The British Tours blog

Happy New Year 2017

 

Happy New Year from all of us here at British Tours. We hope that the early moments of 2017 have already been wonderful for you.

To plan your travels for 2017 and beyond, please contact us now to discuss your itinerary.

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from everyone here at British Tours! We hope you’re enjoying the holiday season!

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What to do around Christmas time in London?

As the Christmas season approaches, and London begins it’s decent into Christmas lights and tinsel, here at British Tours we are fast preparing our Christmas tours, events and making sure the all-important mince pies are in stock. For visitors, we know you’ll want to know where the best events are this year, and have included some central London events here for you to plan out your Christmas break in London.

Winter Wonderland

Every winter, London’s Hyde Park hosts the spectacular Winter Wonderland, boasting an array of attractions such as Christmas markets, with traditional spiced mulled wine, and fun-filled rides.

From 18th November at 5pm, then daily from 10am to 10pm (except Christmas Day), until 2nd January. Santa’s Grotto open every day 10am-6pm

A family Christmas – Handle and Hendrix in London

Situated in the home of former Georgian composer Handels, this interactive concert introduces families to festive music from past composers.

10th December, 2pm. Tickets must be booked in advance. For full event details, please visit https://handelhendrix.org/whats-on/events/a-family-christmas/

Cockpit Arms Design Studio Open day

The home of upcoming designers and crafters, Cockpit Arms will be opening its doors for a behind the scenes visit, and a chance to meet with designers and buy a range of crafts.

24th to 27th November, Thurday 6pm-9pm, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 11am-6pm. For more information, please visit: http://cockpitarts.com/shop-cockpit/open-studios/

Southbank Market

A cultural delight all year round, Southbank will be holding its Winter festival during the holiday season.

The Rekorderlig cider lodge will provide ample opportunity to taste some Swedish cider, and the roller disco brings some Eighties nostalgia to the festivities.

Assorted events, 11th November to 25th January. For more information, please visit the following link: http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whatson/festivals-series/winter-festival

Eltham Palace Concerts and Party

Enjoy the sounds of traditional and 1930’s Christmas with these two events at Eltham Palace, the outer London retreat of the wealthy Courtauld family. During a break from the music, take a look round the fabulous art deco interiors, which borrow designs from Sweden, Italy and Hungary. Added to the mix is the Tudor Great Hall, wonderfully restored by the Courtaulds.

Carol Concert: 11th December, 7:30pm-9pm. Christmas Party: 4th December, 11am-3pm, Pre-booking essential

Old Royal Naval College Christmas Concert

Situated in beautiful maritime Greenwich, this Christmas concert features many classical carols, as well as a few select readings. Guests can choose to have a mulled wine and mince pie reception prior to the carols or alternatively opt for a champagne reception and then a two course meal served in the Admiral House.

10th December, 7pm-8:30pm, or 10:30pm with the meal, Pre-booking essential

 

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Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Happy Thanksgiving from everyone here at British Tours! We hope you’re all enjoying the day and spending time with your families!

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Picking out the best car size for you and your family

After you’ve booked your flights and hotels for your trip to London and the UK, you’ll of course want to think about the sites and tours to take while across the pond! For first timers, you’ll want to see many of the sites you’ve heard off, such as Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace. For frequent travellers, your time in London will be spent focusing on the lesser known sites, taking a journey off the beaten track to places such as Camden Market and Greenwich.

Whatever your reason for visiting London, you’ll certainly want to sit in a comfortable vehicle. Here at British tours, we’ve taken many visitors around London and the UK, and compiled a helpful guide to picking out the best car size for you and the rest of your family.

For couples.

Two people will easily fit into one of our saloon cars. These are something like a Toyota Prius or an Alfa Romeo. You’ll be able to relax at the back of the car, while your private driver-guide takes you across London. If you’re looking for something a little bit fancier, we have a deluxe range of saloons and MPV’s, such as Jaguars, Mercedes E and C classes, and Audi’s.

For a family of 4.

You have a choice of two cars – a salon or an MPV. With the saloon you will have three people at the back of the car, and one at the front with the driver-guide. These are fine for a family of four including two small children. If the four of your party are all adults, or rather tall, then you would be better suited to a MPV. These MPVs, with models such as a Chrysler Voyager, enable your party to have all 4 people sitting in the Window seats. You’ll also be much more comfortable as you’ll be able to sit further apart! For 4 adults and 2 children, you’ll be also be okay in one our MPV vehicles.

For larger families.

As well as our specialisation in driver guided tours, we also regularly take parties of 7 or more out to London and the countryside. For a party of 11 or less, you’ll be able to sit comfortably in one of Mercedes Minibuses. For larger groups, we can seat up to 49 people comfortably on one of coaches, meaning larger groups needn’t miss out of the fun of touring!

If in doubt for the best car for your family – please do get in touch with us to discuss your options. Our office open from 9am-5pm, 7 days a week. 

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A view from the top – 5 great places to see London from Above

A view from the top – 5 great places to see London from Above

1)      The Sky Garden

Still one of London’s best kept secrets, the Sky Garden sits atop of the famous ‘Walkie talkie’ skyscraper. It is completely free for visitors and must be pre-booked in advance, and is a worthwhile visit during your trip. Inside you’ll find a beautiful landscaped garden with exotic plants and trees, so regardless of whether you’re looking at the streets of London or exploring the shrubberies, you’ll see some wonderful sights.

2)      The View from the Shard

The highest view in London, and no doubt the most recognisable, the Shard has two viewing galleries in the tallest skyscraper in the European Union. Its 360o view is incredible for photographers and visitors alike. It’s also situated close to some great London landmarks, like Borough Market and Shakespeare’s Globe, so you won’t struggle to find things afterwards.

3)      The London Eye

Originally a temporary feature, the London eye soon became a hit and was established as a fixed part of London’s vibrant Southbank. Standard rotations are 30 minutes long, although there are several other packages to choose from. We’d recommend getting a flexi-fast track ticket for your day of touring so that you can easily fit it in with your sightseeing plans. Views from the Eye included Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament.

4)       Westminster Cathedral

A little lesser known site, and not to be confused with its Anglican neighbour Westminster Abbey, the Cathedral has a bell tower accessed by a small lift from within the Cathedral gift shop. Unlike the other sites in our list, the viewing platforms in the bell tower are in the open air, so not for the faint hearted! Those who visit the tower are rewarded with spectacular views of London, with Buckingham Palace and Battersea power station.

5)      British Tours office

Manned by very cheerful and friendly staff, you can see some of London’s famous tall buildings, like the Shard and the BT Tower situated amongst the rooftops of London. We also hear on good authority that it’s a great place to book in your private sightseeing tour of London!

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See the fastest marching bands in the British Army

The Rifles Sounding Retreat
Horse Guards Parade, London
1st &  2nd June 8PM – 9.30pm

The Sounding Retreat by The Massed Bands and Bugles of The Rifles is coming to Horse Guards for two nights this June.  This unique spectacle of outstanding music and fabulous bugles from the fastest marching band in the British Army will be a musical and visual extravaganza not to be missed; supporting the Regiment’s Care for Casualties appeal.

The Sounding Retreat will be a wonderful evening of both music and history; celebrating Riflemen, past and present, as well as the heritage of the Regiment.  Those performing will include officers and soldiers, who will have seen active service both in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past nine years.  It is 23 years since the Light Division last Sounded the Retreat on Horse Guards so this will be a once in a generation experience. 

A little bit about the history:

Since its formation in February 2007, The Rifles have been almost constantly on Operations, experiencing some of the fiercest fighting since the Second World War.  Over 60 Riflemen have been killed in action and countless others have been severely wounded.  Many have lost limbs, been permanently blinded or require long term neurological care as a result of their injuries. Care for Casualties raises funds so that The Rifles can meet the enduring needs of our casualties and members of the Regimental family in need, providing support and assistance whenever we are called upon to do so.  

Tickets:
Available from Tickmaster UK: http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/The-Rifles-Sounding-Retreat-tickets/artist/2191129?tm_link=artist_artistvenue_module

You can ask your British Tours guide to drop you there at the end of a London tour.

 

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