The Best Local Attractions
London is world-famous for its tourist sights and there’s something for everyone. In London, you’ll never, ever be stuck for something to do or see!
The city is full of world-class museums, millennia- old buildings and internationally-recognised monuments like the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey.
If you want to delve back 2,000 years, the ancient Roman London Wall and other such antiquities can be seen at the Museum of London and if it’s entertainment you want, Theatreland is in Covent Garden and there are literally hundreds of pubs, clubs, bars, live music and comedy venues, art galleries and cinemas dotted all over the city!
The curiosity of the City of London’s cobbled thoroughfares, bizarre street names and ancient pubs are enough to keep even the most discerning tourist interested but because you’re staying with us to the west of the city, here’s a list of London’s best tourist attractions close to the Collingham Apartments…
The Science Museum
The Science Museum is, in their own words, ‘striving to be the best place in the world for people to enjoy science’ and they are doing a mighty fine job. At the home of human ingenuity, 3.5m visitors a year are entertained and inspired by award-winning, interactive exhibitions, iconic objects and stories of incredible scientific achievement.
Like most of London’s museums and galleries, entry to the Science Museum is absolutely free (although special exhibitions, the IMAX and flight simulators charge a fee) and the museum is open daily from 10am to 6pm.
The Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum is a globally-recognised museum and one of the finest scientific research centres in the world. With over 80 million exhibits spanning billions of years, the museum welcomes five million visitors annually and is housed in one of the most beautiful landmark buildings in all of London, designed and built in the 1860s.
The stars of the show are the dinosaurs but there is so much to do and see including lots of amazing interactive exhibits, animatronics and temporary exhibitions including moon rocks and the Aurora Collection of 300 coloured diamonds. Admission is free and the museum is open daily from 10.30am – 5.30pm.
The V&A Museum
The Victoria & Albert Museum – known the world over as the V&A – is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design with a permanent collection of over 2.3m pieces spanning 5,000 years of human creativity. The museum is home to a number of the UKs national collections and in their own words ‘houses some of the greatest resources for the study of architecture, furniture, fashion, textiles, photography, sculpture, painting, jewellery, glass, ceramics, book arts, Asian art and design, theatre and performance.’
The museum is free but you may have to pay for certain temporary exhibitions so please check the website before you arrive. It’s open daily from 10am – 5.45pm including a late night on Friday until 10pm.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Slightly to the west of the Collingham is Kew Gardens, the world’s most famous botanical garden. You can walk through 250 years of exotic and rare flora and fauna (including the giant, stinking Titan Arum in the Princess of Wales Conservatory), visit the Palm House, one of the most iconic buildings in London, take a treetop walk and wander through the Chinese Pagoda built in 1762. In winter, they put on an incredible night time festival of lights which is a real treat to see.
The walk-up price for adults is £10 and £3.50 for children aged 4-16 and the gardens are open from 10am. There’s always something in bloom at Kew and as you walk round, look for the Eduardo Paolozzi sculpture ‘A Maximis Ad Minima’ and Henry Moore’s ‘Reclining Mother and Child’.
Built in the early 17th century by Sir George Coppin and extended by none other than Sir Christopher Wren and Nicholas Hawksmoor, Kensington Palace is a royal residence and the official London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, aka Wills and Kate! As you walk round, you’ll see royal fashions belonging to HM The Queen and Princess Diana, the Queen’s State Apartments, an exploration of the wonderful life of Queen Victoria, state rooms, the palace’s gardens, incredible art and furniture and lots more.
The gate price for adults is £16.50 – under 16s are free – and the palace is open seven days a week, all year round (apart from 24-26 December) from 10am until 4pm with last admissions at 3pm.
ZSL London Zoo
Opened in 1828, London Zoo is the world’s oldest scientific zoo. There are close to18, 000 individual animals covering 800 species and the major exhibits include the Gorilla Kingdom, Butterfly Paradise, Tiger Territory, Land of the Lions and Penguin Beach. You can get up close and personal with the animals at feeding time and there are lots of interactive exhibits to keep everyone entertained all day!
Adult tickets cost £21.50 and children from 3-17 are £17.25 and the zoo is open from 10am – 4pm with last entry at 3pm. There are lots of places to eat and drink and the zoo is almost fully accessible to wheelchair users.
The London Eye
At 135 metres, the Coca-Cola London Eye is the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel and gives you a breath-taking view over London’s most iconic landmarks including the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge and the brand-new Shard. It’s an exhilarating journey up into the sky and it’s no surprise that ‘the Eye’ is the most popular paid tourist attraction in the UK.
A full rotation takes approximately 30 minutes and standard tickets start from a little over £21.00 but there are lots of different packages and tickets on offer dependent if you want flexibility, night rides or even a capsule for two with Champagne, chocolates and a personal host at £380!