2 Day Stay Package Tour in London with English Host Families Guided Tour

Our partner: Tourope UK Ltd

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Description

This is a small getaway package where you can enjoy most of London with our English host families. This is an excellent choice when your time is limited. From the very first minute until the end of the program, you will be taken great care by our operation team, group leaders and tour guides.

London has it all, and we all know that. It will all culminate in your realization of why London is the city where people enshrine the fondest and most heartfelt memories from the very first moments of our London package program that last a lifetime.

See the world's most iconic landmarks, and hear their stories and history from a professional tour guide. Our Excursion Tour is designed to present you with the most key facts and places of interest in the short time you have in London.

Get a truly traditional English cultural experience in typical English homes in beautiful & scenic Richmond and Kingston areas. Join us!

What´s Included

Breakfast
Dinner
Sightseeing bus tickets
Free group leader package for every 15 paying customers
Return (Roundtrip) transfers

Additional information

  • Infant seats unavailable
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Upon pickup, please present your confirmation/voucher and photo ID in exchange for your product.
  • - Hand sanitizers and masks will be available in our for the best hygiene practice. - This is a package programme that starts and ends at the airport - During this tour, public transportation will be used in order to avoid the city's traffic - Homestay accommodation is provided with English host families in Richmond - Comfortable shoes are advised - Wheelchair users must inform our agent whether guest(s) is/are fully dependent on the chair or partly able to walk or move.

Itinerary

DAY 1
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Welcome to London | Half Day London City Tour

DAY 2
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This is a short getaway package where you can enjoy most of London with our English host families. This is an excellent choice when time is tight. Upon arrival at the airport, you will be met and transferred to our Richmond community. Our English host families will pick you up from the meeting point. After a fast check-in, you will immediately start to explore London. You will purchase your Zone 1 to 4 travelcards and your program begins. (Your trip can always be customized so please contact us if you need specific requirements here (In or out of London)

DAY 3
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Leicester Square is a square in London's West End. It was designed in 1670 and is named after the contemporary Leicester House, named after Robert Sidney, the 2nd Earl of Leicester. Originally, the square was a gentrified residential area, with tenants including Frederick, Prince of Wales and artists William Hogarth and Joshua Reynolds. In the late 18th century, when Leicester House was demolished and retail changes took place, it became a centre for entertainment. Today, Leicester Square is the heart of London with its restaurants, cafes, cinemas, casinos, fast food stores, hotels, international brands with the street performers and tourist crowds. No tour is completed in London without visiting Leicester Square. Leicester Square has been a popular venue for almost 400 years. Well, the vicinity welcomes more than 2.5 million visitors every week! It’s a meeting point of all Londoners and London lovers. The city's top shows and plays and over 52 star-studded red-carpet film premiers each year can widely be enjoyed by all visitors.

DAY 4
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At the junction of Regent Street and Shaftesbury Avenue lies a trapezoidal area near London's West End known to the world as Piccadilly Circus. It's an odd name since there's no circus there, but even odder is that 'circus' usually denotes around city area where several streets meet in a circle, after the Roman plan. But that eccentricity fits Piccadilly Circus, since this area of the great British capital attracts the most diverse set of people in an already diverse town. The first half of the Piccadilly Circus name comes from a 17th-century frilly collar called a “picadil”. The name is a perfect description, for here are the frills of London. Here are pubs, monuments, shops and nearby theatre in the West End. Piccadilly Circus, akin to New York's Times Square, it's filled with traffic, crowds and (at night) neon lights befitting its role as a major tourist attraction. Known already by 1743 by its current name, the junction was created in 1819 and its history shows. There's the bronze Shaftesbury memorial fountain, erected in 1893, topped by a statue of Anteros, the Angel of Christian Charity. (The Evening Standard uses a graphic of the nude statue on its masthead.) Technologically innovative at the time, it was the first sculpture to be cast in aluminium. In the late 1980s, the fountain was moved from the centre to its present Piccadilly Circus location at the south-west corner of the intersection. Not far from the centre, is the off-centre (the literal translation of the Greek word 'eccentric') Reduced Shakespeare Company, who have performed at the Criterion Theater since 1995. Their speciality is the rapid, highly improvised, presentation of the complete works of Shakespeare in 97 minutes. (Well, something that draws inspiration from 37 of the plays, anyway.) The 600-seat theatre regularly sells out, so plan ahead. The surrealistic show fits in well with the ambience of Piccadilly Circus, but for those interested in more traditional forms of theatre the London West End shows are only a few minutes’ walk. Here you can see the best of British theatre - shows which often are later imported to Broadway. On the north-eastern side of Piccadilly Circus, is the London Pavilion. First erected in 1859 as a music hall, Shaftesbury Avenue bisected the site in 1885. A new building for the purpose was built and by 1923 was even lit with electric billboards. Rebuilt in 1986, the original 1885 facade was preserved, and the area converted to a shopping arcade. Later it was connected to the neighbouring Trocadero Centre. There are also pubs galore at Piccadilly Circus, but be selective. Some are nothing but tourists, some are very tourist unfriendly. While you're doing touristy things, don't miss the newly installed, giant, curved TV screen at Piccadilly Circus. Not even Times Square can compete with this one.

DAY 5
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Regent Street in London's West End is a major shopping street. It was laid out by architect John Nash and James Burton and named after George, Prince Regent later George IV, the uncle of Queen Victoria. George IV was a pleasure King. Therefore, you can see his grace and signature almost everywhere in London. We are talking about the King who also remodelled Windsor Castle. By the time you walk on the street, you will deeply learn the history of the British monarchs and their lifestyles in our charming city. Regent Street runs from Waterloo Place in St James's at the southern end, through Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus, to All Souls Church. The street is famous for its flagship international retail stores and brands, including Liberty, Hamleys, Jaeger, Apple Store, Microsoft, Bose, Burberrys, Anthropologie, Hugo Boss, Breitling, Calvin Klein, Coach, Desigual, Gant, Guess, H&M, Hollister, Kiko, Kipling, Lacoste, Longchamp, Levi’s, Mango, Michael Kors, Nike Town, The North Face, Omega, Polo Ralph Loren, Reiss, Superdry, Ted Baker, Tezenis, Tommy Hilfiger, Topman, Topshop, Tumi, Uniqlo, Yoshino, Zara and many more. Regent Street was one of London's first planned developments. After the Great Fire in London in 1666, Sir Christopher Wren and John Evelyn drew up plans for a reconstruction of the city according to the classical formal model. The ordinary configuration of London's roads replaced the mediaeval layout and houses were reconstructed on the old road network after a lack of development. The Royal Polytechnic Institution, now Westminster University, has been based on Regent Street since 1838.

DAY 6
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Welcome to the heart and soul of the fashion industry in the city. Carnaby Street is a pedestrian shopping street in Soho City and its colourful history stemmed from when the street was built in 1682, taking its name from Karnaby House to the first men's boutique, being the epicentre of the Swinging 60s, home to the punks of the 80s and up to today. It is an iconic London area. Between Oxford and Regent Streets, fashion and lifestyle retailers are just located here, including a large quantity of independent fashion shops. In the heart of London's shopping scene, Carnaby Street brings you over 100 foreign and British fashion brands, independent boutiques, one off concepts, trendy beauty emporiums, grooming salons and custom jewellery specialists together. From brand-new flagships and UK firsts to presenting one-off and unique designers, Carnaby's 14 streets are lined up with women's wear, men's clothing, cosmetics and accessories like no other. Not just for shopping of course, more than 60 independent restaurants, bars, cafes and pubs selling cheap à la carte and late-night drinks, even yummy breakfasts bedazzle the tourists and Londoners alike. Now it’s your turn to explore this lovely district with us.

DAY 7
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Oxford Street is one of London’s artillery stretching between Tottenham Court Road and Marble Arch. It’s also Europe’s busiest shopping street hosting around half a million visitors daily. Today, there are more than 300 shops, cafes, restaurants, language schools, department stores and many more. It’s the heart of daily business, fun, leisure and of course shopping in London. Like everywhere in London, Oxford Street has its history. The street route used to be part of the Via Trinobantina, a Roman route that passes through London between Hampshire and Essex. It was known as the Tyburn Road during the Middle Ages when Tyburn Gallows was also known for its public hangings. It became known as Oxford Road and then Oxford Street in the 18th century and began to change from residential to commercial and retail use by the late 19th century, attracting street traders, confidence tricksters and prostitution. The first department stores in the UK opened in the early 20th century, including Selfridges, John Lewis & Partners and HMV. Unlike nearby shopping streets such as Bond Street, it has retained an element of downmarket trading alongside more prestigious retail stores. The street suffered heavy bombing during World War II, and several longstanding stores including John Lewis were completely destroyed and rebuilt from scratch. Oxford Street, with several chain stores on the street and several buildings listed, remains in demand as a retail place amid the competition of other shopping malls, including Westfield Stratford City and the Brent Cross Shopping Centre. Because shopping is simply a tradition on this street and especially tourists love this experience during their stay in London.

DAY 8
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Return to English host families in Richmond in time for dinner. After dinner, you will explore beautiful Thames Riverside of Richmond with cafés, shops and pubs for your evening entertainment. The night is still young.

DAY 9
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DAY 10
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DAY 11
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Overnight at the English Host Family in Richmond Upon Thames.

DAY 12
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Half Day London City Tour | Transferring to the Airport

DAY 13
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Today you will check out from your host families. You will visit other parts of London which you will fall in love with. London’s history goes back to the 40's AD, and the first settlers of the city were Romans. In the morning you go on a double-decker bus for an open deck sightseeing tour of the city centre. Here in this tour, you will be able to observe the most iconic landmarks of London. Your journey starts in Green Park Green Park is one of the Royal Parks of London. It connects with St James Park just across the road with Buckingham Palace in between. This nice park has an ornate fence, adjacent to Buckingham Palace. There are some paths that crisscross the park, and, in the summer, visitors can rent deck chairs to soak up the sun. Green spark is a good respite from the heavy London traffic. It is a lovely piece of greenery in the middle of the city of London and is a good place to take a stroll. Park has a great connection to London transportation system through a designated tube station as well as plenty of bus stations including sightseeing tour bus companies. The Ritz is one of the iconic hotels in London very close to park. Other significant historical buildings close to Green Park are St James's Palace, Clarence House and Spencer House.

DAY 14
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Hyde Park, perhaps most famous for the Speaker's Corner, where citizens stand atop a soapbox and shout their views to the crowd, but there's much more to see and do in Hyde Park than listen to political opinions. The land forming Hyde Park was first acquired by Henry VIII from the monks of Westminster Abbey in 1536. While Henry used Hyde Park for deer hunting, the horseback riding today is strictly not for sport. Casual and relaxing, the Hyde Park trails are abundant, but riders must bring their own horses. Visitors can often see the Royal Horse Artillery riding on horseback through Hyde Park early in the morning. Hyde Park was first made accessible to the public by King James I in the early 17th century, the park is split by the Serpentine, a river dammed to make an artificial lake. The idea was originated by the wife of King George II, an avid gardener. Boat rides on the Hyde Park lake remain a popular activity.

DAY 15
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Marble Arch used to be an entry gate of Buckingham Palace and today it’s the entry point of world’s famous shopping district of London, that’s Oxford Street as well as Hyde Park Speaker’s corner. Marble Arch also gave its name to the district where it was moved. This lovely masterpiece’s history is charming. Famous British architect John Nash (1752-1835) was also Prince Regent's (later known as King George IV) favourite architect. Under George's auspices, Nash designed and planned some important landmarks and masterpieces including Regent's Park, Regent Street, Carlton House Terrace, much of Buckingham Palace and lovely Marble Arch in London. By 1830 Nash's work with several statues and panels were completed in Buckingham Palace but suddenly King George IV died. Unfortunately, Nash was sacked by the Prime Minister of Wellington shortly after the King's death for the excessive expenditure of the project, so instead, architect Edward Blore had the task of completing the work economically and practically. When Blore found himself in possession of a jumbled collection of statues and panels, he was trying to obtain drawings by Nash to explain how his puzzle was meant to fit in but Nash was not happy about his dismissal. Despite its glory and triumph, this masterpiece contains a notable mistake. Our APTG blue badge guides will tell you the rest story during the tour.

DAY 16
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Oxford Street is one of London’s artillery stretching between Tottenham Court Road and Marble Arch. It’s also Europe’s busiest shopping street hosting around half a million visitors daily. Today, there are more than 300 shops, cafes, restaurants, language schools, department stores and many more. It’s the heart of daily business, fun, leisure and of course shopping in London. Like everywhere in London, Oxford Street has its history. The street route used to be part of the Via Trinobantina, a Roman route that passes through London between Hampshire and Essex. It was known as the Tyburn Road during the Middle Ages when Tyburn Gallows was also known for its public hangings. It became known as Oxford Road and then Oxford Street in the 18th century and began to change from residential to commercial and retail use by the late 19th century, attracting street traders, confidence tricksters and prostitution. The first department stores in the UK opened in the early 20th century, including Selfridges, John Lewis & Partners and HMV. Unlike nearby shopping streets such as Bond Street, it has retained an element of downmarket trading alongside more prestigious retail stores. The street suffered heavy bombing during World War II, and several longstanding stores including John Lewis were completely destroyed and rebuilt from scratch. Oxford Street, with several chain stores on the street and several buildings listed, remains in demand as a retail place amid the competition of other shopping malls, including Westfield Stratford City and the Brent Cross Shopping Centre. Because shopping is simply a tradition on this street and especially tourists love this experience during their stay in London.

DAY 17
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Regent Street in London's West End is a major shopping street. It was laid out by architect John Nash and James Burton and named after George, Prince Regent later George IV, the uncle of Queen Victoria. George IV was a pleasure King. Therefore, you can see his grace and signature almost everywhere in London. We are talking about the King who also remodelled Windsor Castle. By the time you walk on the street, you will deeply learn the history of the British monarchs and their lifestyles in our charming city. Regent Street runs from Waterloo Place in St James's at the southern end, through Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus, to All Souls Church. The street is famous for its flagship international retail stores and brands, including Liberty, Hamleys, Jaeger, Apple Store, Microsoft, Bose, Burberrys, Anthropologie, Hugo Boss, Breitling, Calvin Klein, Coach, Desigual, Gant, Guess, H&M, Hollister, Kiko, Kipling, Lacoste, Longchamp, Levi’s, Mango, Michael Kors, Nike Town, The North Face, Omega, Polo Ralph Loren, Reiss, Superdry, Ted Baker, Tezenis, Tommy Hilfiger, Topman, Topshop, Tumi, Uniqlo, Yoshino, Zara and many more. Regent Street was one of London's first planned developments. After the Great Fire in London in 1666, Sir Christopher Wren and John Evelyn drew up plans for a reconstruction of the city according to the classical formal model. The ordinary configuration of London's roads replaced the mediaeval layout and houses were reconstructed on the old road network after a lack of development. The Royal Polytechnic Institution, now Westminster University, has been based on Regent Street since 1838.

DAY 18
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At the junction of Regent Street and Shaftesbury Avenue lies a trapezoidal area near London's West End known to the world as Piccadilly Circus. It's an odd name since there's no circus there, but even odder is that 'circus' usually denotes around city area where several streets meet in a circle, after the Roman plan. But that eccentricity fits Piccadilly Circus, since this area of the great British capital attracts the most diverse set of people in an already diverse town. The first half of the Piccadilly Circus name comes from a 17th-century frilly collar called a “picadil”. The name is a perfect description, for here are the frills of London. Here are pubs, monuments, shops and nearby theatre in the West End. Piccadilly Circus, akin to New York's Times Square, it's filled with traffic, crowds and (at night) neon lights befitting its role as a major tourist attraction. Known already by 1743 by its current name, the junction was created in 1819 and its history shows. There's the bronze Shaftesbury memorial fountain, erected in 1893, topped by a statue of Anteros, the Angel of Christian Charity. (The Evening Standard uses a graphic of the nude statue on its masthead.) Technologically innovative at the time, it was the first sculpture to be cast in aluminium. In the late 1980s, the fountain was moved from the centre to its present Piccadilly Circus location at the south-west corner of the intersection. Not far from the centre, is the off-centre (the literal translation of the Greek word 'eccentric') Reduced Shakespeare Company, who have performed at the Criterion Theater since 1995. Their speciality is the rapid, highly improvised, presentation of the complete works of Shakespeare in 97 minutes. (Well, something that draws inspiration from 37 of the plays, anyway.) The 600-seat theatre regularly sells out, so plan ahead. The surrealistic show fits in well with the ambience of Piccadilly Circus, but for those interested in more traditional forms of theatre the London West End shows are only a few minutes’ walk. Here you can see the best of British theatre - shows which often are later imported to Broadway. On the north-eastern side of Piccadilly Circus, is the London Pavilion. First erected in 1859 as a music hall, Shaftesbury Avenue bisected the site in 1885. A new building for the purpose was built and by 1923 was even lit with electric billboards. Rebuilt in 1986, the original 1885 facade was preserved, and the area converted to a shopping arcade. Later it was connected to the neighbouring Trocadero Centre. There are also pubs galore at Piccadilly Circus, but be selective. Some are nothing but tourists, some are very tourist unfriendly. While you're doing touristy things, don't miss the newly installed, giant, curved TV screen at Piccadilly Circus. Not even Times Square can compete with this one.

DAY 19
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Trafalgar Square is a very touristic public square with some of London's most popular attractions, from galleries and historic buildings to monuments and statues, you can be a witness of deep-seated British history. Square also holds a series of events all year round. Listen to the stories of the kings such as Charles I, Charles IV, Admiral Horatio Nelson, General Sir Charles James Napier and Major General Sir Henry Havelock who shaped the history of this nation. Tourope UK's APTG qualified blue badge tourist guides will ready to take you an immaculate journey through the timeline of our nation.

DAY 20
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Explore the official entrance to St James and Buckingham Palace, since the Restoration of King Charles II in 1660. Lifeguards have stood guard at Horse Guards and ready to offer you a true British ceremony. Although Changing The Queen's Lifeguard is not as well-known as Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace smaller crowds and no railings between you and the men and horses taking part make it ideal for those with younger children and those looking for some amazing pictures. The ceremony lasts about half an hour, and the mounted sentries change every hour, or half hour in very cold weather during the day until 16:00 when a dismounting ceremony takes place. The Queen's Lifeguard is normally provided by men of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment which consists of a Squadron of The Life Guards, who wear red tunics and white plumed helmets, and a Squadron of The Blues and Royals with blue tunics and red plumed helmets. Our APTG qualified blue badge tourist guides will be ready to tell you amazing stories about this ceremony. A simply not to be missed attraction in the heart of the city.

DAY 21
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Being one of the most important political buildings in the world United Kingdom's White House Number 10 continuously hosts the British prime ministers since 1735. The main decisions affecting Britain's destiny in the last 275 years have seriously been taken behind its iconic black door. Today it's not possible to enter the street as a tourist but knowing the idea that an actual prime minister lives and works in the street is a heart beating. Have this experience with us.

DAY 22
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Westminster Abbey is a Church, burial ground, coronation site and much more, Westminster Abbey continues to attract visitors over 900 years after its founding. In many respects the architecture is common. There's the traditional cross-shaped floor plan with a nave, north and south transepts and several round side areas. But both its execution and use raise The Collegiate Church of St Peter, Westminster (the official name) to among the highest examples of church construction. Here at Westminster Abbey lie buried kings and poets, scientists and philosophers who have themselves raised humankind to the highest levels. Isaac Newton and James Clerk Maxwell (discoverer of electromagnetic theory, which later lead to radio and TV), Chaucer and Kipling, Dr. Samuel Johnson (creator of the first English dictionary) and many other justly famous names are interred here.

DAY 23
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The Houses of Parliament, known also as the Palace of Westminster is where the two Houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom (the House of Lords and the House of Commons) conduct their sittings. They lie on the north bank of the River Thames in the London borough of the City of Westminster, close by other government buildings in Whitehall. The oldest part of the building is still in existence, Westminster Hall, which dates from 1097. The palace originally served as a royal residence, but no monarch has lived in it since the 16th century. Most of the present Houses of Parliament structure dates from the 19th century when the Palace was rebuilt after it was almost entirely destroyed by a fire in 1834. The architects responsible for rebuilding the Palace was Sir Charles Barry and Augustus Welby Pugin, and the building is an example of the Gothic revival.

DAY 24
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Westminster Bridge is not an ordinary bridge to span the river Thames. It has a very tumultuous history in London. The bridge's colour is green and the story of the bridge is colourful. We will tell you about the history of the bridge after Lady Boudicca's role in London's 2000-year-old history. Oh before we leave we will walk along the bridge and take pictures of London Eye, Royal Festival Hall and the River Thames.

DAY 25
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Our Millennium Wheel is the first-built and largest observation wheel in the world (a type of evolution on the Ferris wheel) and has been since its opening at the end of 1999. The London Eye stands 135 metres (443 feet) high on the western end of Jubilee Gardens, on the South Bank of the River Thames in Lambeth, London, England, between Westminster and Hungerford Bridges. It is adjacent to London's County Hall and stands opposite the offices of the Ministry of Defence situated in Westminster which it overlooks to the west. The London Eye was designed by architects David Marks, Julia Barfield, Malcolm Cook, Mark Sparrow hawk, Steven Chilton, and Nic Bailey. The London Eye's wheel carries 32 sealed and air-conditioned passenger capsules attached to its external circumference. Rotating at a rate of 0.26 metres per second so that one revolution takes about 30 minutes to complete, the London Eye wheel does not usually stop to take on passengers (the rotation rate is so slow that passengers can easily walk) except for the wheelchair users. What a lovely panoramic sightseeing attraction in the city. Our APTG qualified blue badge tourist guides will gladly tell you the history of the landmarks that you will see from the sky.

DAY 26
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Speaking of gardens, be sure not to overlook Covent Garden. It is associated with the former fruit-and-vegetable market in the central square, now a very popular shopping and tourist site. Not really gardens at all, the area is a spectacular array of theatres, shops (many people visit London just for the shopping) and more where the street performers compete with restaurants, bars, clubs and shops for tourists' attention. Covent Garden is also the prime destination of theatregoers and patrons of the Royal Opera House by night. It’s situated right in the heart of London’s Broadway West End. The area wasn’t used to be a fancy part of the city, however, series of developments after 70’s made this district a prime destination for tourists. Indeed, Covent Garden is one of the vibrant places of interest in London. It plays a great role in today’s cultural life with its theatres, restaurants, cafes, street performers, stalls, markets and many attractions. It’s a must-see place in London.

DAY 27
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St Paul's Cathedral is a cathedral on Ludgate Hill, in the City of London, and the seat of the Bishop of London. The present building dates from the 17th century and is generally reckoned to be London's fourth St Paul’s Cathedral, although the number is higher if every major medieval reconstruction is counted as a new cathedral. The first cathedral was built of wood by the Saxons. It burned down in AD 675 and was rebuilt, again in wood, ten years later. After this version was sacked by the Vikings in 962, the "second" St Paul’s was built, this time mainly in stone. The predecessor to Wren's cathedral, the third St Paul’s (known as Old St Paul’s), was begun by the Normans after the late Saxon cathedral suffered in a fire of 1087. Work took over two hundred years, and a great deal was lost in a fire in 1136. Nonetheless, the roof was once more built of wood, which was ultimately to doom the building. The church was "completed" in 1240 but a change of heart soon led to the commencement of an enlargement programme, which was not completed until 1314. The cathedral was however consecrated in 1300. It was the third-longest church in Europe at 596 feet (181 metres) and boasted one of Europe's tallest spires at some 489 feet (149 metres). England's first classical architect Sir Inigo Jones added the cathedral's new west front in the 1630s, but "Old St Paul’s" was finally ruined in the Great Fire of London of 1666. Building work on the latest St Paul’s Cathedral commenced in June 1675 to a design by a great English scientist and architect of the 17th century Christopher Wren, and St Paul’s Cathedral was completed on October 20 1708. The story starts from this point on and you can't wait to hear the rest of it from our qualified blue badge tourist guides.

DAY 28
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The Monument to the Great Fire of London, more commonly known simply as the Monument, is a Doric column in London, United Kingdom, situated near the northern end of London Bridge. Commemorating the Great Fire of London, it stands at the junction of Monument Street and Fish Street Hill, 202 feet (62 m) in height and 202 feet west of the spot in Pudding Lane where the Great Fire started on 2 September 1666. Constructed between 1671 and 1677, it was built on the site of St. Margaret's, Fish Street, the first church to be destroyed by the Great Fire. The Monument comprises a fluted Doric column built of Portland stone topped with a gilded urn of fire. It was designed by Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke. Its height marks its distance from the site of the shop of Thomas Farriner (or Farynor), the king's baker, where the blaze began. Hear the story of how London missed its opportunity to be a highly planned city of all times.

DAY 29
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London Bridge is a bridge over the River Thames, between the City of London and Southwark. It is between Cannon Street Railway Bridge and Tower Bridge; it also forms the western end of the Pool of London. The original London Bridge made this one of the most famous bridge emplacements in the world. It was the only bridge over the Thames in London until Westminster Bridge was opened in 1750. On the south side of London Bridge is Southwark Cathedral and London Bridge station. On the north side is the Monument to the Great Fire of London and Monument tube station. A bridge has existed at or near the present site for nearly 2000 years. The first bridge across the Thames in the London area was built by the Romans on the present site around 46 CE and was made of wood. The location was most likely chosen as a bridgeable spot which still had deepwater access to the sea. The bridge fell into disrepair after the Romans left, but at some point either it was repaired or a new timber replacement constructed, probably more than once. In 1013, the bridge was burned down by King Ethelred in a bid to divide the invading forces of the Dane Svein Haraldsson. This episode reputedly inspired the well-known nursery rhyme London Bridge is falling down. The rebuilt London Bridge was destroyed by a storm in 1091 and yet again, this time by fire, in 1136. The current London Bridge was constructed by contractors John Mowlem from 1967 to 1972 and opened by Queen Elizabeth II on March 17, 1973. London Bridge is a fairly dull edifice comprising three spans of pre-stressed concrete cantilevers, paid for in part by the sale of the earlier Rennie bridge. It is 928 feet (283 metres) long. The cost of £4m was met entirely by the City of London's Bridge House Estates. The current bridge was built in the same location as Rennie's bridge, which was carefully demolished piece by piece as the new bridge was built, so the bridge would remain in use throughout. In 1984 the British warship HMS Jupiter collided with London Bridge causing significant damage to both ship and bridge. On Remembrance Day 2004, various London bridges were furnished with red lighting as part of a night-time flight along the river by wartime aircraft. The red lighting on London Bridge considerably improved its drab appearance, so it has been left on the bridge (but not the other bridges) and lights it at night.

DAY 30
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HMS Belfast is the last remaining vessel of her type and one of the largest and most powerful light cruisers ever built. At 80 years old HMS Belfast is now a popular museum and tourist attraction in London. Built by Messrs Harland & Wolff in 1936, HMS Belfast was launched by Anne Chamberlain, wife of the then Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, on St Patrick's Day in 1938. This Warship was designed for the protection of trade and offensive action from Germany. Two months at sea and then, unfortunately, hit a magnetic mine and this masterpiece of Windsorian engineering was damaged so severely she was out of action for three years. On re-joining the home fleet in 1942 she was still the largest and most powerful cruiser in the Royal Navy and most importantly she was equipped with the most advanced radar systems. HMS Belfast was immediately called into action and played a crucial role in protecting the arctic convoys, Russia’s supply route throughout the war. Most notably in her role during the Battle of North Cape which saw the sinking of the German battle cruiser Scharnhorst and the loss of all but 36 of her 1,963 crew. HMS Belfast remained protecting the arctic convoys until 1944 when she spent five weeks supporting the D-Day landings and reportedly fired one of the first shots on D-Day itself. After the Second World War HMS Belfast played an active role in the Korean War from 1950-1952 working with other Allied Forces to support the retreating American and South Korean troops. HMS Belfast was brought to London opening to the public on Trafalgar Day, 21 October 1971. Her final years were spent performing peace-keeping duties until she was retired from service in 1963. Explore and visit this sleeping beauty by our APTG qualified blue badge tourist guides today.

DAY 31
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Tower Bridge is probably the city's most distinctive symbol of today. The Bridge shows a lot to its medieval predecessor London Bridge with its starlings and elaborate twin towers that give the bridge its name but it's not just a homage to the past, hidden inside that medieval-looking exterior there's a rather wonderful piece of Victorian engineering and in its day it was the biggest and most sophisticated lifting bridge in the world. Unlike London Bridge, the genius of the design is that the bridge can act as a gateway swinging open to allow tall ships to pass through. We will tell you plenty of things about this masterpiece in London, just follow us!

DAY 32
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Few prisons can claim to be as popular as the Tower of London, an attraction - unpleasant for some - for over 900 years. Its twenty towers are filled with an ancient tradition of royal blood, armor and jewels and the history to match. The Tower of London central structure began as a fort - used by the original builder William the Conqueror who completed the first tower around 1100 AD. At its completion it was the tallest building in London. Henry III had it whitewashed in the 13th century and the name, White Tower, has stuck. Later it evolved into a prison, used by Henry VII (and many others). Still later - and continuing to this day - it has acted as a repository for the extensive collection of crown jewels. Henry VII, nearly always short of money, had few jewels to store. But the stone complex, near the Tower Bridge alongside the River Thames, has also been used at various times to house the Royal Mint, the Public Records, the Royal Menagerie (later to form the starting point of the London Zoo) and an observatory (built in 1675). Listen to the rest of the story of the Tower of London from us today.

DAY 33
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Buckingham Palace is still the official residence of Britain's monarchy, as it has been since Queen Victoria's designation in 1837. Much of the Buckingham Palace was constructed as early as 1703 for the Duke of Buckingham. Buckingham House (as it was then known) was purchased in 1762 by George III, who used it as a private residence. Over the following 75 years the house was expanded to form three wings around a central courtyard. When Queen Victoria discovered Buckingham Palace lacked several 'necessary' rooms - such as a formal ballroom, a nursery, visitor's bedrooms and others - major additions were undertaken, including adding an entire wing to form a quadrangle. Buckingham Palace is the home of the Changing Guard Ceremony in London. The Changing of the Guard has been a tradition for hundreds of years whereby the Household Regiment, the Queen’s Guards at Buckingham Palace, change shift in a fascinating show of pomp and circumstance.

DAY 34
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After the tour, you will be provided with your transfer back to the airport, taking beautiful memories with you until you return again.

DAY 35
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