remaining family-owned luxury hotel in London, it’s renowned for its warm, intimate atmosphere and personalized service.
With an elegantly designed Michelin-starred Dining Room, a world-renowned afternoon tea and an opulent yet fun bar offering an irresistible selection of the signature cocktails.
Located in Belgravia – one of the most exclusive and elegant areas in central London – it’s perfectly placed for the spectacular London sights. The iconic walls of Buckingham Palace border the district and nearby Knightsbridge, Mayfair and Sloane Street make for a fashionable stay.
At the heart of London’s Mayfair village, The Connaught redefines the British luxury experience. Highly personalized butler service and English grandeur mix effortlessly with contemporary art and a warm atmosphere. The rooms and magnificent suites bring together an enduring commitment to both traditional and modern design, befitting the needs of the modern traveler and creating beautiful interiors that are generous in comfort and size. Treat yourself to three-Michelin-starred dining from Hélène Darroze, enjoy all-hours informal gourmet dining at Jean-Georges at The Connaught, and discover the sophisticated Connaught Bar.
Inspired by England’s indelible history and informed by its dynamic present, St. Ermin’s Hotel, Autograph Collection is a luxury destination amid the best of central London. Discover some of the world’s most celebrated attractions, including Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace. A distinctive haven of modern comfort, our hotel provides distinguished luxury that captures London’s historic essence.
Tailor made London tours
Private tour of the Tower of London
This three-hour Tower of London tour, led by an expert historian, uses the Tower as a backdrop for understanding and discussing British history and culture. You will learn the many roles the Tower has played in its nearly 1,000-year history. From the days of William the Conqueror to a prison and execution site that witnessed the beheading of two of Henry VIII’s wives, we will leave with a deeper understanding of the Tower of London’s role in British history.
Churchill War Rooms Private Tour
During this three-hour tour led by a historian, we will delve into the depths of one of London’s most important eras—the 267 days between September 1940 and May 1941 when German forces made over 70 air raids on the city—known as the London Blitz. We’ll explore daily life in London during World War II and its impact on the city, as well as the figure of Winston Churchill and the key decisions he made as Prime Minister.
Crash course of the British Museum
The Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon Marbles, and the Assyrian Lion Hunt are just some of the treasures we’ll see in this three-hour, in-depth British Museum tour. Led by a trained archaeologist or historian, this walk not only explores the museum and its controversial history of collecting but goes in-depth with some of its many works from antiquity. Together, we’ll rediscover not only the museum’s well-known Ancient Egyptian and Greek treasures, but some of its lesser-known—but no less magnificent—Assyrian, Persian, and Mesopotamian artifacts. This is a great choice for those who love to see the museum but don’t want to “get lost”!
New destinations, still your Bella Vita
We hope that this introduction to London gave you some travel inspiration. We have so many new experiences and destinations we cannot wait to share with you.
For more information on a tailor made trip to London, please contact Megan or Kate to learn more!