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8 Activities to do While in London for a Short Break

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8 Activities to do While in London for a Short Break
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8 Activities to do While in London for a Short Break

Known as the heart of Britain, this bustling multicultural city is one of the major tourist destinations in the world. Not only is London home to over eight million inhabitants, this historic location is also the place where many world-class museums, parks, theatres, and restaurants can be found. For those who are looking for a place with many attractions within walking distance from each other, this is the place to visit.

The great thing about London is there is a wide variety of things to do in the city while on a short break. This is especially good for those who are in the area for a couple of days. Because while it can be smelly, chaotic, and congested, there is nothing quite like having a quick vacation to one of the world's cultural capital to energise one's spirits. Bustling with activity, London is a place that many people enjoy coming back to again and again. For those serious about making the most of their time in London, the following are 8 activities that one should make sure to do while in "The City."

8 Must-Do Activities in London

Tourists who are eager to experience the best of what London has to offer should make sure to include the following activities in their itinerary. While a whirlwind tour of London is often not advisable, especially if one plans to really soak in the experience, consider making time for a few of these stops.

Activity 1: Visit the Tower of London

The Tower of London, otherwise referred to as "Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress", is found on the Thames River in Central London. According to popular lore, the tower is the most haunted place in all of London. The White Tower was built in 1078 by William the Conqueror, it has served as a fortress, prison, and palace, among others. Considered as a World Heritage Site, its many attractions include royal bedchambers, armour collections, the Crown Jewels, and many more.

Activity 2: View the Pieces in The British Museum

For those who enjoy history and culture, there is nothing like a trip to the British Museum. This venerable institution houses an estimated eight million objects from all over the world in its permanent collection. Its mission is to document the story of mankind, and it is mostly free to the public. Those who wish to can see mummies from Egypt, tools from the Palaeolithic age, helmets worn by Anglo-Saxons, drawings by Leonardo da Vinci, Benin Bronzes, Elgin Marbles, and the Rosetta Stone, among others.

Activity 3: Shop on Oxford Street

Shopping addicts flock to Oxford Street for its unique shopping experience built around world-class retailers. Oxford Street provides a style that is quintessentially Britain with its flagship stores by top notch retailers like House of Fraser, Debenhams, Selfridges, and John Lewis, among others. Easily accessible by bus and the London Underground, Oxford Street is even more festive during the holiday season when it is decorated by Christmas lights. For those who do not enjoy crowded areas, make sure to avoid this area during the holiday season when everyone is busy buying last-minute presents.

Activity 4: See a Show in the Royal Opera House

The Royal Opera House, located on Bow Street at Covent Garden, is the home of both the Royal Opera and the Royal Ballet. These two companies have been providing theatre-goers with world-class performances since 1948. Many tourists visit London just to see a show. If one hasn't booked in advance, catch a show if the schedule permits it or simply go to admire the beautiful architecture and interiors.

Activity 5: Be Entertained by Street Performers in Covent Garden

Covent Garden used to be one of London's vegetable markets before it became a popular tourist area. Known for its many street performances from classical musicians, mimes, acrobatic performers, and more, the Covent Garden is a great place to spend time with the family. Shop, dine, and be entertained in a place that has been featured in many important pieces of literature like "My Fair Lady" and "Pygmalion". To reach Covent Garden, take the London Underground to Leicester Square and walk a short distance to get to the market.

Activity 6: Visit the Queen at Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace is the official residence of the royal family, particularly of the reigning monarch. In 2009, it was opened to the public for 60 days from July to September and has been a favourite of many tourists. Enjoy priceless works of art, objects, and furniture from the Royal Collection and experience what it feels to be invited to a state affair. Another attraction is the palace garden with all its flowers in summer bloom combined with the picturesque views of a beautiful lake made in the 19th century.

Activity 7: Go to Westminster Abbey

Architectural buffs are sure to enjoy the Gothic beauty of Westminster Abbey, the site of Britain's coronations and royal weddings. Originally a Benedictine monastery, Westminster Abbey was built in 960 AD. This historic treasure has so many stories behind its walls that visitors may find it difficult to see everything in a day. For those who do not have much time to wander leisurely around the place, make sure to at least see the Grave of the Unknown Warrior, Chapter House, Poets' Corner, and the Coronation Chair. The Westminster Abbey is located near the House of Parliament and the Tower of London. It is accessible by bus, railway, and the London Underground.

Activity 8: Enjoy Panoramic City Views at the London Eye

The London Eye is a ferris wheel found on the Thames River. With a height of 135 metres and a wheel diameter of 120 metres, this impressive tourist attraction offers unobstructed views of the city. Since it was opened to the public in 2000, it has been the most visited attraction in the United Kingdom. Hop on one of its enclosed ovoid capsules and enjoy a bird's eye view of the metropolis. For the first-timer in London, this is an incredible way to appreciate the city. The London Eye also offers river cruises and a 4D cinema experience.

The Best Time to Visit London

Any tourist knows that it is important to time the trip when the weather is just right. Below is a table indicating the best time to visit London.

Period

Season

Temperature (Celsius)

Description

Events

January to February

Winter

2 to 8

Cheapest time

London Fashion Week; London International Boat Show; Great Spitalfields Pancake Race; London Parade; The Olympia Fine Art and Antique Fair

March to May

Spring

3 to 15

Best time

Museums at Night; Virgin London Marathon; Oxford Cambridge Boat Race; London Book Fair; London Marathon; Outdoor Shakespeare

June to August

Summer

10 to 25

Warm tourist season

Epsom Derby Stakes; Notting Hill Carnival; City of London Festival; Wimbledon Championships; Great British Beer Festival;

September to November

Autumn

5 to 20

Chilly tourist season

The Lord Mayor's Show; Guy Fawkes' Night; Covent Garden Festival of Street Theatre; London Film Festival

December

Winter

3 to 8

Peak holiday season

Boxing Day Sale; Trafalgar Christmas Tree

While London is a beautiful city all year round, it is particularly known for being cold and rainy. Even during the summer season, it is advisable to have an umbrella handy at all times. Those who wish to see the city in its best light should consider visiting it during spring.

How to Shop for a Trip to London on eBay

Planning for a short trip to London is not that difficult especially when you can do this all on eBay. After you have an idea of what you plan to do, it is easy to securetickets, rentals, and accommodations on this website wherever you may be. To begin the search, first go to the eBay home page and type in what you need. For example, you can search for " London short breaks " to find packages that may include shopping, dinner, and even spa treatments.

Customising your search is also easy. Simply indicate the primary activity that you wish to do and the month of your intended travel. Before purchasing from an eBay seller, however, it is advisable to first check the eBay seller's reputation. This can be done by look at his or her feedback scores, which should ideally be 99 per cent and above. For those with lower scores, find out the reason why they were given these marks by taking a look at their detailed feedback ratings. Sometimes, these are problems that can easily be fixed with proper coordination with the seller.

For those who wish to bring home London memorabilia and souvenirs for their friends and family, there are many bargains that can be found on eBay. The best thing about this is it is often cheaper than the ones found in London itself. Additionally, it can be bought and shipped to your home, giving you more space in your bag for other interesting finds.

Conclusion

People who are in London for a short break should find many different places to see and enjoy. Whether the inclination is to soak in all the culture or eat at the local pub, there is something for everyone in this sprawling multicultural city. Begin the trip by visiting the Tower of London and viewing the permanent collection of the British Museum. Those who would like to do more shopping, however, should head on over to Oxford Street. Those who would like to see the remnants of medieval England should go straight to Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey. For a bit of fun and theatre, catch a show by Covent Garden street performers or get tickets to the Royal Opera House. Last but not the least, a visit to London is never complete without a trip to the London Eye to enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the city. On eBay, booking a short break in London can be done in just a couple of clicks.

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