Browsing | July, 2014

The Oxford Street Experience

The Oxford Street Experience
Oxford Street, located in the City of Westminster, existed from Roman times until the 17th century primarily as a westwards route out of the City of London towards Oxford, hence its name. Today, Oxford Street is one of the busiest shopping districts and the world’s largest shopping street, having more than 300 shops that attract annually around 200 million of consumers. The development of Oxford Street as a prime shopping area began at the start of 20th century, when the first furnishing specialists, Waring & Gillow, opened its doors in 1906. In recent years, Oxford Street represents the heart of London’s West End shopping, running for approximately a mile and a half from Marble Arch at the north east corner of Hyde Park, through Oxford Circus to St Giles’ Circus, at the intersection with Charing Cross Road and Tottenham Court Road. Opposite to the Tottenham’s tube station, the recently refurnished, “The Tottenham” pub claims to be the only pub on the whole Oxford Street. But, with numerous clothes shops, record shops, like the famous Virgin Megastore and the HMV unit, which is the largest music store at 50,000 square feet, multiple computer games shops and department stores, including Selfridges, Oxford Street is an ideal location for those on leisure travel and time to browse through its colorful shopping windows. But although the street has multiple stores for one to choose from, these are not the most fashionable or the most expensive in the city of London. For those interested in other principal shopping areas, Knightsbridge is an excellent choice, especially because it is there where the famous Harrods department store is located. Famous for its celebrity launches and promotions, Oxford Street becomes the focal point during the Christmas period because of the wonderful Christmas lighting tradition that began in 1959. Decorated with thousands of festive lights Oxford Street celebrates the Christmas spirit at a heavily publicized “turning-on” ceremony in mid-to-late November, when a chosen celebrity flicks a switch that illuminates the rays of light that go on until January 6. Plans have been announced for what could be an audacious new move to change Oxford Street from its current traffic clogged state into a pedestrian paradise. Proposals to end the gridlock feature closing the street entirely to all traffic, even buses and build a new monorail stretching from one end to the other to transport people along. Critics however have pointed out that a monorail simply caters for shoppers too lazy to walk down the entire length of the street and that this is already well served by tube which would simply require improved accessibility to existing stations and perhaps a new station half way up the street. ....read more

One Day London Travel Museum Guide

One Day London Travel Museum Guide
A single day maneuvering through London’s museums will prove to be very enlightening and educational. With perhaps the world’s highest concentration of museums per square mile, the choices are as varied as the tastes of the visitors. An itinerary of one day, depending on energy levels, can prove to be absolutely packed to the brim with not a moment to spare. This one-day guide will provide the most interesting options for a packed itinerary, and for those who want a calmer day, pick and choose what sounds best for your energy and speed levels. As everyone knows, London can be expensive; as not everyone knows, some of London’s best museums, like the British Museum, are free of charge. Thus, an itinerary is provided for those who want to spend the minimum of money seeing the maximum of London’s culture. On the other hand, some of the best museums, like the Tower of London, are quite pricey. The London Pass can be an economical solution, giving free entry to countless London attractions for a set fee. Tourist-oriented museums, like Madame Tussauds wax museum, are a category in themselves, perfect for the day when the visitor seeks entertaining education rather than analytical thought in a museum visit. So, let this article be your guide through the best that London’s museums have to offer for minimal or free admission fees, through the benefits of the London Pass, and through the attraction museums that provide fun and fast-lane learning. The museums in London whose permanent collections are free of admission are not too few in number, and will fill up your one day of London travel. To start, the British Museum is one of the world’s best-known museums, showcasing one of the widest collections of world cultural history. Some highlights are the Rosetta stone; the first known image of Christ; Lindow Man, whose well-preserved 2000-year-old body was found in a bog; and the Reading Room, where Lenin, among others, studied and wrote plans for his Revolution that would affect the whole world. After this contact with world heritage, promenade over to the National Gallery on Trafalgar Square, where you can see art by Europe’s best painters and sculptors. Nearby is the National Portrait Gallery, concentrating its collection on England’s most famous citizens throughout the centuries. For a change of taste, follow up with the Tate, London’s best modern art museum, with paintings, photo exhibitions and installations. If you have time at the end of the day, conclude with the Museum of London, informing its visitors about London’s history and culture. If you’re interested in London, this museum is for you; and, presumably, you are interested in London if you’ve traveled all the way to get here! When you think of the distance you’ve traveled to get to London, you may think it worth spending a few pounds while you are here. The one-day London Pass costs 27 pounds (it can be bought in combination with an Underground Travelcard for 32 pounds), gives you free access to ....read more