London is a fascinating city; rich in history, elegance and cultural diversity. As you formulate your list of things to see and do, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament should be at the top! Guided tours are available every weekend, and weekdays during August and September, only. Big Ben is not part of the excursion, but can still be viewed in all its splendour and majesty from a short distance away.
If it is museums that strike your fancy, London certainly offers a plethora of options. On The Museum Mile visit The Courtauld Gallery and the Charles Dickens Museum. Some quirkier choices include the Anaesthesia Museum and the Museum of Fans. Of course, the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square is a must-see, where you'll enjoy works by Botticcelli, Van Gogh and Rembrandt to name a few. In a different direction, The Ben Uri Art Gallery – the London Museum of Jewish Art – is the only museum in Europe that devotes itself to Jewish art.
Tours Through and From London
Travel about London in a vintage bus, which also includes a tour of the Thames. Enter the mystical and enigmatic Stonehenge at sunset—a lovely guided walking tour.
The cultural diversity in London is one of its many intriguing aspects and truly sets it apart. While 92.1% of its population is Anglo, 4% of residents are of Indian, Pakistani or Bangladeshi descent. 2% is of its citizens are of African or Caribbean descent.
During the months of April-October, the temperatures range from the 80 degrees F. to the upper 90’s. In the months of November through March one can expect average temperatures of 55 degrees. For many people, thoughts of London conjure a dreary city in which there is a constant drizzle of rain. Au contraire! In fact, the cities of Rome and Bordeaux receive significantly more precipitation per year.
Do’s and Do Nots
Do take your manners with you. “Please” and “Thank you” never go out of style. Do hold the door open for men and women, alike; do wait your turn in line; shoving and “butting in” are examples of rudeness. Pay as you go when in restaurants or pubs—running a tab is not done. Do shake hands when being introduced; using your right hand. Don’t greet strangers with a kiss on the cheek. Don’t speak in a loud tone of voice in public. Don’t spit. In other words, a little common sense goes a long way.
Here is a short list of a few of the unusual customs and festivals that are unique to London: The Ancient Horn Dance, Cheese rolling, May Day, Nettle Eating, Toe Wrestling, and Marsh Snorkelling. Enjoy your London vacation!