If you haven’t been to London, you might want to consider putting it on your life list of places to visit. Not only is London one of the most influential cities in the world (2nd only to New York), it’s almost always one of the top two when travel experts list the Top Ten Best Places to visit.
See the sites
London is chock-full of historical landmarks and places like Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London and the British Museum. There are plenty of guidebooks available to help you navigate the sights as well as accommodations, transportation, costs, and all the other intricacies of travel. We have the latest from Fodor’s and Frommer’s along with more than 40 other earlier and more specialized guidebooks like Frommer’s London Free & Dirt Cheap and Eccentric London.
Rick Steve in his London 2011 says “London is more than its museums and landmarks. It’s a living, breathing, thriving organism…a coral reef of humanity.” With a population of almost 8 million it’s already a great place to people-watch and as the site of the 2012 Summer Olympics, thousands more visitors will be descending on the city.
London is famous for its shopping. You can take your pick from the fabulous shopping streets or department stores like Harrod’s or the street markets (think Portabello Road) or the auctions–or all of the above. Just in the month of May, you can attend the Sci Fi Film Festival or the Real Foods Festival 2011 or the Camden Crawl (a carnival-style arts festival). Or you can attend shows like The Phantom of the Opera, Duran Duran in concert or the Royal Ballet’s performance of Swan Lake.
The Royal Wedding
One travel writer declared that the biggest attraction in London is the Royal Family. That certainly seems to be true as the world prepares for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Newspapers, magazines and the internet have been reporting each and every detail as it becomes available. You can keep up to date officially at www.officialroyalwedding2011.org or unofficially at www.theroyalweddingwilliamkate.com.
If you haven’t received your invitation but have a touch of “royalitis,” we can help you out. See the gardens at prominent wedding locations such as Clarence House, the official residence of the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince William and Prince Harry and Buckingham Palace where the reception will be hosted by none other than the Queen of England. You can reminisce about past royal weddings including Charles and Camilla at Windsor Castle or pick up the latest on the Princes or the story of William and Kate.
Of course any mention of the royal family will inevitably bring up thoughts of Princess Diana, especially as she is the mother of the groom. From the many biographies to the conspiracy theories she is a much-published figure. You also might want to view the exhibit at Union Station in Kansas City entitled “Diana, A Celebration.” The exhibit includes more than 150 items and will be there through June 12.