London vacation plans can be organized around any special interest, need, and budget. Most vacations in this grand capital city, concentrate on its history and architecture, enjoying sightseeing tours of the most iconic attractions. The vast majority of these attractions that have become household names are in Central London and concentrated in the Westminster area. They include Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, and Buckingham Palace with its famous Changing of the Guard. These are the sights that virtually every city visitor will make a point to see, and you can enjoy them whether you’re on a luxury London vacation or on a budget staying at hostels and cheap bed and breakfasts.
You can enjoy a family vacation to London that will keep all ages occupied, and there are several hotels and resorts that have organized children’s activities. Some London vacation activities that are of interest to adults particularly lend themselves to children. Some of these include city walks, and children are most excited about the ghost walks that follow the narrow lanes and alleys that once were the haunt of Jack the Ripper. A recent addition to city walks itineraries are Harry Potter walking tours. Among other places, these walks pass by the Old Admiralty Building in Westminster, which in the movies was the entrance to the Ministry of Magic used by Harry and Mr. Weasley. There are even trademark red phone booths here so you can get a photograph of yourself entering into Harry Potter’s world.
A London theatre vacation is one of the most popular, and you often find them as vacation packages. These often include features such as international flights, hotel accommodations, a dining option, and some tours. A London theatre vacation may have fewer included tours, but will provide theatre tickets to one or more performances. Most often, these will be tickets to performances in some of the Central London West End Broadway type theatres. Sometimes there will be tickets to a performance at the Royal Opera House near Covent Garden or Royal Albert Hall in Knightsbridge just south of Hyde Park. However, the hallmark of a true luxury London vacation remains the hotels used. Some of the most exclusive and oldest hotels in the world are located here.
A luxury London vacation usually consists of more than accommodations in one of the city’s many luxury hotels. Those who do not have budget as a concern often begin enjoying luxury right at the airport when they arrive. Rather than use public transportation or airport shuttles, they are apt to be picked up by one of the chauffeur-driven limousines, of which there are many. Their London theatre vacation will include tickets to the best seats in the house, whereas packages might even have standing room only tickets. If they book one of the Thames River cruises, they are most apt to board an exclusive deluxe river yacht and dine on elegant gourmet cuisine served with fine china and crystal.
London Vacation Packages
London Vacation Packages
London vacation packages can be very comprehensive, including a wide range of features such as international flights, hotels, a meal plan of some sort, and one or more sightseeing tours. These tours run the gamut of what’s available in the city, including city walks through the heart of Jack the Ripper’s Westminster and Thames River cruises that glide past the most iconic landmarks in the city.
An inexpensive London vacation might include nothing more than flights and hotels. There might also be a London Pass included to provide the visitor with valuable discounts on entrance to museums and palaces, discounts on dining, and reduced-rate rides on the London tube. Sometimes, you will find that a cheap London vacation with just the basics; included features can be less expensive than purchasing the international flights separately. Students and backpackers are apt to take advantage of these as a method of getting to the UK, and use none or only some of the included features. Do be aware that there are almost never any refunds provided for unused portions of a package.
Many London vacation packages are designed with special interests in mind—even if the special interest is only to find a vacation that is good for families with children. An example is a bicycling tour. These can be guided by professionals or self guided—where you pick up your bicycle and a map or GPS device and set off on your own. Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens provide a wonderful venue for cyclists. There is a huge expanse of green space that provides great rides on safe bike paths for families with young children. In some places, you can glance in a certain direction and feel like you’re in the dense forests where Henry VIII once hunted. In other places, you get magnificent views of familiar landmarks like Buckingham Palace, which sits on the southeastern corner of the park, and lovely Kensington Palace to the west of the park.
Even if you want to enjoy Broadway-style performances at one of the West End theaters, there is a cheap London vacation that will give you a taste of the city’s venerable theater tradition without breaking the bank. Packages that stay in luxury hotels might also include theater tickets, but they probably are the best seats in the house. And, speaking of luxury, these kinds of London vacation packages might have accommodations in one of the city’s exclusive resorts that offer a full-service spa.
London Vacation Rentals
London Vacation Rentals
London vacation rentals are as varied in both price and style as there are kinds of neighborhoods in this sprawling metropolitan area. Central London vacation rentals place you around the City of Westminster and the most iconic attractions and sights the city has to offer, including Buckingham Palace, Tower of London and Tower Bridge, and Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. One of the bonuses of having a place to stay like this is the opportunity to do some shopping in the many different farmer's markets, from Covent Garden to Borough Market in South London (near the Tate Modern and the famous London Eye).
While these are often the priciest, there are some good London vacation apartments scattered around the residential areas around Paddington Station, Notting Hill, and Holland Park north of Hyde Park. There are also a number available around Piccadilly Circus to the east of Hyde Park. These are generally small studio and one-bedroom flats offered by individual owners.
Other Central London vacation rentals can be quite luxurious, and are often used by business travelers to this capital of international finance. These are often located in Mayfair, the posh residential neighborhood that is the center of Westminster. These are generally located in historic converted mansions and townhouses, and usually include some of the services more associated with hotels, such as daily housekeeping. They are often one-, two- and, three-bedrooms townhomes that are fully furnished, sometimes even coming with cooks and housekeepers.
If you want quick access to Thames River cruises and private marinas for your yacht, you will find some less expensive London vacation rentals in Chelsea, on the river banks in West London. Venture a little further afield to lovely maritime Greenwich in East London, and you can find historic Georgian townhouses right on the river with easy access to the central part of the city.