Cool Britannia


One of the world’s major melting-pot cities, London manages to exude a spirit that is fundamentally British and yet strikingly cosmopolitan at the same time. With its kaleidoscope of cultures, it is still “the clearing-house of the world” as Joe Chamberlain described it in the Houses of Parliament back in 1904. Wordsworth was, unsurprisingly, somewhat more poetic as her gazed on the city from Westminster Bridge early one morning and declared it “a sight so touching in its majesty…ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie/Open unto the fields, and to the sky”. And they’re all still there – those ships, towers, domes and temples, accompanied nowadays by a host of additional luminary landmarks, from the stunning Tate Modern to the gigantic Ferris wheel that is the London Eye, a legacy of the new Millennium. London is a city of villages and at its heart lie some of the greatest monuments and squares in the world – Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben….the list goes on and on. Within this multicultural cauldron, the possibilities are endless so that whether you’re into dining, clubbing, theatre-going or shopping there’s a vast array of ethnic options laid before you. Take a walk in Hyde Park before breakfast (and visit the controversial monument to Princess Diana), go boutique shopping on Oxford Street or designer buying on nearby Bond Street, head to Covent Garden for a spot of lunch while watching the street entertainers, lose yourself in the National Gallery and gawk at the Old Masters for a couple of hours, hit the West End in the evening for one of those household name shows and finish up in Chinatown for a late-night bite.


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