Vegetarian food while on your London sightseeing tour

While planning vegetarian meals in a foreign country can feel like you are missing out, as a city, London caters very well for vegetarians. In fact, the United Kingdom has been rated as having one of the highest levels of vegetarianism in Europe in recent studies! When touring with a British Tours private driver-guide, you can certainly try the best vegetarian food London has to offer!

London vegetarian restaurants range from the homely to the sophisticated, with plenty in between to satisfy. One of the older vegetarian restaurants, Manna in Primrose hill, is a wonderful choice offering international as well as British cuisine, just on the door step of one of London’s more beautiful viewing spots. Closer to the centre, our clients are spoilt for choice. Sagar in Covent Garden offers dosas (Savoury pancakes that will make you forget sweet ones) and Mildreds in soho, with sweet potato chips to die for! Another great site in London with some history to it is Govinda’s in Soho Square, a curry house which famously has links with George Harrison of the Beatles!

Food Markets, such as Camden Market, Borough Market and Greenwich Market all offer an extensive range of vegetarian street foods. These are often vendors who sell vegetarian options as well as meat options, but occasionally you will see dedicated vegan or vegetarian food stalls. These can range from creative burgers, wraps and finger foods to delightfully decorated vegan cupcakes and vegetarian churros!

Ask your private London driver-guide to take you to one of London’s markets to sample some London vegetarian food while on your London sightseeing tour.

 

Posted in London Day Tours | Tagged , , , ,
Share with friends

What to see when you only have a few days in London?

Whether you’re visiting for a business trip, or taking that much needed vacation with the family, we understand that you’ll want to maximize your time efficiently. As well as advice and suggestions, we often are asked about which tours from our range are the most popular ones, and which ones we would recommend for clients who only have a few days in London. While all of our tours are quite special in their own way, there are three that stood out to us as key for first timers and those with a limited amount of time in London.

London Sightseeing tour

The view of St Paul’s Cathedral taken from Bankside near the Globe Theatre.

It’s the perfect way to get to know the city that you are visiting. London is the nation’s capital, and it’s cultural and intellectual hub, with some of the best museums, galleries located in its heart. When touring in the UK, London cannot be missed.

Stonehenge and Bath Tour

Stonehenge is a large henge or stone circle in Wiltshire, and an internationally recognized travel destination. Huge standing stones were dragged to the site and placed in the landscape in the era 2,500 BC. It is a UNESCO world heritage site. Photo used with kind permission from Visit Britain.

Known internationally for the theories on its construction, Stonehenge is of course a popular touring choice. It is a key part of England that can’t be missed! You’ll be able to see the stone circle, as well as the new visitors centre and exhibition. After Stonehenge, you’ll visit the beautiful town of Bath, known for the hot spring baths built by the Romans. You will be able to visit these, as well as the other sites, such as the Royal crescent, a famous crescent of beautiful houses in the city. You’ll return to London, having seen one of the Europe’s most famous Neolithic monument, and one of the more beautifully crafted cities in the UK.

Paris

Montmartre in Paris.

France and England both benefit from a passenger train running through the channel tunnel; The Eurostar, allows clients to travel from London to Paris in just two hours and 15 minutes! You’ll be able take a tour to Paris in just one day, leaving London in the morning and returning back in the evening. Once in Paris, your private tour guide will take you on the highlights tour of the city, before dropping you back at the station at the end of your 7 hour tour. It’s a great way to see two capital cities in your three days!

For advice on some of our more specialist tours, please contact us at tours@britishtours.com today. For those with a bit more time in the UK, we can also arrange custom made overnight tours, based on your timings and requirements, so please do feel free to e-mail us to discuss your plans!

Posted in Day Tours from London, London Day Tours | Tagged , , ,
Share with friends

Big Ben Tours – Why Big Ben is the most iconic London sight

A visit to London is never complete without a mesmerizing tour of this lovely and historic city; Big Ben is by no means an exception.  Big Ben’s official name is the Elizabeth Tower, but local residents have affectionately nicknamed her “Big Ben” after the nickname of the Great Bell that is housed within the stunning Elizabeth Tower. This massive clock tower is considered by many to be the most iconic sight in the city, not only for its spectacular view, but also for its colourful and inspiring history.

Guided tours of Big Ben will take its visitors up 334 spiral steps to the top of the 62 metre high clock tower to hear Big Ben strike the hour, as well as a unique opportunity to visit the mechanism room where you can learn about how Big Ben’s clock works. These tours are available free to UK residents, but require to be sponsored by a Member of Parliament or a Member of the House of Lords.

The actual origin of the nickname is not known; however there are 2 theories; one that is was named after the commissioner of works Sir Benjamin Hall who because of his large size was lovingly known in the house as Big Ben. The other theory is that it was named after heavy weight boxing champion Benjamin Caunt who was also referred to as Big Ben. Historians and landmark enthusiasts have argued these theories for decades.

Aside from its timeless beauty, masterwork construction, and unfaltering timekeeping, is the sensational history that surrounds it. Most notably its role in the Second World War, during this time Big Ben’s chimes were heard the world over on the BBC World Service radio. During the blitz people would listen for Big Bens uplifting chimes, it was these chimes that let the world know that Great Britain had not yet been defeated, which offered people a much needed feeling of comfort and hope.

Black Taxi Tour – Seeing London from an iconic mode of transport

London boasts a truly overwhelming amount of historic, iconic, and cultural sights to enjoy. Touring these exciting and momentous sights of London from the comfort of one of London’s iconic Black Taxis will allow you to fully appreciate the city’s endless landmarks in a comfortable and timeless mode of transport. Guided Black Taxi tours is a fun and unique way to enjoy all of the breath-taking sights and attractions that London has to offer.

Black Taxi tours offer visitors a cosy and personalised tour to allow guests to better take in all of London’s historic buildings and famous hot spots. Take a cruise through Downing Street or stop by Buckingham Palace, all from the comfort of your very own guided and chauffeured Black Taxi.

Those who love to view historic sights and significant landmarks will get an added sense of authenticity to their London tour when viewing these sites from one of London’s classic Black Taxi’s.

Black taxi tours offer a relaxing and stress free option for viewing the city in its entirety, and are an excellent alternative to being in a crowded tour bus that can pose a variety of distractions from the sites and scenery that London has to offer. The personalised approach to touring that Black Taxi’s offer will give visitors the option of stopping to take photos, and the opportunity to spend as much time as they like at each of London’s lovely tourist attractions. Black taxi tours allow tourists to take in all the sights that London has to offer while taking a cruise in one of London’s most characteristic and historic public transportation vehicles.

Have you already decided what sights in London that you wish to see? Touring London from a Black Taxi often allow visitors to customise an itinerary to include the specific sights that they wish to see.

British Museum Tour – Why the British Museum has something for all

Embarking on an exuberant and engaging day tour of London would not be complete without a visit to London’s magnificent British Museum where you can explore a wide array of historical and iconic artefacts from all over the world such as, stunning Parthenon sculptures, as well as a wide variety of relics from ancient Egypt to name a few. Whether you are young or old, a history enthusiast, have a passion for art and design, or enjoy learning about other cultures, there is something for everyone to enjoy at the British Museum.

Visitors touring this world-renowned museum get to experience an up close and personal look at the many historical and cultural items that the world has to offer in an exquisitely architected building.  View various currencies from all over the world, such as coins, banknotes and even shells, some of which that date back as far as 4000 years!

The British Museum hosts a wide variety of fascinating and engaging exhibitions, such as this years “Celts art and identity” exhibition that runs from 24 September 2015 through to 31 January 2016 which is the British Museums first ever major exhibition that examines the full history of Celtic art and identity.

Children of all ages will also find enjoyment at the museum with their various child friendly displays and hands on arts and crafts sessions that will give your children a genuine passion for learning.

While on your tour be sure to take advantage of the museums shop where you can buy anything from kid’s history gifts to stunning museum replicas that will allow you to continue to enjoy your favourite British Museum displays from the comfort of your own home.

If you would like to learn more about what the British Museum has to offer, or if you are interested in finding out about any of their upcoming events or exhibitions then why not get in touch and let us help you plan the perfect trip.

Tower of London Tours – History Revealed

The Tower of London as we know it today is a popular tourist attraction that is visited by more than 2 million people from around the world every year, but before that it has served as home for the Crown Jewels, the Royal Mint, a menagerie, a fortress, and most notably one of Britain’s most notorious prisons.

Throughout London’s tumultuous history the Tower of London has played a starring role. One of the most historically significant uses for the tower was during the times that it served as a prison.  The Tower had not only an extensive list of high profile (and presumably innocent) prisoners, it was also known for its brutal and numerous torture chambers housed inside that were used as both punishments and means to interrogate.

Perhaps one of the most famous of those imprisoned in the tower was the second wife of Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn (1546) who was accused of infidelity, incest, and even seducing the king into a cursed marriage. However it is believed that true reason for her imprisonment and eventual beheading was due to her inability to birth a male heir to the throne.

Other well-known high profile inmates of the Tower include; Sir Thomas More (1534), Anne Askew (1546), and second command Nazi party member Rudolf Hess (1941).

Today the mint, the jewels, the prisoners, and the menagerie are long gone, but one thing that still remains is the ravens which legend has it will cause the Tower and the Kingdom to fall should they ever leave. The Tower of London is required to have on its grounds at least 7 captive ravens at all times. It isn’t any wonder that The Tower of London is considered by many to be one of the most iconic buildings in all of London. Tourists and locals alike are able afford themselves the ultimate hands on history lesson when taking advantage of these stimulating and truly moving tours.

Learn about Political History with House of Parliament Tours

Take an exhilarating step back in time with a guided tour of London’s iconic Westminster Palace and experience all the intriguing and political history that it has to offer.

For over 900 years The Houses of Parliament (AKA the Palace of Westminster) has been the centre of power throughout Britain.  William II completed construction of the Palace of Westminster started in 1097and in 1099; at the time of its completion it was the largest hall in all of England.

Its initial role was to be a royal only residence, but by 1512 a fire destroyed the private quarters of Henry VIII, after that Henry moved out and the lawyers and politicians moved in, it has been the hub for Britain’s political powers ever since.

The Palace of Westminster held numerous high profile treason trials between the 15th and 18th centuries. King Charles I being one of the most notable who in 1649 was tried and condemned as a traitor, tyrant, and murderer, despite the court having no real legal authority over him. In 1606 Guy Fawkes along with his co-conspirators in the Gunpowder Plot were tried, convicted, and executed.

The Palace has endured a myriad of bombings and other act of violence during it’s over 900 of years of existence. During the Blitz of World War 2 alone the Palace was hit more than 14 times. In 1812 former Prime Minister Spencer Percival was assassinated there, and in 1885 a Fenian bomb severely damaged the Palaces common chamber as well as seriously injuring three people.

You can explore further into the aforementioned as well as many other historical factoids related to the Palace whilst on your House of Parliament tour!